Exhausted?! Us too! Parenting can be exhausting, especially when you're waking up with your baby at night more time than you'd like to count.
In our Successful Breastfeeding community, we hear about sleep exhaustion ALL. THE. TIME. When I shared that I was going to tackle the topic of how to get a baby to sleep through the night, our group jumped on board and immediately asked questions. Did you miss it? No worries, you can join us on Facebook today!
When I stumbled across Elizabeth Bine Sleep Consultant, I KNEW I had to record a podcast with her and sneak away with a load of her golden nuggets of wisdom. I have to say, I'm super thrilled with all the nuggets I found and get to share with you!
"I asked my husband what the most surprising thing about having a baby has been for him, or the thing he didn't expect. He said sleep, hands down. Everyone said he'd be sleep deprived and miserable with a new baby and he's not."
“Say goodbye to sleep!” I can’t remember how many times I heard this while pregnant with my second baby after a 10 year gap between pregnancies. It was super annoying. Every baby was different, but I also knew a few tricks that had worked really well with my first baby, and I was looking forward to trying them again to see if they worked.
We’re 4 weeks into our breastfeeding journey, and my son is a VERY different human from my daughter. She was more laid back. He’s particular. I checked her diaper constantly because she couldn’t care less what went on in there. I hear from him if 5 minutes pass and he hasn’t been changed. Temperature didn’t bother her. If he’s even slightly chilly, the entire house knows about it.
But the sleep tricks that worked the first time still worked this time, you can use them too!
One of the most common complaints among new nursing moms is that their baby is ALWAYS NURSING! They feel like a 24/7 milk factory, and find that their baby isn't happy unless on the breast. While it's true that there is never a wrong time to offer the breast, and I do FULLY ENCOURAGE you to nurse your baby often (at least 8 times every 24 hours!) there are likely times when your baby is trying to tell you that they ACTUALLY NEED SOMETHING ELSE.
As a lactation expert in private practice, I have spent a lot of time supporting mothers in their homes. I spent a lot of time in the spaces that are most comfortable for them, which often means helping them nurse in their beds. I have sat on HUNDREDS of different beds, supporting mothers in them by teaching them to nurse in "side lying" positions and also offering safe sleep information. I am a huge advocate for co-sleeping (an umbrella term for many forms of sleeping near a baby) and an even bigger advocate for safe bedsharing practices.
The truth is, bedsharing actually can be safe when you follow the rules, and one of the most important rules is: use a firm mattress. (Click here to learn more about bedsharing safety.) In my practice, it is rare to find a mother using a mattress that is suitable for safe bedsharing. Typically the mattresses are too soft, which creates dangerous indents for baby to roll into when laying next to baby.
Not only do you need a firm mattress for safe sleep practices, but you deserve something comfortable to get your best sleep in! We're tired enough as parents, the last thing you need is an uncomfortable mattress leading to back pain and less restful sleep. This is why I'm so excited to tell you about a mattress that is both firm enough for bedsharing AND comfortable!
Kelly Maher, CLC, CLE
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