Is your breastfeeding baby not sleeping longer at night? In that case how to get breastfed baby to sleep longer? Well, you can gently encourage your breastfed baby to sleep during the night for longer periods without crying it out.
Every baby is different, but many babies begin sleeping longer stretches between 2-4 months after birth. Until about 6 months after birth, most babies will not sleep through the night for 8 hours or longer, but longer sleep stretches can be both a blessing and a challenge for new parents!
As soon as you stop nursing your baby to sleep, he or she will start taking quality naps and sleeping longer stretches at night.
If your baby is beyond the newborn (0 – 6-week) stage and you are ready to stop nursing him to sleep, we recommend implementing our strategies gradually so that he does not have to rely on nursing for sleep anymore.
How To Get Breastfed Baby To Sleep Longer At Night
Here are some very effective tips that will help you to train your baby to sleep longer and better. Moreover, these tips are easy, quick wins that can produce immediate results.
- Develop A Sleep Schedule
There is no question that a bedtime routine is helpful for you and your child. Give your baby a bath, read a book together with them, and then put them in the crib when they show signs of sleepiness. By establishing these habits early, you can have better success later on.
- Cut Down Nighttime Feedings
When your baby is three months old, reduce the number of nighttime feedings. By doing so, you can encourage your baby to fall asleep without nursing for longer.
Your baby may go to sleep right back without feeding if she cries or you can let her stir and see if she falls back to sleep or give her a pacifier.
- Fill Up The Baby Before You Sleep
You can prevent your baby from waking up in the middle of the night by giving him/her a few sips of milk before you go to sleep. Even if he/she is too tired to drink, wake him up and let him take a few sips.
Taking a few extra sips may also result in a little more sleep. It’s important to remember that this method could backfire, making your baby wake up frequently. If this is the case, stop feeding your baby at night and give him or her a little extra at his/her last feeding.
- Don’t Let Your Baby Get Overtired
Sleeping is very difficult for babies who are overtired. Sleeping is very difficult for overtired babies because they get so worked up.
According to The Baby Sleep Site, “When your baby is overtired, stress hormones such as cortisol and adrenaline flood his or her bloodstream, making it harder for him or her to calm down and relax.”
Keep an eye out for your baby’s sleepiness signals. When your baby is ready to sleep, they will rub their eyes, yawn, cling, and fuss. Wrap your baby in their Dreamland Baby weighted swaddle or sack as soon as they show any of these signs.
- A Winding Down Bedtime Routine
In my opinion, Many parents will agree that a bedtime routine that winds down is helpful to get kids of all ages ready for sleep. You should avoid overstimulating your baby by beginning the evening with quiet activities like stories, gentle songs, and cuddles.
Taking your baby for a bath can be a nice time to relax him (at least until they become toddlers and realize bath time is a great chance to be entertained). As your baby is bathing, you can try some baby massage, followed by their bedtime milk in their bedroom with dim lighting. Using these signals will let your baby know that bedtime is approaching.
- Put Your Baby To Bed Drowsy, But Awake
If you’re following an eat-wake-sleep cycle, you’ll still need to feed your baby one last time before putting them to sleep. Make sure your baby stays awake during the feeding.
To make this happen, you may wish to wait to swaddle your baby or put on his weighted sack after he is done nursing. If you have something like Dreamland Baby, your baby will relax so much that you can finish nursing them and then wrap them up.
Put the baby in the crib when they’re drowsy, but not asleep. Understand your baby’s signals like a book. If they are sleepy, they may yawn or rub their eyes, just like you do.
When they are giving you these cues, you should put them down on their back in their crib to help them fall asleep more easily. When a baby is happy and playing, you do not want to force them to fall asleep, so make sure you have wind-down routines in mind.
- Feed Your Baby 2.5 To 3.5 Hours During The Day
If you can, try to create a cycle where your baby wakes up and eats right away ((as much as possible while staying awake). If you do this, the baby will stay awake for the 60 minutes required. Then, he or she will sleep for a while. And then they will wake up to eat again.
This is a great strategy for your baby that will help him/her get as many calories as possible during the day and help him sleep longer stretches at night.
These are my top tips for helping your breastfed baby sleep as much as they can at night. In the early days, night feeds are a necessity, but these tips can help you reach a point where your baby sleeps more at night than during the day so that you can get some sleep too.