How many baby night feedings by age are appropriate? If your baby is waking at night to eat a lot, you might naturally start asking if they are actually hungry. Here are common questions:
“How many times should be my baby be eating at night?”
“Is it time for me to night-wean, or are his night feedings still necessary?”
“I feel like my baby is up all night eating – is this normal?!”
These are questions we hear just about every day around here. We thought it was high time we gave you a new resource to help you answer questions like these! But this isn’t just any regular blog article! Today, we’re bringing you an awesome and easy to use chart! A few months ago, we brought you a baby/toddler bedtime by age chart, and your response was overwhelming. That is now one of the most popular articles on our site!
So, since it’s clear you love reference charts (and we don’t blame you!), how about another one? This time, we’re taking a look at night feedings by age. What’s the standard at each age? How does “standard” vary based on whether you breastfeed or bottle-feed? Is your baby feeding too much for her age, or are her night feedings in line with what healthcare providers consider normal? Read on and find out so you can decide when night weaning may be appropriate!
Baby Night Feedings By Age – REFERENCE Chart
The content of today’s chart was created by Miriam Chickering, who is a mom of 6, an experienced sleep and certified lactation consultant, and a labor and delivery nurse with years of experience. So, to say she knows a thing or two about baby feeding would be an understatement! Let’s take a look at what she advises are standard baby night feedings, broken down by age.
Baby Night Feedings By Age*
|Age||Breastfed Totals Per Night**||Formula-Fed Totals Per Night**||Notes|
|0-2 months||3-5 feedings per night||2-4 feedings per night||Remember, newborns need to eat around the clock – newborns should not go more than 4 hours between feedings (preferably no more than 3 hours).|
|3-4 months||3-4 feedings per night||2-3 feedings per night||Watch out for the 4 month sleep regression – if your baby is suddenly more wakeful, it may have less to do with a need for food and more to do with changing sleep patterns!|
|5-6 months||1-3 feedings per night||1-2 feedings per night||As you can see by the numbers, most babies are starting to consolidate their night feedings at this time, as well as consolidating their sleep. By this age, most babies are sleeping less during the day and getting one nice, long stretch of sleep at night.|
|7-9 months||0-3 feedings per night||0-1 feeding(s) per night||We find that most formula-fed babies are done feeding at night by this point, or are starting to night-wean. We usually recommend for ALL babies (both breast and bottle) an attempt at night-weaning here, if you feel comfortable with it.|
|10-12 months||0-2 feedings per night||0-1 feeding(s) per night||Formula-fed babies are almost always done feeding by 12 months. If your breaastfed baby is still feeding at night by 10 or 11 months, this is perfectly fine – but try to consolidate it to one feeding, if possible.|
*These night feedings are considered standard, but they also assume that baby is healthy, is gaining weight properly, has no food allergies or medical concerns, etc. What’s normal for your baby may look a bit different, based on unique factors.
As always, if you have doubts about your baby’s feeding patterns, please speak with your healthcare provider. They are the best resource for feeding concerns.
**”Night” in this chart refers to a 12-hour period of time.
Does this chart give you some encouragement? I hope so – look at those wide ranges of what’s considered normal and standard!
What About Toddlers?
Now, we don’t get into toddler territory with this chart, simply because the vast majority of toddlers do not need to feed at night in order to grow properly. While breast milk and formula are still great for toddlers to consume, they can generally get what they need during daylight hours.
For even more night weaning and night feeding resources, check out these special members-only resources in our VIP members Area:
- The 3-Step System To Better Baby Sleep (members enjoy unlimited access to this e-book)
- Night-Weaning Mini-Action Plan (MAP™) (step-by-step action plan for VIPs to night-wean fast!)
- Night Weaning: How To and Common Pitfalls (audio course featuring Nicole Johnson)
- Breastfeeding and Sleep Training (audio course featuring Miriam Chickering)
- How Fixed and Fluid Feeding Schedules Can Help You Night Wean (step-by-step night weaning plans)
- Is My Baby Ready To Night Wean? (quiz)