The reality of caring 24/7 for your hungry baby can be a bit of a shock to the system. Night feeds are never fun but there are some things that can make it a little easier. Here are 5 tips for how to pass the time when feeding your baby and how ensure that night feeds are as smooth as possible whether you're breastfeeding or bottle-feeding.
Have everything ready
It is an excellent idea to keep diapers, wipes, a bottle of water and even a snack or two next to your bed so that you don’t have to go anywhere when your child wakes up. Also it may be a good idea to have a muslin nearby in case your baby is sick and a charged phone or Kindle to pass the time. If you are using a bottle at night prepare your steriliser before you go to bed and have everything organised so you aren’t having to wash bottles in the middle of the night.
Keep the light off
When your baby wakes up, keep the room as dark and as quiet as possible because this will encourage him or her to go straight back to sleep afterwards. Use a nightlight if you need to see what you’re doing rather than turning on the bedside lamp or room light.
- Hide the clock
Another suggestion is to try not to look at the time when you wake up (can be easier said than done!) Many people actually recommend removing their bedside clock altogether so that you can’t see what time it is. It always somehow makes it worse to know how little sleep you’ve had and can make you frustrated about the number of times you have had to wake up in close succession. You don’t need to know that you’ve only slept two hours since the last time your baby woke you up! Staying relaxed is one of the most important things as this will ensure that you get as much sleep as possible.
- Easy access clothing
It is a good idea to wear PJs that open down the front as this will give your baby easy access and means that you will also keep warm during chillier nights as you don’t have to take off your nightgown altogether. If you decide to wear a nursing bra at night make sure that it is comfortable and soft. A cotton nursing bra is a good choice as is a sports bra style but you should not wear an underwire bra or one that is too tight. Tight bras and underwire can increase your risk of plugged milk ducts or mastitis.
- Stay close to your child
Another good idea is to keep your baby close to you at night. Not having to make your way down the landing in the dark, to your howling baby can make night-feedings that little bit easier. Many new mothers also consider bed-sharing. This could be a good idea if you are breast-feeding, don’t smoke and are not on any medication that could make you become less aware. Research shows that breastfeeding mothers who share a bed with their baby get the most sleep and are actually the most likely to continue breastfeeding.
Let us know if you have any good tips for making night feeds less of a struggle!