What can I do if my baby needs to be breastfed frequently at night?

What can I do if my baby needs to be breastfed frequently at night?

Your newborn needs to be fed frequently because of his tiny stomach. In the first one to two months, your baby cannot distinguish day and night and will wake up for night feeds. And, in fact, more breastmilk is produced at night. You may feel tire if your baby requires frequent night feeds. However, due to the effects of breastfeeding hormones, you will have good quality sleep after breastfeeding. To facilitate feeding, you can place the crib on your bedside. Whenever your baby needs to be nursed, you can carry him up and feed him while sitting or lying in your bed. After feeding, you can put him back in the crib and let him fall asleep on his own. Never share the bed with your baby so to avoid accidents. By placing the crib on your bedside, you can also respond to your baby readily and needless to worry about unwanted accidents. It also helps your baby to establish good sleeping habits by learning how to fall asleep without relying on suckling on the breast or being held in your arms.

During the period when your baby still needs night feeds, you can:

  • Share most of the housework to your helper or family members
  • Sleep while your baby sleeps
  • Minimise guest visits in order to have more rest time

When you feed your baby on demand and he suckles well, his feeding pattern will gradually develop and the frequency of feeds will decrease. When your baby is 2-3 months old, he will sleep for longer at night and demand less night feeds, you can help him to establish a bedtime routine. This will encourage your baby to fall asleep on his own and sleep longer at night. If you have any question, consult the Maternal and Child Health Centres or other healthcare professionals for advice.

To learn more on baby’s sleep information, you can visit the website of the Family Health Service: www.fhs.gov.hk and read the “Parenting series- five” leaflet - "The Lullaby I - Developing Regular Sleep Patterns.”