How to Breastfeed your Baby to Sleep by Co-sleeping

As a new parent, finding ways to get enough rest while ensuring your baby’s needs are met can be challenging. One of the most effective solutions is co-sleeping, which can provide comfort and security for both you and your baby. By co-sleeping while breastfeeding, you can create a nurturing environment that promotes restful sleep for everyone involved.

I love to co-sleep, even now, after 16 months, our daughter still sleeps in our bed, and we’re not thinking about stopping anytime soon. Over time, she will want to sleep in her own bed, which she already does for her daytime naps. But until then, she can sleep with us at night. In this blog post, we’ll explore the benefits of breastfeeding in combination with co-sleeping and offer tips for making the most of this special time with your baby.

Why does breast milk affect sleep

Prolactin and melatonin are both hormones found in breast milk that play a role in the baby’s development. While prolactin is essential for milk production, melatonin is known to help regulate sleep patterns. Together, they provide various benefits, including supporting the infant’s immune system, overall growth, and promoting healthy sleep habits.

The Benefits of Co-Sleeping

Co-sleeping, or sharing a sleep space with your baby, has numerous benefits for both parent and child:

  1. Facilitates breastfeeding: Co-sleeping allows for easy access to your baby during the night, making it more convenient to breastfeed on demand.
  2. Enhances bonding: Being in close proximity during sleep fosters a strong emotional connection between you and your baby.
  3. Promotes better sleep: Co-sleeping can help both you and your baby fall asleep more easily and sleep more soundly throughout the night.

Tips for Safe and Comfortable Co-Sleeping

To ensure a positive co-sleeping experience, follow these guidelines:

  1. Create a safe sleep environment: Use a firm mattress, avoid heavy blankets, and keep pillows away from your baby to minimize the risk of suffocation.
  2. Maintain a comfortable temperature: Overheating can be dangerous for your baby, so aim for a room temperature between 68-72°F (20-22°C).
  3. Establish boundaries: If you’re sharing a bed with a partner, ensure they’re aware of the baby’s presence and create a designated space for the baby.
  4. Family bed: In some families, they opt for a family bed. This is one very large bed or two beds next to each other so that everybody has enough space. Especially when your baby gets a little bit older, this is something to take into consideration.

Breastfeeding and Sleep Strategies

To maximize the benefits of co-sleeping and breastfeeding, try these tips:

  1. Dream feedings: When co-sleeping your baby will searche for you in their sleep and latches on, it can help them sleep longer stretches and allow you to get more rest.
  2. Side-lying nursing position: This comfortable position allows you to breastfeed your baby without having to get out of bed, making nighttime feedings easier.
  3. Keep nighttime interactions calm: Minimize noise and stimulation during nighttime feedings to encourage a peaceful sleep environment.

Knowing When to Transition

While co-sleeping can be a wonderful experience, it’s essential to recognize when it’s time to transition to independent sleeping arrangements. If either you or your baby starts to feel uncomfortable with co-sleeping, consider transitioning to a separate sleep space.

The Beauty of Co-Sleeping and Breastfeeding

Co-sleeping can be a beautiful way to bond with your baby and make breastfeeding more convenient. As long as it remains comfortable for both of you, it can be an essential part of your parenting journey. By following safe practices and adjusting your approach as needed, you can enjoy restful nights and the unique connection that breastfeeding and co-sleeping bring.

Please note that I speak from personal experience. For substantiated information, we always recommend that you take a look at La Leche League.

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Margaux Luyten


Adventure-loving mom blogger. Breastfeeding from December ’21. Sharing her insight on pregnancy and motherhood while embracing a healthy & active lifestyle. 

Margaux Luyten

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