When I had my daughter, Lottie, nothing prepared me for the complete exhaustion I would feel as a result of frequent feeding, especially at night. I found the first few weeks and months of my daughter’s life – although amazing – totally mentally exhausting.
They say sleep deprivation is a form of torture, and I completely agree. The major upside to night feeding is the benefits to your baby. You’ll start to see your newborn gaining weight, growing and reaching milestones. This makes it all well worth it.
There were a few steps that I took to avoid complete insanity, and make night time feeding easier which I’d like to share.
Use a small soft night light
We purchased a very small night light that plugs into the wall next to the nursery chair. The light is extremely dim, but enables you to check on your baby without waking them. It also helps to manage night time feeding without waking your baby too much as a result of bright bedroom lights. I found it easier to fall back to sleep after feeds when I installed one.
Invest in a comfortable nursery chair
In your early days as a parent a comfortable nursery chair is the real heart of your nursery – it’s where you’ll spend many hours with your beautiful newborn. However, you don’t need to spend a fortune. I purchased a glider chair second-hand at a bargain price. It’s super comfy and looks brand-new.
If you’re breastfeeding, it’s important to stay hydrated. I set-up a little table next to my nursing chair and kept a big bottle of water on it (let’s be honest here, I may have a few midnight snacks on it also!).
Express Milk and have your partner feed your newborn occasionally
I breast-fed my little one up until five and half months. Occasionally, when I was feeling really exhausted I’d express a bottle and head to bed early. My fiancé would then do the next feed – enabling me to get some much needed rest. I used the MAM Anti-Colic bottles due to their self-sterilising function, and never had an issue switching between breast and bottle. I now exclusively bottle-feed and I love these bottles.
Remember, it’s OK to ask for help. I’m fiercely independent, so I found asking for help difficult at first. However, I soon realised what a difference it made. If you’re struggling, ask a friend or a family member to lend a hand – you’ll be surprised at just how many people are willing to help out.
Use a sleep suit – it’s easier than wrapping
Let’s be honest, this wrapping business is hard. My fiancé was amazing at it, but when I attempted to wrap my wriggly newborn like a burrito she’d quickly escape. A friend recommended I try a sleeping bag, and I’ve never looked back. I genuinely believe my daughter now associates this sleeping bag with sleep-time.
Try a soother
In the early days my little one cried and cried, and nothing other than the breast seemed to comfort her. I turned up at my Doctor and broke down in tears. I was mentally exhausted. My GP recommended trying a soother, and I expressed my concerns about it interfering with breast-feeding, but she insisted I try it. I’d been given a pack of MAM Start Soothers, and my daughter took to them straight away. They were a life-saver. For night-time I now use the glow-in-the-dark ones, as they make it that much easier to find!