Remember all those helpful hints you received from all your mom friends when you were pregnant? “Make sure you sleep when the baby sleeps!” “Take all the help you can get when you can get it!” And then you’re left wondering when your baby is actually going to go to sleep and when someone is actually going to offer you some help. Here are a few things that can help when you’re on your third cup of coffee and thinking “Why me?!”
Do you know when it’s time to stop waking your baby to feed them?
As you probably know it’s very important to feed your baby every two to three hours, even if that means waking them up to do it. But did you know that this is only pivotal during the first two weeks? As long as your baby has reached the appropriate height and weight and is growing at a normal rate, it’s okay to start nursing on demand after that two-week breastfeeding marathon is over!
Do you know what to do when your baby is a sleepy eater?
- If your baby starts to fall asleep during feeding times, you can try keeping them up by gently pulling them closer to you and hand express your breast in order to allow more milk to flow.
- You can also try laying baby down on a flat surface and when they realize that they are not longer snuggled up to you it may be enough to wake them.
- Try undressing or burping them before they are ready to get moving.
- Sometimes it helps to stimulate your babies jaw line if they begin to let off of their sucking pattern. You can do this by tickling right underneath their chin and you will notice that their suction will start to pick up.
- If all else fails, you can switch between breasts as often as three or four times during feeding. Switching your breast allows for the pooling of milk in the unused breast, which creates a faster and easier flow.
Utilizing a few of these tips when you are feeding your baby late at night can help encourage a faster feeding so you both can get a good night's sleep.
Consider a breast pump
Consider getting a breast pump so that other people are able to help you through the breastfeeding process. Once you have pumped your milk it can be stored at room temperature for four to six hours, in the fridge for three to eight days and in the freezer for up to twelve months. If you pump consistently you will eventually be sitting on a wonderful nest of milk that’s available whenever you need it.
Give yourself a break!
Feeding your baby, while rewarding, is very hard work and you shouldn’t have to do it alone. If you have a partner, relative or a friend that is willing to help you feed your baby you should take them up on that offer. When other people are feeding your baby it creates a bond between them and baby that they wouldn’t get to feel otherwise.
Every mom needs a break and you should never feel ashamed about asking for some time off. In fact, every mom deserves several breaks to enjoy herself and relax! Having someone else feed baby could allow you to get a couple more hours of solid uninterrupted sleep... what could be better than that?