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2nd December 2013 07:31 AM #1
Where Your Baby Sleeps and Breastfeeding
How do you feel where your baby sleeps (for naps and at night-time) affects your breastfeeding relationship?
I wanted to share this excellent resource I have recently come across which contains some interesting studies about baby sleep and breastfeeding: the Infant Sleep Information Resource (ISIS). It is great to see more research backing up the gentle parenting way. In particular, this information sheet is about daytime sleep and slings and this sheet covers normal infant sleep.
Some interesting articles on the topic of baby sleep include The Con of Controlled Crying and Co-sleeping, is it part of bonding?, both written by the respected Pinky McKay.
ISIS state that 'human babies are biologically evolved to sleep near to (and probably touching) their mother's body during the ﬁrst months or years of life'. Pinky McKay explains the same when she says 'since prolactin levels are highest during night feeds, it makes sense to consider that proximity to her infant at night would elevate the loving feelings a mother would feel for her infant'.
What are your experiences of breastfeeding in relation to where your baby sleeps at night? What sleeping location do you feel works well for a breastfed baby?
My own experience has been that it is only through (safely) co-sleeping that myself and my children have been able to enjoy a long breastfeeding relationship. I honestly don't feel that I could have exclusively breastfed my boys for the first six months of their lives if I had not slept so close to them. This close sleeping enabled me to respond to little noises they made in the night and gentle movements of their arms and heads. It meant we could breastfeed in the night without either of us properly waking; and so enjoy days that were full of energy and activity.
I look forward to hearing how your baby's sleeping arrangement affect/affected your breastfeeding relationship.
2nd December 2013 09:21 AM #2
Co-slept with both mine, fed for 27 months and 3.5 years respectively. Getting out of bed in the middle of the night is not my thing :PR, mama to M (8), Z (5.5), and bellybabe due Jan 2014
5th December 2013 08:11 AM #3
Hats off to you - wonderful breastfeeding mama; doing it as nature intended
I cannot imagine how tired I would feel if I got out of bed every time my baby needed a feed. I personally feel that this tiredness would impact on how long we wanted to breastfeed for and even how many children we planned to have. For my family, co-sleeping benefits us as a whole family and enables us to make the choices we do (extended breastfeeding, family planning etc).