How do I get rid of the middle of the night feed, eg 2 - 4am?
If your baby is over 8 weeks and you are keen to encourage her to do a longer stretch through the night, start working on gradually moving back the time of the middle of the night feed towards morning.
Most babies don't drop the middle of the night feed in one go. It usually moves from 2am, to 3am..... until one morning you wake up at 6am and realise with a fright you haven't heard your baby in the night. And yes you will then rush in and check she is OK!!!
You will only know if your baby can do without this feed if you see what happens if you don't feed her immediately when she wakes up crying. If you can gradually delay the feed a little each day, your baby will start to learn to go longer between the 10pm feed and the next one.
You can try settling your baby in the night using some other technique(s). If she goes back to sleep with one of the other techniques, she probably didn't need a feed right then and can go longer between feeds.
A hungry baby will not be settled by anything other than feeding, but don't worry that delaying a feed slightly will starve your baby!! She will make sure she is fed if she is really hungry.
Other night-time settling techniques:
Swaddling - make sure your baby stays firmly wrapped all night, which means she is less likely to wake up and far easier to resettle. The Miracle Blanket is brilliant for this.
Playing white noise on repeat all night or playing it when baby wakes. We recommend 'Baby's First White Noise' CD on repeat all night.
Ssssssshhhhhhing loudly about 15 cm from your baby's ear.
Pick her up for a cuddle and try some jiggling movements or rocking.
Pop in her dummy.
Patting either on her tummy or roll her onto her side and pat (put her on her back to sleep!)
Once your baby is calm, go back to bed and see what happens. She may even cry for a few minutes and then resettle back to sleep.
If your baby wakes again after about 30-60 mins, then it's probably time for a feed! But even 30 minutes extra sleep at a time gradually teaches your baby she can go longer before she needs her feed and she is starting to learn to sleep through the night.