La Leche League Leaders

La Leche League Leaders
La Leche League Leaders

Thursday, May 14, 2009

How Can I Get Some Sleep?

Sleep is one of the number 1 issues we talk about at meetings. It is no surprise to any new parent that they will be tired, but sometimes it can seem overwhelming!

Here is a bit of information that will hopefully help you to get some rest or at least, some peace of mind. (if you aren't too tired to read that is!)

Breastfed infants need to breastfeed at least eight to twelve times every 24 hours, usually every two to three hours. Most babies will gradually sleep for longer stretches at night, but they will continue to need night feedings for months.
A baby's immature digestive system isn't ready for solid food until sometime around the middle of the first year, and solids given too early may actually upset a baby's tummy and disturb sleep. Giving your baby cereal will not necessarily encourage sleeping longer at night.

La Leche League International FAQ on Sleep
The University of Notre Dame Mother-Baby Behavioral Sleep Lab
Durham University Parent Infant Sleep Lab

Books that may interest you…

• Sweet Dreams: A Pediatrician's Secrets for Baby's Good Night's Sleep ~ Paul M. Fleiss
• Helping Your Baby to Sleep: Why Gentle Techniques Work Best ~ Beth Macgregor and Annie Gethin
• The No-Cry Sleep Solution: Gentle Ways to Help Your Baby Sleep Through the Night ~ Elizabeth Pantley
• The No-Cry Sleep Solution for Toddlers and Preschoolers ~ Elizabeth Pantley
• Nighttime Parenting: How to Get Your Baby and Child to Sleep ~ William Sears, MD
• Crying Baby, Sleepless Nights: Why Your Baby Is Crying and What You Can Do about It ~ Sandy Jones
• Sleepless in America: Is Your Child Misbehaving...or Missing Sleep? ~ Mary Sheedy Kurcinka
• Sleeping With Your Baby: A Parent's Guide to Cosleeping ~ James J. McKenna, PhD
• Good Nights: The Happy Parents' Guide to the Family Bed (And a Peaceful Night's Sleep) ~ Jay Gordon, M.D. and Maria Goodavage

Some Studies that may interest you...

Sleep Duration From Ages 1 to 10 Years: Variability and Stability in Comparison With Growth
Oskar G. Jenni, MD, Luciano Molinari, PhD, Jon A. Caflisch, MD and Remo H. Largo, MD
Child Development Center, Department of Pediatrics, University Children's Hospital Zurich, Zurich, Switzerland
Published online October 1, 2007
PEDIATRICS Vol. 120 No. 4 October 2007, pp. e769-e776 (doi:10.1542/peds.2006-3300)
* Sleep duration during early and middle childhood shows large variability among children, as well as trait-like long-term stability and state-like yearly fluctuations within children. An individual approach to the child's sleep behavior is needed; expectations in terms of appropriate sleep duration of the child should be adjusted to the individual sleep need.

Breast-feeding Increases Sleep Duration of New Parents

Department of Family Health Care Nursing, School of Nursing, University of California at San Francisco, CA 94143, USA.
Journal of Perinatal & Neonatal Nursing. 21(3):200-206, July/September 2007.
Doan, Therese RN, IBCLC; Gardiner, Annelise; Gay, Caryl L.; Lee, Kathryn A. PhD, RN, FAAN
* Parents who supplement their infant feeding with formula under the impression that they will get more sleep should be encouraged to continue breast-feeding because sleep loss of more than 30 minutes each night can begin to affect daytime functioning, particularly in those parents who return to work.

And here is an article that explains why controlled crying or "cry it out" isn't as healthy as we may have been lead to believe.

* Disclaimer – LLLI does not necessarily endorse the above. Please use your judgment when deciding which book or website may be useful to your family. As we say in all of our meetings, please take what works for you and leave the rest.

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