Can't Sleep After Feeding Baby?
Can't Sleep After Feeding Baby
If it is 3 a.m. as you are reading this, then you know where this is going. The following tips will help get you back to the rest you need.
Nighttime feedings are part of the first year of your relationship with your baby. Your little one is waking up because they need to. As the caregiver, it gives you that bonding time that strengthens your relationship. With a full tummy, your baby will typically go back to sleep, but sleep seems more elusive to you. Instead of reading emails or surfing the Internet, it's type to go back to bed. Here are some ways you may not have tried yet.
1. Turn Off All Screens
Don't turn on the TV. Put your phone away. Forget about anything that can wait until morning. You know the research about having screen time 30 minutes before you go to sleep. This is just as true for nighttime feedings. Your purpose is to feed your little one, make them feel loved and comforted, and put them back to bed. As soon as your mission is complete, you should also go back to bed.
2. Don't Make Plans
Some parents figure that while they are awake, this is a good time to prep for the morning. You may think it is a good time to make the next batch of formula for the next 24 hours, do another load of laundry, or anything that seems to be productive. Honestly, if you did not have an infant or woke up for nighttime feedings, would you wake up in the middle of the night to do these things? Not likely. If you would not do it on your own time, don't do it after your baby's time with you.
3. Get Help
Nursing mothers are the food source, but that does not mean that they have to do it all. If you are nursing, you can express your milk and store it in the coldest part of the refrigerator for 3-5 days. Pumping helps you feel less engorged and stimulates milk production. That help will allow your partner to come to the rescue when you need one full night of sleep. The same is true if your baby drinks formula. Or, if you are on night duty, your partner can let you sleep in a little and take the first feeding of the morning. Any sleep will help you cope with anything that comes your way.
4. Lay Down
You may not fall asleep right away, but there is a better chance that you will if you just go back to bed. Consider the quote “Fake it till you make it”. Even if you do not feel tired, you still need to go through the motions to get yourself back to sleep. That means lay down in your bed, find your favorite position, close your eyes, and just relax. Focus on your breathing. You may not fall asleep right away, but that rest will help calm you, restore your energy, and be more productive about getting you back to sleep.
Even if you are not able to get a full-night's sleep, you are on your way to getting rest so that you can be productive for your baby and your household. Follow advice such as nap when your baby does. Most of all, remind yourself that this is not forever. Your baby needs you now, and they will grow out of it. So go to sleep. Your baby and your body will thank you later.