How I Stayed Awake During Newborn Nighttime Feedings

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Do you hear that sound?

Your baby is awake and is fussing to be fed.

You?

You’ve just gotten into a good sleep.

Now here you are, dragging yourself from your slumber for the feeding.

As much as you love your little one, those moments sure can be tough when you’re sleepy and tired.

How can you get baby fed and back to sleep, while not dozing off, yourself?

This worked for me…

A Simple Way To Stay Awake & Alert For Newborn Feedings

How did I stay awake to feed my baby?

Simple: I used my phone.

Not only that, but I used a pair of wireless earbuds (mine) and a phone stand, too (I’ll explain “why”, in a bit).

I’d set the brightness to low, put one airpod in my ear, and the phone on a stand about 18″ behind her head, so she wouldn’t notice the light.

I’d watch things and play games: anything to keep me awake.

MOVIES

Although I rarely watched movies, when I did, it had to be one I’d already seen a thousand times. You know, one that you can quote because you’ve watched it so much. My concentration was crap during her earliest weeks, even more so at night.

YouTube

Before I gave birth, I practically lived on YouTube, but as a new mom, I rarely had time to catch up on my subscriptions.

The amount of time it took for her nighttime feedings bridged this gap well.

In the daytime, I’d add videos to my Watch Later list – music videos, mommy videos, videos about the latest books & reviews, and more.

When feeding time came, I’d make her a bottle, change her diaper, put in one earbud, set the phone on the stand, and let the videos rip while I fed her. Then I’d hold her, and bounce her, in the dimmest of light until she drifted off to sleep.

GAMES

As for games, there was only one: Tetris.

I played this when I got really sleepy.

It helped my brain stay more alert because my fingers were moving, my mind was strategizing, and my goal was to beat my previous high score.

Because it required me to have one free hand, I had to wait until she was finished eating.

Her Feedings Took A While

Plum was an all-around terrible sleeper.

For her first five months, she never napped longer than 40 minutes at a time. Just one sleep cycle.

Day or night, it always took 30 minutes to get her into a solid enough sleep to put her in her bassinet, not including the time it took to change her diaper, make her a bottle, and for her to finish it.

RELATED: Make Nighttime Feeding Easier With A Bottle Station
(For Formula Feeding)

I tried it all, the arm drop test, swaddling, determining where she was in her sleep cycle, and more, but it didn’t help getting her from sleeping in my arms into her bassinet any sooner.

And when I finally did, she slept fitfully. Talk about out-of-my-mind with concern! I even thought she was having infantile spasms, at one point.

On top of that, we opted to feed her more frequently for the first six weeks due to her having major gas. So, instead of 3 oz. every 3 hours, which her Pediatrician okayed at her 2 week appointment, we continued to feed her 2 oz. every 2 hours.

So, when she woke up during the night, the last thing I wanted to do was extend the time it took to put her back to sleep. Because as soon as she saw light from any screen, overhead lights and lamps, or heard any sound, she was more awake than a bullfrog.

After two times of making that mistake, I had to find a better way.

And thankfully, I did.

By the time she was back asleep in her bassinet, I’d waste no time diving back into my bed like I was going for the gold!

All the Best,
Ash

P.S. You’ve got this mama! Grab a pair of earbuds, and a phone stand.

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