Is my breastfed baby feeding for comfort at night?

Hi everyone

So my 15 week old will typically feed 3 or 4 times in the night (after the dreamfeed). Last night it was 1am 3something and 5am.

So mil thinks she is feeding for comfort and sil says to give her a cherry (????) dummy to stop her feeding as much. HOwever I don't think she is feeding for comfort all the time - I can tell the difference! So I suppose my question might be something like, is there a way of getting her to drop the 1am feed? Or, before you put a baby to the boob is there a way of telling whether they are actually hungry or just waking out of habit?

Probably no easy answers to my questions, but thought I would ask anyhoo!


  • It's a difficult one! If you don't feed her, can you get her back off to sleep?

    At that age, DD was waking 4 times a night to feed (she was taking an hour to go back down each time, which is another story!). I was BF on demand, but at 4 months I started to put her on a routine in the day, as I think she was "snacking" and not taking a proper feed. At the same time, we did a little sleep training to help her self settle at night. Literally overnight she started only waking once after the DF, and carried on like that until we dropped the night feed at 6 months when she was fully weaned.

    I know the dummy works for some people, but you might end up having to wean her off that as well, if you can get her sleeping without it, it might be easier in the long run!
  • Thanks for your reply Lizzie - I haven't had time to check BE since I posted (always the way!).

    I've never actually tried to get her back to sleep without feeding her - I've always assumed she was waking through hunger! Although on the other hand she does now wake at 5am to just gurgle and I do leave her then cos I know that she isn't hungry (trial and error!) - she eventually drops off to sleep.

    During the day she has always been a pretty regular feeder - she's about every three hours now.

    Was it you who recommended that sleep training website to me? Sorry, I am so befuddled I can't remember. Anyway, thanks if it was cos it is interesting - I just haven't had time (or the ability to concentrate on it!) to read it properly yet!
  • Hey chick

    Nope I think she is feeding for hunger my wee monster was feeding up to 8 times a night at this age and she will be hitting her 4 month growth spurt soon so I would just let her work away.

    Its hard and it tiring but in the next wee while it will all settle down and that ever elusive block of sleep that we all crave will come to you lol It seems like yesterday I was doing this with ds2 but thankfully i have been getting a good nights kip with him for a good 5 months now (he's 1 in a few weeks) sad as it sounds I miss the wee night bf'ds with him lol we're never happy lol
  • Gatecrashing a bit here but Lizzie_76 can I ask how you got a routine going from demand feeding and what it was? We're at 3 months now and would love to think that we could have a little more structure to our day as we just seem to lurch from one feed to the next and I haven't managed to find anyone who can tell me anything positive in terms of establishing a routine in a BF baby!! Thanks and sorry to the OP for having nothing constrcutive to say in answer to your question! x
  • Yes, it probably was me that recommended the sleep answers site, it was really helpful to me. I have by far the best sleeper out of my antenatal group now, and I did have by far the worst!

    SplashPurple, I just started to feed DD at set times rather than on demand. I did wait until she was 4 months as I wanted to make sure that BF was well established and I think on demands is definitely best when they are small having growth spurts every other week (or so it seems!).

    I thought that by 4 months, she should probably be able to go 4 hours between feeds, but as she had been BF on demand and had been "snacking" a lot, I started with 3 hourly. She usually woke at about 7am, so I started then, 10am, 1pm etc. After a few days, I stretched it to 3hrs 15, then 3 hours 30 etc. After a month we were up to 4 hourly, including at night (which was a dream feed and one feed during the night). I can honestly say, that since I started doing that, she never cried for food, and she continued to put on weight along the centile line she'd been following. At the same time, we got her daytime naps and night sleeping sorted and she's been in a great routine ever since.
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