Breastfeeding at night and mom's sleep
If becoming a mother is one of the most beautiful gifts in life, it is no less difficult... Welcoming a newborn at home turns our organization upside down, questions us, sometimes worries us. Breastfeeding is a concern for many women. If you are breastfeeding and need advice, we are here to help. This article presents all the tips to make breastfeeding easier at night , so that you can take care of baby without exhausting yourself.
Breastfeeding at night, until when?
The recurring question in terms of breastfeeding is that of its duration. To understand this notion, we must understand why the baby wakes up in the middle of the night. The infant, when he is less than 4 months old, does not yet make the difference between day and night. All of this will fall into place over time, so that the baby's brain is mature enough to understand this circadian rhythm. It is around the age of 4 months that the baby will make the difference between night and day, wakefulness and sleep. As with everything, there are exceptions! Do not worry if your child does not wake up at night before he is 4 months old or if he still wakes up after this age. Each of us being unique, the age of 4 months remains an average and should not create apprehension if your child does not correspond to it. Currently, it is accepted that the baby manages to make full nights between 4 and 6 months.
Breastfeeding at night, how to rest?
Asking your spouse for help
Asking your partner to get up to pick up the baby or to change it is not an admission of weakness! If you feel too tired, it is important to solicit your spouse. He will be happy to help you and take time for his child. If breastfeeding is an intimate relationship between mother and child, this period should not leave the dad aside. If he can't replace you for everything, let him manage what he can : rock baby, put him back to bed, change him... This will prevent you from exhausting yourself and will facilitate the development of the father/infant bond.
In addition to relieving engorged breasts, expressing your milk has other benefits too! You can store your milk in a bottle so that the dad can give it to baby during the night . You will be able to sleep more without your child being deprived of the benefits of breast milk. Freshly drawn milk can be kept for 4 hours at room temperature, 8 days in the refrigerator or 6 months in the refrigerator freezer. Be careful not to boil the milk while reheating it so as not to lose its benefits. The food given to baby must be lukewarm (no more than 37°).
Let dad manage to rest
Even if taking your role as a mother to heart is essential, you must also know how to rest. Don't feel guilty about letting your spouse take care of baby! This helps him find his place as a father in this very special period of breastfeeding. Stay in bed and let your spouse pick up baby. This will help their relationship develop and keep your eyes closed a little longer! It is normal to feel tired while breastfeeding. The important thing is above all to know how to recognize it and to accept not to manage all the situations alone . Dad will be happy to help you.
Define who should get up before going to bed
Before going to bed, determine who will get up to see baby tonight. This way, when you hear him cry, you'll be sure that you can lie quietly in bed without being alarmed... Your spouse manages!
Try to fall asleep, even for a few minutes
Once baby cries, don't set a goal of staying awake until the next cry , for fear of having to get up again. A broken sleep remains better than a prolonged nocturnal awakening. Every minute of dozing off or falling into a light sleep is effective for your rest. Your breastfeeding mother hormones allow you to wake up and go back to sleep more quickly, nature is good!
Take naps with your child
A baby needs a lot more sleep than an adult. And for good reason: his brain and his whole body work hard to develop. It requires a lot of energy and therefore a lot of rest. But why not take advantage of these moments to rest too? When baby sleeps , mom too! If you are afraid of being disturbed, ask your spouse to take over during your break. A nap of a few minutes can already give you back the energy you need. If you want to take advantage of baby-free time to do chores, they can surely wait, or a loved one can do it for you.
Put baby to sleep in your room
When fatigue takes over, it's hard not to crack. The solution to your problem lies, among other things, in co-sleeping! Codo-what? Co-sleeping is simply sharing your room or bed with baby. Why do this? Simply because this technique will save you from getting up in the middle of the night to feed baby . Studies prove the protective effect of this practice, especially against sudden infant death syndrome. Of course, if the baby does not have his own bed, you will need to feel comfortable taking him by your side. Co-sleeping is a great ally for your rest. The baby will also find comfort there because he will feel the presence and the protection that you bring him.
Have a co-sleeping bed
If the practice of co-sleeping tempts you, you can find "co-sleeping beds" adapted to it. The principle is simple: the baby's bed is glued to yours and all you have to do is reach out to pick up your child and put him to the breast . The advantage of the co-sleeping bed is that you won't have to get up to pick up the baby, so you can continue to have a light sleep while breastfeeding. You will feel more rested and so will your spouse. It is an essential breastfeeding accessory!
Wear nursing pajamas
To facilitate breastfeeding at night , nothing better than suitable pajamas ! The nursing pajamas have been designed so that women can breastfeed without having difficulty undressing in the middle of the night . The t-shirt has invisible zips that allow you to discover the breast easily. The size is large so that you are comfortable and can wear it even during pregnancy. A real tool for mums, these pajamas could turn out to be essential during the breastfeeding period at night . Its unique design will allow you to combine style and practicality until the end of the night.
Breastfeed lying down
To maintain your sleep state, avoid getting up in the middle of the night. The lying down breastfeeding position will help keep you drowsy and make it easier to sleep afterward . To breastfeed at night , it is better to opt for a comfortable position. You can even keep your eyes closed while baby feeds. The benefits of this type of breastfeeding don't stop at your comfort! It would be very positive for the baby itself. In this position, he will be able to fall asleep directly after feeding (which is common since the baby tends to fall asleep while nursing). In this way, it is less difficult to put him back to sleep and you will lose less sleep time. If your baby still has some reflux, I suggest you breastfeed with your arm under his head so that it is elevated above his stomach.
Do not change baby systematically
Very careful mums will be tempted to change babies when they wake up at night. Don't worry, if you don't, it doesn't make you a bad mother! On the contrary, the nappies have been studied so that your baby benefits from the greatest comfort, all night long. Getting up to go change it will only make you feel more tired... Try to limit diaper changes during the night so you don't have to get up too often. The only real indication of diaper changing at night would be a leak. If so, you can ask your spouse to go and change the baby. To ensure his comfort, you can rub a cream on his buttocks before changing his diaper for the night. This will avoid the possible problem of "red buttocks".
Have a night light
As we mentioned earlier, the infant does not yet make the connection between darkness and night or light and day. In order not to disturb his natural learning of this cycle, it is better to avoid turning on a light in the middle of the night. Obviously, you will need a minimum of light to see your child when breastfeeding at night ! This is where the night light proves to be invaluable for baby nights. Its low luminosity illuminates enough so that you can take care of the little one , without dazzling (neither him nor you). The dark atmosphere of a room will remind the child that after his short awakening, he will have to go back to sleep!
Caffeine is a stimulant, even if coffee and breastfeeding are not incompatible, try to reduce your dose of caffeine throughout your day to better rest.
Do not use your phone
To sleep better, it is not recommended to look at screens with blue light when you wake up at night . This light may create a feeling of wakefulness and you will have more difficulty falling back to sleep.
Breastfeeding is a special moment that creates a unique bond between you and your baby. If it is not always easy, know that this period will bring you and him many benefits. To fight against fatigue, do not hesitate to ask your spouse, he will be happy to participate in his own way in this important moment that is breastfeeding. These tips are there to guide you, but don't forget to trust your maternal instincts! You know better than anyone what is good for you and for your child.