3. Separate Eating From Sleeping
After the first month, you don’t want to let your baby fall asleep while you’re feeding or rocking her, because you want her to figure out how to put herself to sleep.
She may eat a little, doze a little, and eat some more, a couple of times. If she goes to sleep and keeps sleeping when you’re feeding her, stop and put her to bed.
Some parents try to push more formula, breast milk, or baby food to try to make a baby sleep on schedule or sleep longer. This isn’t good for your baby. Just like you when you’ve eaten too much, your overfed baby won’t be comfortable enough to rest well.
Note: Never prop a baby bottle in your infant's mouth when you put her to bed. It can lead to choking and ear infections.
4. Don’t Wake Your Baby to Feed After 2 Months
If your baby is gaining weight properly, you don’t have to wake her at night for feedings after 2 months. Your baby needs to find her own sleep schedule. Once she’s eating more in the daytime, she doesn’t need to wake and eat at night.
Here are some instances where you should wake your baby:
- She is 0 to 2 months old.
- She is sleeping more in the day than the night. Don’t let her go more than 4 hours without eating.
Your baby’s pediatrician will give you advice for your baby. For premature or special-needs babies, you may need to adjust feedings.
Be a Patient Parent
Remember to keep your expectations realistic. For the first few months of your baby’s life, plan for unpredictable, sporadic sleep.
If your baby's sleep pattern changes suddenly, check for symptoms of illness. It could be a warning sign of an ear infection. Or it may simply be a new turn in her development.