Feeding and Sleep routines!

Generally, if you have a good feeding routine and you are able to recognise your baby’s cues and make intuitive decisions around feeding and sleep, then you will have a good sleeper.

Now, this does not have to mean that you have a baby that sleeps through the entire night. It just means you understand your baby’s sleep patterns such as knowing what time your baby’s nap times roughly are as well as when your baby wakes during the night.

If you have a snack feeder you are most likely to have a snack sleeper and vice versa. Snack feeders are babies who take multiple smaller meals throughout the day while snack sleepers are babies who take frequent, shorter naps during the day. Babies like this are also more likely to fall asleep during a feed.

Why does this happen?

As we all know, repetition forms habits, and this is no different. A baby’s tummy starts to form a ‘topping-up’ pattern instead of a ‘filling-up’ pattern.
When a baby has short frequent feeds their tummies are never empty. So instead of feeding to fill their empty tummy, they will feed to just top it up. Unfortunately, many of these babies are also likely to suffer from colic or reflux.

Because of the high frequency of feedings, they don’t have a lot of time between feeds to get enough quality sleep. The short naps they do take are often interrupted by the need to feed, and as a result, they become more and more reliant on regular feeds throughout the day in order to stay awake and alert.

What can you do?

You can change this in a few simple steps.

  • Start learning to recognise your baby’s cues. Note them down so you can track it all can be very helpful too.
  • Extend the gap between feeds. Using 15 minute increments until you get to at least 3 hours between them. This should teach your baby to sleep a little bit longer too.
  • Have playtime incorporated into the awake time. Stimulate your baby to essentially tire them out so they get better quality sleep.
  • Use this method to help create more sustainable routines. Feed – Play – Sleep – Repeat.

It is important to remember that when it comes to feeding and sleeping, there is no one-size-fits-all approach! So don’t get disheartened if something you try doesn’t work – just try something new!

Need help? Get in touch! I have lots of resources available for you and am always happy to answer any questions you might have.