Sleep Feeding: Making Progress

Jan Gambino Health Guide
  • The AcidRefluxConnection has supported a rich discussion of all aspects of sleep feeding an infant with Gastroesophageal Reflux or GER. Sleep Feeding refers to feeding a drowsy or sleeping infant. It appears to be a feeding style for a few babies with reflux who may be turning off the pain of eating while awake by sleeping through a feeding. While the vast majority of infants with reflux respond to the standard treatments such as positioning, thickening formula or breast milk and changing the diet, a few babies with reflux fuss and resist all attempts to feed. Even when reflux medication is added to the treatment plan, there will be turning away and crying at each meal. However, if a caregiver waits until the baby is drowsy or asleep; an entire bottle is consumed without a problem.

    Add This Infographic to Your Website or Blog With This Code:


    Most people are unfamiliar with sleep feeding, even doctors who care for children on a daily basis. Over and over again, parents logged on to the HealthCentral site and found other parents who were watching for signs of sleep so they could initiate a feeding. It has to be frustrating to plan your entire day around naps and night time feedings. Most parents find that they need to have relatives, friends or a child care provider to help out. I am grateful to the many HealthCentral members who shared their stories and insights. AmyD and Sonja have talked to doctors, speech language pathologists and other parents in an effort to share insights and patterns.  In April, I published an article in Pediatric Feeding and Dysphagia Newsletter titled, Sleep Feeding: Observations and Insights. The full text of the article is on my website at


    I have been talking to feeding therapist, speech language therapist and doctors from around the country to generate interest in studying sleep feeding and finding better treatment options for these special babies. I hope we are increasing awareness and exploring new ways of helping babies who are sleep feeding. Meanwhile, keep posting your stories, questions and concerns about sleep feeding and all aspects of caring for a baby, child or teen with reflux.

Published On: July 10, 2009