Should I Wake My Newborn to Feed at Night?
Most parents find themselves wondering if they should wake their newborns during the night to feed. After all, newborns should be eating about 8-12 times a day. Here’s what you need to know about whether or not to wake your newborn to feed throughout the night.
Understand Your Baby’s Growth
The first step to determining whether or not to wake your newborn to feed is to accept that all babies are different. Each baby’s growth is unique and can be unpredictable. As your baby grows during the first few months of life, he or she may need to feed more during the night.
Learn Your Baby’s Hunger Cues
Newborns can’t yet tell you if they’re hungry. It’s important to pay close attention to your newborn’s cues. Some signs your baby may be hungry include:
- Smacking their lips
- Sucking on their hands or fingers
- Turning their head
If you notice your newborn exhibiting any of these behaviors, he or she may be ready to eat.
Respond to Your Baby’s Needs
When deciding whether or not to wake your newborn to feed during the night, it’s important to respond to his or her individual needs. If your newborn is sleeping for long periods of time and not exhibiting any of the above hunger cues, you may want to let him or her sleep if possible. If your newborn is exhibiting the above signs of hunger and you feel comfortable doing so, it may be helpful to try and wake him or her up at the same time every night.
Seek Medical Advice
It’s always important to discuss any concerns with your doctor. Your pediatrician or primary care physician will be able to provide advice tailored to your baby’s individual needs. He or she can help you to determine the best way to ensure your newborn is getting enough to eat throughout the night.
Overall, whether or not you decide to wake your newborn to feed during the night is up to you and your baby’s needs. It’s important to pay close attention to your baby’s hunger cues and talk to your doctor for more personalized advice.