Preparing For Those 2 A.M. Feeds

For many, bringing a newborn home completely shakes up their routine. Instead of feeding everyone in the house 3-6 meals before bedtime, you’ve now got a sweet little mouth asking for milk 8-12 times (roughly) per day, including throughout the night. 

Those middle-of-the-night feeds can be brutal, especially in the early days when your own hormones are readjusting postpartum.

Some mothers struggle to stay awake, and others find themselves dying for water because the #nursethirst is real! So here are a few things you can do to make the 2 A.M. feed—and the others, too!—a little less dread-worthy: 

1. Keep water and snacks near your feeding/nursing/pumping station.

Whether you’re nursing or bottle-feeding, you’re pretty busy these days: making sure your needs are met is important, and feeding time for baby is the perfect time to check in with yourself, too. Stay hydrated. Feed yourself.

2. Unless you are bedsharing and have set yourself up to safely do so, you may want to feed/nurse your baby somewhere other than your bed.

Snuggling up for a feed in you warm, cozy bed when you’re exhausted in the middle of the night may encourage you to fall asleep on the job, which can be dangerous.  Getting it of bed and walking to a designated area will get the blood flowing and make you more alert. The abovementioned H2O and snacks can help, as well!

3. Find something to occupy yourself.

In those early days, feeds may take a little longer. Finding a favorite book or exciting Netflix series—or even a postpartum doula—to keep you company can help pass the time and keep you awake and alert until it’s time to head back to bed.

Take heart: this time in your life is fleeting. Someday—perhaps sooner than you think—your baby will sleep through the night.

Until then, soak up those late night snuggles, take care of yourself , and don’t be afraid to ask for help !