Baby Night Feedings By Age – An Easy Reference Chart from The Baby Sleep Site®

Baby Night Feedings By AgeHow 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:

We’re always here and ready to help with your baby night feedings!

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9 thoughts on “Baby Night Feedings By Age – An Easy Reference Chart from The Baby Sleep Site<sup>®</sup>”

  1. My 11.month old son still wakes every 2- 3 hrs to be breastfed. It’s exhauwtinf I can’t get him to settle otherwise.

  2. My daughter is 2 months old and sleeps through the night with no night time wakings to breastfeed. She is a healthy weight at this time. She will nurse most of the day every 2 hours starting after 2pm until bed time which is usually between 9-10pm. I stopped waking her to nurse because she is older and growing well. Is this ok?

    • @Brittany – Thank you for reading and for sharing. How wonderful that your little girl sleeps so well for you at night!! That’s great news! 🙂 There does usually come a point where young babies may no longer need to nurse at night if they are getting adequate nutrition especially by cluster feeding before bedtime. You’ll want to run it by her healthcare provider to make sure she is growing well enough to discontinue night feeds – they usually consider the whole picture of her health to make this decision. Best of luck to you both!

  3. My baby is 3 months old and I put her down to sleep at 9pm and works fine. However I can see that I should put her down to bed earlier in a few months according to that schedule. It will be complicated due to our work schedule, we come home late from work. Will that make her overtired? If I put her down at 8pm we won’t have any parents time with her just get home and go through the sleep routine right away.

    • Hi Anna,
      Thanks for all of your comments! Most babies do start to want an earlier bedtime around 4 months-old, but it depends on when she has to wake up in the morning, and also somewhat on her personality. We have a custom schedule generator that can give you an idea of her sleep needs as she ages, and what her wake time will probably look like if you decide to keep a later bedtime:
      I hope it will help, but please let us know if you have questions!

  4. @ Dakota – that sounds like a good idea! It’s safe to say that your one year old probably doesn’t “need” the nighttime feeds, but it’s fine to keep them as long as you both want to 🙂 However, if you’re ready to phase some of the feeds out, then yes, shifting the early morning ones to later in the morning (after your morning wake-up time) would work.

    Thanks for commenting, Dakota! 🙂

    @ Taylor — this is a great question. First, I’ll say that in our consultations, we vary our advice from family to family in order to meet each family’s unique needs. That said, in general, we recommend swaddling as a great way to encourage newborns to sleep better. However, for a newborn who was extra sleepy, and who wasn’t waking to feed at least every 4 hours, then yes, we may very well advise removing the swaddle in an effort to keep baby waking more regularly for food.

    Hope this helps, Taylor! 🙂

  5. I had a question about swaddling and night feeds for a breastfed baby. LLL recommends not swaddling so as not to restrict a newborn’s need to wake up and eat. What is the baby sleep site opinion on that subject? Do newborns really sleep through hunger if they are swaddled? I think the no swaddling advice is also to protect your milk supply, which is good. But where is the line drawn?

  6. Thank you so much for this valuable resource! I do have a question about number of feedings. My little one just turned One. I think he’s nursing more at night to compensate for not nursing during the day – he gets distracted easily and we’ve essentially dropped any day time feedings.

    He nurses consistently at 10:30ish at night, and then will wake up at least a couple more times during the night. We’re working on getting him into his own room and his own crib for the full night, but right now he ends up cosleeping after 2 a.m. (He’s coslept with us since he was nb and it’s been a slow process to get him to his own crib. He currently naps and starts the night there.)

    Would you recommend just trying to shift those early a.m. feedings to the morning? I’m not ready to wean him and I don’t think he’s ready to be weaned either.

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