How To Make A Baby Sleep At Night Without Feeding

Helping your baby sleep at night without feeding is a tough prospect, but definitely not impossible. With a little patience and some tips from the pros, you will be doing so in no time. At best, babies are as unpredictable as they are adorable, so each baby may respond differently to different tactics. All things considered, let’s jump into some great ways you can start helping your infant get back to sleep at night without another feeding. As always, remember that you can contact us anytime, day or night, with your questions, concerns or issues with your baby. We would love to help!

Tip #1: Full Feeds During The Daytime Leads To Better Nighttimes

If your child isn’t getting a full feed every waking period during the daytime, then they will tend to compensate during the night so that they can get the calories they need to continue to grow. That means more wake cycles at night which means less sleep for everyone! To avoid this, make sure that your baby is getting topped off at every daytime feeding and isn’t going to sleep hungry so they don’t wake up for a “midnight” snack down the road.

There are a number of things that can cause a baby to not get full feeds. Trouble transferring milk from the breast, short sleep cycles, not enough hunger drive etc. This is one of those areas that having input from an expert will really help you navigate and progress faster towards better night time sleep.

Tip #2: Regulation Is The Key To Enforcing Healthy Sleep Patterns

No, not regulations as in more laws and codes, we’re talking about the original definition of regulation which means to do something at predictable intervals as prescribed to be in good working order. Regulating your child’s sleeping schedule is important if you want to more easily help get them down to sleep, especially at nighttime. Keep a sharp eye on your watch (or phone screen these days) and make sure that you are doing everything you can to keep your baby’s sleep times on schedule. Any 3 or 4 hour gaps in their wake windows and you will have an overtired baby on your hands which means a harder time putting them down for their next nap. 

Wake cycles change as babies get older and can tolerate and have the stamina to be awake for longer durations. Future post on wake windows to come, but for now, use these general guidelines:

Newborn – 4 weeks: 1-2 wake windows of 30-60 minutes (after feeding).

4-8 weeks: 2-3 wake windows of 60 minutes (after feeding).

12 weeks: 2-3 wake windows of 75-90 minutes and 2 wake windows of 30 minutes (after feeding).

Tip #3: Hello Darkness My Old Friend (AKA A Dark And Quiet Room Can Help)

No, Simon & Garfunkel aren’t doing a reunion tour anytime soon, but their song title can be a helpful reminder to today’s busy parents. A great way to help your child get back to sleep at night is to embrace the dark in order to help emphasize and further regulate their sleeping rhythms. As much as you possibly can, avoid turning on bright overhead lights at night time. Instead, use soft and dim lamps or other sources of diffused, low light. A baby is still “learning” the natural day/night patterns and what signifies them so to help them distinguish day from night there needs to be a sharp contrast in ambient light. 

If you are cutting down on light, then so too cut down on noise at night time as well. Speak in soft voices and avoid having the TV or radio on at all, or at a very low volume when possible. Loud noises and lots of light and activity can definitely make it harder for baby to get back to sleep. 

Tip #4: Baby Needs To Know How To Return To Sleep Unassisted

Sometimes self-soothing is the best form of soothing for an infant. If your infant wakes up during the night and it isn’t for an official feeding, then you may want to wait by the side of the bassinet for a few minutes before jumping in to pick them up and soothe them physically. They may have just startled themselves awake and will be irritated for a minute before falling back asleep naturally on their own. It takes a little patience and practice, but sometimes just a few soothing words or “shushes” at the side of the crib or bassinet can work wonders!

Parting Thoughts

Getting your infant to sleep can definitely be a process with varying challenges. Sometimes this process happens quickly or slowly as each child and family dynamic is different. If you have any questions about getting your baby to sleep, or your baby in general, please reach out to us HERE. We are experts in all things baby (we LOVE them!) and sleep and would love to help!



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The content contained in this blog is for informational and educational purposes only. It is not intended as medical advice or to replace the advice of any medical professional. It is based on our opinions and experience working with newborns and their families. Other’s opinions may vary. It does not represent the views of any affiliated organizations. The reader understands that the term “Babynurse” is often a word used to describe a newborn caregiver. However, unless otherwise disclosed, we are not licensed nurses in any state. By reading and/or utilizing any information or suggestions contained in this blog, the reader acknowledges that we are not medical professionals and agrees to and waives any claim, known or unknown, past, present or future. This blog may contain affiliate links.
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