Can I Sleep Train My Baby and Still Feed Her Overnight?
If your baby is younger than 6 months, you may still want to feed her once overnight. This is a personal decision that should be made by you and your child’s pediatrician, based on your baby’s weight gain, overall health and your pediatrician’s philosophy on overnight feedings.
If you and your pediatrician decide that you want to keep feeding (or even two) overnight, you still can sleep train your baby! Absolutely.
You can change your baby’s sleep scenario from baby waking up 5 times a night to waking up once a night for a quick feed and then immediately going back to sleep. Bedtime can become a quick and painless affair and you will be able to count on getting up only once in middle of the night.
Sounds like a dream? Dreams DO come true!
Here’s how it works:
- Choose your sleep training method
- Choose the time for your baby’s feed that you want to keep (eg: the first time she wakes after midnight, or the first time he wakes after 3am)
- Use your sleep training method for all night wakings aside from the one where you will feed your baby.
It’s that simple! A baby that truly needs an overnight feeding will wake up from hunger, eat and go back to sleep. If you try this and your baby continues to wake at other times with no progress, it’s a possible sign that the feeding you are keeping isn’t necessary and is actually confusing your baby.
Why is Mommy feeding me sometimes at night but not others? I’ll just keep crying every time I wake so she gets the message that I want that bottle back!
You’ll know this within a week or two of consistently coaching your baby through the night.
If your pediatrician gives you the go-ahead, it will be much easier for your baby to learn to sleep well if her feed takes place after midnight. Feeds that occur before midnight usually strengthens a sucking or feeding-to-sleep association and may not even because of hunger.
Your baby will actually be the one to let you know where she stands on this matter. Follow her cue and the rest will flow!