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It doesn’t matter whether you are breastfeeding or formula feeding, nighttime feedings with your baby are typically one of parents’ least favorite activities. But after surviving it with four kids (and with no end in sight), I have learned quite a bit about what makes nighttime feedings more bearable. Here is my list of five things every parent needs to survive those late night hours.
A Comfy Place to Sit
When Kaiden was a baby, we lived in a small townhouse in Virginia. Every night when he would wake for a bottle, I would take him downstairs to warm his bottle and feed him on the couch. It was definitely not ideal! With my other babies, I had a glider rocker in the nursery. This was a much better place to sit with arm support, and gently rock while they went back to sleep. I have used this glider rocker with both Aren and Rowen, and I’ll probably keep it even after they are much older! It’s perfect for reading bedtime stories or snuggles when they get sick.
Late Night Entertainment
Another thing I did when Kaiden was a baby – I would open up my huge laptop to check in with my Aug ‘09 baby mamas late at night. I needed something to do to help me stay away while feeding him, and that was the best way to do it. Now, I have a Kindle to keep my eyes busy and help pass the time while Rowen is feeding. It’s a good way to catch up on a little reading at 3 AM anyway! My current book is the “Oh Crap! Potty Training” book, but I have quite a few downloaded in my queue. (Want to hear all of my current Kindle recommendations? Drop a comment or send me a message on Facebook!)
Hatch Baby Rest Light/Sound Machine
We started using a sound machine when Aren was a baby, because it would help to drown out our daytime noise and Roxie’s ridiculous barking. I didn’t discover the amazingness of the Hatch Baby Rest until we bought one for Rowen. Now BOTH of my babies have one in their rooms.
The Hatch is programmable, with different colored lights and a variety of white noise sounds. I prefer either the TV static or the ocean sounds. It gives off just enough light so I can see when Rowen wakes without having to turn on additional light that would disturb his sleep.
Hydration within Arm’s Reach
Especially for breastfeeding moms, drinking water is super important. But even for moms who formula feed, we need to make sure we are getting enough H2O. You may be hesitant to fill your bladder in the middle of the night, but your body will thank you for it in the morning. You’ll feel much more rested and ready to tackle your day if you aren’t battling dehydration. And as a bonus, those bags under your eyes may look a little less baggy!
A Drop Cloth of Epic Proportions
Ok, not really. But you do need a blanket/burp cloth/cloth diaper insert/kitchen towel/husband’s shirt — something to catch the ridiculous amount of spit-up your child is going to forcefully eject at 2:48 AM… just when you thought he was asleep.
Seriously. How do such tiny things produce SO MUCH SPIT-UP??!
I like to keep a receiving blanket nearby so I can use it to catch spit-up, wipe drool, or even cover my legs if I get cold while feeding and rocking Rowen back to sleep. They are cute and multi-use, which works out perfectly.
Nighttime Feedings – Mastered!
Now that you have everything you need to make those nighttime feedings more tolerable, go ahead and wake up Dad and send him in for one of the wake-ups. Especially during a sleep regression. Yowza.
Did I leave anything out? What was on your must-have list?