Getting Back to Sleep After a Feeding

Written by: Laura Hunter, LPN & Jennifer Walker, RN, BSN



Time to read 3 min

We've all been there. You've just finished feeding your little one, and neither of you are able to get back to sleep. Or even worse, your little one gets back to sleep and wakes for a feeding two hours later and you're still wide awake! Getting back to sleep after a feeding can be complicated - let's dive in!

So, you find yourself wondering... what can I do to get both of us (or all of us, if you have multiples) back to sleep and reset for the next feeding? Moms on Call has you covered with some simple tips!

Getting back to sleep after a feeding: start with the basics

  • Follow along with the Moms on Call routines mapped out by times in the “Typical Days” section of the popular Moms on Call 0-6 Month Book and in the Moms on Call  Scheduler App available on Apple and Android devices.
  • Keep middle of the night feedings to what we call “strictly business”
    • Minimal distractions. Meaning we go in quietly, feed, change (if needed),  swaddle and soothe and back in the crib (for babies that are still swaddled according to the Moms on Call Guidelines). The Moms on Call 0-6 Month book goes step by step through this process so you know what order to follow for the least amount of stimulation.
  • Limit lighting
    • A night light or small lamp will do while feeding.
    • Be sure that you can see and move easily (and safely) through baby's room (there is so much to trip over!).
  • White noise
    • White noise is consistently playing throughout the night, but we can turn it off for a feeding and then right back on to help in the soothing process.
    • Read more about white noise and the importance  here .
  • Only change baby if absolutely necessary.
    • We change baby after the feed because they often will poop or pee during the feeding.

Getting back to sleep after a feeding: Tips for Parents

Getting back to sleep after waking to feed can be difficult. Follow these quick tips to keep distraction low and fall back to sleep easier.

  • Limit light exposure
    • No need to turn on all the lights, just enough so you can safely see what you are doing while still maintaining a relaxing atmosphere
  • Limit screen time
    • Stay away from the TV, computer, phone or gaming devices
    • If you use this time to “catch up on a few things” your brain starts to really power up and that is harder to manage once you are back in bed.
  • Listen to white noise
    • It lulls your brain into that deep REM sleep too.
  • Try not to eat
    • Engaging the GI system actually makes it harder to get back to sleep. Water is good especially if you are breastfeeding but too much will have you up in the bathroom (even if the baby is still asleep)
  • Try some deep breathing exercises once you return to bed.
    • Breathe in for the count of 4
    • Hold for the count of 4
    • And Breathe out for the count of 4
    • When you exhale imagine all of the worries exiting
    • Laura and Jen like to take this time to pray and release those pesky concerns into the hands of God

We hope these simple tips were able to get you (and your little) back to bed and get every minute of sleep that you deserve!

Moms on Call provides simple, sensible parenting resources to sleep, feed, laugh and love birth through toddlerhood. You can find tips like this and more in our books and Online Video Courses for 0-6 months where we cover everything from feeding and sleeping to schedule transitions and typical days at each stage.

Co-Founders of Moms on Call

Laura Hunter, LPN and Jennifer Walker, RN, BSN

Co-Founders of Moms on Call, Pediatric Nurses and Moms to 8 kids between them, Laura Hunter and Jennifer Walker created Moms on Call to simplify parenting. Through their books, online courses, podcast and content, they help parents everywhere navigate the first four years with confidence and better sleep.

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