It feels like you’ve just fallen asleep when you hear your baby crying, for the third time that night. “How am I going to get through this? I can’t go on like this forever. Is something wrong with my baby? Why is she waking up so much?”
All new moms have these questions when they get up for what feels like the hundredth time in one night to feed their baby. This is normal, mama – and it won’t last forever!
Your newborn baby needs to feed every 2 hours as your milk transitions in during the first couple of days after birth, after that feeds will move to about every 3 hours.
Should I wake my baby to feed during the night?
During the first two weeks your baby will be regaining her birth weight (babies usually lose a little weight after birth, but that’s completely normal). We usually wake baby during the night to feed to help her regain that weight. Once your milk has transitioned in and baby is gaining weight you can leave her to sleep until she wakes up for a feed on her own, but you should still wake her every 3 hours to feed during the day.
Night time feeds can be stretched to every 4 hours for the first 1 to 2 weeks.
ALSO SEE: How often should I feed my newborn?
Tips to get baby to sleep longer between feeds at night:
- Make sure your baby is well fed and not still hungry.
- Check that her nappy is clean and dry before you put her down.
- Make sure she’s winded.
- Swaddling your baby will prevent her from startling herself awake with her hands during the night.
- Your little one should be warm but not too hot when she sleeps.
- A dark room will help her sleep better.
- Background noise or white noise often helps to keep babies asleep for longer periods.
Pippa is a Registered Professional Nurse and trained as a Registered Midwife at Chris Hani Baragwanth Hospital. She has extensive experience in all things baby related with a special interest in preparing couples for the exciting journey of parenthood as well as supporting them in the weeks that follow the birth. She and her husband Richard are the proud parents of Becca age 6 and Tom age 4. Pippa has a comprehensive private clinic service that includes Childbirth Education classes, a Well Baby Clinic including Immunization as well as Post Natal and Lactation support. With over 5 years of running a private clinic facility and raising 2 children Pippa comes with a wealth of knowledge and first-hand experience of parenthood. Learn more about Pippa Hime