As a breastfeeding mom, it may seem like you’re breastfeeding all the time. Newborns need to eat frequently around the clock, and healthy full-term babies should eat whenever they are hungry. As a new mom, you’ll want to prepare yourself for the first few months (when “around the clock” is taken quite literally) with feedings necessary throughout the night. But don’t worry; we have tips for managing late night feedings and getting you a little more rest.
As your baby grows, his or her needs will help establish your supply and determine a feeding routine. If you are exclusively breastfeeding, ask for assistance with late night and early morning feedings, such as having your partner get you water or gently lift your baby out of your arms and put him or her back to bed. If you’re pumping, let your partner or other family member feed baby with previously expressed breast milk to help give you a break for the other feedings. This will give that family member some time to bond with baby and let you catch up on sleep.
Keep the crib in your bedroom.
For some families, keeping the crib in your bedroom helps cut down on the amount of time it takes you to fall back asleep between feedings.
Comfort is key for breastfeeding, and it may even make your feeding sessions more efficient. Make sure you have a comfortable chair or rocker, a glass of water, and maybe a nursing stool to help with positioning.
Make sure you have everything you could need throughout the night set out or easily accessible. Things to lay out include diapers, wipes, towels, your breast pump and kit, a glass of water, and anything else to keep you comfortable. Doing this will help prevent you from making unnecessary trips to other rooms or rousing yourself too much searching for what you need.
Shift your perspective.
At times, it’s hard not to be frustrated when you have to wake up multiple times each night. But it’s important to keep in mind that it’s only temporary and that those late night feedings are truly special moments. So, when you’re frustrated, breathe deeply and just try to enjoy the special bond you’re creating with your little one.