05 September 2011

Breastfeeding and Co-sleeping

Right off the bat, Avey had a perfect latch so breastfeeding hasn't been a stressful thing for us, but a joy. However, we found that I got more sleep if she co-slept next to me and thus, a huge co-sleeping advocate was born! She calmly wakes me up to let me know she is hungry and I nurse her in bed on my side. When we are done, I pull her over to my other side so that when she lets me know she's hungry again, all I have to do is get started just as we are. 

Josh  took this of us in the morning.

There are many advantages to side-lying breastfeeding. It keeps ones supply up for one thing. Co-sleeping is, in my opinion, one of the best things you can do for your supply if you can't breastfeed the baby on-demand through the day. If you have a really forceful let-down or have an abundance of milk, it allows the milk to dribble from the corner of a newborns mouth to prevent gasping and coughing.

People always talk about sleep lost over babies keeping them up through the night. If you really want to avoid this, give co-sleeping a try. After the first 2 and half months we had now night time wake ups (besides me nursing obviously). It's great watching her start to wake  up, nursing her, and watching her go back to sleep before she can get fussy or wide awake. 

The idea of getting up to go to the crib every time Ava wakes for food sounds exhausting now that I've gotten so used to the simplicity of our co-sleeping system. It makes it easier for me to drift off to sleep afterwards and I don't disturb Josh at all this way.

After we woke up, we took a couple pics on my iPhone.

But best of all, I love feeling my sweet little baby curled up against me, hearing and feeling her breathe softly all through the night. It's so reassuring and even soothing.

Mind you, when she was really little, I would still get up from the bed for the occasional diaper change and to entertain her when she decides she's wide awake. However, in the end I find our nights to be fairly peaceful. Now I know why my mother had my little brother Jonathan in bed with her. I thought it was strange back then, but he, like Ava, fell asleep so easily in bed compared to the crib.

So for any breastfeeding mothers considering co-sleeping, I hope this helps you make your decision. There truly is nothing like waking to see your newborn snuggled up as close as she can get to you, her head resting on your chest and her little fist curled up on your breast.


  1. That's wonderful that you found a niche! I'm happy to hear that breastfeeding is going well with you! I miss nursing to be honest. Other people think I'm crazy when I say that, but I'm sure you understand me. Ryan's so independent now, it makes me sad. I love having a toddler, but I miss my baby.

    One thing that you have to watch out for with co-sleeping is the higher risk of S.I.D.S. Especially with blankets and pillows in the bed. A sleep sac would lower the risk a bit.

    Other than that, I did enjoy co-sleeping with Ryan during our 1 week trip in Tahoe. It was nice to snuggle with him. Though at that time, he wasn't feeding at night.


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