Getting Enough Sleep While Breastfeeding

Getting Enough Sleep While Breastfeeding

Having a new baby can be exhausting. One of the trickiest parts is getting enough sleep yourself.

It is normal for babies to wake at least once or twice during the night, and newborns wake even more. Babies have small tummies and need to feed frequently. Babies need a lot of care but remember that you need care too!

How can I get enough sleep while breastfeeding?

  • Sleep when your baby sleeps! Even if you don’t fall to sleep, resting will make you feel better. Lie down and close your eyes for a while.
  • Be physically active during the day. Go for a pram walk or try a DVD or online class in your lounge room. Many people find that exercise during the day helps them to sleep better at night.
  • Keep lights low at night and get sunlight during the day. This can help you both boost your melatonin (sleepy hormone) which can help you sleep better at night.
  • Having your baby sleep close-by, in a cot in your bedroom, can make it easier to pick them up and feed at night. Red Nose recommends that your baby sleep in the same room as you for the first 6 to 12 months to reduce the risk of SIDS.

Did you know that breastfeeding mothers can get more sleep?

Breastfeeding can be much quicker and easier than bottle feeding in the middle of the night. Less time up and moving around means less time awake. There is also a hormone in breast milk (cholecystokinin) makes you both sleepy, helping you and your baby get back to sleep.

Remember that all parents get tired. It does get easier. In the meantime, take care of yourself and make sleep a priority.

Ask for the help you need

The information is of a general nature. Please contact a health professional for individual advice.


‘How to cope with broken sleep’ Australian Breastfeeding Association