Even if you know that it’s going to happen, the reality of staying on-call 24/7 for your hungry baby can still be a bit of shock. No checking out at 5:00 pm and no more eight hours of uninterrupted sleep, not when your new-born needs to be regularly breastfed. Luckily, there are some things that you can do to make night weaning a little easier for both you and your baby.
- Turn the Lights Off. Make it clear to your new-born that it’s not daytime by creating a sleep-inducing environment. Achieve this by resisting the urge to turn the lights on every time you breastfeed your baby. If you can’t stand total darkness, replace your light with a dimmer switch or place a lamp in your bedside table to serve as your light at night.
- Feed Him Only When Needed. If your new-born isn’t asking to be fed, then leave him to wake himself up when he’s hungry, which is every two to three hours. The maximum time that your babies can go without night feed is five to six hours, but babies with weight issues should be woken up at regular feeding intervals.
- Wind Your Baby. Just like how you would in a day, burp your baby after your night feeds. Remember that any air trapped in his tummy will leave him uncomfortable, and you surely wouldn’t want your baby crying at three in the morning.
- Be Organized. A good way to make night weaning easier for you is to have everything you need in the same as your baby. Night feeding takes some time, so make sure to keep some nappies, water and snacks in hand. If you’re already bottle feeding, speed up the process by having the formula and clean bottles ready all the time.
- Ask for Assistance. If you’re really having a hard time in feeding your baby, ask your partner to help you with the feeds. You can also enlist the help of other family members or a friend if you simply need a night off. Although you might still need to pump some milk, you’ll still be able to go back to sleep and let the other person soothe your baby to sleep.
Night feeding can be stressful, especially for first-time moms. Fortunately, you can now have a more relaxed night weaning session by practising the abovementioned tips.