Night Feeding Survival Tips to Help Beat the 4AM Blues

Breastfeeding mum and baby
Credit: iStock

Whether your baby’s not taking well to night feeding, your struggling to set up a routine, or just finding the whole process a bit tough, here’s top tips for surviving the night feed blues.

It’s no secret, adjusting to life with a newborn is not always plain sailing. You’re responsible for a whole new tiny person, depending on you to survive and that can really takes its toll physically and emotionally.Not to mention the sleepless nights – waking up at all hours to nurse, feed or try and settle your baby. For many new parents, the night feeds can be the toughest and the most lonely.

After finding feeding her youngest child Ted, now two, through the night particularly difficult, lifestyle blogger Ruth Crilly recognised that she couldn’t be the only one experiencing extreme tiredness and crippling loneliness after dark.

 

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Ruth wanted to create a space for like-minded mums looking to share their experiences and advice during those lonely hours in the middle of the night. Enter our new favourite parenting app  The Night Feed.  Alongside a whole host of content from both Ruth and other guests and experts, including paediatricians and midwives, the app also features a feed tracker to allow mums to note the time, length and quantities of their feeds, and sleep sounds to calm and soothe babies (and mums!) back to sleep.

the-night-feed-parenting-apps
The Night Feed App

We caught up with Ruth to talk us through some top tips for night feeding survival.

Dr Google is not your friend

Try not to over Google health-related things about yourself or your baby. A little back-ground research is fine, but Dr Google is not always your friend when you’re tired, irrational and only firing on one cylinder.

On one particularly bad night I thought that I had a tropical disease and was about to die, despite having not even been abroad for at least a year. I stayed awake for the entire night, inspecting my face at regular intervals for signs of a blotchy rash.

Stock up on snacks

Have a little stash of snacks in your bedside drawer. I used to be famished at around 3am but could never be bothered to go downstairs; I found bananas to be great and also healthier than a Twix or Tracker bars, which were my night feeding downfall.

Breastfeeding mum and baby
Credit: iStock

Hydration stations

Stay hydrated; it’s boring, and it sounds like a cliché, but it’s so important to drink enough water when you’re up in the night with a baby. It’s tempting to avoid drinking water so that you don’t have to get up for (another) wee but that way disaster lies. Sometimes my milk used to be on the scant side and the baby would cry and I’d wonder why the hell nothing was coming out, and then I’d realise that I was so dehydrated I was basically a desiccated old prune.

The night feeding is just a phase

Repeat the mantra, “it’s just a phase, it’s just a phase”. Before I had my first baby, a friend (whose children were much older) told me that the way not to lose your mind was to just regard everything as a short phase that would be over before you could blink. And she was right.

Although eight months of night feeds (twice) did somewhat deplete my energy and positivity stores, I tried to remember that they weren’t a permanent situation and that I should try and enjoy the journey.

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