A hungry child will wake up at night and demand to be fed. As a matter of fact, it is normal for toddlers to get hungry at night. A child who has adapted to night feeding can be tuned to getting famished at night. This may cause your little one to develop a habit of eating at night time every night. Because habits are hard to break, your child may continue to wake up night after night to snack.
Though it is considered normal for children to get hungry at night, your toddler needs several hours of continuous sleep. For whatever reason, night feeding is something that parents should look into because it disrupts your child’s sleep. Even so, this behavior can stop if you start feeding your little one less at night.
Some of the reasons that cause your child to get famished at night include; feeding habits, overnight calories, inadequate dinner, and an early bedtime.
Some toddlers develop a night feeding habit and will wake up at the same time each night expecting to be fed. Your toddler feels hungry because the stomach is programmed to receive food at that specific time of the night. Though your baby may be hungry for sure, likely, the body doesn’t require that food then.
Accumulated Overnight Calories
Your toddler may be taking in plenty of calories, depending on how much you feed your little one at night. Over time your child accumulates these calories and becomes uncomfortable or uninterested in feeding during the daytime. This creates a routine that makes your toddler feel famished in the middle of the night.
Most children will be fussy or restless when hungry, not just at night but during the day. To help your baby stay fuller during the night, you need to feed your toddler two to three hours before giving the nighttime bottle. This way, your toddler can take the entire last bottle before going to bed.
All in all, your child will need a full tummy for at least 10 to 12 hours in the night. That is why it is essential to have your toddler well-fed between 5 p.m. and 6 p.m. Most of all, your child must eat nearly all of what you serve for dinner. You can achieve this by selecting food that your toddler enjoys eating. It is, therefore, not wise to introduce new foods to your toddler at dinner time.
Early to Bed
You are bound to be exhausted after a hectic day with your work and house chores. This may tempt you to get your child ready for bed earlier than usual. Some children tend to fall asleep after feeding.
Putting your little one to bed early means that dinner will be served early. This can cause your toddler to feel hungry before breakfast time. Furthermore, putting your toddler to bed earlier can cause your baby to wake up in the middle of the night for lack of sleep.
Dealing with a Toddler Who Gets Hungry at Night
Sometimes children may not sleep at the scheduled times. However, it is good to develop a routine for your child’s sleeping time. A sleepy child will not feed properly or may not feed at all.
Help your toddler develop a routine of sleeping after the last night bottle. It is good to be fully awake after dinner time. This can enable you to give your toddler a snack before brushing teeth and going to bed. A light snack like a buttered toast can keep your toddler fuller for longer.
To help stop your toddler from getting hungry at night, you can engage in gradual weaning technique. This approach enables you to reduce the amount of nursing or food you feed your child each night. This method is suitable when your toddler has accumulated calories because of the night feeding.
It is common for toddlers to feel hungry at night. This, however, can be avoided by ensuring that your child is well fed at dinner time. Even so, it may require that you set your toddler’s evening meal between 5.00 p.m. and 6.00 p.m. This timing can enable your child to take all the contents of the night bottle.
Sometimes, your toddler may be hungry because of not eating well during the day time. However, this happens when your child has had too many calories during the night feeding. Toddlers who feed at night may lose interest in food during the day time.