Will my baby ever sleep at night and nurse more during the day?
Most new parents are very concerned about feeding their baby through the night. It is essential that you become aware of newborn behaviors around the 24-hour clock before stressing out!
- Your newborn will generally sleep more in the daytime and have more “awake” time between 8pm and 2am. The baby still has nocturnal behavior that resembles their fetal behavior. Newborns maintain this nighttime waking and daytime sleeping pattern until they reach their due date.
- Newborns sleep in 90-minute cycles and tend to be less active when you are most active, and move most when you are restful. In addition to this behavior, they like to nurse more when they are active and awake; unfortunately, these times are usually when you would rather be asleep: midnight, 2am, 3am, 4am, etc.
These behaviors are going to change within the first six weeks of their lives and you will begin to see more daytime feeding and nighttime sleeping patterns emerge.
Once you embrace this normal newborn pattern, the night feedings will be more manageable for you and the family. If you have a baby nurse or night nanny helping you at home, you should have a discussion as to how you plan to handle your nighttime feedings. Some parents choose to pump and bottle feed for some nighttime feedings, while others may just want some help with night nursing sessions. Night feedings are easier when you have help and guidance and embrace baby’s night waking and daytime sleep cycles.
- We encourage parents to feed their babies more frequently in the daytime between 6 am and 10 pm. When your baby is ready to sleep for a four-hour period of time, you can feed at 10 pm, then 2am and again at 6am. You can resume a 2 – 3 hour feeding pattern throughout the remainder of the 24-hour clock.
Knowing these times will adjust over and over during the first 4 – 6 months will give you the fortitude to stay on course and opt to breastfeed through the night. Patience and breastfeeding support are key.
Is your nursing baby keeping you up all night? The healthcare professionals on our team can share their best game plan to help you get the rest you need.