Does my baby need food in the night?

Every child has their own individual sleeping and eating pattern and demands. Newborn babies in particular have no concept of day or night for the first few weeks. The baby is simply not used to not getting food for long periods of time. In the womb, the baby was “fed” round the clock. Therefore, be prepared for many “duty calls” at night in the first few weeks.

If you feed your baby infant formula, you can take turns with your partner to feed the baby. Of course, you can reap the same benefit if you pump breast milk in the evening and keep it in the fridge (well sealed at +4°C to +6°C for a maximum of 2 days).

At the age of 3 months, your baby will be able to handle longer periods of time between meals and will therefore sleep longer in the night instead of during the day. From the second half of his/her first year, children no longer need food at night because at this age, the hunger and fullness rhythm of a healthy child will entirely shift to daytime.

Milk pap before bed

As the last meal before bedtime, a milk pap will keep your baby feeling full longer than breast milk or formula. HiPP Milk Paps are available as instant products. All you need to do is to add water. You can also opt to use HiPP Good Night Paps.

An overview of all HiPP Good Night meals can be found here.

Feeling full during the daytime is important

Sufficient food throughout the day and a nutritious meal in the evening is important in helping your baby feel full at night. If you want your baby to sleep through the night, it is important to satisfy their nutritional requirements during the day as well. Try to shift the energy content of the night meal to daytime. Offer a meal for lunch that contains vegetables and meat/fish. Simply replacing a milk meal with only a jar of vegetables will not be enough. At the beginning of the weaning food age, and as long as your baby is unable to finish an entire portion, you can still feed milk after weaning food until your baby is completely full. Experience shows that the amount of milk will gradually reduce, until the milk meal is completely replaced by a pap.

Weaning baby off nighttime meals

Nighttime meals can turn into a habit, which makes your baby reluctant to give up. If your baby keeps waking up at night, we recommend trying tea without added sugar, or boiled water – but do not offer any food. Nighttime meals prevent sleeping throught the night and can also damage your baby’s first little teeth since it is unlikely to be cleaned afterwards. Breaking this habit will, of course, take time and patience. But with gentle consistency, you will achieve this goal.