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Make Those 3:00AM Feedings Easier

Elizabeth Keefe


A mom's day begins at 6 am to change, nurse and play with her baby. Through out the day, she changes and nurses her baby about every two to three hours. Mothers have the hardest job in the world. A newborn's demands are so little and so great at the same time. It can get so exhausting doing the everyday baby routines, that all a new mom wants is just one good night's sleep.

After a day full of diaper changes and what seems to be endless nursing, your baby will then wake up at around 3 am to nurse. You drag yourself out of bed to change the baby and nurse him while trying to hold your self up in a rocking chair! There are some ways to make this 3 am feeding a little easier for both you and your baby. Here are some suggestions:

It's Daddy Time!
Let your partner get up to change the baby. After all, you have been changing diapers and rocking the baby all day. Now it's your partner's turn to help take care of the baby, and give you a break! This will give you an extra 5-10 minutes of sleep.

Lazy Mom
Most babies will nurse for about 15 minutes each side. Try nursing while lying down. Then you can have a few minutes to doze off while your baby nurses

Burp Time!
The rhythmic beat of your hand burping the baby can be enough to put you back to sleep. If you are like me and this happens to you, it might be best to lay your baby across your lap to burp. Or you can turn to your supportive partner and ask him to burp the baby while you get another 5 minutes sleep.

When you switch your baby to nurse on the other breast, continue doing so lying down. As this is the end of a feeding, you and your baby will probably fall asleep. If you haven't adopted the family bed, ask your partner to take the baby back into the nursery to sleep.

According to How To Get Your Kids To Eat Great and Love It, by Christine Wood, MD, most babies nurse around 6-8 times in a 24 hour period. Most babies will begin to sleep an 8 hour stretch at around 3 or 4 months old. Until then, you should plan on going to bed early, and enlisting your partner's help. Ask him - I'm sure he would be happy to.

Follow these tips and you'll get a whole extra 20 minutes of sleep each night. Don't you feel more rested already?

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