When the first rays of the sun hit your face as you breastfeed your baby into the wee hours of the morning, the realization of “I don’t know if I can do this much longer” hits you like a hurricane. That doesn’t make you a bad mother. Continuous all-night feeding sessions can get very exhausting and even make you wonder whether at all it’s normal for your baby to be so demanding.
Is there no end to this?
First of all, relax. You’re not alone. It’s pretty normal for an infant to want to feed all night through certain phases of their growth. But rest assured, it’ll end. Let us walk you through the whole phenomenon.
The Wonder Week – The Most Plausible Cause Of Breastfeeding All-Nighters
Okay, for starters, your baby is not demanding to be breastfed all night because they’re hungry and are not getting enough milk. There are signs you can check to be sure of that (1).
Now that that’s out of the way, as a parent you know that your baby goes through phases of extreme crankiness and clinging nature, which may result in them wanting to be latched on to your breast all the time. These periods are known as Wonder Weeks.
Although science hasn’t been able to discover why babies go through this phase of a Wonder Week, one possible explanation is that every such week marks a change in your infant’s mental development, which makes them anxious and actively seek security and comfort (2).
Since as a mother, you are their primary caregiver, they turn to you and get all the protection and comfort they need via breastfeeding. So, for example, when your baby learns how to make new connections at lightning speed, it wants to be breastfed as the closeness feeding provides helps them comprehend everything better.