Disturbed sleep is pretty much part-and-parcel of being a parent. Newborns get hungry every few hours and wake up in need of a feed. While it’s impossible to avoid night feeds, there are ways to keep them relaxed, efficient and sleep-inducing for the both of you.
Have everything ready-to-go for your night feed. Water, nappies, muslins and any other essentials if you’re bottle feeding. This is going to make the whole night feeding process much more streamlined. Don’t forget to make up somewhere comfortable to sit; you can still be in resting mode while your baby feeds.
Dim the lights
Your baby needs to get used to nighttime being for sleeping, so keep the lights low. A nightlight is perfect for this, lighting up the room enough for you to see what you’re doing but dark enough for them to drop right off back to sleep post feed.
Have baby sleep in your room
It’s recommended that baby should sleep in your room for the first six months. This makes it easier for you and your partner to take turns comforting and feeding baby, when they wake up.
Don’t make too much noise
You’re hardly going to be bashing about in night but any noise can be enough to stimulate your baby and keep them awake. That includes chatting to and fussing them. If they get upset or unsettled after their feed, try humming a soothing lullaby and rocking them back to sleep.
Only feed when they ask
Feed your baby when they wake up, which will generally be every two to three hours. They’ll wake themselves up when they’re hungry, so there’s no need for you to wake them — unless you’ve been specially advised by your doctor or health visitor.
Always burp your baby
Your 3am brain might forget this part but it’s important to always burp your baby after a night feed. Trapped wind can leave them uncomfortable, upset and struggling to fall back to sleep.
Only change if necessary
You don’t need to change your baby’s nappy after each feed, unless of course it’s wet or dirty. Have they fallen asleep mid-feed? You can try changing their nappy to wake them up so you can finish the feed. Stop keeping time
Is obsessing over how little sleep you’ve had really helping? No, we didn’t think so. Get up and feed your baby and drop back into bed without looking at the clock. It can be hard not look but can help you feel less anxious about your disrupted sleep.