Feeding an Infant at Night


We’ve been there. As a matter of fact, we are working through this routine every night. Our second son, Thomas, is 2 weeks old.

Each night, Thomas wakes up at least twice a night, crying to be fed.

Our routine looks like this:

Thomas begins to squirm then cry in his bedside bassinet, my husband wakes up and pulls him into our bed.

Thomas takes 4 oz per feeding. We take our time feeding him, stretching out his feeding to 30+ minutes. (he is a big boy – we have to remove the nipple from his mouth to prevent him from sucking down the entire bottle at once! We also use these feeding breaks to place him on a shoulder and burp him)

After he finishes his bottle, we keep him as upright as possible (either by resting his chest on a shoulder or cradling him) for as long as it takes to illicit a couple of belches from him. Oftentimes, he poops around this time too.

Thomas’ diaper is changed, he is swaddled, and we place him back in his bassinet.

Rarely has Thomas spit up or demonstrated colicky symptoms / GER, however we have installed a bassinet wedge pillow under his bassinet mattress pad as a precaution.

A subtle incline that helps elevate his mouth over his stomach helps to prevent occurrences of infant acid reflux.

We are very lucky that Thomas is not a colicky baby, however we try to help ourselves by taking the correct steps when feeding and lying him down afterwards.

All time considered, either myself or my husband is awake for about an hour to complete one night-time feeding.

There was one instance that we didn’t follow the routine described above. It was right after returning from the hospital, my husband and I were both rusty, and a bit more sleep deprived than normal.

Thomas woke up and chugged almost two ounces of pre-pumped breast milk in less than 20 minutes. He was burped prior to being swaddled and laid down on a flat pad. Soon after, he made a very scary/gagging noise from his bassinet. We turned on our nightstand lamp to see what was going on. Thomas had spit up most of his milk.

We were not happy parents. Not only was Thomas dirty – we had to change his bassinet sheet, his swaddle and his onesie – he didn’t digest and of the breastmilk I worked so hard to pump. After 30 or so minutes, we fed him again.

Turns out we didn’t keep him upright for a long enough time. Additionally, placing him down on a flat mattress allowed most of that milk to migrate back up his throat.

We haven’t had a reoccurrence of reflux since keeping him upright longer after feedings and using a bassinet wedge under his mattress pad.

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