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December 19, 2011 by getbabytosleep 22 Comments One of the most important things to get right to help your baby to sleep through the night is the nighttime feeding. However, If you are one of the many mothers who supplements her newborn’s diet with formula, try to save that for nighttime. No matter what the makers of Similac and Enfamil would have you believe, most baby formulas are quite similar. See our review of infant formula for some recommendations of pre-mixed and organic formula options.
When your baby is 4-6 months old, you may be told to start offering solid food, usually single-grain cereal. No matter what food or foods you choose to offer, make sure that your baby likes it well enough, and that you’ve plenty in stock for those nighttime feedings.
Newborn babies have essentially two jobs: eat most of the time, and sleep the rest (16-18 hours a day). At the age of three months, most babies can eat enough to last three to six hours before the next feeding. Establishing a routine is especially important here, because many babies are capable of sleeping for that critical six hours overnight that lets parents get to REM sleep.
Pediatricians and nutritionists generally advise against putting cereal in the baby’s bottle. With a full bottle of warm milk plus cereal, babies at this age sleep eight to 12 hours overnight.
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The periodic table of baby sleep has all the essential elements for healthy baby sleep habits.
Best Baby Pacifiers has our recommendations for newborns, older babies, and teething infants. Early Bedtime strategies that work surprisingly well for helping babies sleep through the night.

Baby Sleep Training 101 is our definitive guide to establishing healthy baby sleep habits and teaching your baby to sleep through the night. Baby Tripp Trapp Chair Review and AccessoriesThe Tripp Trapp Chair is one of the most unique baby products I’ve ever seen. In most cases, this is the last time you feed the baby before you go to bed, and how you do it will affect how much sleep you’ll get. I am clarifying here because I get the occasional angry comment or e-mail from someone who gets that wrong impression. You might also consider offering a small bottle after nursing if your baby exhausted the milk supply and still seems hungry. Our pediatrician’s baby guide further specifies that the first solid foods (in order) should be rice cereal, oatmeal cereal, and then barley cereal. You will feed a newborn every two to four hours, but it’s important to stick to that schedule.
Don’t forget to burp him, because your baby is drinking more milk and doing it faster. For me, the biggest factor was the green-light from the pediatrician on giving the babies rice cereal. If you’re on solid food and still having trouble, see my article on getting a baby to sleep through the night. Made by Norwegian company Stokke, it evolves from a secure high chair for infants to an ergonomic seat for adults. In my experience, when it comes to reasons why babies won’t sleep when you want them to, hunger is number one.
The advantage for sleep, however, is that formula is essentially in unlimited supply, so you can always offer more if your baby seems hungry before bed. Feed him as much as he’ll take (pausing to burp every ounce or so), do a last round of burping, and then put him down. Even so, I know many parents who do mix a little bit of cereal in the last bottle before bed.

What you feed your baby at night, and your baby’s age, are two of the principal factors in when babies start sleeping through the night.
At the newborn stage you don’t have much choice other than breast milk or formula, but once your baby is old enough to start solid food, a baby buffet of options becomes available. Address this by burping regularly during the feeding, not just after (see How To Burp A Baby). Listen for the warning signs of an imminent spit-up: deep gurgling noises, little burps, or grumbles from the stomach.
We did this for the boys and it made a big difference for sleep, but hasn’t handicapped their ability to eat at all! Let’s break down your basic baby foods, with their advantages and disadvantages relative to sleeping through the night. Start trying it right away, because it will take a few times for your baby to get the hang of eating solid food. Not only does it set a bad precedent, but it shouldn’t be necessary because his tummy should be full. Give it before a nap or at dinner, and I can almost guarantee you’ll notice a difference in how long your baby can sleep.
But if it’s too soon for a baby to be eating, try soothing with a pacifier or a rocking chair first. Also, nursing tends to be more physically demanding than drinking from a bottle, so your baby may tire before drinking his fill.

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