“I was told… that even if baby is sleeping, you have to wake him up to feed him”

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Lisa Grimaud

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When you are a parent, there are many questions about the well-being of the child and the answers sometimes remain unclear. Each week an expert responds to a received idea.

baby food is a major concern for many young parents. Some are afraid of not feeding him enough or of disrupting his rhythm if they do not give him food at a fixed time. In general, when they are very young, they feed mainly on breast milk or infant milk, most often on demand.

A three-month-old baby, for example, needs a bottle or a feeding at intervals of 2.5 to 4 hours on average between each food intake. The schedules are certainly flexible, but that does not prevent several preconceived ideas on this subject circulate like the one who says thatyou have to wake up your child to feed it. Is it true ? Our expert, Pascal Nourtier, dietitian-nutritionist, sheds light on the question.

You don’t wake a baby to feed it

“Would you like us to wake you up at night to eat? If baby is sleeping, let him sleep. A healthy baby will never starve to death, he can’t have anorexia nervosa. If he’s hungry, he’ll wake up and let you know. If a baby barely eats for 2 days, it’s because he’s just not hungry or for some other reason.”, emphasizes Pascal Nourtier. It can have for example:

  • A stomach ache or colic;
  • The intestinal buds that are working;
  • Teething even if he has no dental breakthrough;


“At times the baby has teeth growing in the gums, you don’t necessarily see it, but the baby is grumpy and he doesn’t eat for this reason”he adds.

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What if the baby misses bottle time?

Like food, sleep is very important in a child. “When baby sleeps he sleeps, you don’t have to worry. Of course, you have to respect a precise rhythm during the day. [pour le faire manger ndlr]but when baby is not hungry, do not force him to eat.” In case your child sleeps on a bottle hour, “just shift a little and feed him a little later”advises the expert.

Special case: babies who have a low weight and premature babies

You don’t interrupt a baby’s sleep cycle, but there may be exceptions, on medical advice, when the child has a low birth weight or is born prematurely. Professionals can therefore advise feeding the baby every 3 to 4 hours to ensure that he has a good weight gain.

Do not hesitate to consult a health professional!

Parenting journalist

Since September 2021, Lisa has joined the Aufeminin team. Little by little she specialized in subjects related to parenthood. Curious and passionate about writing, she likes to tell …

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