my 5.5 month old was sleeping through the night until about 6 weeks ago when she started waking up every 1.5-2 hours to eat. when my son was 6 months (bottlefed) the dr said he does not need to be getting up in the night to eat. I'm wondering if the same is true for breastfed babies. also wondering if she is that hungry or if they are comfort feedings?? if they are comfort feedings, should i stop them? we want to start sleep training, but didnt know how to with these night feedings.
Re: night feedings
i don't believe the same is true for breastfed babies since breastmilk is digested much faster and it is definitely possible baby is actually hungry. the same thing happened to my baby and she still wakes up once or twice a night for a snack. in my opinion, if baby wakes you should offer the breast to see if baby is hungry and if not, she will probably just fall asleep. you can usually tell comfort sucking from actual eating by listening for baby swallowing milk and sucking rhythmically. I think comfort sucking is kind of slow, and off and on, with little swallowing.
whether or not to stop comfort sucking is up to you, and i think depends on how easy baby falls asleep, etc. my baby took a pacifier, and while that minimized her using ME as a pacifier, she still woke up every couple of hours to eat at that age. i think nursing at night is (for me and my daughter) one of the fastest ways to get us both back to sleep if she wakes, so we continue to do that.
I would hesitate to initiate "sleep training" of any kind with such a young baby, and if you do, look into books like Pantley's no cry sleep solution, which is really compatible with breastfeeding. many sleep books are not and can undermine your breastfeeding relationship. good luck with everything!
Re: night feedings
Agree with PP.
My LO is 7 months and never slept through the night. When she was about 3 months she slept longer stretches (6-7 hours), but at 4 months she started feeding more often at night (every 2-3 hours). Now at 7 months she's starting to feed every 4 hours at night.
It could be a growth spurt too.