6 Month Old Suddenly Waking at Night for a Feed

Tired of your 6 month old suddenly waking at night for a feed again? No more crying multiple times a night—check out these tips to see how.

6 Month Old Suddenly Waking at Night for a Feed

No doubt, going back to frequent wake ups throughout the night is not easy for parents at any stage. Whereas your baby used to sleep through the night, she now wakes up constantly wanting to nurse. You’ve tried hushing her back to sleep, but she screams and cries until you finally give in.

Here’s the thing: it’s not at all uncommon to wake up multiple times a night between sleep cycles. In fact, you and I do it all the time. What sets us apart is that we know how to put ourselves back to sleep whereas some babies don’t.

Regardless of the reason, your baby can still learn to put herself to sleep most of the time. Here’s how:

1. Put your baby down awake

Whatever way you put your baby down is the only way she’ll know how to fall asleep. If she falls asleep at the breast, then she’ll need you to feed her each time she wakes up at night.

Instead, help her find different ways of falling asleep by putting her down awake. After all, she won’t be able to learn these new skills if she has no chance to do so on her own.

For instance, feed at the beginning of the bedtime routine. Many of us reserve the last feeding session after all the other rituals are done, from bathing to reading. But if you find that she falls asleep during feeding, move it closer to the start of the sleep routine.

Or simply make sure she stays awake the whole time and is actually swallowing. Give her a burp, tickle her toes—anything to make sure she doesn’t fall asleep while feeding.

Free resource: Struggling with putting her to sleep? Teach her to self soothe and sleep on her own. Whether you’ve tried sleep training in the past or are just now considering it, take a look at the 5 key mistakes to avoid. Grab this resource below—at no cost to you. You’ll also get my newsletters, which parents say they LOVE:

“Hi Nina, thank you for your thoughtful newsletter and for sharing your experience to help others.” -Noa L.

5 Mistakes That Keep Your Baby from Self Soothing

2. Offer a security item

Disclosure: This article contains affiliate links. As an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases.

Does your baby rely on feeding not because she’s hungry, but for comfort? Give her a security attachment. By establishing another way to soothe and calm herself, she won’t wake up needing to feed or suck.

A pacifier is one way for her to fall asleep, but because she can’t insert it into her mouth on her own, it may get lost. A pacifier with a stuffed animal attached to it can make for easy grasping and finding.

I gave my kids the Angel Dear lovey, which they would hold and even nibble at the corners for comfort.

Other ways to help her feel safe and secure is through her environment, especially with white noise and dark curtains. A white noise machine muffles sound that could startle her awake, while darkening curtains block out light which can make it difficult to sleep.

3. Aim for long stretches of sleep

Let’s say you still want to feed her at night, or feel like she still needs the calories at this time. Aim for a long stretch of sleep between when you initially put her down and the first wake up, around six or seven hours. After that feeding, aim for another three or four hours before she needs another feed.

For instance, if you put her down at 8pm, try to stretch the next feed to 2am or 3am. And let’s say you feed her at 3am, she should hopefully be able to sleep until 6am or 7am before needing another feed.

In other words, waking up every hour or two throughout the night shouldn’t be a regular schedule at this stage.

4. Feed more during the day

Worried that your baby truly is waking up at night out of hunger? Help him take in his calories during the day, like you and I do, so that he can reserve the nights for sleep.

Let’s say you’re feeding him at night once or twice. Gradually reduce the amount of time you feed every night (for instance, by two minutes or half an ounce less each night).

Then, make up for it by increasing your daytime feedings. You might pour an extra half-ounce the following day, or feed him for two extra minutes. Repeat the following night, reducing the feeding once more by another half ounce or two minutes.

Eventually, you’ll be feeding him only during the day after having dwindled your nighttime feedings.

5. Offer comfort and cuddles when needed

You know your baby isn’t waking up out of hunger, and you know she can put herself to sleep on her own. What can you do when the reasons—like teething, an ear infection, or new fears—are causing her night waking?

Offer plenty of cuddles to help calm her down. These are for those moments when you know she truly does need you and isn’t just “complaining” about something. Instead, comfort her and help her settle.

Once she’s calm, put her down awake (not asleep) so that she doesn’t regress to habits of needing to be held to fall asleep.

Teething Baby Won't Sleep Unless Held


Feeling like you’re back in the newborn stage all of a sudden is not easy, but you can help your baby get back on track.

Putting her down awake is key, as this will help her learn how to fall asleep on her own, even if she stirs throughout the night. Offer a security item that she can turn to for comfort. Even if you do feed her at night, aim for long stretches of sleep between wake ups—multiple wake ups shouldn’t be your norm.

Feed her more during the day to make up for the decreasing calories you’re weaning at night. And lastly, should she truly need you for comfort, make sure to provide it (while still putting her down awake).

Hopefully, these tips will help not only get her back to her old habits, but improve and lengthen them even more.

Get more tips:

Don’t forget: Join my newsletter and take a look at the 5 key mistakes to avoid below—at no cost to you:

5 Mistakes That Keep Your Baby from Self Soothing

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.