Posted in Sleep, Babies

How do you know if a baby is waking at night for hunger or comfort?

He is 6 months old and we started solids a few weeks ago and we are doing BLW. He eats a good dinner, usually yogurt, a fruit, and a veg.... sometimes a meat. He is still waking to eat 2-4 times per night. We are trying to get him to go back to sleep without it but it doesn’t always work. How do I know if he is truly hungry or if he just want comfort? If it’s just comfort what are some ways to get the back to sleep without feeding him?

  • B
    May 17, 2018

    Ask your pediatrician, but mine told me that until around a year they’re getting most or all of what they need from breast milk/formula. Food is just practice and supplement. Sounds to me like you need to add a bottle after dinner solids, and maybe one before bed. He’s probably hungry, and it’s turning into a pattern.

  • Desiree
    May 17, 2018

    I’m having the same issue with mine. She still wakes up 2-3 times a night. I feed her baby food with cereal for dinner then nurse her before bedtime. My ped said she has enough body fat so nursing at night is not necessary. She has slept 6-7 hours before but the last couple weeks not at all. Idk if it’s a separation thing or teething but she does eat every time she’s up at night. It might just be a phase but I don’t know what to do either.

  • Cathy
    May 17, 2018

    I agree with B. I would also offer a bottle or nurse after dinner AND/OR right before bed. He’s still quite young so I wouldn’t worry too much about the waking to eat. It could also be teething too. Sometimes it’s just hard to know so it’s better to just at least offer it so you can rule it out if he ends up not eating (teething, sickness etc).

  • Anonymous
    May 17, 2018

    Only thing that really really helps us is to give him another bottle right before bed. We fill him UP as high as he goes lol I also started finding a place to add another bottle in during the day. More cals at night means less cals at night. most babies need to eat through the night until they're even one. I'd say one feeding per night would be plenty for a 6 month old. Other than that I'd stick to comfort. My doc said to always try comforting before resorting to a feed.

  • Melody
    May 17, 2018

    My 6 mo old does the same thing! She used to sleep all night but recently she’s been waking 3-4 times for comfort. It’s like she just wants to be attached to me.

  • Alana
    May 17, 2018

    My 1 year old slept through the night starting at day 1. Then around 5 months was waking up around 3 times at night. Now being one (13 months) he is finally sleeping thorough the night again. His pediatrician said that babies go through growth spurts and they will want to eat more at night time. Sucks for us.

  • Meg
    May 23, 2018

    Ha... 6mo is really young still!!! I know that is so painful but it is just true. Every development can cause a sleep disturbance. Every tooth can cause a sleep disturbance. Then they go through separation anxiety and ...then...being hungry! Breastmilk doesn't full tummies for long. A lot of baby food is low calorie too! Just cope the best you can. If baby is consistently waking up like clock work for more than 2wks, I would say it is a pattern and not a leap/pain/hunger issue.