I Love and Miss My Sleep

Welcome to The Breastfeeding Cafe Carnival!

This post was written as part of The Breastfeeding Cafe’s Carnival. For more info on the Breastfeeding Cafe, go to www.breastfeedingcafe.wordpress.com. For more info on the Carnival or if you want to participate, contact Claire at clindstrom2 {at} gmail {dot} com. Today’s post is about nighttime parenting and nursing. Please read the other blogs in today’s carnival listed below and check back for more posts July 18th through the 31st!

Oh how I love my sleep and miss my sleep!  I also have a love-hate relationship with breastfeeding.  I wasn’t prepared with my first daughter (I mean who really is prepared for their first child?), she was very needy and high maintenance and I nursed her all the time, several times at night, so I was preparing for the worst the second time around.  Not so much with my son, he’s laid-back kind of a guy, easily amused and loves to eat!    In the beginning, he’d sleep 9pm-3am.  We’d wake up, change his diaper, go to my chair, strategically place my boppy on me and let him nurse and we’d both fall back to sleep in my chair.  Trust me it is one of those big, comfy nursing chairs.  I never quite mastered letting my babies nurse in bed since God blessed me with, well big boobs.

I have learned a few things since this time around.  My little boy loves to be near me, he is a little cuddle-bug and I dearly love it, but I really want my sleep back.  What I love so much is to hear him gulp with satisfaction, to see him get doll eyes when he gets sleepy, then to watch him fall asleep with a happy belly.  I am proud that it is my body that is still providing the nourishment he needs to thrive and grow.  My hate part is getting up at night.  Ok, hate is a strong word, I mean I dread getting up at night, now that fatigue has officially kicked in, I miss my precious sleep.  But how can I be so upset; he is only 3 months old.   You see, now that he is more social, he is getting up more.  Instead of sleeping through till 3am, he is up at midnight as well.  I thought it was to eat, but he had me fooled.  He would eat for less than 5-min and go back to sleep.  There was never a diaper to change, it was for him to be near my warm body… to hang out… what he doesn’t understand is I really don’t feeling like partying at midnight, those days are long gone for me.  I don’t want to get into the habit of nursing him at midnight and at 3am. Did I mention I like my sleep?

I’ll probably create a different habit now.  My husband suggested to put him in bed with us when he wakes up at night.  So I did.  Ironically, he’ll go right back to sleep and I will get 3-4 more hours.  He won’t go back in his co-sleeper when he wakes up at midnight, even after I nurse him, he is back up 20-minutes later looking for me.  For the last two-weeks, I was sleeping in my chair from midnight to 5am and he would sleep the entire time on me.  This was not working well for me or my neck.  I know he is capable of sleeping through the night, but he’s just a little baby, and a part of me can’t help but not putting him back in his bed.  I honestly do not mind since I am so tired, I sleep quite well in the big comfy chair, if I get my neck in the right place.  However, if he wants to be near a warm body, no problem, he can have both parents near him.  When he wakes up at midnight, he goes right in between us,  I call this part of breastfeeding afterhours.

I sleep better when he is next to me, I mean it is a deeper sleep.  If he is in his co-sleeper across the room, my mother radar is on and I hear every peep he makes in his sleep.  I like to call these puppy dreams.  What I find so fascinating is I wake up (around 3am) to find he has scooted down the bed and his head is near my breast rooting, ready to eat.  I am just too tired to figure out how to nurse him in bed.  So I get up, change his diaper, get myself settled in my chair and we’ll both fall asleep until around 5am.  I then give him to my husband to share the moment of letting his son sleep in his arms for an hour before he has to get ready to work.  After all, breastfeeding is meant to be shared, even though he cannot physically breastfeed, he can surely cuddle him, giving him the security he needs in his young life.  So I’ll take the lack of sleep in this short phase of my life and enjoy a nice cup of organic coffee in the morning to keep up with my kids.  It won’t be long before I am looking back at this time drinking my coffee missing these nights.

Today’s guest post is from Jasmine Jafferali. Jasmine Jafferali, MPH is a Maternal, Infant and Family Health Educator who helps women, moms, children and families achieve healthier lifestyles.  Her mission is to teach women to take charge of their health and well-being.  Her client focus is on counseling and directing families to understand the importance of healthy eating, fitness, allergy-free diets with a holistic and realistic approach achieving their goals. She has her own columns on examiner.com as the Chicago Family Health Examiner and National Pregnancy Health Examiner.   She is the Program Coordinator for an online certificate course she authored in Women’s Exercise Training and Wellness through Educational Fitness Solutions, Inc.     When she is not breastfeeding her son, Luke, she loves being outdoors with her family and enjoys experimenting and baking with her daughter in the kitchen.   Jasmine lives in Chicago with her husband Jeff, drama queen daughter Lilly and her darling little prince, Luke.

Here are more posts by the Breastfeeding Cafe Carnival participants! Check back because more will be added throughout the day.


Filed under Nighttime Parenting

2 responses to “I Love and Miss My Sleep

  1. theadventuresoflactatinggirl

    It took me some time to get used to nursing Peanut in the bed too. I would say my biggest thing was working on nursing while laying on my side when we were both awake a lot so that it just became second nature to nurse laying down when we were sleepy.

    Also, a very dim night light helps. We had one of those that you just hit and it comes on. Gave me just enough light to see what I was doing.

  2. Beautiful post. My son will nurse all night long if I let him and loves to snuggle close. I also hated getting up at night, and learning to nurse lying down was a lifesaver.

    Have you seen my side-lying nursing tutorial? http://www.hobomama.com/2010/06/side-lying-nursing-breastfeeding.html

    I also have big boobs (36 I) and it’s actually made it easier to nurse lying down, since I can just stay on one side all night and tilt toward or away from the mattress as needed to allow access to either the top or bottom boob. I think the older your baby gets, the easier it gets as well, so if it doesn’t work now, you might try again later when he has a stronger neck and can latch himself on. I would also recommend practicing during a nap when you’re not exhausted, because I know I’m not up for learning new things in my groggiest 3 a.m. moments! Good luck, and get some sleep! 🙂

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