Breastfeeding and Sleep

Posted on 10 November 2014 by Kristrun

Hi! (1)This is one of our most popular topics and every time Conchita gives this talk we have a full house! Dealing with reduced sleep yourself, whilst encouraging good sleep habits in your baby, can be one of the most challenging aspects of new motherhood. So what is the magic formula? Is there one? I asked Conchita for a few things to keep in mind when trying to understand what to expect when it comes to breastfeeding and sleep. If you need sleep have your partner take over for the night and get some comfortable ear plugs for sleeping, to block out noise. Your partner can bring the baby to you when she needs to nurse or you can pump before the night.

Facts
50% of all babies have night wakings until the age of 5. So review your expectations, you might want to play it by ear. Of course there are babies who can sleep through the night sooner, but most likely it will come in waves.

Babies are not born with the ability to distinguish between day and night. They just sleep when they are tired. Some are ‘worse’ than others.

Teething, dreaming, travels, coughs and colds will always affect a baby’s sleep and their sleeping routine can change overnight, sometimes with no obvious reason.

Long periods of ‘controlled crying’ associated with sleep or feeds will only create fear and confusion and should never be used for babies less than two months of age. “I hardly ever suggest controlled crying for young babies” Conchita says.

Solutions and suggestions
Start a bedtime routine very early on. Teach your baby that the bed is a safe place so don’t create any drama around the bed, bedtime and the bedroom. Make sure your baby feels safe and secure around the bedtime routine.

A bath before bedtime should be calm and short. A calm and cozy atmosphere along with regular routine will prepare a baby for a long nice sleep.

Feed more during the day, less at night. Always do demand feeding to being with. But not less than 3 hours between feeds during the day and 4 hours at night.

Use the first few weeks to get to know your baby. Let her know she is safe, build up trust and try to understand her needs.

Baby massage can help when babies are stressed or excited when they are about to go to bed.

Every baby is different, as are every mother and family. Embrace support and let someone guide you through the upcoming changes with sensible suggestions and advice to help you deal with it. Our midwives are available for home visits.

Consultation with the midwives, available on Skype (face time or other platforms), over the phone or in the office. Click here to book. More information about our services on our website.

Consultation with the midwives, available on Skype (face time or other platforms), over the phone or in the office. Click here to book. More information about our services on our website.

 

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