Jialat, How To Stay Awake At 3am To Feed My Baby Ah?
You probably know 2020’s mantra – stay home, stay safe – by now. But for some of us, what’s just as significant (and just as hard to do) is staying awake.
I’m talking about parents of newborns.
For the uninitiated, a baby needs about anything from six to nine feeding sessions in a day. That means about three feeds in a night.
And it doesn’t matter whether you are breast- or bottle-feeding. 3am is 3am. If you had thought that being burnt out after a 16-hour mahjong sesh was bad enough, doing night feeds will bring on the melatonin faster than you can say zzz.
It’s worse if your offspring is so deep asleep that she isn’t very cooperative and so, a 90ml feed drags on for an hour or longer, and that doesn’t even include the mandatory burping time – because babies don’t burp on their own and if you don’t give them a little push literally, they get a terrible bout of acid reflux, become little screaming beetroots and puke all over your bedsheets (which you have no time to wash anyway).
And just when you think all is well and you can crawl back into bed again, the baby decides to wake up, wail/screech/fist-bump your groin and by the time you have calmed her down, hello, it’s time for the next feed again and, goodbye again, bed.
If you google “how to make your baby sleep”, there are plenty of articles. If you google “how parents can stay awake”, there are plenty of articles… on “how to make your baby sleep”. The brutal truth: nobody cares about us suffering adults.
So, here’s how to stay awake.
Sleep when the baby sleeps
Easier said than done but still, better than nothing (or no sleep) at all. Even if the baby is asleep for half an hour, get in some shut-eye too. Hint: this works best for those of you who have no problems dozing off ASAP on the bus or train seat the minute an elderly person stands in front of you.
Plug in your earphones
Listen to some music or/and sing along to your bundle of joy while you feed away. But choose the right music. Hip hop or anything Lady Gaga is good; instrumental jazz and 1980s ballads, no.
Scroll through Instagram
FOMO is better than FOFA (fear of falling asleep). Even better, post some random Stories or photos even if nobody will care that you did – or like your posts – at 2.39am. Because editing photos and typing witty captions work better than caffeine.
Do a little housework
What? Still must do more! Er, yes, for some masochistic reason, even wiping a desk or washing a few plates can perk you up.
Make a snack
And to give you a reason to wash some plates, make some food. Yeah, yeah, we know it’s sinful to be snacking in the middle of the night but boiling some eggs and buttering bread work like a dream. Just don’t overeat because that would make you even more sluggish. And then you will need someone to burp you instead.