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Staying awake during night feeds

(21 Posts)
flipflopsonfifthavenue Sun 04-Jan-15 07:29:32

How do you do this?

DS2 is 8 wks and every once in a while during one ( or more sad ) night feeds I'll nod off. I get him from crib by bed, sit up in bed, I'll latch get him on and the next thing I know I jolt myself awake and find him snoozing happily in my arms and often over an hour has passed.

This occasionally happened with DS1 but only ever for 5/10 mins. It's happening more often with DS2, maybe because he feeds for longer.

I don't smoke, drink or take drugs and am pretty confident I would wake if he moved or slipped etc (that's what mums do, right?!) but regardless, this isn't safe and I don't want it to keep happening.

I could feed lying down but not ideal as not a huge amount of room in our bed and I'd rather get him back in crib than start co sleeping. I know some people check their phone, watch iplayer etc but I can't bear idea of looking at screen with tired eyes. We have a spare room but no armchair/chair so would be sitting up in a bed too there so same problem. Don't fancy tackling stairs to go to living room when am sleepy and carrying a baby.

Any tips? What do others do?

moggle Sun 04-Jan-15 07:49:19

Only thing I can think of is to put a light on? Would your DH/P wake with a side light on? Or could you do that in the spare room? I did this a couple of times in the early days with DD but think it was just getting used to being awake in the middle of the night.
FWIW if you push the duvet down to your knees and only have a pillow (if used) up vertically behind your back I wouldn't have thought there's much risk of baby getting his face stuck in anything.

Imeg Sun 04-Jan-15 07:54:00

I used to listen to audiobooks or music on my mp3 player to pass the time - more relaxing than reading. I am a very light sleeper so didn't have trouble staying awake but maybe this would work for you?

McBaby Sun 04-Jan-15 08:08:49

Audio books or listen to a tv program on iPad without watching it iyswim.

I would make sure that if you do fall asleep it's safe for co sleeping even if you feed lying down then pick him up and put him in the cot afterwards it your awake.

squizita Sun 04-Jan-15 10:04:17

Have you got a night light or something (we were given one thar projected stars and played gentle music) you could switch on? I can't sleep bolt upright so put a wedge cushion against the small of my back which works for me.

SilverLinings2014 Sun 04-Jan-15 18:18:49

I second mcbaby. If there's a risk you'll fall asleep, make sure it's safe. Falling asleep in bed - as long as no duvet/pillow can cover baby - is safer than sleeping sat on sofa where baby could roll and get trapped between you and arm of sofa etc. And you can always move him back to crib when you wake.

Levismum Sun 04-Jan-15 18:23:05

With dd I just gave up & co slept. Never done it with others but combination of bf & older dc meant I was exhausted before she was even born!

Don't rule it out totally. Personally i got to the stage of sleeping in traffic so nothing will keep me awake when I'm tired!

HungerKunstler Sun 04-Jan-15 18:25:21

Wish I had that problem! I'm the opposite and can never go back to sleep after feeding DD in the small hours of the morning grin. It makes the night feeds exhausting...

Could you pull back the bed covers to make yourself cold so you stay awake?

WomanScorned Sun 04-Jan-15 18:32:53

Yup, just make sure your bed is safe for co-sleeping - far less risky than falling asleep In a chair/
on a sofa.
5 years on, I still wake for a couple of hours a night, and value that alone/reading/ film time.

TravelinColour Sun 04-Jan-15 18:34:44

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

flipflopsonfifthavenue Sun 04-Jan-15 18:52:08

Thanks ladies. Have downloaded first two episodes of Serial and will chat to DP re co sleeping smile

StarlightMcKenzee Sun 04-Jan-15 21:32:11

It's a whole lot easier to give in a cosleep. More sleep for everyone.

I put a single pop-up bed next to our double and dh slept on that so we kind of had a 3-wide bed. We had to move some furniture to fit it in but that was okay. I had the double with the baby. Never remember any sleep deprivation at all with my second and third child as a result. At least not to the extent that I experienced when I was trying to do everything 'right' and keep the baby out of the marital bed or whatever I strange cultural ideology I had consumed at that point. Thank god I came to my senses.

LetticeKnollys Sun 04-Jan-15 21:35:30

I usually co sleep and recommend it, but when we stay at MILs there isn't room to do so safely - I found playing games on my phone (I don't usually play them) woke my brain up just enough to stay asleep without requiring too much mental effort in the middle of the night.

Orangeisthenewbanana Sun 04-Jan-15 21:41:17

I kept a side light on and listened to my mp3 player. We never co-slept but DD was generally good at night, so we didn't have to consider it with her, but it might work for you.

squizita Mon 05-Jan-15 10:13:02

Bearing in mind not everyone can Co sleep and it doesn't always improve sleep there I said it ... I'm borderline risky and slept so lightly it gave me panic attacks it is useful for new mums to have other strategies available. Especially if breastfeeding.
It is 100% perfectly possible to not Co sleep, or have a "half way" of a bed side crib or sleepyhead and breast feed.

Disclaimer: making this 100% clear as in my 3rd trimester and 1st few months MN gave me (personally) the distinct impression breastfeeding without Ci sleeping would be hell. When I inquired about strategies I was often told "just Co sleep! If you intend to breastfeed..." Even though I thrash in my sleep and said I didn't feel right. I was reliably told night tine breastfeeding is awful if you dont. For me, it isn't. grin

squizita Mon 05-Jan-15 10:15:21

...Further disclaimer: no where have I suggested Co sleeping isn't wonderful if it suits you! But it isn't a magic bullet for everyone, nor is using other arrangements always terribly hard.

flipflopsonfifthavenue Mon 05-Jan-15 14:16:58

Squizita - I've co slept on occasion but agree not magic bullet but mainly as I haven't cracked bfing lying down as my boobs are so massive I can't work out how to do it comfortably for both DS2 and I...!

JuniDD Mon 05-Jan-15 16:43:57

I look at my phone and have a light on. haven't cracked side-lying feeding so that works for me.

splendide Mon 05-Jan-15 18:07:14

I'm with Squiz, I just couldn't couldn't co-sleep - I tried a few times and would literally lie there with palpatations and sweating with anxiety. I have him in a sleepyhead in a bed side crib which seems to work ok. I have fallen asleep once or twice while feeding which is a bit scary but can't seem to find another way to operate.

Gennz Wed 07-Jan-15 02:31:12

I would never co-sleep, I'd never get any decent sleep at all. Even now, depsite the fact that DS has never slept in our bed I wake up panicking, clutching a pillow thinking I'm clutching him.

I don't feed in bed - we have wing chair in our room that I get up to feed in. I have nodded off in it at times but the design of the chair is such that would be pretty impossible for DS to fall. Usually I just nod off fo an instant and wake myself up as my head lolls to the side!

flipflopsonfifthavenue Wed 07-Jan-15 07:56:01

"Dozed off" for an hour and a half last night at 1am sad thinking of sitting up on edge of bed and making myself really uncomfortable....

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