6 Tips on Getting Through Baby’s Second Night

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What to Expect on Baby’s Second Night

Congrats on your baby! He arrived healthy, he’s had a few feeds, maybe even filled a diaper or two, and you’re slowly settling into motherhood. Your first night (and possibly the second) passed without incident. Then the ‘Second Night’ hits – your baby cries, you cry, you are exhausted beyond belief, your spouse is flustered, and you don’t know what is wrong with your baby!
This was me with my first child.

When baby’s second night comes the best way he can find comfort is his closest thing to ‘home’ for him, and that is mom. So here are some tips on how to get through your baby’s second night.

This is totally Normal!

There’s a good chance that everything your baby is doing to get through the second night is totally normal. You’re most likely in the hospital still, or still have access to your midwives, so if you’re truly concerned, give them a shout. Second Night can be one of the hardest – I still remember my second night with my son and shudder. It can come anytime your baby is 24-48hrs old, and each baby is different. But on the Second Night your baby has figured out he’s not ‘home’ anymore. He is in a world that’s loud and bright and probably smells a bit weird to him. Babies on their second night are very fussy – they cry and constantly want to feed, and every time he falls asleep you put him down and within minutes he cries again! It’s ok and remember it’s normal!

Skin to Skin is Key!

Baby is just figuring out his senses in this new, bright world. Skin to skin is one of the best things for you and baby because it smells like home to him. Dress baby in a hat and diaper, remove your top and bra if you’re comfortable with it, and cover both of you with soft blankets for warmth. Keep baby’s hands free and allow him to explore your breasts and feel your skin, even if you’re not breastfeeding. Make sure you and baby are safe – most hospitals don’t want you to fall asleep while holding baby for safety concerns – chewing gum can help keep you awake. And know that you can put your baby down. If he falls asleep after he feeds, keep him with you and try not to move him too much other then to reposition his head. Don’t burp him, and cuddle him until you know he’s in a nice deep sleep – at least 30 minutes. Then try putting him down.

Feed Feed Feed

It will seem like your baby will be feeding constantly during his second night, and that’s ok. Sometimes breastfeeding moms think they don’t have enough milk but your colostrum is there and your baby is at your breast or at the bottle for comfort. So let them feed as often as they like since the frequent nursing will actually help bring your milk in.

You will probably be sore

With a night of near-constant feeding comes sore nipples for our breastfeeding moms. Make sure baby’s latch is a nice deep one and that the feed is effective, it can help reduce any chapped and damaged nipples. Nipple cream will also be your friend – Lansinoh Lanolin Cream is great and readily available at most hospitals or pharmacies. When your baby falls asleep, gently break the suction and just keep him close until you know he’s good and asleep (see #2).

Yes, it will pass

Yes, you’ll be exhausted. Yes, you will be sore. Yes, you will want that tripple shot from Starbucks. But you survived. Sleep when you can, and get your partner to cuddle your baby for a while so you can take a nap. Sleep is extremely important for your physical and mental health, so take advantage of any helpers you have around you during this time.

You got this!

Remember – YOU GOT THIS MAMA! And your Mama Coach is here to help! If you feel like you need lactation support, a newborn visit or help getting your little one to sleep, Mama Coach can help! Check out the Mama Coach packages and know that we’re here to help make motherhood easier. Contact me here and we can set up a free 15 minute call to talk about your little one!

About the Author

Katie Roebuck

I am the mother of two children, an RN, Prenatal Educator, Lactation Counsellor, and Sleep Coach. My nursing career has been focused on Maternity and Obstetrics. I am based in the Niagara Region and I enjoy helping moms reach their goals with pregnancy and motherhood!

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