Nov 1, 2009

Night feeding

This baby seems to be the one for trying out new stuff. I never got the hang of feeding lying down with either of the girls, but its working out this time. Yay. Especially "yay" for the first thing in the morning feed...

My big discovery was a way to keep my shoulders and arms warm and snuggly, while not completely covering the baby with the duvet. The solution is simple, once you think of it - I wear my dressing gown to bed! ta-daa. The duvet only gets pulled up to my waist, thus keeping the baby's head well clear of a soft, downy smothering, and I stay super-snuggly warm.

Image (and nice position instructions) from ParentingWeb

So that is what I do first thing in the morning - or if MrBaby doesn't re-settle after his normal night feed, which I still get up and do on the couch while listening to National Radio.

I know some people successfully bed-share with their babies all night, which theoretically makes feeding during the night a cinch. All good if it works for you (and if you never attempt it after consuming drugs or alcohol, don't smoke, and don't have too-soft, fluffy bedding - all of which dramatically increase the chance of SIDS when combined with bed-sharing). But, as Merl will tell you, I am a world-class fidget in my sleep.

I cannot stand to stay in the same position, or even facing the same side for much longer than about an hour and a half. But moving the baby wakes him up. And I don't want to turn my back to him. So total bed-sharing is out. When MrBaby was very very little he slept with us most nights, so I know of what I speak.

So we 'co-sleep' - he's in a bassinet in our room, which allows me to respond to him before he gets majorly distressed, and most nights he ends up in our bed sometime around 5.30am. Then he feeds, I doze off, and generally we have a good cozy start to the day/end of the night.

The 3am-ish feed is a different kettle of fish. If I feed him in bed at 3am then I fall quite deeply asleep while he's feeding and then he, quite naturally, doesn't want to go back to his bassinet - and who can blame him? But then I have the 'aargh, I can't fidget and roll over' problem I described before. Instead, I get up and feed him in the dark in the living-room while listening to the radio. He's much happier to go back into the bassinet this way, though I'm not entirely sure why.

The radio is great - it keeps me from falling asleep on the couch and waking up horribly stiff and sore, and there are some really interesting programs on - mostly repeats of interviews and documentaries from during the day when I don't have the radio going. Yay for National Radio. An added bonus is that our radio is also a flashlight, so I can briefly switch it on to get MrBaby properly latched without needing to turn the main lights on.

Our torch-radio (flashlight) (except ours is yellow)

After 2 months, it's nice to see that we're getting to know our little guy and working out how he's different from either of the girls, and learning the kinds of things that will work for both him and us.


Curator-artist Wendy Grace Allen said...

Good post Stacey ;)

Catherine (Alecat Music) said...

I wish I'd learnt the art of feeding in bed for my first, but I managed it with the second. Dressing gown on!

I also made myself a couple of nightgowns, putting in some slits under the top lapel for breastfeeding.

It's quite easy to modify a regular pattern. Make the 'cut' in the gathers, going vertical, and turn over the seam. You can put in press-studs or velcro if you want, but I never bothered. It's easy enough to adapt blouse and dress patterns the same way (but I would put in the velcro or press-studs then. :)

It's lovely to see you all enjoy the new baby. :)

home handymum said...

a breastfeeding nightie is the only specifically breastfeeding item of clothing i have, and it's great! The middle of the night is when i care the most about having a cold tummy :)

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