Is it okay if my baby sleeps through the night?

I have a very healthy 11-week-old baby girl. I am breastfeeding five to six times a day and she has normal output. She regularly sleeps through the night, from about 10pm to 7am. Though her doctor says it is okay to let her sleep through, I have heard that babies need their nighttime feeds. Should I be concerned about her sleeping through the night?

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Debbi Donovan

Debbi Donovan is a Board Certified Lactation Consultant, as well as a retired La Leche League Leader. For more than a decade, Debbi... Read more

Many babies do get a good portion of their nutrition from nighttime feeds. It sounds like your baby is thriving and sleeping through the night.

Waking a healthy baby over six weeks of age -- who is gaining weight well -- should not be necessary, unless your breasts are uncomfortable during the night.

Most babies this age are nursing at least eight times during a 24-hour period. Frequent nursing provides your breasts with the stimulation they need to maintain a good milk supply. I would recommend increasing daytime nursing sessions. Try feeding your baby on cue. If she starts to suck on her fingers, you can offer to nurse her. Even if she will nurse for only a few minutes, this will provide her with a little snack. The extra stimulation will also be good for your breasts. Remember that the more your baby nurses, the more milk you will make.

As long as your daughter is continues to be healthy and gain well, enjoy your peaceful nights!

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