Sleep all you want with a newborn WHILE breastfeeding!
Yes. It’s true. It’s possible. My husband and I did it. We slept like babies even after we had our first newborn! And yes, I exclusively breastfed! Did we clone ourselves? NO.
The first few days after baby was born, I really fed on demand. I literally fed about 16 times the first day to get my milk going. Then, as baby developed a natural sleep pattern from 30 mins to 45 mins, then into 1.5 hours, we started using this schedule. For some babies this occurs within the first few days, for others it starts in a couple weeks. Depending on work and partner availability, this schedule may not work for all. In addition, some attachment parenting followers might freak out at the thought of a schedule. From my research and experience, the natural sleep cycle tends to follow a 30 mins, to 45 mins, 60 mins, 1.5 hours, 3 hours, 6 hours, and so on. It’s actually fascinating because the sleep cycles go along our hormone production cycles for digestion and alertness. So, although a fluid schedule might seem more “natural,” I really think feeding schedules can be healthy. They not only encourage better, longer sleep for baby, but also provide a sense of stability for all. Of course in the case of special needs babies and those with colic, a schedule just might not work.
We started this schedule about 2 weeks after baby was born. Then, he was feeding every 2 hours. About a week later it stretched to every 3 hours. The chart below exemplifies our 3 hour schedule. Please note, depending on baby’s health and mom’s production, the feeding times may vary. Be sure to follow your baby’s needs and use your intuition as a parent. Some babies really do need more attention than others.
So this was our schedule. Mom took the first shift and dad took the 2nd.
|7pm||Mom drinks a BIG glass of water and goes to sleep! I took the early shift because I can fall asleep whenever. My husband likes to sleep late naturally. >>>Note: Sometimes around 1.5 hours after feeding, baby got fussy. From my experience, feeding didn’t necessarily help calm baby. Baby just needed rocking, bouncing, or baby wearing. Also remember there is a witching hour for many babies. I’m glad we didn’t get into the habit of feeding simply because baby was fussy. My son at 8 months was OVER 100% in weight at 30 lbs. I mean he looked SO chubby! If I fed him more, I don’t know how his skin would have contained his chubs!|
|9:30pm||Dad or partner brings the baby into the room and wakes mama up with the baby and helps baby latch. Dad exits the room.|
|10pm||Mom drinks another big glass of water and SLEEPS|
|12:30pm||Repeat the sleep rotation cycle as many times as mom needs or papa can handle. Then it’s papa’s turn to sleep! Of course papa doesn’t breastfeed so he gets uninterrupted sleep. Mom will then watch baby and can sleep when baby sleeps through the night.|
Here’s my video on sleeping through the night.
SIDE NOTE: And you might think, well why don’t you just pump and sleep sleep sleep? Well if you don’t know about breast feeding, it’s very important to breast feed as often as you would feed. It has to do with supply and demand. Also, if you don’t directly breastfeed, you’re bypassing natures intention and the release of the powerful love hormone, oxytocin. There are also signals your baby’s saliva sends through your nipples that trigger the release of antibodies if and when baby get’s sick. Let nature do it’s thing. So if you have the option to breastfeed directly, it’s the best option.
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