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26 Responses to Side-Lying Nursing: A Breastfeeding Tutorial

  1. Cynthia

    I’d been nursing in a side-lying position for a while. However, when I learned how to nurse from the “top” breast, it made such an impact–the ease made baby and I more comfortable & I got much more sleep.

    Thanks for this post!

  2. Dagmar Bleasdale  

    What a great article! Learning how to nurse my son side-lying made all the difference! I figured it out about four days after his birth and I am still nursing him like that at night — and he is going to turn 4 in two weeks 🙂
    I’m going to put a link to this post on my Breastfeeding page on Dagmar’s momsense.

    Dagmar’s momsense

  3. cass  

    I used to nurse my twins in bed using a similar method — I’d nurse the first baby with the “bottom” breast, then when it was time for the other baby, I’d rearrange the babies and nurse from the “top” breast. (That kept the babies toward the center of the bed.) When they were a bit older, I put a bedrail on the side of the bed and slept with one on each side of me, and then I could roll back and forth as needed to nurse through the night – which was a definite time and sleep saver!

  4. Emilee

    Great post! These are those things that moms just have to “figure out” on their own because you just don’t get to SEE this in a normal way like I am sure they did back when the “village” was around to help out. 😉

    It’s great to see mamas who feel comfortable enough to share these types of photos and explanations with ease. Your photos and explanations were perfect!

    We have coslept with my daughter since the start. Well we did use the pack/play/cosleeper next to my bed some but then it just became so much easier to just let her stay in bed (duh!) LOL! it’s been fun going from a tiny baby to now a toddler, I love her waking me up in the morning with her giggles. I only wish I had done this for my son, but now he comes to our bed in the night when she wakes up and we just let him stay! Hoping we are making up for lost time of bonding. My husband always asks him, why did you come to our bed last night and he says…because I love you. LOL! 🙂

  5. Dena

    Since my son became a toddler, he is usually climbing on top of me, or the walls when we side-lie nurse! Downward facing dog is another favorite position. I have been doing this since he was a few months old and it is definitely preferable to getting up at night to breastfeed, but I have never been able to sleep when he is nursing.

    • Lauren  

      It sure does get interesting once they’re toddlers! 🙂 I love the downward facing dog one.

      I know some people can sleep through and some can’t. I couldn’t sleep through when I was pregnant and feeling discomfort, but still, as you say, it was preferable to stay in bed at least!

  6. Becky

    Just finding the site. Thank you for posting this article with pictures!
    I figured out how to do it from reading an article once, but she had a different body type and breast size, so it took some work to figure it out for me.
    Your explanations work for everyone and the pictures are great!
    My son (nearly 4 months old now!) is (hopefully) at the end of a Left Boob Strike and often the only way to get him to eat off that side is to do sidelying with leftie as the top boob.

  7. Raechel

    I loved reading this! Makes me feel so much better. I have had my baby co-sleep with me since he was born {now 9 months} but I always have to lie to people because they make me feel so guilty about it. It makes it so much easier to breastfeed though and he is happier sleeping with me anyway. My daughter co slept with me until 2 and nothing bad happened {now 9 years old!}. But everyone made me feel like I was a bad mom for having my baby in bed with me … So thank you! for making me feel better!!! =)

  8. Helen

    Side lying nursing is very helpful,i’ve done it with our 1st son and doing again with our 2nd one. But make it sure you have enough space on bed to share with and a mom must be careful,aware and alert esp.for 6months under

  9. hamad

    Thanks for the big help my wife just was worried about how she breastfeeding her baby .. so she told me to google it and we found this beautiful website :)))))

  10. devora

    is it safe to fall asleep while you are breast feeding like that? I have a preemie who is 6 weeks old, how would I know if she ate enough?

    • Laura

      From experience, YES be careful about falling asleep while nursing a preemie or any baby who has had trouble eating. You need to be awake to make sure THEY stay awake to eat enough. It’s really hard at night but if you both cuddle down and get all cozy, it’s easy for a baby who has trouble nursing, or gets tired easily from eating, to get warm, toasty and sleepy. When my preemie was little, I had to actually haul myself out of bed and I would park myself in the living room with the TV on to stay awake. I had to make sure he had a full feed and that his diapers were soaking wet. Be sure to record times of feeding, how long and the diaper count, even at night.

      When your baby is older and has established a good eating, gaining and maintaining weight, then you can certainly cuddle down and side-lie nurse like you would a term infant. Until then, you should be awake to make sure they are getting enough to eat at every feeding.

      As for co-sleeping, yes, barring any additional health concerns, co-sleeping with a premature infant can be done safely. In fact, you may want your preemie in your room sleeping (in a crib or co-sleeper) if they are on any monitors or need special care during the night.

  11. Jes

    I love this. I was that mother that got up and out of bed, grabbed the baby, and sit in a rocker to nurse… The whole time crying because I was exhausted and this was the 3rd feeding of the night. One day I decided to co sleep and nurse while sleeping, much to her father’s dismay, but it worked. I loved it. I was rested and was a better mother because of it.

    Some tips I learned. Sleep on a receiving blanket… I leaked all night long. Also, keep a washcloth for you to put in your cami while the baby is nursing from the bottom. I would leak all over my daughter’s head! Lol!

    Thanks for writing this.

  12. Carley

    Hi there! Reading this while nursing my 3 month old side-laying for the first time since the LC showed me how to in the hospital. He had latching issues and we were needing to use a nipple shield for a while. Off that now and want to give this another go. I’m curious about burping though – my son tends to spit up a lot if he’s on his back after nursing, and one of the reasons I’m so excited about this is for the ability to just lay and snuggle.

  13. Shelby

    I have the same question as Carley…I’m curious to know about the burping as well! I’m a FTM and my 7 week old son seems to be the same way when on his back after nursing. I tried the side lying nursing for the first time last night, but found myself sitting up for abt 5-10 min to burp him after each breast. I’m trying to get as much sleep as possible and as we all know some nights are better than others. I have to admit I’m not at my best when I’m exhausted, so I’m going to keep with the side lying nursing in hopes that I can get a little more sleep! Thanks for such a well explained tutorial with pictures…always make it easier for me to understand 🙂

    • Lauren Wayne  

      I wonder if you could place a prefold or burp cloth or even towel underneath your baby and burp him lying down on his side? Worth trying! It might depend how much he spits up, of course.

      All I can reassure you about is that the burping & spitting up & waking up will lessen. My third child is six months old and has settled into being a champion sleeper, so hang in there! 🙂 Best wishes with your little one!

  14. Sarah

    I thought this way of feeding was great at first but now am struggling as my 4 month old daughter only wants to sleep with my breast in her mouth and is waking much more frequently than when I used to sit up to feed her. I feel like I am feeding her most of the night and am exhausted, any advice appreciated…

    • Tasha

      Me too! My daughter is 6 months. I see this is an older post, would you mind telling me how it turned out with your baby? She is nursing ALL night long and won’t even let me roll away so I can get a more restful sleep!

  15. Esha

    Can you please let me know till what age of the child is the above recommended?
    Thanks & Regards,

  16. Amanda

    Hello! I know this is an old article but I have a question! I am a size H breasts and have found almost every position difficult because I end up having to hold my breast away from my babies nose, especially side lying. I’ve been told that their nose is designed to still be able to breath, but it literally covers her whole face and she’ll just pull off the breast. So we don’t get very far that way. How else can I position myself in side lying to minimize covering her nose? Thanks!