How To Survive Night Time With A New Baby

After having 3 babies, I've experienced lots of late nights, feeding by lamp light and rocking babies to sleep while struggling to keep your eyes open. I've tried many different methods and safe to say we all made it through those difficult nights with a newborn so I thought I'd share my experience, and maybe you might pick up an idea or two.

How To Survive Night Time With A New Baby

Brace Yourself
Before you head home from hospital, or prepare to spend your first night at home with your baby, just let me give you a slight warning - this is not going to be easy. Not only are you completely and utterly exhausted, but you've got a new baby to take care of, who will wake you up more often than not. Those first few days & nights are the most exhausting, but you'll make it through. We're here for you! 

Go Straight To Baby
Although I'm not personally a fan of the Cry It Out Method anyway, your baby needs you. Especially you, mama. You are all your little one knows. They've been snuggled inside of you for 9 months, hearing your voice, listening to your heartbeat, in the warm and dark. Then all of a sudden they arrive in the world and everything is completely different, apart from you. You are their comfort, so go to them when they need you.

Be Prepared To Feed A LOT
Newborn babies stomachs are teeny tiny, which means they need filling regularly. As soon as you understand you'll probably need to feed baby every 2-4 hours, you can prepare yourself. Try to go back to bed yourself as soon as the feed is over and baby is safely back in bed.

Grab Some Shut Eye Whenever You Can
It's the advice that everyone gives - "Sleep when baby sleeps" and while it sounds like good advice, we're all like "When will I have time to clean?" or "I cant nap in the day". Just stop it. Those first few weeks with a new baby, nothing is more important than the health and wellbeing of you and your baby. Laundry will wait, tidying will wait. No matter your excuse, just do it! For the first day or so, the second your baby is asleep safely in bed, you shut your eyes! Whether or not you actually sleep is a different matter, but those quiet few minutes are a lifesaver. Same goes for night time, if your baby wakes up for a feed during the night, you comfort them. Then you put them back to bed and you go back to bed too! No "Oh I may as well get up", just go back to bed without a second thought.

Start A Basic Routine Early On
Now I'm not talking 7pm Bedtime, 10pm Feed, 2am Feed, 6am Wake up time. Babies will absolutely not stick to any sort of schedule! I'm talking about early evening snuggles, nappy change and lullabies. All soothing things that you can repeat every night, and your little one will soon be able to associate these all with bedtime.

Don't Be Quiet
There are many different things you can try, if you are struggling to comfort a grouchy baby but whatever you do - Do NOT be quiet! You might think, what on earth am I talking about, but trust me. You do not want your baby growing up, falling asleep to silence because as they grow up, they'll depend on that silence to sleep! I definitely made this mistake with my eldest, and even now at 5 years old, she's a very light sleeper! Whereas my other two little ones have been surrounded by everyday noise since the second they came home!

Try Different Ways To Comfort
After feeding, there are many different things you could try if baby still wont settle. Swaddling for example is a good one, as it helps baby to feel safe and secure, and less likely to wake themselves up! You could also try patting or rubbing their backs, gentle rocking or walking round the house, singing lullabies, playing white noise or even playing music. All three of my little ones have been comforted by music and it's really helped us. Try different things and see what works for you all.

Take A Step Back
One of the best pieces of advice I was ever given when I was a new parent was "Take a step back". If baby wont calm down, or you feel like you are about to lose your s***, take a step back. Put baby somewhere safe and step out of the room for a minute. Breathe, calm down. Don't get stressed at your baby, it's not their fault! So just take a moment to relax, and head back in there for round 2. You'll get there eventually, the newborn stage doesn't last long at all.

Don't forget though, you may think you have cracked the whole bedtime malarkey and along comes the 4 month sleep regression, then the 8th, and the 18 month! Please don't doubt yourself, try to continue your routine as much as possible - sleep regression doesn't last too long.

So that's my advice, I hope it helps some of you. Never forget there are always people you can talk to if you feel you are struggling, whether it's your health visitor, GP or another mum. (My inbox is always open too!)

If you loved this post, why not check out;
Preparing for arrival of new baby or
Baby milestone photos tips & tricks
How To Survive Night Time With A New Baby

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