how do you get your breastfed baby to sleep through the night?

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How do you get your breastfed baby to sleep through the night?

misconception number 1: if I breastfeed, my baby will take longer to sleep through the night and I will be exhausted

Sleep concerns are a legitimate worry when you want to have a baby or are pregnant. When I was pregnant, I was terribly anxious about the sleep issue because I love to sleep. I am one of those people who systematically calculates the number of hours of sleep they have left before the alarm clock goes off and stresses in advance about not getting enough sleep.

Fatigue: a must whether your baby is breastfed or not

So on this particular point of sleep, rest assured, whatever your choice, YOU WILL BE TIRED! Or rather, you will be tired, in the plural, because your partner will be just as tired, no matter how your baby is fed (breast milk or formula).

There is absolutely no link between the quality of sleep of babies and breastfeeding. In fact, there are no studies comparing the sleep of one group with that of another. At Mumade, we looked and found nothing.

Fatigue: a must whether your baby is breastfed or not

There is no miracle cure for breastfed or non-breastfed babies to sleep through the night?

If you are breastfeeding, and after a few weeks or months your baby still wakes up at night, first of all tell yourself that you are not alone and that your child is not an exception. We talk more often about those who sleep through the night quickly than about all the others.

Above all, you're likely to hear parents and perhaps even health professionals (though not people with any real training in breastfeeding) advising you to try giving him bottles of milk powder to help him sleep. But you'll also find that every time you mention a difficulty, it's breastfeeding that's singled out. As if breastfeeding was the cause of all difficulties, and that stopping would make everything better. You can try, but nothing will happen! The truth is, your baby will stop waking up when he's ready. And that's impossible to anticipate.

As for us, our daughter woke up around 2am and then around 5am and we were waiting for her 3 months like the messiah. Indeed, it is said that at 3 months the child is no longer an infant, and that we have passed the most difficult stage. After 3 months, our daughter was still waking up at night, we were tired and we were beginning to wonder if it would ever happen. But it wasn't related to breastfeeding.

The other point raised in the title of this article concerns the fatigue of both parents and the fact that if you are breastfeeding, this fatigue is not shared, as the mother is naturally much more solicited than the spouse.

For me, this anxiety was very personal. As I'm a heavy sleeper, I dreaded the sleepless nights and even thought it unfair that daddy should be able to sleep peacefully while I should have to sacrifice my sleep so that my baby could have breast milk (oops, I hope I haven't shocked anyone!). In reality, your partner can help you during the day, but also at night - we've written an article about this. 

So there's a part of acceptance: accepting that in the first weeks and months, your baby needs you, and that you can't know in advance how long this will last... rest assured, they all end up sleeping several hours at a time, and even having long nights. 

In the meantime, to make these moments less difficult, we advise you to have a good nursing pillow near you to help you at night. We can only recommend our Cocoon cushion, or our Liberty cushion, both designed by a breastfeeding mom. It's essential to have the right ally, especially if, like many moms, you can't breastfeed lying down. 

Our secret to sharing the fatigue while your breastfed baby sleeps

So we thought about this and looked for a way to support each other. Here's our secret: as soon as breastfeeding started properly (after about 3 weeks) I started pumping once a day so that my partner could give a bottle at night. I would go to bed just after the last feed, and my husband, being a night owl, had no trouble staying awake. So he would feed our daughter around 2am and I could sleep for at least 5 hours at a time because I knew I could rely on my partner. When this arrangement ended because our daughter stopped waking up, he told me that he loved this time alone with our child.

Breastfeeding Nights

Every baby is different, it's not about copying exactly what we did because maybe it won't work for him or you. But I can just assure you, if I've done it, it's something that pretty much anyone can do. There are different organisations or breastfeeding options. I think one of the keys is also to be able to talk and communicate a lot about these issues with your partner.

The conclusion is that you should not base your decision on this criterion of sleep (yours or the baby's). Indeed, nothing happens as you think, each child is different: there are breastfed babies who sleep through the night after a few weeks and bottle-fed babies who will still wake up at 18 months. Finally, breastfeeding doesn't mean you have to sacrifice yourself, as you can find the right breastfeeding for you.

How do you get your breastfed baby to sleep through the night?
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