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Habitual Night Wakes




If your baby is waking at the same time every night then you can bet your bottom dollar that this wake has become a habit rather than a genuine need for food.


Habitual wakes are likely to occur at the end of a sleep cycle (2-4 hourly overnight) and the most common habitual wakes I see are around 10:30pm and midnight, although they can occur at any time. You may be feeding baby to get them back to sleep. Baby now expects these calories at 10:30pm every night and ta-da, here we have a nice 10:30pm snack worth waking up for. The fact that baby got a nice snack at this hour will probably mean they will wake looking for same at the end of their next sleep cycle around 2:30am. Sound familiar? You may think that they are genuinely hungry at this time because they next wake at 6:30am...a reasonable wake time. But can you see that they got a feed at the end of each sleep cycle during the night?

You may not even know it, but your baby may indeed have an overnight feed-to-re-settle pattern going on. If you are fine with this then you keep doing what you are doing. I support you! This is just some food for thought! Take action if you wish, keep feeding if you are happy to do so!

For babies under 4 months it is totally expected for baby to wake twice for food (although we can often reduce it down to 1). If you have a slightly older baby and you're feeding baby twice (or more) a night, then you can try and re-settle any wakes before midnight.

If your baby is waking at 12am one night and not until 2am the next, their wakes are likely due to hunger. If you have any further questions, email them through!

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