26 November 2010

It's 3am, baby's crying/feeding again, no one is awake, what do I do?

The hours between 2am and 4am are very lonely hours. Prior to having a baby, I used to spend those hours sleeping or in my much younger years out on the town (aaahhh!).

While some babies bless their parents by sleeping through from an early age, many (inlcuding mine) do not. Being up at all hours of the night to feed and resettle can be difficult, if not soul destroying. There was many a time when I found myself sitting up to feed Layla, in the winter night cold, feeling very low and sad.

When would she sleep through?
Why was she awake?
Was she really hungry?
 How long would she feed for?
Will I be able to get back to sleep?
When will she wake again?
Is this normal?

All the sleepless nights were well worth it!
I found that having someone to talk to provided comfort and reassurance. I used to SMS other new Mums at all hours as I knew that they'd be up struggling with the same issues. Other than your late night Mummy friends, there are a number of 24-hour help lines that operate in Australia, especially designed to help parents just like you. It is ok to cry to them, ask the burning and sometimes silly questions and seek support. Receiving conflicting advice can be very difficult when your baby is small and for this reason, it is important to remember that you are the expert on your child. The people on the end of the line may have some helpful advice and can offer support when everyone else is asleep. The numbers can be found on the back of your blue book but I've included them here as well:

Karitane Mothercraft Society   1300 CARING (1300 227 464)

Tressilian Family Care Centre   1800 637 357 (Sydney metro area 02 9787 0855

Australian Breastfeeding Association 1800 MUM 2 MUM (1800 686 2 686) [Optus phones drop the final 6] . This help line is manned by breastfeeding counsellors who are breastfeeding Mums. They operate 24 hours a day and are happy to take calls during the night. Given that they are also Mums, it's a good idea not to call them in the middle of the night to ask a question that could wait until the day.

Tressilian also now offers an online live help service (Tressilian Live Advice) through Facebook. Search for Tressilian Live Advice and add the application to your Facebook page. The service is only available during the day but can be very good for gaining advice when your baby is asleep and you want to keep things quiet.

No comments:

Post a Comment