Breastfed babies may experience more sleep disruption during the night in order to feed during their early years, but their sleep patterns go on to stabilise in later infancy, according to new research.
In a survey of 89 mothers of exclusively breastfed infants and 54 mothers of formula fed infants (aged three to 12 months) participants were polled and the results presented at the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) National Conference and Exhibition in Boston this week (October 17th).
Mums of the breastfed babies reported more waking throughout the night, fewer naps, and more instances where their child did not sleep in their own bed and instead in their parent’s double beds for example. However, the only difference between breastfed infants and formula fed infants six months later was that the former were less likely to wake up in their own bed and by nine months there was no difference in sleep patterns between the two at all.
Study lead author Jodi Mindell said: “Families should not be concerned about establishing any long-term sleep issues when breastfeeding.”