preparing bottles for night feeds

Common night feeds questions answered

November 12, 2018

It’s the wish of almost every new parent… when will my baby sleep through the night? When might I become a real, actual, functioning, well-rested human again? Yes, we agree, it’s all worth it: the late feeds, the regular waking, the diaper changes, the cooing cuddles. Your baby is a wonderful miracle. But let’s be real, it is so exhausting.

If you are one of the lucky ones, you may get the occasional four, six, or even eight hour consecutive sleep. Oh do we envy you. We were discussing it here at the Organic Baby Food Shop and while some of us had the occasional, decent, uninterrupted sleep for the most part it was pretty hard work. One of our moms had a 7 week premature baby in hot summer weather and she was up feeding hourly for the first four months. Her baby didn’t sleep for four consecutive hours until she was ten months old.

So, you are not alone, and you are amazing!

Perhaps you are ready to think about switching to formula and to bottle feeding? But which nipple? Which bottle? What size? What quantity? How often? The questions are endless.

We went through it too and that’s why we dedicated ourselves to our organic baby formula business. We wanted to provide organic bio-farmed formula that you can trust, worldwide. We conducted a Q&A amongst the parents on our staff and this is what we came up with:

night feeds

 

  • When do babies sleep through the night without feeding?

  • It would be great if there was a universal answer for this. Like, three months old, or four and a half months old. But there isn’t. Every baby is different. Some may sleep through the night from the start. Others may take years. Trust your instincts and listen to what your baby needs.

    Try to get your partner involved. When your baby wakes at night, get your partner to do a diaper change and a cuddle, or gently rock them, or sing a song. See if your partner can get your baby back to sleep. If they absolutely can’t of course you can feed! But try to feed for less time, and less quantity to gradually train your baby not to look for the comfort of feeding quite so much.

     

    When should you stop night feeds?

    Again this is a very personal question. You may be exhausted and simple not able to night feed anymore. It could happen at three months old or at eight months or more. One of our staff has a friend who still feeds her four year old at night so it is truly a very personal decision. The important thing is to listen to your body and to your baby’s needs. Are they feeding purely for comfort? Do you have the energy to keep feeding them for comfort? Then by all means continue!

    Are they really hungry and grouchy? Maybe it’s time to consider something like HiPP’s Goodnight Formula to help your baby feel full for longer and sleep for longer.

     

    How can you stop night feeds?

    There are many different methods and between us I think we’ve been through almost all of them.

    One of our staff used the ‘cry it out method’ where you let your baby cry until they are exhausted and sleep. This particular person definitely does not recommend it and said it was heartbreaking.

    There’s ‘weaning’, where you give baby a little bit less formula or breastmilk each time until they don’t seek it anymore at night.

    There’s ‘distraction’ with cuddles, diaper change, singing lullabies and gently rocking your little one back to sleep.

    We recommend a good, big meal of cereal before bedtime if your baby is old enough. It can be a formula that is rich in heavy cereals to keep your baby full for longer, or if they’ve started on fruits or porridge they can have a good dinner before bed and feel full for longer.

     

    Can you pre-make formula for night feeds?

    The World Health Organisation (WHO) says: 'It is safest to prepare a fresh feed each time one is needed, and to consume immediately. This is because prepared feeds provide ideal conditions for bacteria to grow - especially when kept at room temperature. If you need to prepare feeds in advance for use later, they should be prepared in individual bottles, cooled quickly and placed in the refrigerator (no higher than 5°C). Throw away any refrigerated feed that has not been used within 24 hours.'

    So in short, it’s best to make it fresh. But if you are really tired, you can make individual bottles to be used up to 24 hours.

    And yes, your kitchen surface will look like a miniature amusement park with swirling, twirling, steaming, sterilizing machines to keep baby’s bottles, breast pumps and bottle nipples well sterilized and cleaned. But it’s worth it to keep your baby’s bottle bacteria-free and your baby’s tummy happy.

     

    When do babies go longer between feeds at night?

    This often happens when you start to introduce some foods like banana or cereals into their diet. They feel fuller for longer and do not require so much night feeding as they are not as hungry. They’ll still randomly wake up with a wet diaper and ready for a good cry and an even better cuddle though, so be patient!

     

  • When do babies start sleeping through the night?

  • That is the million dollar question. If only there were a magic formula to guarantee it, but there isn’t… yet. Every baby is unique and wonderful and they will follow their own journey with your help and guidance.

     You can encourage them in the right direction with cereals, fruits and cuddles and changes instead of night feeds, but trust your judgement to know their needs and allow them to grow at their own pace.



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