I had read enough baby books and websites to anticipate sleepless nights long before Baby M was born.
I was told my baby would wake up atleast 3-4 times during the night. And, three months into this motherhood gig, a night of non stop 7 hours sleep seems as far fetched as a vacation in Maldives where I do nothing except frolic in my bikini on the beach.
While it took a bit getting used to, I actually don’t mind it at all. I love being alone with my baby during these quiet hours drinking his tiny features in, wrapping my finger in his and tickling him lightly to see if I can get a reaction.
But, lets be honest. There’s only so much romantic child-gazing you can indulge in. And, while I fully anticipated the sleepless nights what I didn’t anticipate at all was the mind-numbing boredom while I waited for Baby M to finish feeding and fall back asleep
While I spent the first few days endlessly scrolling through my Facebook feed and replying to messages this soon got old. I realized that these quiet minutes at night was the only time I was going to get to myself so I should really spend it wisely. If you are looking for ideas on dominating your post-baby world at 2am, here’s a few things you could get done:
Complete your shopping
I thought I was well prepared for baby but between diapers, groceries, baby soap, clothes and medicines, I was constantly running out of things. Making verified accounts on online shopping sites like Amazon and Big Basket was the best thing I did. For the first two months I did all my shopping post midnight. I must say that the Amazon wishlist feature is the best (not getting paid or anything to say this) because it’s a good way of doing research and adding things to your to buy later list. Open wishlists are also a great way for friends and family to buy you something you actually need so it’s a win-win for everyone.
I hate admitting this but there’s no such thing as me-time with a newborn. Atleast not for the first six months until you get into a routine of sorts. While I didn’t mind not having time to watch tv or read, I really started going a bit nuts when I couldn’t do the one thing that helps me centre myself. For me, that one thing is writing. It’s actually during one such sleepless night that I came up with the idea for this blog too. Use this time in the night to do whatever it is that helps you quiet your mind – between the crying baby, constant advice and post baby depression, you’re going to need it.
Parenthood is a steep learning curve and in the first few weeks I had more questions than I did answers. Reading mom blogs and community forums were a God send and made me feel that I wasn’t the only one worried or going nuts about a particular thing. Amongst the top sites that helped were Kelly Mom, Baby Center and La Leche League. If you’ve got all your baby problems sorted and are just looking for a good laugh then it’s a good idea to follow some mom blogs (like mine). My personal favorites are Toot’s Mom is Tired, Mummy To Dex and A Mum Track Mind.
I am trying my best to stick to my doc’s advice of exclusively breast feeding for the first six months and to do this while maintaining my sanity I’ve found it best to pump milk regularly so that I can give atleast one feeding duty to Bawa Groom or someone else in the house. Not only does this break help me get some much needed time to myself, it’s also great to use the pumped milk when Baby M just refuses to latch or when we are out in a place where I can’t find the space to breast feed comfortably. In the early days I read somewhere that prolactin production (prolactin is the milk-making hormone) is significantly higher at night, particularly in the wee hours of the morning. And, it’s true! Even after feeding Baby M I usually have enough milk to pump out a small 4 ounce bottle and while it takes a little juggling it’s possible to feed from one breast and pump from the other so you can get back to your beauty sleep as soon as possible.
Mumnesia (the talent of forgetting things almost instantly) is real! I’ve had days of putting the milk I need to heat in the freezer and others when I’ve blankly stared at my food blog or emails completely at a loss of what I planned to do just two minutes ago. Use the night feeding time to close your eyes and focus your brain on whatever it is you need to do. Need a solution for childcare or need to brainstorm what you will cook tomorrow or in my case need to brainstorm new menu ideas? The answers to all these questions comes easier at night when you are only focused on one thing and the house is quiet around you.
How do you make your night feeds more enjoyable? Do share in the comments below!