Monday, August 30, 2010

Breastfeeding: Feed Your Baby While Laying Down

Side Laying/Side Lying Position

The Side Laying position was one of the most difficult positions for me to learn but was by far the most rewarding. I discovered that it is difficult to learn for many moms but often a life-saver or rather a sleep-saver and sanity-saver. So after asking around a bit I've come up with a few side laying position tips. I encourage you to keep trying until you get this right, you will be amply rewarded! And keep in mind that the more head control your baby has the easier this position becomes.

Thank you to Jenna for providing this picture~

Side Laying Position Tips:

1. Lay Tummy to Tummy - After awhile this can become more flexible with baby or you laying more towards your back, but when first starting out it is important to lay tummy to tummy. This means turning baby on his/her side while you are on your side.

2. Proper Arm Positioning - Most women like to put the arm they are laying on up over the baby's head while nursing. This also helps protect your pillow from scooting down to the babies head if you were to fall asleep while nursing. I prefer to prop baby's head on my arm. It also prevents the pillow problem and for me it is most comfortable.

3. Pull Baby In - Scoot baby into you. Once you are both laying down use your arm to pull baby in closer to you. For some moms tummy to tummy works the best and for others it works best when baby's legs are pulled into the tummy but there is a little room where the head is.

4. Room for Air - Think about what naturally causes baby's head to tip back. If you align your little one's nose tip with your nipple then it will cause baby to tilt head back some. This isn't necessary if you can work it out otherwise but is helpful to moms who are concerned about this issue.

4. Hold Your Breast - Some moms will need to hold their breast with the arm they are not laying on. I'm a "breast holder" and it works for us. If you have bigger breasts this might make the difference from being able to side lay comfortably and not being able to do so. I can even comfortably fall asleep while holding my breast so don't think it will deter you if that is what you would like to do.

5. The Switch - If your baby needs to switch breasts there are two methods you can easily use. One is to simply offer your second breast while laying on your side. This works mostly for women with bigger breasts. The other method is to grab baby with the arm you are laying on up onto your tummy then simply roll baby to the other side. It's actually quite fun and baby learns quickly this means s/he will be getting more milky.

6. Pillows - For some moms it can be more comfortable to put a pillow behind their back to support it while laying on their side. For others it makes things easier to put a pillow behind baby's back (although this can pose a safety issue if you are falling asleep).

7. Safety - If you are using the side laying position to help you co-sleep please follow safe co-sleeping practices. You can safe co-sleeping tips in many places, one of which is the book "Sleeping with Your Baby" by J. McKenna. Many moms will put their arm above baby's head or under baby's head to prevent baby from moving up into her pillows. And many moms will bend their knees under their baby to prevent baby from scooting down into the blankets.

If you have additional tips please add them in the comments section and at some point you may see them included in this post!


  1. These are all great tips. I do not currently sleep with our baby unless she is having a really restless night. My husband is scared to have her in bed with us. I do however use this method when putting her to sleep.

    Tummy to tummy has become more common now because she can roll but at first I would lay her on her back and she would just turned her head to nurse. Either way the experience is about the same (wonderful), I have to say the pillow behind the back definitely make the difference for me.

  2. Tks alot,Dis method helped my lo n I.

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