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!
13 thoughts on “SOS! How to Get Sleep with a Hungry Newborn”
Great ideas about how to get sleep with a newborn! My co-worker is going through this right now! Baby born last week!
Sleep is the first casualty when there is a newborn baby in the house. One needs to adjust to its biorhythms and these are some practical tips to help there,
I wish I can master the art of sleeping. My kids are now almost teens but I still can’t figure out how to get a good night sleep.
What a precious family and your baby’s pic. I can’t imagine how much time and energy you put in once you become a parent. Hard work but it is a rewarding job. My husband and are ttc for about a year now. I have learned so much on this post.
I love your point about not being a supermom. So many people tend to push moms to do everything and it is totally and utterly exhausting. All moms, especially new ones, need to practice self care and not take on too much.
I have three grown kids, I was quick to learn how to get nap time in! I am now teaching my daughter how to do that!
These are all great tips. The one that helped me was “ask for help”. Allow someone to come in and look after things while you take a nap. Ask someone to do a load of laundry, vacuum, anything that can help you rest. Caring for yourself is just as important as caring for your baby.
My favorite tip is the nap when the baby naps. That was such a great help for us with our twins.
Ah, these are some clever tricks. It helps so much when you can share the work with your partner!
Swaddling was a so helpful for us. My Son would always calm down when we swaddled him. Having a bassinet is a great way to make night time feedings easier.
I can only imagine how hard it is to catch some sleep with a newborn! These sound like they can really help!
Having a newborn in the house is a lot of work. These are good tips on finding some time to sleep.
These are great tips. I would go to bed early when my kids were tiny. I couldn’t nap when they napped though: I had too much to get done.
I learned something new about “hindmilk”! I am always dumbfounded by babies that are on a strict schedule. Mine never did that so I had to do things that you suggested like nap when they did to try and catch up on sleep.
Great tips! I honestly co slept with mine, just so that I could get extra sleep. I found that they ate more and slept long in the bed with me.
Having babies on a good sleep cycle is a real struggle. It might be good to let them sleep early and have a good long stretch of sleep too.
These sound like some great ideas for new Mums and Dads, I can only imagine how hard it is to get sleep with a newborn.
These are all great tips. My second was a snacker and it was always a struggle to get her to feed for long enough.