Ask any mother getting up to breastfeed at night if they have fears about falling asleep while caring for their babies, and most will respond that they have had concerns about not remaining awake during the entire feeding. Because there are significant injuries that can occur when mothers fall asleep while feeding their babies, it is of the utmost importance that they remain wide-eyed when nursing their little ones. And to do this, there are ways tired moms can stay awake while breastfeeding.
According to KidsHealth, newborns will wake every two to three hours to feed at night. The frequency with which babies wake at night will decrease as they get older but for mothers in the thick of waking several times to breastfeed, that feels like a long way off. That means until those days come, finding ways to stay awake to keep their babies from getting hurt while breastfeeding is part and parcel of a successful breastfeeding session.
Here are ways tired moms can stay awake while breastfeeding.
10 Get Out Of Bed
Many mothers will grab their babies out of the bassinet to breastfeed them in the middle of the night. This is to help babies transition back to sleep easier. But, according to APtly Said, When mothers breastfeed, the oxytocin causes them to become drowsy as well. And they are more likely to fall asleep when feeding if comfortable laying in bed with their babies.
To combat falling asleep, mothers should physically get out of bed when breastfeeding their babies. This will wake them up enough out of their slumber from walking from the bed to the rocker. And because the transition from the bassinet to the rocker is not great, babies should fall back to sleep with ease.
9 Drink Cold Water
Need a shock to the system to wake up in the middle of the night? Drink a glass of cold water. Not only will it revive sleepy moms but it will also help with the hydration that is needed to keep up milk supply while breastfeeding.
8 Have Nighttime Snacks On Hand
If the senses are being used while breastfeeding, it is harder for mothers to fall asleep while feeding their babies. Therefore, keep some nighttime snacks on hand when breastfeeding babies.
According to Hello Postpartumsome great go-to snacks to have at night while breastfeeding include:
Greek yogurt with granola and fruit
Oatmeal with a nut butter
String cheese with pretzels
Rice cakes with avocado
Having these snacks made ahead of time will allow moms to grab their snacks before breastfeeding to help them stay while their babies fill their bellies awake.
7 Watch A Show
Turning a television show on low while breastfeeding will not be enough to make babies lose their focus while breastfeeding. As such, turn on a show or movie that is special for nighttime feedings. That way, it is something to look forward to when nursing at night.
6 Work On A Grocery List
It may be hard to get tasks done during the day with a baby. As such, get them done while breastfeeding.
Be it on a pad of paper, on a phone, or making an online shopping list, it is easy to be productive while babies are feeding. And because moms will be focused on what they need to get at the store, they will be more apt to stay awake while little ones get their fill of milk.
5 Listen To A Podcast
A good podcast is near impossible to focus on when caring for little ones. Therefore, take the time while they are breastfeeding to catch up on podcasts missed. And make sure to choose ones with content that is interesting. If boring, they may just have the opposite effect and cause moms to drift off into dreamland.
4 Play Games On Phone
Focusing on a game on the phone is a great way to stay awake while breastfeeding. This is because it makes the mind stay active. And because it can be done with one hand, babies can feed comfortably while breastfeeding mothers keep themselves entertained.
3 Sing To Baby
If mothers find it too hard to do other things while breastfeeding at night because it causes them to become too awake, then singing to babies is a good way to stay awake at night.
An added bonus to singing to babies is that it will cause them to fall asleep faster. This means more sleep for tired moms, making a win-win for all involved.
2 Turn A Soft Light On
A bright light will cause the body to believe it is daytime. When this happens, it can be difficult for moms and babies to get back to sleep after little ones wake to breastfeed. But, this does not mean that no light can be turned on when feeding. And it may just help keep moms awake in the process.
According to Johnson & Johnson, when dim lights are used, it is a cue to the brain to release melatonin. Melatonin is what helps people to sleep. As such, a dim light should not change the melatonin being released to the body when breastfeeding, making it easy for mothers to get back to sleep after waking themselves enough to nurse.
When caring for babies, looking at social media is likely not at the top of the list of priorities for the day. As such, take the time when babies are breastfeeding to catch up on what friends and family are doing, all while staying awake and keeping babies safe when breastfeeding.
Source: KidsHealth, APtly Said, Hello Postpartum, Johnson & Johnson
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