6 Ways to Make Breastfeeding at Night Work Better for You
1. Preparation is Key
Breastfeeding at night often feels unbearable and overwhelming because mothers go into it disorganized. You realize at the last minute that your nightgown doesn’t give easy access to your breasts. You get settled with the baby happily feeding only to realize that you’re cold and the nearest blanket is just out of your reach. You can avoid this scenario by taking a few minutes to prepare for nighttime breastfeeding before bed each night. Start by stocking a tote, box or organizer that contains everything you need to feed and change your baby at night.
2. Keep the Baby Close
This makes many new mothers feel like they can’t keep their baby close at night, but there is nothing wrong with co-sleeping or at least keeping the baby’s bassinet or crib in your room while frequent nighttime feedings are needed.If you don’t like the idea of co-sleeping but want to take some of the frustration out of breastfeeding at night, move the baby’s crib or bassinet into your bedroom temporarily. Portable cribs are another option if you want to keep the full-sized crib in the nursery for naptimes. This arrangement allows you to get to the baby faster for feedings, and your little one still gets to sleep independently.
3. Set the MoodBabies sleep best in a room that is around 68–72°F. Adding a humidifier may help keep the room cool, and it’s a good idea to add moisture to the air when the weather turns cold. You may also want to add a soothing scent to the room, but make sure that it’s subtle. Lavender is a good option.
4. Rethink Your Nighttime Wardrobe
If you don’t want to invest in nursing nightwear, make sure that you select clothing that still gives easy access to your breasts. Look at each top to ensure that lace, buttons and other embellishments won’t rub against the baby’s face during feedings. Also, make sure that the fabric is soft so that it feels good against the baby’s cheek and your skin.
5. Empty the Breast
Your baby may want to eat a little and then drift back off to sleep, but that never works in a mother’s favor. The little one will burn through that nourishment quickly, which means more frequent feedings. You want that little belly to get full of high-fat milk so that you get a full two or even three hours of sleep between feedings.