How to get your breastfed baby to start sleeping through the night is one of the most common concerns for many parents.
Top 10 Tips For Breastfeeding Moms
Here are our top 10 tips you may want to try to help your little one to sleep through the night:
1. Establish a routine. If your baby is in the habit of sleeping late or snoozing most of the day, try waking him regularly in the daytime hours so he can tell when it is time to be awake and when it is time to sleep (like the rest of the family!)
2. Keep the shades open in the day! Don’t darken your little ones room to help her take longer naps. Encourage shorter naps by keeping the room well-lit during the daytime hours, which in turn may help your baby sleep better all night.
3. Feed more often during the day. Feeding your baby more often during the day will get him enough so he doesn’t need to wake at night hungry. Some moms try to quickly get baby on a 4-hour schedule and it backfires by causing baby to wake up all night to fit in more feedings!
4. Breastfeed your baby in a quiet, darkened room or use a nursing necklace if your baby is easily distracted during daytime feedings.
5. Let your little one finish the first breast offered. This will provide your baby with more of your hindmilk, which may also help him to go longer between or eliminate his nighttime nursing sessions.
6. Carry your baby in a sling in the evening. This helps relax your baby and help to transition into sleeping through the night.
7. Keep the evening calm and quiet to avoid over stimulation. Some parents bathe their little ones to relax them. This actually stimulates some babies. If yours seems more stimulated, save a bath for another time and choose another relaxing activity.
8. Keep the lights off at night. If your little one does wake up, don’t turn on any lights…just leave a small night light on. This way baby can differentiate between day and nighttime.
9. Don’t change diapers at night if at all possible.
10. Consider a pacifier. Once your breastfeeding is well-established, pacifiers may be helpful to encourage sleeping through the night. If your little one has trouble settling down, it might just do the trick.
Allowing your baby to use a pacifier may even lower the risk of sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS).
Be aware, though, if your little one becomes too dependent on a pacifier, you may face future crying spells when the pacifier falls out of your baby’s mouth or out of the crib. (Editor Sheri kept several in her youngest baby’s crib…so she could always find one without crying for mom.)