Variations on Side Lying with Older Infant?

Lexi - posted on 04/01/2012 ( 13 moms have responded )




My 6 month olds night time nursing habits are driving me crazy! I'd love some input. He's always nursed side lying at night, but as he gets bigger it gets more complicated. I was thinking back trying to remember what I did with my first son around this time and realized that it wasn't much past this age that he started weaning himself, was eating less frequently at night. He was only cosleeping with us about only about 50% of the night and in a bassinet the rest of the time, and had started transitioning to a cot on the floor. He was a super respectful and lazy little eater. My second cosleeps 100% of the time. We've only just this week gotten him to successfully nap in the play pen a few times. He has been the sort of baby that does not tolerate being put down (which I don't really mind, it just has it's downside.) He is demanding, pushy and does not comprehend how his actions affect me. He is more active than #1 ever was, in that he can find my nipple himself and grabs hold, kneading, pinching, pulling. Thank goodness I seem to be finally getting him past the biting. It's much more infrequent now. At night, he doesn't fit as well snuggled up to me anymore and tends to kick me in the stomach half the night. I also have to bend and twist awkwardly now so that he can latch on without my breast squashing his nose and I can't curl my legs up because his get in the way. I can't seem to get him to adjust his night time position and tilt his head back more. My back is killing me and my neck seems permanently kinked since I just end up sleeping most of the night in that position. I have tried googling other positions but can't seem to find anything other than the standard sitting up ones and side lying. Nothing that goes into variations on side lying to get more comfortable with a bigger baby. Any ideas or tips?


Ronda - posted on 04/11/2012




Hi Lexi :) I also have a high needs baby and I really see a lot of the same situations with my baby. use the same position as Amy mentioned, and that does help, although knowing something else to do would be great. I know I am not much help, but I thought you would like to know there are others feeling the same way.
I also agree with Laura's suggestion to read Dr. Sears' book on "The Fussy Baby" and others. He is awesome, and it helped me so much with my baby.
Rebekah Gray - It is never too late to start.

Amy - posted on 04/05/2012




Mine is 10 months old and is also a high needs baby. We're both on our side facing eah other (i put a pillow behind my back). I always put her a lot lower then me so that when she feeds she still has to tilt her head up to nurse. In oder to stop her from pulling away with my nipple still in her mouth (a very painful thing), i put my bottom arm (so if i'm lying on my right side it would be my right arm) above her head and behind her head and back; keeping it there when she's nursing. Once she's done, she unlatches, and i turn my back to her and sleep. When she's hungry again, she'll squirm and make noises so i just turn and nurse her again. Hope this helps.


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Monica - posted on 04/17/2012




It's so helpful to read a post like this. My daughter is seven months old and also a " high needs" baby. She can sleep through the night in her crib, but prefers to sleep with me. It sounds like Co-sleeping is likely for mom to get more sleep, but really you are so uncomfortable with a bigger baby that you are not sleeping well. I was much more rested with my son, who slept through the night or I got up to nurse then I am with my daughter who co-sleeps and gets up to nurse 3-4 times. She nurses side lying, but I have found that it also works to lay on your back and have baby on her belly across you nursing on top of you. I have found this to be more comfortable when my back can't take laying on my side anymore. I would definitely look into sleep training as I have found I am much more rested even if baby only sleeps in her crib for four hours or so. Sometimes we co-sleep the rest of the night and other times I can nurse her and put her back in her crib. Good luck!

[deleted account]

You could try putting a very small pillow between your stomach and his legs so he can't kick you in the stomach all night. One of those little decorator pillows should do the trick. Also, if you have a bed rail, you can slide him against the rail to put some space between you and him, and turn your back to him when he's done nursing. It's amazing how much extra space those few inches feel like. This also reduced the number of night nursings for us... I think my LO couldn't smell the milk as well when I turned! We went from about 8 night feedings to about 4. What a relief!

As far as alternate positions, the only one I have ever heard of is offering the 2nd breast while on the same side by laying farther over on your stomach (if that makes sense). I'm not sure if this will help you or not.

Lexi - posted on 04/09/2012




Thanks you guys!

Yes, DeserRai, it does seem like he eats all night. Sometimes he'll sleep as long as an hour or maybe two and others it seems like he wakes ever half hour or so. I have a hard time getting him to eat much during the day. So much distraction and so much always going on. I think he makes up for it at night.

Kelly, I'll look into that book, it sounds helpful.

Kelly - posted on 04/06/2012




Ohh Lexi.. I had the same problem for a while. My 1st was an easy baby and sleeping by herself in her crib was easy bc she took a binky, whereas my son doesn't. My son also has no problems telling me when he wants fed, even if its in public he pulls open my shirt. I realized then that my son (now 8mos) should be sleeping through the night regardless of where he was sleeping. I found out that he wanted his space to lay on one side or the other and wasn't always hungry, and he was hot from sleeping by me. A friend of mine found the book on Amazon "The No Cry Sleep Solution".It was about $11 and I thoroughly recommend it! I learned a ton of what not to do. As every infant is different, I can't tell you what exactly will work for you and your son, but I can tell you it was written by a mother of 4 and has been through what we have if not worse.

All the best to you,


[deleted account]

I have a bad back too, so I would always have to re-adjust my position and make sure I'm not tilting back somehow. My daughter was always sleeping with her head on my arm, which I think is more comfortable and also enables you to easily swing her around to the other side. I tried to sleep in one position for a few weeks and it resulted in me barely being able to walk for two days. Just kind of role him over - boob to face, belly to belly - and he'll easily land on your other arm. Good luck!

Rebekah - posted on 04/05/2012




No wonder co-sleeping mamas get more sleep. When my 6 month old wakes in the night I have to literally get out of bed, walk to his room, get him, nurse him in the rocking chair in his room, take him back to his bed, and then return to my bed. Wish I'd understood the concept of co-sleeping and nursing while laying down a little better months (or years) ago.

DeserRai - posted on 04/04/2012




My son is now 11 months and just started sleeping in his own room buy up until then he slept with hubby and me. It definitely wasnt easy. He managed to sleep on his tummy while nursing but that still didn't give me much room. I just had to stay awake the whole time and then move him or myself over but he couldn't latch on his own he always had to wake me to latch him so I didn't have to sleep a certain way for him. Does he nurse all night? My son woke me around 3-4 times throughout the night...

Anna - posted on 04/03/2012




I went through a phase with my son that his nursing was keeping me up at night too but then it got better on its own somehow. Try to put pillows behind your back to support yourself and switch bed sides every night. My husband and I end up playing musical chairs but it really helps me.

Shauna - posted on 04/02/2012




I wish I could help, but I only nursed lying down occasionally, and when I did, I just was on my side and kiddo latched on, nursed, and was returned to his crib. At 6 months or so, though, you might try positioning him less and seeing if he can make it work with you just on your side (possibly on your arm/elbow for your head support). Just lay him facing your breast with yourself comfortably placed and see how it goes.

Lori - posted on 04/02/2012




Sounds like you've got a high needs baby on your hands. (look up Dr. Sears high needs baby). I find the only way I can do side lying comfortably is with a cylindrical pillow behind my back and a firm pillow between my knees. Those pillows help support my back while I nurse in bed.

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