Late-night breastfeeding sessions can be difficult
When we came home from the hospital after I gave birth to Samson, we practically lived on our living room couches with the bassinet within reach for the first 3 weeks or so. It was an adjustment having baby home, and I was such a nervous wreck as a first time mom that I didn’t want to sleep in my own bed. I thought it would make me fall into a deeper sleep somehow and that I wouldn’t wake if the baby needed me. So for a couple of weeks we lived with christmas lights, nursery lights and the TV on pretty much 24/7. When I finally got up the courage to sleep in our bedroom, everything changed. There was tons of relief and significantly better (and more) sleep for all of us, but I was immediately frustrated during night-time feedings. I was easily agitated by the fact that I was having trouble helping baby latch in the dark and my frustrations were rubbing off on baby. I wish someone had warned me how difficult late night breastfeeding would be.
A few items can make late-night breastfeeding easier for mama and baby
After struggling with night time breastfeeding sessions for a couple of days, I started looking for things to help. I got into a better routine, relaxed and things began to go much more smoothly for Samson and me during the wee hours. Below is a list of my “must-haves” to make night-time a little easier on mama and baby.
1. Night Light
This was the most pivotal item for me at night. My hubby can’t sleep with lights on, so I avoided turning on our bedroom lights in the middle of the night, and, really, who wants bright lights on to interrupt your sleep? But the hardest part of late night feedings is that you can’t see to help baby latch. This makes for a cranky baby and a frustrated mama. So, we bought this adorable Dolphin Nursery Night Light. It is perfect for our nursery as it is a Noah’s Ark theme and is peppered with all sorts of animals. I love this one because it has a dim and bright setting as well as multiple colors all adjustable by touching the top of his head. Perfect and easy for the middle of the night!
2. Back Rest Pillows
Sometimes, when I feed the baby in the middle of the night, I just want to stay in my bed. If the baby isn’t fussing much and I don’t need to rock him in the glider or walk around, I find that sitting up in bed helps me stay relaxed enough to fall asleep quickly once I get Samson back down. For this reason, I highly recommend back rest pillows. You could get one of these nice pillows designed specifically for sitting up in bed, or, if you’re like me, you can stack 3-4 regular ol’ pillows behind you and call it a day. Either way, it’s a must!
3. Boppy Pillow
The Boppy Nursing Pillow is by far my favorite baby item we own! I cannot rave about this product enough. It is such an amazing help with positioning and saving your arms and back muscles during breastfeeding! It makes it so much easier to hold baby in my lap and in the right position to hold the latch when I’m so tired I can barely keep my eyes open. It also continues to be useful as a pillow and tummy time wedge as baby grows. They have a ton of different removable covers in really cute designs, so there is definitely one to fit your nursery theme. This is a game changer for me.
4. Glider and Ottoman
When baby gets fussy in the middle of the night (or in the day, for that matter) the glider is a life saver. Its soothing for baby and keeps mama sane and relaxed, making for easier and better sleep for mom once baby gets back to sleep after eating. I love this glider because it has a pouch on the armrest where you can keep a few essentials like granola bars and burp cloths so you don’t have to get up in the middle of a breastfeeding session.
5. Water within reach
I can’t tell you how many times I have forgotten to take a water bottle to bed and immediately regretted it during my first feeding of the night. It is so easy to get dehydrated while breastfeeding. Keeping a bottle of water close by helps when you get that dry mouth feeling while baby is eating. Heaven knows you don’t want to walk all the way to the kitchen to get a glass of water after getting baby back to sleep. I love these Contigo bottles. They’re super durable and I usually carry one around with me pretty much everywhere. Hubby and I each have two or three! Having a closed bottle also helps avoid spills at night when I bump it off my nightstand in my sleepy state or if baby is wiggly and knocks it out of my hand. Either way, I like to have a bottle a bit more than an open cup.
I hope this helps you, mama! I know some of those late night breastfeeding sessions can be rough, but you’ll get through it! Find what helps you and baby stay calm and get into a routine. You’ll be a pro in no time! Just remember to always smile through it no matter what! You’ll look back on these days in years to come and miss it. 🙂