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Thanks for coming in to read my post !
my 1 year and 4 month son is sleeping well through the night, except for some nights when he might wake up for a pacifier.
In the past couple of weeks he wakes up crying and only when he gets his bottle with formula he calms down.

Any advice how to eliminate this conditioning of "waking up -> food immediately" ?
 

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Sleep will go back and forth as the baby grows and develops. Sometimes they are going through growth spurts or developmental spurts and just plain hungry. I would attempt another form of soothing first, but if that fails after a few minutes I'd give the bottle. After all, a baby has no way to "insist" to you that he/she is hungry or thirsty aside from crying. I prefer to give them the benefit of the doubt.

FTR, my DD1 went through a phase in her twos of waking for several hours in the wee hours of the night. She'd just lay awake in bed tossing and turning. This went on for weeks. One night it occurred the me to give her a snack and she ate a small amount then dropped right into a sound sleep. Just to show, night time hunger can be real, even in toddlers.
 

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I experienced this with my children as toddlers too. I usually gave a banana (they could sometimes eat the whole thing!) and a small amount of milk. As soon as they eat or drink they go right back to sleep. It didn't form a bad habit, they stopped after a short while...children are just REALLY hungry sometimes! Good luck!
 

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it is normal! and very common!

Hey he is bound to be super hungry after so many hours, especially so if he hasn't had enough for dinner. My son used to wake up super hungry every morning until he turned 2.3! And would not wait longer than a minute! Kids who don't eat a good heavy meal at dinner time and those who go to bed early tend to wake up super hungry. try to delay his bed time a bit and give him something to eat/drink 20 mins before bed. it works!
 
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