Should I wake my newborn to feed her overnight?
Newborns are generally good about letting us know when they are hungry and when they are full. Hunger cues often lead to crying or other signals that your baby is ready to eat. When she is full, your baby will signal to you that she is done by doing things such as turning away, pushing the bottle or body, or fidgeting.
Because your baby’s body sends signals to let her know when she is hungry, it is generally not necessary to wake her up for feeding at night. That being said, to help get your newborn on a schedule in which she is more awake during the day and sleeps more at night, you can consider waking her during the day for feeding and playtime. After the first month and a half or so, you may also consider using focal feedings (or, “dream feeds”), which means that you feed your baby at a set time each night that is close to your bedtime. It might mean that you have to wake her for this feeding, which is ok! If you use this strategy, then you can both get a three to four hour stretch of sleep after that feeding.
If you are concerned that your baby is not eating enough or gaining sufficient weight, be sure to check in with your health care provider to make a plan that works best for you and your baby.About Dr. Sonia Rubens