Night feeding: A survival guide

Night feeds are often one of the things new parents struggle with the most. I’ve heard some parents say that they share these with their partner, but the bulk of these often fall to mummies, especially if you are breastfeeding.

night feeds

I did all the night feeds with all four children. At ten months my youngest little man was still feeding at least twice in the night, although as he rarely slept in his own bed, it is hard to tell really as I think he probably helped himself as well! Anyone else had that?

There is no doubt about it that night feeds can be exhausting but it isn’t just the sleep deprivation that can be difficult. Loneliness can be an issue with night feeds as well.

I tried to explain this to someone once and they didn’t understand. Their view was – baby wakes up, mum feeds baby, baby goes back to sleep, mum goes back to sleep. If only it were that straightforward right?

breastfeeding with teeth

In the early days in particular you can get trapped in a cycle of feeding, winding, nappy changing and settling your baby. If you have other children as well and they happen to wake up, the nights can become even longer. I used to dread bedtime because I knew I had a long night ahead of me.

This can be lonely. Some nights you might be none stop between rooms and other nights you might just spend hours on end feeding and trying to get your newborn to sleep. You watch the hours and minutes tick by S-L-O-W-L-Y.

Going to bed is often something people look forward to but when going to bed signifies the start of a long lonely night you can come to dread bedtimes like I did.

night feeds

How long your nights like this carry on for, will depend on your children, but there are a few things that can help make the nights easier.

  • Make sure you have plenty of drinks to hand
  • Make sure you have muslin squares to hand
  • Make sure you have your phone and charger to hand – use the time to catch up on reading, email, research, social media or even shopping Β – I did Β all my Christmas present shopping between 1am and 5am from my smartphone, it was such a time saver!
  • Keep a pen and a pad to hand for any thoughts you have or shopping list Β items you suddenly remember – the best thoughts can come to you in the middle of the night!
  • If it doesn’t disturb other family members use the time to watch TV even if it is the soothing music of the baby TV channel
  • Make sure you have all the pillows and feeding cushions you need to hand so you aren’t scrabbling around in the night
  • Keep a hand cream to hand and use the time to keep your skin hydrated – let’s face it there’s no time to do this in the day!
  • Have a night light to hand and any personal items like glasses within easy reach
  • Try to enjoy the time with your baby because you will never have that time with them again! As tiring as these nights are, these are special moments!

Do you have any tips for coping with night feeds?


  1. lol me too – I never remember in the day so if I keep some in easy reach it is a job that can get done in the middle of the night. Thanks for reading x

  2. I was extremely lucky, when hubby was on lates, he would stay up as late as he possibly could to do the nights, whilst I went to bed as early as I could to do the early morning feeds, seemed to work well until we had to work earlies then it was all down to me.. Im not moaning though, those days are long gone now. #binkylinky

  3. Lovely idea to surround yourself with things that you can do while feeding! I get bored before while doing feeds in general and learned to multi task and this made feeding more enjoyable for me. #pocolo

  4. Sounds like you had a good system – when I feed in the day I am always doing something else but that is out of necessity not boredom lol – thanks for reading πŸ™‚

  5. awww, talk about flashbacks! It got to the point where I dreaded bedtime, wondering how long I'd get to sleep πŸ™ I don't miss these days one bit. Great list

  6. Both my children have been very different at night times. Both were breastfed but my first slept through the night from 4 weeks old! I thought it was easy but then my second came along and woke a lot more during the night. We coslept in the end so it was so so easy and meant I got so much more sleep. Now I am expecting number 3 so it will all be starting all over again. lol

  7. I had to read this because my beautiful grand daughter is still going through night feeds. I love all your suggestions. Being prepared is the best one I think.

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