Hungry newborn wreaking havoc on your ability to sleep? We’ve got six tips that will help you catch those much needed zzzs and still make sure your baby is happy! Check them out!
As a brand new mom, have you wondered just how someone so cute and tiny can be so difficult and demanding? Babies are blessings, but they also test you in ways you never imagined! Figuring out the eating and sleeping schedule is one of the most challenging aspects of having a newborn, but you will get the hang of it.
If you’re starting to despair, thinking that your hungry baby will prevent you from ever sleeping longer than 3 hours at a time, we’re here to help. Give these mom-tested, baby-approved tricks a try.
How to Get Sleep with a Hungry Newborn
- Get a bassinet. Those middle of the night feedings are rough, no matter how you go about them. But, having to go get your baby from the nursery each time she wakes up? No thanks. Invest in a bassinet to keep next to your bed so you have quick access to your baby when she wants to eat and can easily put her back to bed after feeding time is over.
- Dr. Harvey Karp became my favorite person when I had my first child, and I took his swaddling advice to heart. When your baby wakes up, he may not be hungry, but he can’t self-soothe to get back to sleep. By swaddling, you’re creating an environment as close to the womb as possible, and you’re giving your little one the best chance to figure out how to get back to sleep.
- If you’re nursing, focus on the hindmilk. If you have a snacker, your baby may not be getting the rich, fatty hindmilk while nursing. Try expanding the length of time between feedings just a bit, and don’t switch sides until your baby has nursed for 10-15 minutes. The hindmilk will help fill up your baby’s tummy and help him feel satiated longer. Speaking of hindmilk, make sure you’re getting plenty of water and eating foods high in good fat – that will ensure your milk is as fatty and nutrient-rich as possible.
- Don’t be Supermom. If your baby is formula-fed or will take a bottle of breastmilk, ask your partner to take one nighttime feeding so you can get a little extra shut-eye. Other people can take on some of the baby duties, too, and that doesn’t make you any less awesome of a mom.
- Nap when your baby naps. I hated this advice as a new mom, but the reason everyone tells you to sleep when your baby sleeps is because you should. I know – there’s so much to do. But if you’re tired and grumpy, you’re not fun to be around. Sleep when you can, and that means if your baby is sleeping, you should be too.
- Early to bed. The other piece of advice I got often and disagreed with wholeheartedly is that to get your baby to sleep later, you should keep him awake later. Nope, I didn’t believe it then, and as the mom of a 7-year-old and a 5-year-old, I don’t believe it now. The more exhausted your baby (or older child) is, the harder it will be for him to sleep. I know it’s counterintuitive. But trust me – if you get your baby down at 6 or 7, you’re more likely to get at least one good stretch of sleep.
Most importantly, find what works for you. No one else’s advice matters if you and your baby are in sync and are happy. If you are looking for some things to try, give these a go and see how they work for you. Make sure to come back and tell us what you liked and what you didn’t!