Nighttime Nursing

Most breastfed babies will need to have a feeding during the night for at least the first few months of life. For many, nighttime feedings are normal throughout the first year.

Although frequent nighttime feedings can be hard on you (and your partner), it’s biologically normal. In time, the number of feedings should decrease, and your baby will become more efficient at nursing (which means less awake time for you!)

Know, too, that this stage will pass. Although you might feel like a “mom-bie” now, middle-of-the-night breastfeeding sessions will be a thing of the past before long.

Managing nighttime feedings:
  • Invest in some comfy nursing pajamas or pajamas that button down the front. Having easy access during the midnight hours will make things a lot less frustrating for both you and baby.
  • A nightlight can help a lot at 3 a.m. feedings—one with a reddish glow (like a Himalayan salt lamp) will allow you to see without triggering your brain into a fully awake state.
  • Keep the baby in your room with you, in a bassinet or crib. Not only does it make nighttime nursing easier, but pediatricians recommend that babies sleep in the same room (though not in the same bed) as their parents for the entire first year of life.
  • Master the side-lying breastfeeding position. Night feedings are a lot more restful when you’re lying down.
  • If you breastfeed while lying on a soft surface, such as a couch or recliner, be aware that leaving the baby to sleep there—or sleeping with the baby there—is a suffocation risk. Don’t do it. 

This message is not intended to provide individual medical advice. Always seek the advice of a physician or qualified healthcare provider for any questions you have about your health or medical condition, your breastfeeding issues and your infant's health. Never disregard, avoid or delay contacting a doctor or other qualified professional because of something you have read in our emails, webpages or other electronic communications.

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