Should I drop the night feed to get my baby to sleep through?

If your baby is having a night feed before bedtime (be that breastfeeding or a bottle) and they’re not sleeping through the night, it certainly doesn’t mean you have to stop the night feed to get them to sleep through. I see no correlation between feeding to sleep and then sleeping through. I definitely see correlation in how we respond to the wakings, if they’re waking through the night and then having a feed to get back to sleep. I’m confident that you can keep the bottle at bedtime and still have a baby that consistently sleeps through the night. They’re two separate issues.

I’ve helped many families who have sleeping through as the goal, but still keep the night feed. There are plenty of people whose little ones have milk at the end of the day. The issue isn’t the last feed. It’s the night wakings that need to be addressed and certainly, the way in which you respond to those wakings.

It is a case of choosing a way that you’re going to respond to the night wakings and then responding that way every time consistently. Just try to think about doing less. So you might start with sitting next to the cot, patting and shushing, etc. and then over the nights, you need to do less and less. Wean them off that. It certainly does not mean shutting the door and not going back. That’s sleep training in a nutshell – simply doing less of what you’re doing to get baby to sleep and getting them to do more to settle themselves.

So no, you absolutely do not need to drop that night feed to get a little one sleeping through. It’s more about addressing those night wakings as a separate issue.

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