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I've read that at 3 months you can start to try and train your child to sleep through the night. My child starts squirming and making little sounds (not crying) in the middle of the night still. I've read that those are signs of hunger? How should I train him to sleep through the night when he does this? I had the following ideas but not sure which to do, or if there’s a better one.

  • Feed him then and hope he learns to sleep through the night somehow
  • Wait a period of time (say, a half hour). If he’s still making noise, or starts up again, then feed him.
  • Wait until he starts crying. I've read that crying is a late stage of hunger, so I’m guessing that this is not what I should do.
  • There are many different methods to sleep training. The "wait a period of time" is similar to the Ferber method. This link: noobmommy.com/2008/11/to-ferberize-or-not-to-ferberize.html is from the parent of a 5 month old. – Brian Robbins May 13 '15 at 15:07
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    I think sleep training at 3 months is too early. Usual recommendation is at 6 months. A 3-month old should be able to get through the night without feeding though. Offering food in the night may encourage waking for food on subsequent nights - probably not something you should start. – MJ6 May 17 '15 at 14:13
  • @MJ6, I find this comment confusing -- sounds rather contradictory! Maybe I just haven't understood what you're saying. – aparente001 May 31 '15 at 6:04
  • Usually by 3 months a baby can last through the night (6-8 hours) without needing food. If you regularly give food during the night, the baby will come to expect it and will wake for it. You need to not give food in the night in order to help train the baby not to expect it and wake for it. You might try offering comfort but not food in the middle of the night. Also ignore fussing, but comfort actual crying. – MJ6 Jun 1 '15 at 2:36
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    MJ6 - from all the advice we were given with our 3 kids, I'd have to agree with aparente on this - at 3 months, you should still be demand feeding, and if that is at night then that's what you should give. – Rory Alsop Jun 1 '15 at 12:03
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A three-month-old is still in the age of putting on weight very, very quickly, and is not very self-regulated yet. If he is hungry during the night at that age, it's a good idea to feed him, to make sure that he gains well. Also, in terms of the self-regulation -- if a baby needs some parental contact partway through the night, in order to feel settled and comfortable, that's okay at this age.

When you're ready to start weaning your baby off of night feedings, do this one feeding at a time. (Unless your baby takes the initiative and just doesn't need to be fed during the night.)

Edited to add:

You can look at the first nine months out of the womb as exterogestation. Human beings have such large heads that they have to come out of the womb a little early. But their first nine months of life require a great deal of TLC. Here's one reference that explains this idea: http://www.boba.com/the-second-nine-months but there are many others.

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