Co-sleeping and Breastfeeding to Function

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This post was written as part of The Breastfeeding Cafe’s Carnival. For more info on the Breastfeeding Cafe, go to 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!

At Peanut’s 12 month check-up, the Pediatrician asked how often she wakes up at night. My honest answer? I don’t know.

That’s the beauty of co-sleeping while breastfeeding, isn’t it? She stirs, I “wake up” (which is totally not waking up at all), plop her on, and go back to sleep. I don’t even remember this “waking up” the next day.

I’ve always been big on sleep. Like, I’m one of those people who can sleep 12 hours and still feel tired. I am one of those people who can not live on 5 hours of sleep. There is no amount of coffee that can cure my tiredness when I don’t get enough sleep.

I’ve also dealt with insomnia my whole life—at times being bad enough that I’ve had to resort to a certain prescription that people basically black out if they take it and try to stay awake and it still didn’t make me go to sleep. I’m fine with staying asleep once I’m there, but if I’m awake, getting to sleep is nearly impossible.

I was convinced I wouldn’t co-sleep with Peanut. I bought a crib and tried on multiple occasions to put her to sleep in it, but me staying awake through the nursing and getting her deeply enough asleep that she wouldn’t wake up when I set her down just ended up with her sleeping in the crib next to me, me lying awake for an hour, then her waking up a half hour after I finally fall asleep to eat again.

Yes, she woke up every 90 minutes all night long—for the first six months or so of her life. She nursed every 90ish minutes 24 hours a day until she sat upright and started solid foods. Even after that, it was every 2-3 hours. She had really bad reflux and the few times she slept longer than that, she would wake up screaming in pain. There was an adjustment period where my body got used to waking up and going back to sleep so often, but when I look back at those days now, I have a sneaking suspicion that I was much more rested than other moms of newborns.

16 months later, we’re still co-sleeping. Even now, I do not think I could function without co-sleeping and breastfeeding.


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