It’s last call for your baby and you want to offer her a nightcap to make sure she gets the extra calories she needs to sleep through her new, longer nighttime stretches!
Starting at 8 weeks, add an ounce of formula, pumped breast milk, or offer 5-10 more minutes per side when breastfeeding, to the last nighttime feeding so your baby can have a better shot at sleeping through the night.
Here are our suggestions for nightcap feedings while using these schedules:
* PPB Schedule: Weeks 8-12: 11:00 p.m. / +1 oz. / 8 hour sleep-stretch
* PPB Schedule: Weeks 13-16: 10:00 p.m. / +1 oz. / 9 hour sleep-stretch
* PPB Schedule: Weeks 17-26: 8:30 p.m. / +1-2 oz. / 10 hour sleep-stretch
The goal is to offer an ounce more than what she’s normally eating — so if she’s only still eating 5 ounces at each feed, offer 6 at the nightcap. It’s virtually impossible to overfeed your baby because she will stop eating when she’s full. Offering the extra ounces is the point. And remember too that snacking throws off your baby’s whole schedule — read our Anti-Snacking post:
If you’re only feeding your baby at her feeding times, she will be hungrier and much more likely to eat more during each feed. Also, never hesitate to wake your baby up when it’s feeding time. If you’re having a hard time keeping her awake, read our post on the topic for our tips: Wake Your Baby to Feed
Have you heard that feeding your baby rice cereal at the last feeding will help her fall and stay asleep? We actually found this works well too, for the same reason — you’re providing her extra calories. But we suggest trying this once your baby is around 6 months old and you’ve started her on solids. You’ll be using our PPB Schedule: Weeks 27-36 Weeks at that point.
And don’t forget the basics when you’re starting to sleep train your baby — read the following posts to help you create the ideal sleep situation: Sleep Training Must: 15-Minute Rule, Crib Essentials, Nursery Organization Must-Haves, Swaddling, Wedges, Nursery: Night One!, Why Use Our PPB Schedules, How to Become a Practical Parent, Crib Soothers, Baby Temperatures, Breastfeeding, Formula Feeding, Combination Method Feeding
Read our Starting Late post for advice and tips if you’re late to the scheduling game!