top of page

Surviving Nights with a Newborn; Tips for Tired Parents

Updated: May 8


Surviving Nights with a Newborn Jax, FL | Jax, FL Newborn Sleep

Surviving Nights with a Newborn; Tips for Tired Parents Surviving nights with a newborn can be difficult, but not impossible. It’s the wee hours of the morning. You’ve just about drifted off to sleep when your baby again. Every muscle in your body is exhausted, you feel weak and you think to yourself, how are other people surviving nights with a newborn? Will we ever get through this? If you’ve ever had a newborn you know what I’m talking about. If you’re expecting a baby, you’ll soon find out. Lack of sleep can and often does get the best of people. Fear not! We have some tips for surving nights with a newborn!

It’s important if you're breastfeeding to know that nighttime feedings are essential! Your body naturally produces more of the hormone prolactin at night. During the first two weeks, your body is trying to figure out what it needs to do to meet your baby’s needs. How will it do this? By responding to what you’re doing. In the first six weeks breastfeeding or pumping at least (I can't stress this enough) 10-12 times, getting one 4-5 hour stretch of sleep, and as many naps as possible in every 24-hour period is crucial to you and your baby's well-being. If you're bottle-feeding the logistics is a bit different, but it's still challenging!

Surviving Nights with a Newborn; Tips for Tired Parents

1. Nap, Nap, and Nap Make sure you're getting as many naps in as possible. Doing so will help with the longer nights. Three to five-hour long naps and one 4-5 hour stretch of sleep in a 24-hour period will be one key to surviving nights with a newborn. Most parents can sustain themselves on that.

2.  Create a Nest Think, everything you need in one place! Make your nest cozy, conducive to sleep, and user-friendly. If you can do this successfully you're already ahead of the game!

Things to Consider When Fashioning Your Nest:

  1. Make your baby's sleep space as close to yours as possible.

  2. Create a portable changing station to keep next to your bed. That way you can change your baby's diapers while in bed or in the bassinet or crib right next to the bed. A small cleaning caddy works great for this purpose.

  3. Are you pumping? If so have enough supplies in your nest to last you all night. No walking back and forth to the kitchen.  Put a small cooler in the room close to your bed with ice packs to keep your pumped milk in. You don't have to wash pump parts or use a new set every time through the night. Put your pump parts in a gallon ziplock and place them in the cooler in between pump sessions. Genius right?!

  4. Are you formula feeding? Simplify! Create as many bottles are you need for night duty and have them at the ready. Depending on what type of formula you are using this will look a little different. Keep a bottle warmer on a table close by, but at a safe distance from the baby of course!



3. Keep the Lights Low and the Room Slightly Cooler Seems like a no-brainer right?! Not really, it easy to get into the habit of flipping the lights on to get "it" done real quick, but it really does interrupt the sleep cycle significantly. A low night light with a small flashlight is often a better choice! You want to keep your room slightly cooler than you would in the daytime. Dress your baby slightly warmer than you'll dress yourself or in a single layer if you're using a swaddle.

4. Learn to Nurse in the Side-Lying Position I am a true believer that every mom on the planet who is breastfeeding a baby for any period of time should learn how to feed her baby in the side-lying position. For survival, for comfort, for bonding, and for healing! Most breastfed babies want to nurse more through the night. There are a number of reasons for this, one being the additional prolactin the body produces at night. Learn this skill, practice this skill, and utilize it for maximum rest! If you're not comfortable nursing in the side-lying position for fear of co-sleeping you can set a short timer, ask your partner, family member, or postpartum and infant specialist to sit quietly and keep a close eye on your baby as you drift in and out of sleep.

5. Ditch the Clock It's so easy to focus on how long the hours are when you're staring the clock in the face. Like the watched pot that never boils time stands still while your awake. If you have a clock in the bedroom turn it around or cover it. Instead focus on learning your baby through each feed, soothing techniques, low lights, and maximizing your rest even if you're not getting solid periods of sleeping.

6. Hire a Postpartum & Infant Support Specialist The Jacksonville Baby Company provides support for parents at one of the most critical times in a new families life, after the birth of their baby. If there were ever a time in someone's life that they could use all the help it's the postpartum time period, also known as the fourth trimester. Laundry, dishes, and chores can wait, but babies don't keep! Let us help you with all the things so you can focus on what doesn't keep; your baby!

There you have it! These are some of our tips for surviving nights with a newborn. I hope you found these helpful!


Happy Birth and Parenting!

~Elizabeth

2 views0 comments

Comments


bottom of page