Formula Feeding at Night – Can I Feed My Baby Formula During Nighttime?

By Lynn •  Updated: 03/10/22 •  6 min read
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Wondering if formula feeding at night is healthy and safe for your baby? Many parents choose to feed their baby formula at night for reasons that vary. In this article, we will explain the pros of giving your baby formula at night as well as how best to feed your baby at night in a safe and practical way. 

Can You Breast and Bottle Feed?

Yes. Many parents choose to breast and bottle-feed their babies. Combining breast and bottle feeding can come in various forms including mixing formula with breast milk in one bottle or alternating the two throughout the day. Either way is perfectly safe and healthy for your baby.

Bottle Feeding Breast Milk at Night

Bottle feeding breast milk at night can provide much-needed relief to mothers who breastfeed throughout the day. By allowing your baby to drink breast milk from a bottle at night, you can give your breasts a rest while also allowing your partner or other caregivers to feed the baby while you get your sleep.

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Bottle Feeding at Night Breastfeeding During Day

Bottle feeding your baby at night is a viable option for those who wish to use Similac vs Enfamil for supplementing, supplement their baby’s diet with other formulas, or who want to have their partners or caregivers feed the baby at night.

Introducing Formula to Breastfed Baby at Night

When introducing formula to a breastfed baby at night, do so slowly and with caution. A baby that is used to breast milk may not like the taste of formula or may have digestive issues when it is first introduced. This is especially true of children with milk allergies. 

Be on the lookout for signs of discomfort and stop use if your baby becomes constipated or gassy. Speak with your pediatrician about other options for formula if the one you are using doesn’t seem to be the right fit.

Is It OK to Give One Bottle of Formula at Night?

Yes. You can give as many bottles of formula at night as you need to, as long as you know your baby is satiated.

Never starve your child at night when you know that he or she is truly hungry. Babies can learn to sleep through the night as early as 6 months, however, many parents find their children to require nighttime feedings even into toddlerhood.

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Preparing Bottles For Night Feeding

Can I Pre-make Formula Bottles?

Yes, you can premake formula bottles. You can also store them in a fridge or cooler beside your bed for added ease.

How to Prepare a Bottle of Breastmilk

When preparing a bottle of breastmilk, simply pump the desired amount of breast milk you want to feed your baby and place this amount in a clean bottle with a slow flow nipple. 

If warming the milk, be sure to test it on your wrist by inverting the bottle and allowing it a little to drip out. This will let you know if the milk is too hot for your baby to consume. 

How to Prepare Formula Milk in Advance?

How to Prepare Formula Milk

Preparing formula milk is relatively easy. Follow the directions on the label to prepare your milk which usually involves mixing water and the liquid or powdered concentrate. Then mix the two and heat the bottle either in a bottle warmer or warm it gently over the stove.

How to Make a Formula Bottle/How to Make a Baby Bottle

Another way to make a formula bottle at night is to pre-measure your powder or liquid and water and store it beside your bed at night. Then, mix the two whenever your baby wakes in the evening. 

How to Store Formula Milk For Night Feeding

How to Store Formula Milk

Store formula milk in a cooler or mini-fridge next to your bed. You may also store formula milk in the fridge in your kitchen. 

How Do You Store Formula Milk for Night Feedings?

The formula will keep at room temperature for up to 2 hours before needing to be discarded. Otherwise, it will need to be stored in the cooler or fridge for up to 48 hours. 

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How Do You Keep Baby Milk Warm at Night

How to Keep Baby Bottle Warm at Night?

Your best bet is to invest in a bottle warmer if your baby likes warm milk at night. This will keep you from having to get out of bed. Otherwise, you’ll need to warm the milk gently over the stove or place the bottle in a bowl of hot water to warm the milk for anywhere from 6-15 minutes. 

How Long Can You Keep Formula Once Made Up?

How Long Can You Leave Formula Out?

Once the formula is made up, you can leave it out for 2 hours before either needing to discard it or place it in the refrigerator. 

How Long Can I Keep Formula Milk in the Fridge/How Long Does Formula Milk Last in the Fridge?

Once your formula has been made up, it will stay good in the fridge for up to 48 hours before it needs to be discarded. 

FAQs

How to make formula milk when out?

There are many ways to go about making formula while you are out depending on what type of formula you are using. You can either purchase ready-to-drink formula or you may prepare your formula at home, refrigerate it, and keep it in cool bags in your diaper bag.

Does formula at night help the baby sleep?

Some people claim that formula helps their baby sleep, as it can keep your baby fuller for longer at night. Breast milk tends to go quickly through a baby’s digestive system but it is the better choice nutritionally. It will be up to you to decide which of the two is better for your baby and your needs. 

How can I get my formula-fed baby to sleep through the night?

A very young baby under 6 months will wake frequently and may request feedings because he or she is genuinely hungry. A baby over 6 months may do this too. There are many reasons you may find your baby waking up at night. To break your child of this habit, you may need to sleep train your child. However, you should only do this when both you and your child are truly ready.

Formula Feeding at Night Is a Healthy and Helpful

Formula feeding your baby at night can be healthy and helpful for everyone involved. Speak to your pediatrician about special concerns you have about your baby’s diet, their sleep, and their overall health. 

Lynn

Lynn is a freelance writer, a wife, and a mother of two beautiful kids. Lynn started Infant Empire with the aim of making parenting easier for fellow mums and dads. She believes the parenting tips provided here will be of great help to all parents.

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