Handling the Night Feeds

Once the mother delivers it is as if the tiredness is already catching up. She experiences a whole set of changes. The feeding can slowly begin to take a toll on her. Some moms are feeding most of the day and if you do not have adequate help on hand you can get extremely tired. The hospital stay is comparatively easy and it is only for a short while. The nurses are there to help you and the baby. But once you go home you are on your own.

As you begin feeding in the day you soon start to keep awake most of the night as well. For the first eight to ten weeks the baby needs to be fed aroun ten at night and then at two in the morning. They take too small a feed to last them for the entire night. Feed the baby when he wakes up and do not worry about giving him a bad habit of feeding at night, nor will the night feed cause any indigestion as many mothers fear. His digestive powers remain the same at night as in the day.

Gradually the baby would have to be taught that nights are meant for sleeping. So after three months if the baby has been gaining weight satisfactorily you can successfully stop the 2 a.m. feed. There may be occasions where he may cry continuously in hunger for the feed and you can give it to him. It can take days or weeks to try and eliminate a feed.

The baby will need the ten o’clock night feed for up to at least nine to ten months by which time the baby would have started on a solid meal in the evening to last him through the night. Generally you will find that you will have to feed the baby three hourly during the day and four hourly during the night.

Once the baby has completed four months you should try and completely stop the night feed. Some babies in the day may feed every one hour especially if they are small and are underweight. Also in the case of these babies the doctor will tell you to wake up the baby every two hours at night just to give an extra feed. These babies get more tired suckling and require small feeds every few hours.