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Safest and easiest way to breastfeed at night

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#1 Maniacal_laugh

Posted 07 January 2013 - 03:31 PM

I'm pregnant with my second child. With DD1, she slept in a seperate room from birth and I would go through to feed her and sit up in feeding chair, reading my iPhone.

With this baby, I plan to share a room with him/ her until at least 6 months, and so I can feed in bed if I like. What's the best and safest way to do this? Can the baby stay in a co-sleeper, and I roll over and pop a boob in when she wakes? (Does this count as 'own sleep space' according to SIDS?) Should I try the cot as a side car (or am I at risk of catching a nipple in the gap between?) I'm assuming that sitting up in bed isn't safe as I'd be most likely to accidentally nod off while holding the baby in this position.

Any advice is appreciated - I've checked SIDS guidelines etc but I'm not too sure. TIA.

#2 Felix101

Posted 07 January 2013 - 03:58 PM

I just had DS in a bassinet next to the bed, and I'd sit up and feed in bed. I never nodded off original.gif I also kept myself occupied on my phone.
Alternatively could you fit the feeding chair from your first in your room? If your worried about falling asleep in bed getting up and moving to the chair could help?

#3 Feral timtam

Posted 07 January 2013 - 04:14 PM

I never quite got the hang of nursing while lying down with my first two and my third flat refuses that position!

I lean back against the headboard of my bed and nurse in a sitting position, this might not work if you don't have a padded or sleigh style headboard.

#4 lucky 2

Posted 07 January 2013 - 04:18 PM

The link below shows how to try lying down and bfing, it might help-
I always got up to bfeed in dd's room even though she slept in our room as I found it hard to bfeed lying down (I would have preferred it for more rest).
I had a set up on a couch and then put her back to bed in our room after the feed.
All the best.

#5 elegie

Posted 07 January 2013 - 04:21 PM

When DS was tiny he wouldn't feed lying down - I just held him sitting up in bed (with some pillows to keep me comfy). We didn't have room for a co-sleeper at the time so sometimes he stayed in bed with us if I was too tired to put him back in his cot.

#6 ubermum

Posted 07 January 2013 - 04:23 PM

I had a co-sleeper, but it has sides so that you can't roll on the baby. You can't feed them in it. I sat up in bed, fed, changed and put her back down. Now that she is bigger, we co-sleep and feed.

#7 Boombox

Posted 07 January 2013 - 04:35 PM

I don't think you'll find any recommendations on co sleeping and feeding from SIDS as there probably isn't any research done on it to guide them.

I personally had the cot next to the bed, sat up to feed and change, then back in the cot to sleep. Or if they wouldn't settle they'd be positioned in the bed with some room around them. Feeding in a side lying position would be way to easy to nod off and potentially roll forward and smother the baby- it would seem that way to me anyway.

Those cots with removable sides that act like an extension of the parents bed look good.

#8 Maniacal_laugh

Posted 07 January 2013 - 09:48 PM

Thanks everyone for your feedback. I'm planning to stay off the iPhone for night feeds if I can, as I tend to read rubbish and then my brain starts racing and I can't get back to sleep.

I know I'm guaranteed to stay awake though if I stay on the phone and I don't want to risk dropping off... hmm, might need to start using the Kindle app.

I seem to remember reading lots of positive things from cosleepers about how they just roll over and pop a boob in - looked like a great way to get more sleep! Perhaps they are talking about older children though, where the bed-sharing arrangements are more relaxed.

Edited by tiggywinkle, 08 January 2013 - 10:26 AM.

#9 Bluenomi

Posted 08 January 2013 - 09:05 AM

I sat up in bed but found my back didn't like it. I ended up in a chair which was so much better.

Niether DD or I like feeding lying down

#10 sophiasmum

Posted 08 January 2013 - 09:19 AM

I've never fed lying down, always sitting up in bed. I watched tv to stave off boredom.

#11 queeniebird

Posted 08 January 2013 - 06:11 PM

Ive done it since my baby was born.

You need to lie on your side with the arm underneath you stretched out. ( if you sleep with your arm out stretched you would have to dislocate your shoulder to roll over the baby- try it and you will see)
Pull the baby close and let them latch.
You can do the other side by leaning over a bit and using your arm to steady yourself.

I am not sure if I have explained myself very well... Google lying down breast feeding... I found a great site with pics.. just can't remember the web address.

In the beginning I used to iPhone while feeding, but the light was too bright and id also go on tangents and read about dying elephants and be crying... Hormones....

#12 queeniebird

Posted 08 January 2013 - 06:11 PM

Hurrah! My first double post!! An eb milestone! I want a badge

Edited by queeniebird, 08 January 2013 - 06:15 PM.

#13 Mitis angelam

Posted 08 January 2013 - 06:20 PM

QUOTE (Bluenomi @ 08/01/2013, 10:05 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
I sat up in bed but found my back didn't like it. I ended up in a chair which was so much better.

This.  I never managed to feed comfortably in bed.  I'd say don't get your heart set on it, and have a plan b...

#14 Babby and Roo

Posted 08 January 2013 - 06:35 PM

I've never been able to feed newborns lying down. Only once my babies were a couple of months old could I get the hang of it (I have quite large breasts though which may be why).

When both my babies were newborns I sat up in bed and fed them (they slept in a bassinet beside the bed), I use the "My Breast Friend" feeding pillow which I love because it clips around your waist and stays in place. I just lean against the headboard of my bed with my regular pillow behind my back. I have nodded off while feeding at night many times I am sure of it. But never dropped the baby!

With my first, once I could feed lying down at night I would just bring her into bed and feed that way, but I would always fall asleep and we ended up cosleeping with her which in the long run wasn't great because she ended up snacking all night long until she was about 1.5 years old (when she self weaned because I was pregnant again). So in the short term sleeping together and sticking a boob in their mouth when they wake is great - I got plenty more sleep. But in the long term it formed a habit that was hard to deal with.

With my second baby I have made more of an effort to sit up and feed as I don't want to form the same habit DD had. He is still in our room at 6 months in a cot beside me. I am still using the feeding pillow even though he is much too big for it now, but its really comfy for me to feed that way. Sometimes I am too tired and bring him into bed with me, feed lying down. It is good to have that option when you are just shattered.

I think if you side car a cot or use one of those specially designed cosleeping bassinets then you could easily lean in and feed bub (that's if they are able to feed lying down). Otherwise sitting up in bed should be fine. I found night waking with my second child a lot easier than with my first, I guess because I was more used to it. You might find the same.

#15 greenthumbs

Posted 08 January 2013 - 06:41 PM

Check out this info by Dr James McKenna - he's a sleep expert (worlds most expert I think) who has researched and written a lot about co-sleeping.


We had DS in a bassinette for the first couple of months, occasionally bed sharing. Then we moved the cot so it was side-carred with our bed. It started out that he would wriggle/flop his way over to me (before he could crawl) and I would feed then push him back to the cot. In the end he was just bedsharing on my side and I would literally roll over, he would latch on and I would go back to sleep. Sometimes he would latch on without my help happy.gif

I found it really easy and nice to feed laying down, I would usually fall asleep doing it - we'd have our day naps together. Just be careful of following those guidelines and only do what makes you comfortable.

But when he was tiny and still in the bassinette, I got him out, fed him sitting up leaning back on the bed head and pillows and put him back once done. Those days were tough. (I was known to feed him laying on the couch overnight, but have since learnt this is a big no no).

#16 greenthumbs

Posted 08 January 2013 - 06:44 PM

QUOTE (Strawberry Wellies @ 08/01/2013, 07:35 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
So in the short term sleeping together and sticking a boob in their mouth when they wake is great - I got plenty more sleep. But in the long term it formed a habit that was hard to deal with.

yyes.gif Seconded!!!

#17 Feral-as-Meggs

Posted 08 January 2013 - 06:49 PM

From 0 - 4 months i used a basinette until the first wakeup/feed then coslept.   I had a guide from the baby clinic on safety.   Basically what I remember was:

Dont cosleep after alcohol, drugs, medication or anything else that will interfere with your awareness.
Mum only beside baby.
Use a firm mattress, no waterbeds or soft mattress toppers.  
They said no pillows, but I used a small one.  
Make sure there are no gaps between bed and frame or wall or whatever that bub can fall into.  
dress warmly enough (no problem at the moment) and remove all heavy bedding.  I had the bed made up with a sheet and cotton waffle blanket that could come up to my waist only.  

After I fed I sort of shuffled back from DS in a V shape so he was further away from me.   But he'd somehow wriggle back and I'd wake up with him latching himself on.

It was lovely for a while but we stopped at 4 months when he stopped going back to sleep and only wanted to play and snack all night.

#18 Mum2TwoDSs

Posted 08 January 2013 - 08:16 PM

My bubs cot is in our room. I will go pick him up and bring him to my bed. Pillow against bedhead board cradle him in my arms and cross-legged. I also use the Iphone to entertain myself but I would turn the brightness really low and try to put it as far from bub as possible.

I would highly recommend a travel pillow around your shoulders as you can allow your head to rest on it. It's amazing esp when I feel really tired. I put it on the bedside table so it's easy to reach out for it. I use one that is air inflated cos it is firm. Those with microbeads are useless, too soft.

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