At What Age Do Babies Not Need to Be Fed at Night?

Nighttime feedings are a staple of early parenthood. They play a crucial role in your baby’s growth and development, ensuring that your little one gets all the necessary nutrients to grow strong and healthy. However, as any sleep-deprived parent can attest, there comes a point when you start wondering: When can my baby go through the night without a feed?a mother feeding her baby at midnight

The answer isn’t one-size-fits-all, as it depends on various factors including a baby’s weight, age, feeding method, and overall health. However, there are general guidelines that can help parents understand when their babies might be ready to drop night feedings.

Breastfed vs. Formula-fed Babies

The age at which babies can go through the night without feeding may differ based on whether they are breastfed or formula-fed. Breast milk digests more quickly than formula, which means breastfed babies may need more frequent feedings, including at night.

General Guidelines by Age

  • Newborn to 3 months: Newborns need to eat every 2-3 hours, including during the night. This is important for their development and helps establish a good milk supply for breastfeeding moms.
  • 3 to 6 months: By this age, some babies start to sleep for longer stretches at night and may begin to drop some nighttime feedings. However, many still need at least one or two feedings during the night.
  • 6 to 9 months: Many babies can sleep through the night without feeding by this age. However, it’s common for some babies, especially breastfed ones, to continue needing a nighttime feeding.
  • 9 months and older: Most babies no longer need night feedings at this age. If your baby is still waking up for feedings, it might be more out of habit than necessity.

Signs Your Baby May Be Ready to Stop Nighttime Feedings

  • They can sleep longer stretches at night (6 hours or more).
  • They have a good weight gain pattern and are on track with growth milestones.
  • They eat well during the day, getting enough calories from their daytime feedings.

How to Transition Away from Night Feedings

When you and your pediatrician decide it’s time to wean your baby off night feedings, do it gradually. Start by reducing the time you spend on each feeding or the amount of milk offered at night. You can also try soothing your baby back to sleep without feeding, using methods like patting or shushing.

It’s important to ensure your baby is getting enough to eat during the day before cutting out night feedings. A sudden drop in calorie intake can affect their growth and development.

Consult with a Pediatrician

Before making any changes to your baby’s nighttime feeding schedule, it’s crucial to consult with a pediatrician. They can provide personalized advice based on your baby’s growth, development, and health needs.


While the prospect of uninterrupted sleep might seem like a distant dream in the early days of parenthood, it’s comforting to know that night feedings are not forever. By understanding the general age guidelines and looking for signs of readiness in your baby, you can plan for a smooth transition away from night feedings when the time is right. Always remember, each baby is unique, and what works for one may not work for another. Patience, consultation with your pediatrician, and a gradual approach are key to successfully dropping nighttime feedings.

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