It’s no secret that the first few weeks or months with a new baby are exhausting. Your precious little bundle of joy will likely be waking every couple hours to eat. Many parents find themselves drifting off to sleep and wondering how to stay awake for night feeds.
Since newborns have tiny tummies and need to feed frequently, night feedings are necessary. Unfortunately, being up every few hours all night can be very difficult for parents.
Dealing with sleep deprivation as a new mom can be brutal. If you’re struggling to stay awake during the day, here are some creative tips to help cope with exhaustion.
Staying awake at night is a whole different ball game. Sleep is a biological necessity and it gets really hard to keep yourself awake.
Though many moms have dozed off while feeding their baby at some point or another, this poses risks to babies and is not recommended. Due to the warnings against bedsharing, many moms fear falling asleep while feeding their baby.
Alternatively, some moms choose to bedshare. If you’re interested in more information bedsharing, here are the pros and cons as well as safety tips.
If you do not want to sleep with your baby, you need some strategies to help stay awake.
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Here are the best tips for how to stay awake for night feeds:
1 | Get Uncomfortable
Making yourself less comfy will help you stay awake. Just think how difficult it is to fall asleep when you can’t get into a comfortable position.
Get out of bed
If you are in bed chances are pretty good that you will fall back asleep. Not only are you probably very comfortable and lying down, but you also associate that location with sleep. Not the best strategy when figuring out how to stay awake during night feeds.
Getting up and moving around can help you feel more awake and make you less likely to fall right back to sleep. Taking a quick stroll around the room may be enough to get your blood flowing.
Some moms find that walking while feeding helps keep them awake. Put your baby in a carrier so as not to risk dropping them in your exhaustion.
Lots of moms find it easier to stay awake when sitting upright while feeding their baby. A recliner or cozy chair may make sleep too inviting, consider a hard back seat with no headrest if you’re struggling to stay awake.
**It’s important to note that falling asleep with your baby in a chair is actually considered higher risk than sleeping with them in a bed.
2 | Use Distractions
Middle of the night feedings is a great time to catch up on your TV shows or binge Netflix. Choose a show that you’re really into to keep you engaged and awake.
Also, watching on a device may be less disruptive to a sleeping partner or your baby than the actual television.
If you need a new show to watch check out our list of the best streaming TV shows for new moms!
Read a Book
New moms don’t often get many opportunities to read. A really compelling book can help you stay awake. Skip books that bore you or don’t hold your interest. Pick an exciting story that you only get to read at night to keep you alert.
Mom Tip: An e-reader is easier to use with one hand while feeding than holding an actual book. It also saves you a trip to the library or bookstore!
Your phone is full of fantastic distractions to keep you up at night.
- Play games
- Clear out your inbox
- Organize your photos
- Scroll social media
- Read the news
- Call or text friends in other time zones
- Browse Pinterest
- Shop on Amazon
- Meal plan and make your grocery list
- Listen to music or podcasts (Nothing lulling or boring)
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3 | Set An Alarm
Though setting an alarm for 5 or 10 minutes won’t actually keep you from falling asleep, it will wake you back up.
If your baby is still feeding when the alarm goes off, just reset it. At least you know that if you do fall asleep it won’t be for very long.
4 | Eat A Snack
Have a cold glass of water and a delicious, healthy snack ready to help stay awake. It’s hard to fall asleep while eating and it can help perk you up. Stay away from caffeine as it will make it difficult to go back to sleep when you’re ready.