As parents we all know this time will come, the reality of being on-call 24 hours a day for your hungry newborn can be a daunting task.
Usually, newborn babies feed every 2-3 hours and this can be quite challenging as a parent because your sleep pattern will be distorted.
If newborn night-time feeds are discouraging you from getting enough sleep, here are 11 newborn night feeding tips to help you navigate through the process.
11 Newborn Night Feeding Tips To Help You Cope
1. Get Prepared
Gathering everything you need for any eventuality is a parenting super skill. Remember the more organized you are, the faster you can go back to bed. Make sure you have these essential nighttime feeding supplies close at hand:
- Extra water!
- snacks for mom
- diapers and wipes
- nipple cream
- diaper cream
- extra towels or burp cloths
- night light
- Boppy pillow
- Pre-made bottles for bottle feeding. If your baby is formula feeding, then try these great milk powder dispensers that make mixing bottles smooth! These baby items also double as a snack cup when the baby gets old!
Don’t forget to add it to your BABY REGISTRY! A lot of people that have used the product confirmed it is a real sleep-saver which also makes night bottle feedings so much easier.
You might feel spoilt each time you use this product because it dispenses quickly and warms the bottle to the perfect temperature. Although, it’s a bit expensive, sure you will not regret spending such amount of money on this baby item…especially at 2 am.
Read Also: When To Switch Nipple Size For Baby
2. Keep The Lights Low
Babies usually don’t know the difference between night and day, but you can start to get them to understand the idea that once it’s dark, its night time.
If your baby happens to wake to feed during the night, make sure to keep the environment dark and quiet, this encourages the baby to nod off again when he/she is done.
To ensure you do this properly during feeding, use a nightlight rather than flooding their room with bright light. Over time you’ll be a pro at finding what you need when the lights are low. I found this adorable nightlight very helpful during night feeds.
3. Find a Comfortable Position
If you’re finding it difficult to sleep during nighttime you should learn to breastfeed lying down as much as possible! You can also get some rest if you’re horizontal here’s how to do it:
- First, you need to lie on your side, with a pillow or two to assist your head. Also placing a pillow between your knees may help you feel comfortable.
- Place the baby, lying on her side, in such a way that her nose is level with your nipple. (If your breasts are on the smaller side, you might require a firm pillow under the baby so that she is level with your nipple.)
- Using one hand, get the baby next to you so that her chin is making contact with your breast and her head is tipped back a bit. You can stroke her upper lip with your nipple if she is not latching properly.
- To switch sides, you can do this either by holding the baby firmly against your chest, and rolling over, or, depending on your breast size, you can leave the baby where she is and adjust your position so that you are rolled slightly towards the baby and she can now nurse on the “top” breast.
Another position to try is the “laid-back” breastfeeding position where you lay in a semi-reclining position in your bed, with the help of pillows, with the baby belly-down against your chest and abdomen. She’ll find the nipple and self-attach, or you can assist her with it.
4. Stay Close
Make sure you keep your baby close to you during nighttime. Not only are night-feedings easier, if you don’t walk down the hall to get your crying baby, research also shows that reduces the risk of SIDS to have your baby share your room.
For effective ease of breastfeeding during nighttime, you may want to consider bedsharing. If you are a nursing mother, you don’t smoke or are under any medications or drugs that make you less mindful, and have a firm mattress with light bedcoverings, this might be helpful too.
Breastfeeding mothers who share their bed with their babies get the most sleep and are the most likely to continue breastfeeding.
Read Also: Newborn Safety Checklist
5. Avoid Making Too Much Fuss
While it’s dazzling to talk and communicate with your little one, do not give them any signals that suggest its playtime. Keep to a gentle bedtime song that is soothing and rocking to encourage your baby to settle back to sleep after their feed.
These cute and cuddly nursery pals listen out for the baby’s cries and play relieving sounds and songs to help comfort the baby through the night.
6. Easy Clean Up
Whether you’re breastfeeding or bottle-feeding your baby, you should put on something comfortable and easy to clean up or change if your breasts happen to leak or your baby doesn’t always keep all their milk down. It’s important to have some dry towels next to you to mop up any mess.
7. Always Burp Baby After Feeding
A grumbly belly filled with trapped air is not fun for anyone; especially if you’re trying to get your baby back off to sleep as soon as possible. Make sure you wind your baby after each night-time feed, just as you normally do during the daytime.
Read Also: Best Ways To Burp A Baby
8. Hide the Clock
It’s not a difficult thing to get obsessed with sleep and start counting how much you’ve had left or how much time you’ve missed when trying to feed your little one back to sleep.
Calculating the minutes and watching the night getaway really won’t help your cause. Doing this might even keep you awake once your baby has dozed off.
9. Nap When Possible
Get some sleep when you can during the day and ask either your friend, family, or your partner to help out if you’re finding the early shift is taking a lot on you.
A recent report suggests that first-time parents get an average of fewer than 5 hours sleep per night in the first year of a baby’s life, however, there’s no shame in getting additional snooze when the chance arises.
10. Ask For Help
If your baby happens to wake up every time at night, you can use breast compression to boost the amount of high-fat milk she getting during each feed.
While your baby is sucking, squeeze your breast between your thumb and fingers just like hand-expressing but right into her mouth.
Alternatively, if your baby can bottle feed, you can get your partner to assist you during night feed, so that you can get a longer sleep stretch.
Some couples do find taking turns to be a great sanity saver! Your partner can also help by bringing the baby to you in bed and also help with midnight diaper change as well!
If you’re a single mom, you can ask a family relative or friend for some daytime assistance so that you can nap during the day.
11. Put on Front Opening Night Clothing
During night feeds, you will be relieved that your Pajamas or nightwear opens easily down the front to give your baby easy access to feed, while you still keep warm.
Buy one that is soft, breathable cotton-like this soft simple front-opening nightshirt. This outfit also makes your postpartum body feel pretty, too! You can even wear it with leggings or sleep pants during cold weather.
Truth is, you can simply live in it during your postpartum baby-moon! Why not?! Its best advised not to sleep on your nursing bra, since tight clothing may increase the risk for plugged ducts or mastitis.
If you are worried about your breasts leaking while asleep, try making use of towels or cloth diapers to absorb the leaks.
A good quality waterproof mattress protector is very important if you decide to breastfeed, too. It is a common thing to experience nighttime leaks especially during the early weeks postpartum.
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Frequently Asked Questions
Is It Ok To Not Change The Baby’s Nappy During Nighttime?
A full or wet nappy needs to be changed, but if they’re clean and comfortable, then you don’t need to disturb your baby more than necessary by changing them. Make sure you change your baby’s nappy before its bedtime.
How Often Should A Newborn Be Fed At Night?
Parent’s especially first-timers are often surprised at how often they need to feed their newborns. Babies have a tiny belly that gets full very quickly, so for the first few weeks, your little one may need feeding every 2-3 hours.
This extends all through the night too, so it’s no surprise that new parents feel a little sleep deprived.
Fortunately, as your baby grows he/she will need fewer night feeds. That is by the time the baby clocks around age 4 months, most babies will need between 1-3 night feeds.
As the baby clocks 6 months old, this drops to 1-2 night feeds provided the baby is feeding well during the day. Naturally, most babies can wake themselves up through the night when they’re hungry.
It’s recommended to allow your baby to do this unless he/she has weight or other related health issues which requires you’ll need to wake the baby up for each feed. If you are worried about how your baby is feeding, do not hesitate to consult your baby doctor.
We hope this article has given an in-depth discussion to answer the question, newborn night feeding tips.
Keep in mind that having the right information will help you determine what’s best for you and your little one. Still, need to know more? Learn How To Increase Size For Feeding