Though gorgeously sweet and chubby in daylight hours, your ‘Jekyll-and-Hyde’ new-born is adept at guerrilla warfare when the sun sets, never allowing you more than ten minutes of shut-eye at a time and pooping round the clock. Sound familiar?
Here’s how to survive those night feeds:
Keep snacks by your bed
Eat! You need to fuel your body properly to breastfeed through the day and night. Keep snacks nearby so you can eat a handful of something if you start to feel peckish. Anything from cashew nuts, dried fruit, bananas, prunes or biscuits will do the job nicely. Another thing…drink lots of water too!
Try to sleep in the day
Yes, this is near impossible if you have another child below school age at home who’s passed the napping stage. But if you have a friend or relative who can pop over to your place while you take a swift nap, take up that offer asap!
Pump in advance or try formula
Pump your breast-milk during the day so you have some left for night feeds. That way dad can take over for a bit while you get some shut-eye. You might also like to combination feed by introducing formula milk at night and sticking with breast-milk in the day.
Sleep in another room
Sometimes the only way to get some respite is to sleep in another room while your other half handles the night feeds. Don’t feel guilty about this! You’re with your baby all day and it’s only fair that dad gets to spend some quality time with your bubba. Plus, you’ll probably be a much better parent when you feel rested and have given your batteries a chance to recharge.
Talk to other mums
There’s nothing like talking to someone who’s in the exact same situation to make yourself feel better. Every mum has been there and we all know how horrible it can be to feel so exhausted for months on end. Have a cup of tea and a biscuit with a friend and talk it out.
If all else fails remember that night feeds DO end!! This is a natural phase of a baby’s development and it will soon be over. Do the best you can ask for support if you need it and pat yourself on the back for keeping a human being alive for so long!!