Sleep Solutions

Do Formula Fed Babies Sleep More?

Do Formula Fed Babies Sleep More?


Baby bottle feeding I remember a very lovely and well meaning friend of mine saying “stick him on the bottle” after I had complained of being up breastfeeding Laurie all night in those newborn weeks. And lots more experienced mums advised me that formula would help him sleep longer at night and settle better with a nice full tummy.

I have to say that when I did start formula feeding during the night at about 4 months, he did sleep better and for longer. Although that may be because he was ready to, or more likely because I was more comfortable helping him learn to self settle.

Yet, a new study, published in the journal, Pediatrics has shown that mums who breastfeed actually get just as much sleep as mums who formula feed. It goes without saying that the first few months are generally spent in a sleep deprived haze for us all, since new babies wake regularly for night feeds.

Researchers interviewed 80 new mothers, and divided them into three groups: those who fed breast milk exclusively, those who fed formula exclusively and those who used a combination of the two. They then monitored the mothers’ sleep, asked them to complete sleep diaries and recorded how sleepy or tired they felt during the day.

For the most part, the sleep monitors showed that mothers got roughly the same amount of sleep regardless of their feeding habits, although their sleep diaries indicated that the nursing mothers thought they woke up more at night.

All the mums reported feeling equally tired during the day. What’s your experience of this? Are you formula feeding and getting more sleep than your breastffeeding friends? Or vice versa? Did you find like me that formula feeding at night time resulted in more sleep for your family? Or were you just as tired? Perhaps you exclusively breastfed and found that was the best way to get as much sleep as possible?

Let us know!