Charlie O'Brien Blog: New mum? Lack of sleep? Tips for surviving the night shift

by Charlie O'Brien

Since becoming a mum I’ve become well acquainted with the night shift.

My first baby eventually slept a whole night at 15 months and my current baby likes to greet us with her presence many times between the hours of 7pm and 7am.

So I’ve become quite the pro at trying to survive whilst not losing my sanity during the night shift.

Whether you’re breast or bottle feeding, mum or dad, the night shift is HARD!

So here are my top tips for survival...

Here's me not feeling to chipper in the early hours
Here's me not feeling to chipper in the early hours

1. A great box set

If you like to get out of bed for feeds like me, something fun and easy to watch is an absolute must! I’m not sure if I should be proud of this, but I managed to watch 14 whole seasons of Grey’s Anatomy in the first five months of my daughter’s life. Knowing that I had something I loved watching made getting up that little bit easier. I’ve now run out though, so if anyone has any suggestions for something new?!

2. Snacks to hand

Getting up multiple times a night is hungry work especially if you’re breastfeeding. I try and leave myself a healthy(ish) snack out before I go to bed. So when the 3am hunger pangs start, I’m not rooting around in a dark kitchen making the dog think there’s an intruder!

Video: Luna's six month update

3. Don’t clock watch

I remember reading this somewhere when I was a first time mum and it’s so true! It definitely doesn’t help your mental health if you know that the last wake up was exactly two hours and eight minutes ago and counting sleep (or lack of) can become a bit of an obsession.

4. An early night

Sounds obvious?! A baby’s longest stretch of sleep is usually the first one, which is bad news for us if we’re up late working / cleaning / watching Netflix. Occasionally, if not regularly, try and go to bed when the kids do! At least you might get a few hours in before baby thinks it’s party time at midnight!

Mum and daughter after a rare good night's sleep
Mum and daughter after a rare good night's sleep

5. Comfy PJs

During the snowy cold spell I was getting up in the night miserable because I was freezing cold in my nursing PJs. So I swapped them for some fluffy Christmas ones and all was right with the world again!

Best of luck with tonight’s night shift! I’ll be there with you in spirit

Charlie X

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