Is my new baby supposed to be feeding all night?

feeding all nightIs my new baby supposed to be feeding all night?

The answer is, ‘Yes, this is perfectly normal newborn baby behaviour’.

I ran into a friend the other day with her gorgeous new baby daughter who was about 10 days old. After heaps of clucking on my part, my friend asked. ‘Is it right that she sleeps a lot during the day and then wants to feed all night? I am so tired!’

Babies don’t have watches and certainly can’t tell the time. After being in the warm dark environment of the womb for 9 months, day and night doesn’t mean much to them either. What babies do know is when they are hungry.

As I spoke to my friend, I encouraged her to feed as her daughter needed and, most importantly, to rest during the day so she could cope with the frequent night-waking. I talked to her about keeping the baby close during the night so she could respond quickly to her daughter’s needs. A crib near her bed of co-sleeping is a great way to get to know her baby and read those early hunger cues before baby gets upset.

A new born baby who cries and gets upset probably won’t be able to feed, as this stops them following their inborn feeding instincts. This makes it hard for them to latch on. They need to be calm to feed well.

A new born baby who cries and gets upset probably won’t be able to feed, as this stops them following their inborn feeding instincts. This makes it hard for them to latch on. They need to be calm to feed well.

We can help our little ones learn to tell the difference between day and night by keeping the nighttimes as quiet and dark as possible. Feed in a quiet room, rather than having the TV, radio or music going. Keep the lights low and the talk to a minimum. This is not playtime! With my babies I found one thing that helped was reducing the need for night time nappy changes by putting them into a disposable nappy at night – babies don’t seem to notice or mind if they are a bit damp!

Treatment

To help baby be more alert in the daytime, you could open up the curtains and blinds and let the sunlight in and have the normal amount of household noise happening . My babies have always had their daytime sleeps near to me – in the family room or in the sling or carrier on my body. Often they have napped in my arms while I caught a well-earned rest, or I have simply taken the phone off the hook, locked the front door and taken them to bed with me.

Every baby is different and different things will work for each family. These ideas are just some suggestions that might help your baby to learn the difference between day and night.

The other thing to remember about night-feeding is that it is excellent for breastmilk supply. Prolactin levels are highest at night, so breastfeeding at this time helps to maintain an adequate milk supply. This is particularly important in the early days of breastfeeding.

Happy Mothering!

Further information:

——–
Janet Murphy
Courtesy Essence Magazine

©2017 Online Breastfeeding Cafe. Registered Trademark. All rights reserved.

User Login