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Baby still waking to Feed every 3-4 Hours through the Night

NBB Question from Erin: My 7 month old is breastfeeding and still wakes up every 3-4 hrs over night. She only feeds for max 2-3 mins for all feeds, even during the day. I think this is why she still feeds during the night. How can I get her to feed for longer? She is on solids but milk is always offered at least 30 mins before.

Hi Erin, It is not abnormal for your baby to still be waking overnight at 7 months. Up to 6 months of age studies have shown 2/3 of babies wake 2-3 times on average during the night and we see in other studies that it is still normal for babies to wake to feed at least until 12 months.

In regards to her 2-3 min feeds, is this new behaviour or has she been very efficient with her feeds for a while? If she’s been feeding like this for some time and is still gaining weight effectively then this is her normal and you do not need to change anything. If this has changed recently and she is no longer gaining weight like she should be and the night feeding is a new addition to her pattern, then this may be part of the problem and I would recommend you visit your maternal child health nurse.

At present offering milk before her complimentary foods is fine, but as she gets older (9-12months) you will probably want to swap that around so she starts to eat more foods. The majority of their food is still breastmilk up until around 12 months, so you and bub are doing the right things.

Remember this is only temporary and things will change in the next few months, keeping breastmilk in her diet for as long as possible is awesome and you’re doing a super job.

A great book for more information on gentle techniques to help your baby sleep without interrupting breastmilk from her diet is The No Cry Sleep Solution by Elizabeth Pantly.

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