How many hours can a baby sleep without feeding? Feeding frequency has been a point of debate among parents, and even among child health experts. Most of them use to come with different recommendations.
And therefore, it’s pretty common to get confused at this point.
With today’s post, we’ve decided to put an end to all the confusion, and come up with a simple, generalized answer on how many hours can baby sleep without feeding.
But before getting into the main point, let’s have a look at some basics about baby’s sleep and feeding-
Basics About Baby Sleep and Feeding
When your baby is a newborn, the most generalized feeding advice is to feed your baby 10-12 times a day. In other hours, you should feed the baby once every two or three hours.
Over time, babies themselves will start to provide you with signals of hunger.
For example, at one point you will see your baby to nurse for short periods or to fall back to sleep in the middle of a meal.
You have to read the signal that, you don’t need to wake up the baby for feeding while he/she is sleeping.
Also, babies will provide you with signals when they are hungry. But that will happen only when they’re awake.
How to Train Your Baby to Spend the Night Without Eating
After a certain age, you can expect your baby to spend the whole night without any hunger. But if you don’t find it happening to your baby, here are some things to follow-
Maintain A Regular Sleeping Cycle
As a parent, one of your foremost duties is to make the bedtime of babies simple and regular.
You can start by regulating the time to give the baby a bath, putting on new dresses, help them to walk (you can try baby walker, jumper etc), changing nappies, or even singing a lullaby.
Help The Baby to Differentiate between The Night And Day
It’s so important that your baby should learn how to identify day and night.
Start helping them in this regard by making their daytime feeding lively and making the night time feeding calm and quiet.
You can also try keeping babies awake for more hours during the day so that they feel like sleeping at night. Use toys, smooth music, reading stories etc.
How many hours babies can sleep without feeding?
We know that this is the answer you’re looking for and eventually landed on this post.
Well, as per research conducted by Susan E.C. Sorensen, a pediatrician from Nevada, babies can sleep for 6 straight hours without waking up for food.
Now, that was the most generalized answer that we can give you. But there are some facts and conditions that you need to keep in mind-
1. Babies can sometimes sleep for 6 hours at a stretch without food, right after they are 6 months old or higher. For babies younger than that, the duration would be shorter of course. For example, babies of an age range of 0-4 weeks can sleep for 4 stretch hours at max without any essence of food.
2. In the same way, babies older than 6 months of age, start to sleep for longer hours without any essence of food. Over time, mothers can start to wean their babies from feeding in the middle of sleep.
3. Having said everything else, babies are still different from each other. The essential hours of sleep and the feeding frequency can vary from baby to baby.
Some babies grow fast, and they need to be fed more often than what the theory says. On the other hand, some babies lag behind and require less food in a less frequent manner. If you’re not certain whether your baby’s growth rate is perfect or not, consult an expert before making any crucial decisions.
When and why to wake newborn for feeding?
Whether you should wake your baby up for feeding or not, depends on the baby’s age, health some more facts.
For making it easy to understand, we will talk about it based on baby’s age-
Case 1: When your baby is 0-4 Weeks old
As you know, newborns are likely to lose some weight right after birth. Within two or three weeks after birth, babies start to regain weight.
And till that point, you need to feed your baby on a frequent basis, even if the baby’s sleeping when it’s mealtime.
At this stage, babies can sleep for up to 4 hours at a stretch.
Case 2: When your baby is 4-12 Weeks old
The second case is when your baby is on a regular growth rate, and starting to put on weight on a regular basis.
At this stage, you can let your baby sleep as long as it can. Waiting for them to wake up for a meal is quite okay at this point.
On a side note, you should always keep an eye on the age-weight ratio, and make sure that your baby is meeting the milestones.
Case 3: When your baby is 12-24 Weeks old
By the age of 12 weeks, babies learn to express their hunger through some common ways such as crying.
There are also signs with which you can be informed about it. The most common kind of signs is restlessness, stirring, lip movements, and so on.
At this age range, it’s okay to let your baby sleep for 5-7 hours after a meal.
Hopefully, we’ve been able to put an end to all of your confusion about the sleeping hour-count and feeding frequency when the baby is sleeping.
Good luck with parenting your baby, and your life as a proud parent.