Nighttime Feedings

Question

My son is sleeping through the night now, but I have to wake him to feed him before I go to sleep–around 11:00. I heard that it is bad for him to eat right before he goes to sleep. This is the only way for him to sleep through the night. Should I stop doing it? He is 8 months old.

Dr. Greene's Answer

It sounds like your pattern is working very well for you and your son. The main reason that people recommend against feeding right before sleep is to protect the teeth from cavities, but cavities from nighttime nursing develop very, very slowly.

Sometime before he is 18 months it may be important to try to keep him awake for 20 minutes after his last feeding or to give him a little bit of water right after feeding, but at 8 months, it sounds like you have come up with a great solution for your family. For most kids, 8 or 9 months old is the most difficult age for sleeping. This is not a good time to interrupt something that’s working so well!

Medical Review on: August 11, 2011
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Dr. Greene is a practicing physician, author, national and international TEDx speaker, and global health advocate. He is a graduate of Princeton University and University of California San Francisco.
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