As I was preparing for baby #2, I also mentally prepared myself for the dreaded 2 AM feeding. While I had always been a night owl, I was not mentally prepared for the round-the-clock feedings with Elli. I was absolutely miserable and tired and hormonal and I just felt like a hot mess. Not to mention, I was terrified that I would fall asleep with her in my arms from exhaustion. The first couple of months were pretty rough-- not going to lie. I finally started getting into a groove by scrolling through Facebook, watching Netflix, or something on TV just to keep me awake. She finally started sleeping through the night around 3.5 months which was right around the time I went back to work, so hallelujah!!!
This time around, I feel a little more mentally prepared for the 2 AM and 5 AM feedings. So here are a few ways I've mentally prepared myself:
ONE || Try to mentally wake yourself up during the 2 AM bathroom runs. (While pregnant)
Oh, yes, mom and mommas-to-be friends, y'all know what I'm talking about-- waking up in the middle of the night to use the bathroom. (It's like the baby likes to jump on our bladders at the most inconvenient times!) In the last two weeks, I've been woken up several times by my bladder, but rather than falling back to sleep right away, I've made myself stay awake for at least thirty minutes. I know sleep is precious-- TRUST ME. I LOVE SLEEP! However, I don't adjust well to brand new routines-- I can't do something cold turkey. I've also taken power naps during my lunch hour and then again right before dinner. By doing this, I'm trying to train my body to be awake at odd times and sleep at odd times. This may not work for you and that's fine! When I was pregnant with Elli, I totally cherished my sleep since I had a very grueling and physical job at the time.
TWO || Make a book, tv show, and podcast list.
If you're going to be awake, might as well keep yourself entertained, am I right? Enter the wonderful world of technology! I am a huge fan of Audible and got 6 books to listen to:
- Never Unfriended - Lisa Jo Baker
- The Lucky Few - Heather Avis
- Love Story - Karen Kingsbury
- Uninvited - Lysa TerKeurst
- Love Your Life, Not Theirs - Rachel Cruze
- Barefoot - Elin Hilderbrand
I am also a hugeeeee fan of the podcast world! Actually half of those books I discovered through listening to podcasts. Here are a few of my favorite podcasts:
- The Influencer Podcast - Julie Solomon
- Let's Be Real - Lindsay Dryer
- Marriage More - Jeff & Mandy Rose
- The Happy Hour - Jamie Ivey
As for my Netflix list... I am struggling! So, I have a couple shows on my list that I want to watch... but not at 2 AM. I need something light-hearted or a comedy or something that early. Something like Fuller House or Friends or Baby Daddy. Even in the genre of Gilmore Girls is fine too. I haven't really kept up with any tv shows, so I'm at a loss... so... help!
THREE || Have a basket of snacks and a big ole water bottle!
I remember with Elli, I would get so hungry-- no, HANGRY-- breastfeeding in the middle of the night. That was one thing I was not always prepared for! This time around, I'm going to have a midnight snack basket ready to go! It's best to keep the snacks somewhat healthy, like nuts, dried fruit, trail mix, and granola bars. And to vary it up, cheese and snacky veggies like carrot sticks and grape tomatoes would be great to add to the mix too. I'm also a big hummus eating girl, so that's on the list too.
Also for you first time moms, invest in the biggest water bottle with a straw you can find! The worst thing is having to get more water in the middle of the night just as your baby is nursing and is comfortable...and you're up by yourself. And, why with a straw? Sometimes, when both hands are tied with holding the baby, you can just lean over and take a sip handsfree. Win-win!
FOUR || Have your quiet time with God.
In the midst of the hustle and bustle of being a parent and adjusting to a new routine and a new little one, sometimes, it's just so hard to find quiet time with God. But, that 2 AM (or 5 AM) feeding may be the best time to have that time of quiet devotion, especially in the stillness of the evening. We can just pour our hearts out to Him without any interruption, especially if that day has been overwhelming. Here are a few ways to have your quiet time with God:
- Keep a list of things you are thankful for (I would do this on my phone)
- Find a devotional to read -- I use the She Reads Truth app for this. I also
- Pray and meditate -- you can even write out your prayers
Those are just a few ways to survive that late night feeding. Anyone have any other suggestions? Drop them below in the comments!