In this article you will read about:
How to Make the Most of Night Time Feeds
Tips to help you get through night-time feeds
Nighttime feeds are essential for many nursing mothers and their babies. During the night, your body produces a hormone called prolactin that helps spur milk production, so nighttime feeding is important for keeping up your milk production.
Prolactin also has a calming effect on babies. Feeding them at night helps them relax and sleep and gain nutritional benefits from breast milk. Babies want to feed at least 8-12 times in 24 hours. During the night, they may go up to three or four hours between feeds—but if they wake up earlier than that and are still hungry, feeding them is no harm.
As your baby grows, their nighttime feeding schedule will change too. They may take in more milk during the day, so the nighttime feeds will become less frequent—or even stop altogether.
Here are a few tips to help you get through those nighttime feedings:
Keep lights off during night feeds - This prevents any stimulation which may make them fussy and will help to keep them quiet and sleepy while they feed.
Minimize stimulation during night feeds - With newborns, it's best to limit the amount of talking or other activities during nighttime feeds. Use a very gentle voice when talking. It might make them feel calmer. This will allow your baby to focus on eating and stay calm and relaxed as they drift back to sleep afterward.
Lie on your side while nursing during night feeds - Lying down on your side while nursing is a great way to make the most of nighttime feeds by allowing you to rest and feed your baby simultaneously. This position also helps keep things quiet, dark, and peaceful for your little one.
Participate in the bedtime routine - By including your partner in the bedtime routine, such as taking turns with nighttime feeds, you can involve them in sleep care while promoting a connection between parents. This will give you more time together as a family while helping build strong bonds with each other.
Responding to your baby's needs - Recognising and responding to their needs can help create a secure attachment between you and your baby. So if they're hungry, feed them; if they're tired, soothe them; and if they want to play or explore, let them—you never know what you might discover!
Having a plan, being kind to yourself, and having a supportive partner can help enormously. Don't be afraid to adjust if you feel something's not working for you or your baby.