Getting through the nights is hard for any new mum. But for a parent with a reflux baby those nights can be even more challenging. Your baby can be hard to comfort and only sleep for short amounts of time.
This can leave you feeling irritable, stressed or emotional. You may find you have poor concentration, are forgetful, or feel hungrier than normal. It can make each day seem that bit harder.
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10 Ways To Make Nights With A Reflux Baby Easier
1. Create a Happy Night Time Space
When you know that you will be woken up every few hours you start to give up on sleep. You don’t see the point in even trying to get to sleep anymore and can even dread going to bed.
Instead of causing yourself more stress by worrying about bedtime, create a night time space that feels positive. Choose somewhere comfortable to lie down and relax. Don’t try and make yourself fall asleep or clock watch because this will only make it worse. To relax spray your bed with a pillow spray, use a diffuser and aromatherapy oils. I find these make me feel calmer and more relaxed.
2. Sleep Near To Baby
If you can sleep near to your baby. This makes its much easier when you have to get up multiple times in the night. You don’t have so far to go and hopefully baby doesn’t wake up the whole family (especially if you have other children). To sleep safely by your baby you can use a next to me cot so you can just reach across and reassure your baby or pick them up.
3. Healthy Drinks and Snacks
Its is too tempting to eat junk food when you are tired. You will reach for that sugary snack or drink just to get you through the night. Keep a little container of healthy snack and a bottle of water near to where you look after baby in the night. Don’t put it too close or you’ll be tempted to snack all night. Just near enough to get if you really need a boost or to rehydrate.
4. Low Level Lighting
You will want to have a light on when you are up in the night with your baby because this will help to keep you awake. Try not to use bright lights as this will wake baby and you up more. Use a night light or dimmable lights. You can also change the colour of the lights such as the Philips Hue to get the best colour for promoting sleep. I use Hue lights in both my children’s rooms and as a night light at the top of the stairs.
5. Daytime Naps
Everyone will tell you to sleep when your baby has a nap. I know how hard it is to do that when you have a pile of washing because the baby has been sick on everything. But I learnt to always have a rest when my baby had a nap so I had enough energy to get through the night times. I would find another time to do chores when the baby was being entertained by someone else or sitting in the baby swing.
To help your baby to sleep better in the day time use a blackout blind and try a white noise machine.
6. Early Bedtime For You
It can be too tempting to stay up when the children have gone to bed. You can enjoy the peace and quiet, watch TV without being interrupted and have a whole conversation with another adult.
But it can really help you if you go to bed as soon as the baby goes to sleep. Then you get a few hours uninterrupted sleep. I used to do this a few times a week just to keep me sane!
7. Arrange Time To Switch Off
If you are doing most of the night times with you baby, make sure you plan a time when you can take a break. To sleep properly you need to be able to switch off and not be listening out for your baby. You need to know someone else is there ready to get up and go to them.Even if it is just one night a week or a night when you are feeling exhausted. Tell someone you need to sleep and don’t feel guilty.
8. Positive Ways To Stay Awake
When you are getting up with you baby many times in a night you just need things to help you stay awake. The easiest thing to reach for is your phone or the TV.Both of these are a great distraction but sometimes you need something that helps you to make the most of your time with your baby.
One of the best ways I have spent my night times is to read on my kindle. I love reading and to have quiet time to enjoy it while I am cuddling with my baby is a real treat.
Another positive way to spend your time is by starting a journal. Planning activities and outings for your family, planning goals for the future and celebrating the milestones you have already reached. It is also a lovely thing to look back on when your baby has grown past this time.
9. Get Baby To Sleep For Longer
There are different hacks and advice you can try from other mums who have been there and understand. Some of these ideas might work for your baby and help them to sleep for longer. These are the things I found that worked for my baby:
10. Ask For Medical Advice
If you haven’t spoken to your GP then this is definitely something you should do. They can check your baby is gaining weight properly, talk to you about their symptoms and offer advice and reassurance. If the reflux is severe they can also discuss different medications with you.