Many breastfeeding mothers experience the nights as being the hardest. While your baby is in the stage to wake up and nurse frequently during the night (and make no mistake about it, that stage can last a long time!), you might wonder what you can possibly do to gain more sleep, and to feel less stressed. Here are some tips for night feedings.
First of all, and perhaps also hardest of all, letting go of expectations surrounding your child's sleep patterns and nursing patterns can be extremely liberating. Being awake with a breastfeeding baby can be very annoying indeed if you had told yourself that your baby would definitely sleep through the night. If you keep an open mind, you won't be as disappointed.
Mothers of small babies are especially unlikely to see definite patterns in their baby's sleeping and nursing. If you have been getting up to nurse your baby, who was asleep in a crib in another room, you may be getting more agitated than you have to. In this scenario, you have to get up, probably sit in a chair to nurse your baby, get the baby to go to sleep, and then go back to bed yourself.
Cosleeping can be an easier solution. If your baby is in the same room, and perhaps in the same bed, as you, you can nurse your baby in your bed and you don't have to wake up completely to be able to breastfeed your baby. And, when your baby is asleep, you won't have to move her to a crib if you are cosleeping.
Some other random tips for night feeding are making sure the baby is burped, because tummy aches that can be caused by excess air are very unpleasant and will keep you both up for a long time. Cosleeping moms might sleep more easily if they pop the baby's mouth off their nipple after the baby falls asleep.
Finally, older babies may make up for less nursing and physical contact during the day (because they're too bust getting into everything!) by nursing more at night. You can "cure" this by offering the breast frequently throughout the day, and cuddling with baby plenty.