Getting a good night's sleep with a newborn sounds like an oxymoron, doesn't it? I know all babies are different. Some sleep better than others. I've experienced good sleeping babies and....not so good sleeping babies. Either way, sleep deprivation is real and it can make you do crazy things! So with my third baby, I've done 3 things that help maximize the little sleep I get. (Make sure to check out the video at the bottom of this post on how I use my HALO Bassinest. That thing is amazing!)
Keep the baby close. With my first baby, I kept his bassinet by the foot of our bed. But that meant having to get out of bed every 2 hours to pick him up and feed him. If you have to physically stand and get up for each feeding, that will make your body wake up even more, making it harder for you to fall back asleep after the feeding (..before the next feeding). I don't sleep very well with a baby in our bed, but this time around I wanted my baby to sleep as close to me as possible. Have you heard of the HALO Bassinest? They've been featured everywhere. This thing has been a lifesaver! I can't say enough good things about it. I can literally lay down in my bed and watch my baby sleeping right next to me. At night I wrap Eli in the HALO SleepSack, that keeps him nice and wrapped, but allows me to zip it open at the bottom for nighttime diaper changes. Then I lay him in the Bassinest. You can see all of the amazing features it offers here, but here are my favorite parts about it:
We have very minimal room on my side of the bed, so I needed something that wouldn't take up too much space, but still allow Eli to sleep next to me. The HALO Bassinest has a thin base that allows me to slide the base under the bed so that the Bassinest is right up next to my bed. You can also adjust the height on it, so that is is the exact level of your mattress.
The side of of the Bassinest lowers. It lowers! So genius. All I have to do is reach over, push the side down with my elbows while I pick up Eli. And it's retractable, so it goes right back up after you press down on it, keeping the baby safe and eliminating any chance of the baby falling out.
It swivels. This was the major selling point for me. I wanted the Bassinest right up next to my bed, but it would be a pain to have to move down to the bottom of the bed in order to get out of it. This one swivels, so I can push it back and out of the way, making it super easy to get out of bed! (you have to watch the video below to see it in action)
It has amazing button options. It vibrates (!!), it plays soft music, it has a blue light that makes it easy to see at night, and it had a nursing timer button that blinks for 15 minutes so you know when to change sides. I'm not joking. They thought of everything!
TIP 2: Keep your movements minimal. The more you move around for each feeding, the harder it will be for you to fall back to sleep. To eliminate unnecessary moving around all night, keep the baby within arms reach, along with everything else you need. I keep a big pillow on the floor by my bed so that when Eli wakes up, I can just bend down, grab the pillow, and throw it behind my back to prop me up while I nurse. I also sleep with my nursing pillow in between my legs. I usually sleep with a leg pillow anyway, and this is a convenient way to quickly grab my nursing pillow without having to stand up and get it. I also keep diapers, wipes, and a burp cloth on my nightstand.
TIP 3: Prep everything beforehand. No matter how tired you are going to bed at night, you are going to be more tired in the middle of the night nursing. So make the effort to "set up" your bed before hitting the hay. Load your nightstand with diapers, wipes, a burp cloth, a water bottle, and anything else you might need for late night feedings.