We may earn commission from links featured in this post. Read more.
It’s widely accepted that babies don’t sleep as well as adults which can be a source of frustration in the house. We’ve all spent long hours doing internet searches to find a magic solution to get them to sleep through the night… but does it exist and is it hungry baby milk?
This article aims to explore what hungry baby milk is and whether or not it can lead to better night’s sleep or is it just a case of babies just don’t sleep through the night and that’s completely normal.
What is hungry baby milk?
Hungry baby milk is advertised as a blend of nutritionally complete formula which has the same nutrients of ‘standard’ formula milk except the composition has more casein than whey, which takes longer for babies to digest and therefore feel full for longer. It can be made by shaking or with an automatic baby bottle maker.
Hungry baby milk is designed for parents who feel they have a baby with an increased appetite that their normal formula can’t satiate. There are no real pieces of evidence that some babies are ‘just hungrier’ but it is true that hungry baby formula can make them full for longer. It should be assumed that you don’t have a ‘hungry baby’, rather they are cluster feeding/in the middle of a growth spurt which every baby goes through at one point.
From what we’ve gathered, hungry baby milk when it comes to sleep causes more problems than it attempts to solve.
Will hungry baby milk make my baby sleep longer?
Hungry baby milk is designed to keep them full for longer, rather than as a sleep aid. If your baby wakes up all the time because they’re hungry then surely this will keep them asleep for longer?
Babies, particularly newborn babies, will wake up frequently for a variety of reasons which can include hunger. However, a tummy which is too full of food is likely to cause digestive problems and a worse sleep.
This means that hungry baby formula milk is an attempt provide a sleep aid to the parents and not necessarily the baby. Your baby’s frequent wake ups are likely to continue but you may be able to rule out hunger. Hungry baby milk may now lead to some tummy trouble and VERY full nappies.
Should I give my baby hungry milk before bed?
Hungry baby milk is as large of a meal as it can get for babies. Consider this, would you eat a 3 course meal five minutes before bed? Probably not. Babies sleep best on a satiated to nearly-empty stomach. Not full nor empty.
The reasoning is they sleep better and for longer if it doesn’t take too long to digest the food, meaning that hungry baby formula milk may not be a good choice RIGHT before bedtime. But, hungry baby milk still has its merits for some parents throughout the day.
We always recommend feeding on demand which is a little bit harder for bottle feeding parents as breastfeeding cues are little more obvious If they’re hungry.
But be careful with formula milk as it can be difficult to feed them exactly what they need and overfeeding can be common. The bottles inability to slowly release milk on demand and its problems with causing gas and wind can be exasperated when coupled with hungry baby milk.
Therefore, if you’re convinced hungry formula powder is for you then consider giving them it a couple of hours before bed time and feed them snacks or smaller feeds as it gets closer to bed time.
Will hungry baby milk make my baby sleep worse?
The sleep of babies is as varied and complex as the sleep of adults, if not more.
Even if it works, it’s unlikely to be caused by hungry baby milk.
We’ve all been there where we feel they sleep well for a night or two, then suddenly start waking up more frequently at night again.
As previously mentioned, hungry baby milk has no sleep properties which will make them sleep better (it’s designed to keep them full for longer). It doesn’t provide happy hormones like breastmilk does.
If sleep is your main concern, you may find that hungry baby formula milk makes them sleep worse!
This is because hungry baby milk is notorious two things causing digestive issues and slow digestion (heats up the body among other things). This means sleep may not be as restful and the baby could wake up because they’re uncomfortable, constipated or need winding.
So, yes, hungry baby milk could actually make things worse.
I breastfeed, what can I do?
Breastmilk adapts to the individual baby and therefore there is nothing for you to do except continue to feed on demand. Breastfeeding provides sleep and comfort benefits which are unrivalled to any other form of feeding.
Although, formula can still be used while breastfeeding if you really, really wanted to.