At last, baby is asleep and you can finally get yourself some zzz’s.
Now the pillow is softer than ever, and the bed is suddenly sooo relaxing, and a bit of sleep is very much appreciated.
You’ve barely had the chance to doze off and next thing you know, you hear that soft to shrieking cry of hunger.
You quickly get up in the wee hours, give breastmilk or bottlefeed, and plan to sleep again… but baby won’t go back to sleep after night feeding!
You know it’s going to be another long zombified night.
Those who have a mellow baby who delightfully breastfeeds by day and predictably sleeps 4-6 hour stretches once it gets dark may be lucky.
A number of parents, however, are blessed with a high-need newborn not settling after night feeds.
Baby is cared for throughout the night, yet still requires lots of nourishment and comforting when the sun’s up.
Eventually, these parents eventually find themselves screaming ‘HELP! My baby won’t settle after night feed!’
Is your baby giving you the run for your money?
During this phase when you’re still recovering from childbirth, lack of sleep can make you feel exhausted, bleary and helpless. A few months of clocking up only 1-2 hours of sleep a night, it becomes worse.
Trust me, I know. The cry for ‘HELP!’ progresses to my baby. Some dads who are involved as far as bottle feeding or burping even said they thought they’re going to die!
The great, strong mom that YOU are, you will surely survive.
Nobody said it was easy, but nighttime feeding cycles can definitely become more manageable. In fact, it can be made enjoyable with these tips and tricks below.
Tips for Babies Who Won’t Go Back to Sleep After Night Feeding
Be Wary of Sleep Disruption
Some people wake up their sleeping child when feeding time is due. Not letting your baby develop his or her own sleep patterns will only lead to more problems.
Truth is, the more your baby sleeps, the more he will sleep. You can do the math when you get more for yourself.
Decide Where Baby Sleeps
Learning how getting baby back to sleep at night also entails openness to various sleeping arrangements.
Most infants love to snuggle with mommy, perhaps beside daddy, while some sleep better in their cot. Find the right solo or co-sleep combo that promotes a faster transition and longer sleep.
Tank Up with Frequent Day Feedings
Babies get busier as they grow, and actually, forget to eat! Instances often occur at 6 months of age.
They instead wake up and make up for missed feedings, and it could be at different times every single night.
Mom then can be the one to remind baby to nurse at different intervals during the day, such that baby won’t need to nurse as much as night.
Create The Ideal Room Environment
The brain becomes more alert when exposed to bright lights, thus making it difficult to go back to sleep.
Nighttime feeding is best done in a room with dim lights, minimal noise, and a comfortable temperature. Well, this should be the exact setup of your baby’s sleep space is the first place.
You can also read this article about baby light show projectors, because many parents share your experience and many of them are happy with the light show projector in the baby room… read this review here!
Pick the Right Time For A Change
When baby won’t go back to sleep after night feeding, avoid changing diapers at all costs! Do it right before bedtime and use one with extra absorbency feature and less risks of leaking.
Whenever necessary, change before a feeding but it’s generally best to leave the diaper on (unless it is soiled) until the next feeding.
Keep Calm and Burp
Once done feeding at night, lift baby up and do the non-stimulating burping technique. Firm and soft back strokes should be enough to get your baby to burp.
After 5 minutes and it doesn’t come up, no worries. It’s alright to put him or her back in the crib to get much needed sleep.
In the video below, Gladys Ellett shares some good burping techniques
After your baby has fed long enough and the short burp time is up, wrap him or her in a blanket or swaddle snugly to stay warm.
Now put your child down. If you still see baby wide awake after night feeding, try patting or putting your hand close to your child.
Instead of lifting which tends to stimulate, even make baby cry hysterically when laid down awake, your loving touch will offer assurance until he dozes off.
Make Do Without A Sleep Prop
An important factor of why baby wakes up at night and won’t go back to sleep is sleep associations.
The prop, whether an object or person or action such as rocking or swinging or nursing, is what baby needs to fall asleep.
Most of us would have our baby close to our heart in a sling as we gently pace the floor and rock him gently to sleep.
Naturally, baby would expect the same prop in order to get back to sleep after feeding.
The solution is to support them with various sleep associations to prevent attachment to one, then ultimately letting go which will give you and your baby a whole lot more of normal sleep.
Laying Out The Master Plan
A happy mother and a well-fed, nurtured baby is all that matters.
Sleep deprivation won’t contribute to having a better perspective and understanding of why baby won’t go back to sleep after night feeding.
In the meantime, jump back into bed soon as baby falls asleep, with no time to waste!
The key is to catch up and execute a plan.
It doesn’t matter if your bundle of joy is merely an infant, has grown into a 5-month baby who refuses to sleep afterward after every session, or one who still wakes up at night at 18 months old.
It’s never too late to foster better sleeping habits by implementing some of the aforementioned strategies.
You’ll be delighted to see your baby become more engaging, patient, tolerant, less fussy and cranky after a quality nap.