I’m not an expert at parenting by any stretch of the imagination. I make many mistakes as a parent, but I quite possibly have this night time feeding routine down pat.
Where many parents dread the night time feeds, I enjoy them; they are my private, intimate one-on-one time with my babies. They are stress free (most of the time) and there is not one place in the world where I’d rather be than cuddled up with my baby on the couch watching her eyes drift off to sleep as she feeds.
When the world sleeps, my baby and I are awake. I sit there each night (usually every two and a half to three hours) in a dim light admiring my little angel as she guzzles her milk.
I’m not sure if night feeds in our house are so good because both of my babies have easy-going temperaments or whether it is because we haven’t yet had any major feeding issues outside of the standard issues. You know the ones, when the toddler is awake at the same time as the baby, when the baby has reflux or when you’re sick, the baby’s sick, or when you’re all sick together.
But either way, night feeding in our house is wonderful and I’m convinced that this rule is even more important during these long nights of unpredictability.
Now that I’ve talked it up, I better spill the beans.
So what is this single most important rule to making night time feeding so enjoyable?
The answer is easy… organisation.
Now I know what you’re saying, “Obvious!”… “like, duh!”. But I say, if it’s that obvious, how come you’re not doing it?
I have found the more time you put into preparing your night time feeds before you go to bed, the less time you will spend up at some stupid o’clock trying to fan out a nappy, locating a nappy bag, and stumbling around in the dark for a change of clothes after a nappy blow out.
I’m sure of it! I’ve trialed it.. actually I’ve more than trialed it, I’m living it!
This is what my night time feeding station looks like.
As you can see, I don’t have a designer change table, it was a hand-me-down. In fact, I would even argue you don’t need one if you have a waist height bench or bed.
I don’t have a special feeding pillow, I use a spare one from the wardrobe.
I don’t have an expensive feeding chair from some fancy pants baby boutique, I sit on our old, but trusty, leather couch.
And I store all my back up nappies in a cane basket I bought from Spotlight over six years ago.
But the key message I want you to take away from this picture… is how organisation before you go to bed can be your savour in the middle of the night.
This is my before bed preparation for the night:
- Stack two cushions upright on the couch for all important back support.
- Place a larger pillow on the couch for me to later put on my lap to elevate the baby so she can latch well (this pillow is also crucial for my back support).
- Place toddlers couch at the front of adult couch to rest feet on. This elevates my feet and gives me the perfect feeding position.
- Place two face washers/milk cloths on the arm rest. These are used to clean up any vomits after the feed or any milk when my non-feeding breast lets down.
- Place two breast pads on the change table to insert into my bra after a feed for the next let down I will usually get several hours later in bed.
- Place a drink flask full of water to my left for those feeding thirsts.
- Place a books next to me, which I read depending on how tired I am. I’ll be honest, I usually don’t have a hand free as I like to massaging milk ducts to prevent mastitis.
- I have a packet of tissues beside me too in case I need them, and a tube of Lansinoh that I use on the occasion for sore nipples.
- On top of the change table I open up a least four newborn nappies and one toddler nappy to save time fanning them out in the middle of the night.
- Open and hang two or three nappy bags off a hook glued to the front of the change table for dirty nappies.
- Place a full change of newborn and toddler clothes at the bottom of the change table in case of any blow outs. Apart from these items of clothes, all the other clothes are in the bedrooms, which is too far to walk to get at that hour of the night.
- The last thing I do before I go to bed is switch on a lamp and turn off all overhead down lights. While we have proper night lights in the kid’s bedrooms, I use a corner lamp for night feeds only because I feed in the lounge room where it’s more comfortable.
As you can see, I spend quite a bit of time preparing for my night time feeds. I admit, I do envy the mums who can do lay down feeds with their little ones in bed. Unfortunately, I learnt very quickly with my first born that although I love these lay down feeds during the day, during the night they make me very anxious about falling asleep on the baby and I wake up in a panic that I’ve rolled over.
As this is my night time routine and it works for me, I’d love to hear what your night time routine looks like.
Do you spend time preparing for night feeds, or do you go with the flow at night?
Is there anything else you could recommend I do to make night feeding a little smoother?
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