Survival Guide: How to night feed
Nothing prepares you for the sleep-deprived nights, but here are a few tips for coping
DON’T EXPECT A FULL NIGHT’S SLEEP
Ok, we know that sounds obvious, but if you spend your time obssessing about how many minutes (Ok, hours) sleep you’re missing out on, you will drive yourself bats. Instead, do what the midwife says and try to sleep whenever the baby sleeps. And don’t check your phone at night – you’ll only wake yourself up further
A bedside crib will make the night feeds a lot easier – it keeps your midnight wanderings to a minimum. That said, don’t be tempted to change your baby’s nappy on your bed no matter how tired you are – this is exactly when they’ll do a projectile poo and you’ll end up having to change your duvet too
Getting into a night-time routine as soon as you can will help. We don’t mean you must feed every three hours no matter what, but when baby does wake (and they will), make sure night feeds feel different – feed, burp, change, quick cuddle and back to bed. Save playtime and chat for the daytime.
SHARE THE BURDEN
Once breastfeeding is established there’s no shame in roping in your other half for the odd shift – express some milk and let him feed with a bottle. And while we’re talking about partners, try not fall into the ‘competitive tiredness’ trap. It’s easier said than done but if, rather than playing ‘Who’s the most sleep- deprived?’, you help each other out, you’ll both be a lot happier.
IT’S NOT FOREVER
When you reach the point where you think you’ll never get a full night’s sleep again, try to remember they will grow out of it. Literally: as their little tummies get bigger, so will the length of time they can stay asleep. And the day will come when you wake in the morning and realise they have slept all night. And so have you. We promise.