Why is my baby still waking up in the middle of the night for a bottle?

Q: My daughter is 1 year old. She has been formula fed her whole life and she goes to bed between 7:30-8:30 each night, but she still wakes up between 1:00-3;00 am for a bottle. I've tried to let her self-soothe and have her pacifier and I've also tried feeding her solids before she goes to bed. Nothing I try will prevent her from waking up and crying for a bottle.

A: Babies rarely need nighttime feedings after 6 months. It’s important to understand that all little ones naturally awaken during the night, but I suspect that your little one is drinking from a bottle at bedtime because it's helping her fall asleep. Therefore, make sure that your daughter is falling asleep independently at bedtime. If you are feeding her at bedtime, gradually reduce her a bottle by an ounce per night. Once you stop giving her a bottle at bedtime, make sure that she is put to bed awake so she can self-soothe to sleep. You can do the same thing when she wakes up during the middle of the night. With a bit of patience and persistence, she’ll start sleeping through the entire night.

Answered by Dr. Jodi Mindell

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