Can I improve my baby’s sleep with feeding?

Last updated on October 6, 2022

sleeping baby with celestial wallpaper in the background

If you’re reading this bleary-eyed and exhausted, it may be hard to believe that adjustments to your baby’s feeding routine can potentially help improve their sleep patterns. But it’s true! While it’s important to keep in mind that individual babies have unique sleep needs and patterns, optimizing feeding practices can play a role in promoting better sleep for your baby. Here are 7 feeding suggestions for the best night sleep for your baby.

  1. Establish a consistent feeding schedule: Try to establish a regular feeding routine for your baby. Consistency can help regulate their internal clock and make them more predictable when it comes to sleep.
  2. Feed your baby before sleep: If possible, feed your baby shortly before putting them down to sleep. This can help ensure that they are well-fed and comfortable, reducing the likelihood of waking up due to hunger.
  3. Avoid overfeeding: While it’s important to make sure your baby is adequately nourished, overfeeding can lead to discomfort and disrupt their sleep. Pay attention to your baby’s hunger cues and feed them until they are satisfied but not overly full.
  4. Consider dream feeds: Dream feeds involve feeding your baby while they are still asleep, typically before you go to bed yourself. This can help extend their sleep duration by ensuring they are well-fed without fully waking them up.
  5. Encourage full daytime feeds: During daytime feeds, try to ensure that your baby consumes enough milk or formula to meet their nutritional needs. This can help reduce nighttime hunger and promote longer stretches of sleep.
  6. Consider cluster feeding: Cluster feeding involves offering shorter and more frequent feeding sessions in the evening to “top up” your baby’s intake before bedtime. This can help keep them satisfied and potentially improve their sleep duration.
  7. Adjust feeding techniques: If your baby tends to fall asleep while feeding, try different techniques to keep them awake and engaged during the feeding session. For example, gently stroking their cheek or changing their position can help keep them awake for a full feed.

Remember, every baby is unique, and what works for one may not work for another. It’s essential to observe your baby’s cues, adapt your feeding routine accordingly, and consult with a pediatrician if you have specific concerns about your baby’s sleep or feeding habits.

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Reviewed by Dr. Gilson Capilouto & Dr. Jessie Zak

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