7 Ways Breastsleeping Helps Baby Sleep Better

As a mom, you'll try just about anything to get a few extra minutes of sleep at night. But, have you thought that your baby might be getting tired of their long, weepy night wakings, as well? Some moms have found that their kid gets a better night's sleep when they breastsleep. Not surprisingly, it has a lot to do with the all-you-can-eat buffet attached to their mama's chest.

If you haven't heard of breastsleeping, you probably don't know that the name may be new, but the concept has long roots. Doctors James McKenna, director of the Mother-Baby Behavioral Sleep Laboratory, and Lee Gettler, director of the Hormones, Health, and Human Behavior Laboratory, both at the University of Notre Dame, coined the term "breastsleeping" in a peer-reviewed commentary piece in the journal Acta Paediatrica titled, "There is No Such Thing as Infant Sleep, There is No Such Thing as Breastfeeding, There is Only Breastsleeping." In other words, moms who are bed-sharing and breastfeeding are already "breastsleeping." The anthropologists argued that breastsleeping can be done safely, as long as the rules for bed-sharing are applied, and this will help everyone get more rest.

Here are some was your baby gets a better night's sleep when you breastsleep.


Their Milk Is Just Inches Away

Babies who breastsleep don't have to wait to be picked up from their crib or for moms to prepare a bottle. Because they are already bed-sharing, all they need to do is wake up and in seconds they are being fed.


They Don't Have To Be Moved After Falling Asleep

Instead of having to be picked up and placed back down in a crib or a bassinet after feeding, babies who breastsleep can continue sleeping in the family bed. This is also a plus for breastsleeping moms. According to Fit Pregnancy, mothers who breastsleep get about an hour more sleep than moms whose babies sleep in other beds.


They Can Take A Sip And Sleep

Courtesy of Jaclyn Iglesias

According to a study by McKenna published in the American Journal of Physical Anthropology, mother-infant pairs who breastsleep, nurse more often during the night than those who sleep apart. But that doesn't mean your baby is awake longer. Sometimes, when a baby rouses, he or she can fall right back to sleep with a quick nursing session, one that neither the mom nor the baby have to be fully awake for. Liken it to taking a sip from the glass of water on your nightstand versus getting up, walking to the kitchen, and pouring an entire glass of water.


They Will Be In Sync With You

Research by Dr. Sears shows that mothers and babies who sleep together tend be in the same stage of sleep for longer periods. Babies will take sleep cues from their mom and it will help them get more rest.


They Feel More Secure

Babies who breastsleep not only feel safer having mom at arm's reach, but they also wake confidently knowing that their next meal is seconds away. They don't have to get into the habit of crying loudly to be heard from the next room, nor do they wait hungrily while a bottle is being prepared.


They Are Able To Bond With You While Sleeping

If you work outside of the home and your baby drinks from bottles during the day, breastsleeping is a great way to maximize bonding time while getting more sleep. According to What To Expect, breastsleeping helps moms regain a sense of intimacy if they don't see their baby much during the day. .


There Are Fewer Distractions

A baby who breastsleeps will barely open their eyes to nurse. They won't get distracted by the nightlight in the corner or dad getting up to use the bathroom. A lot of older babies who breastsleep don't even need to be burped because they drink calmly and gulp in less air, so they can fall asleep nursing and stay asleep.