All throughout your pregnancy, you fixate on the first nights snuggling with the baby you've waited so long to meet. When the first and second nights arrive, however, you might be a bit shocked that nights with your baby aren't at all what you expected. The first night tends to run smoothly, but most babies go through "second night syndrome," which can cause moms to worry that something is wrong. However, learning some tips for surviving the second night of breastfeeding before it happens can make you feel a bit more empowered and, at the very least, prepared.
According to Motherlove, second night syndrome is extremely common for newborns. After months of being warm, safe, and cozy in the womb, your baby is suddenly surrounded by unfamiliar faces, with strange lights, sounds, and smells. So it's no wonder their second night is a bit rough.
Second night syndrome usually entails frequent waking and cluster feeding, which can cause moms to worry that something is wrong with their baby or their milk supply. Having a few tips for surviving the second night with your baby, whether you're at home or in the hospital, can help you both bond during a difficult night and keep the stress at bay.
1. Plan To Cluster Feed
Cluster feeding happens frequently throughout a baby's first year. According to Belly Belly, it is simply when a baby nurses back to back for a period of time. You may wonder if your baby isn't getting enough milk or assume that they're hungry, but they're most likely just nursing for comfort and that's totally fine.
2. Don't Get Stressed
It's natural to get stressed when you can't understand the cues your baby is giving you. That, combined with lack of sleep and recovery from labor can make for a stressful night. However, one piece from Mom.me noted that fussiness is totally normal and that moms who stay calm handle second night syndrome the best.
3. Skin-To-Skin Will Be Your Best Friend
One of the healthiest and most soothing actions you can do with your newborn is simply give them skin-to-skin time. According to Breastfeeding Today, a publication by La Leche League International (LLLI), skin-to-skin time is one of the best ways to comfort your newborn and help them ease their transition into the "real world." It is even beneficial for your milk supply.
4. Don't Worry About Your Milk Supply
One of the first thoughts that may come to mind if your baby is eating often and is fussy throughout the night is that your milk supply is too low. However, according to Baby Center, low supply is rarely the culprit for your baby's fussiness. In the first few days, your body produces colostrum, which is the perfect substance to help your baby thrive before your milk actually does come in.
5. Remember That This Too Shall Pass
Although it may not sound encouraging in the moment, knowing that second night syndrome only lasts for a night and that with time you'll both get the hang of things can help ease any stress during the second night.