Feeding your Newborn at Night

Have you ever wondered if you should wake up your newborn baby to feed them?

In this blog, I’ll be referring to newborns up to three weeks of age.  Now, there are a few things to think about when it comes to waking up your baby at night to feed them.

One is their weight, are they back to their birth weight? Most babies will lose weight during the few days after they are born.

Babies come with some weight extra on board to take them through this newborn period while mommy is establishing breastfeeding. Babies typically will be back to their birth weight in seven to 10 days.

As a general rule of thumb, if your baby is not back with the birth weight, it is recommended to feed them every two to three hours. And I typically say if they are sleeping, at least at the four hour point, you should wake them up to see if they’re ready to feed.

And if they can feed, make a serious attempt to feed them at that four hour point. And if they are refusing to feed and everything else looks okay, you might let them sleep another hour and wake them up again to feed. However, if your baby is back to their birth weight and it’s been established that they are putting on weight steadily past their birth weight, I typically recommend not waking a baby up. This is because, usually what will happen is after they’ve slept for a long while, when they wake up, they’ll just feed longer and feed more.

If your baby, again is back to back to their birth weight, in the first couple of weeks of life,

I recommend letting them sleep for up to five to six hours. At this point if they are still sleeping you should wake them up and try to feed them. It is not necessary to wake them every two to three hours which is what I have seen some of my new moms do.

If your baby is back to their birth weight and they’re thriving and doing well and there are no red flags or concerns from your primary care provider, let them sleep and you take a rest. These are just general guidelines.

If your newborn does have some specific medical conditions that require you to feed them more frequently or have a different sort of feeding schedule for them as recommended by your primary care provider, please do follow those recommendations.


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