Our little one is 8 and a half months old, has started on solids at least twice a day, and is mostly breastfed. We are also slowing converting her to formula feeds to help my wife transition back to work.

We recently survived putting her in her own room, and she's subsequently gone from waking us up in the night, where my wife would offer milk, she would drink, then fall back asleep, to trying to let her settle herself when she wakes for a few minutes. We're a bit worried that she might actually be waking hungry, but is too sleepy to get too worked up about it.

For example, last night she went to sleep just before 8, her last feed being about 70ml of formula, followed by breastfeeding at about 7. She woke for a feed around 10:30, but then slept through (more or less, woke a few times, but settled) until 7:30am.

She's not 'starving' in the morning when she wakes. She is a smaller baby, but her parents are both relatively small people, and at her last weigh (8 months), she was on the lower end of the scale, but had moved up since the previous weigh. Health nurse was not at all concerned.

Are we missing a feed? Should we go in and offer a feed in the small hours of the morning?

2 Answers 2


Waking a 8 moths old baby for feeding is definitely not necessary. At this age a healthy baby is physically capable of sleeping through the night without eating. She'll fill her belly in the morning, don't worry.

Being hungry most likely is not the reason for waking at night. Nightwakings are common even for older children, but they're mostly connected to anxieties, the need for parents.

We allowed our daughter some water at night (dry air), but we didn't feed her. Since we were consistent with it from the beginning, she didn't ever request food at night.

Your "nigttime strategy" is entirely up to you. If you've introduced night-feeding habits which you don't like it may take some work to get rid of them.

A common approach is to give the baby a few minutes to try to soothe. For how long depends on baby's age, cry type, cry volume and... Parents' mental strength. Afterwards you go in and try to soothe your baby with words, then pick her up and hug until she calms down. It's considered good to put the baby back to bed when she is still awake, so that she doesn't get used to falling asleep on your arms.

  • Just a comment to agree with this answer. I would not wake her. In fact, our oldest started sleeping through the night at 2 weeks old. We let her and praised God for the unexpected blessing, and tried to keep quiet about it around other new parents (did not want to be lynched). She was healthy and grew into a bright, athletic, and peaceful young woman.
    – user16557
    Apr 4, 2016 at 14:53

Long story short...don't wake a sleeping baby. At 8 months, you do not need to feed at night. Babies this age are transitioning to "breakfast mode" as I call it. If they don't fuss at night, they're not needing it, and will be ready for breakfast when they do wake.

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