Operation Silent Night Feed

The mother of any toddler and newborn will nod her head in agreement when I say that one of my biggest fears before having Mika was that he would wake Luca at night. Luca is a really good sleeper, so we’ve been spoilt,  and the idea of him being woken at night by a crying newborn and having to contend with TWO demanding little people literally fills me with dread. So I do whatever it takes to keep these feeds as stealthy and quiet as possible. Case in point: last night …

22H40 Night Feed 01 Commences

Baby wakes with gentle moan. Swiftly whip baby up and attach baby to boob. Bend over backwards to plug in bottle warmer* with right hand, and place bottle in said warmer, whilst ensuring that baby does not fall off feeding cushion or boob. Attempt to maintain state of consciousness while bottle warms. Awake 15 minutes later to baby covered in breast-milk and bottle heated to an undrinkably hot 40 degrees celsius. Re-attach baby to boob. Remove lid from steaming hot bottle, placing bottle on side-table and wait for it to cool. Check Twitter repeatedly in order to STAY AWAKE. Ten minutes (and twice as many desperate screen refreshes) later, finally replace lid on bottle and feed to baby. Tickle cheek/tummy/nose of baby in order to maintain baby’s state of consciousness so that baby consumes as much of bottle’s contents as possible, in the hope that baby will sleep longer than the predicted 3 hours. Place sleeping baby carefully back in bassinet and assume the sleeping position. House remains quiet and calm. Mission accomplished.

*WHY does the Pigeon Bottle Warmer not have an on/off switch ON the machine???

23H01 Night Feed 01 Complete

01H00 Night Feed 02 Commences

Baby wakes with a loud squeal. LEAP out of bed and knock over pile of nappies. Attach baby to boob whilst still standing. Pick up nappies whilst ensuring that baby remains attached to boob. Look desperately at the time. This can’t be right? It’s only been 2 hours and 20 minutes since the start of the first feed? Accept defeat. Place bottle into bottle warmer. Instantly drop off to sleep in seated position with baby attached to boob. Awake 5 minutes later and check bottle temperature. Slap forehead in frustration. Bottle warmer was not plugged in. Bend over backwards to plug in bottle warmer and wait, checking Twitter and now even Facebook, in utter desperation to stay awake. Repeatedly check temperature of bottle, thus slowing down the heating process. Eventually give bottle to baby anyway. Baby refuses to drink more than 40 ml of the 120 ml bottle. Give up and place sleeping baby in bassinet. Catch a whiff of poop and realize THAT’S why baby wouldn’t eat. Place waking baby on bed. Place bottle in warmer. Mentally high-five self for remembering to place bottle in warmer AND switch on. Use feet to keep restless baby still. Use one hand to keep silencer pacifier/dummy in baby’s mouth. Successfully change nappy and fling, unsuccessfully at dustbin. Remove bottle from warmer whilst trying to shush baby. Hear toddler call out from other room and feel all blood drain from face. Send husband to assess the situation. Resume baby-feeding process. Baby consumes all of bottle and finishes off with ANOTHER poo. Repeat changing process and swiftly place baby in bassinet. Flop unceremoniously into bed and pass out in 3 seconds flat. Mission accomplished in longest period of time to date.

02H10 Night Feed 02 Complete

04H14 Night Feed 03 Commences

Baby probably wakes calmly but eventually develops into a desperate scream, due to the unusually long 3 hour, 14 minute time-lapse and a failure to leap out of bed fast enough. Simultaneously attach baby to boob and plug in bottle warmer. Wake sleeping baby to change nappy and mix formula bottle. Adrenalin has obviously kicked in and activities are happening thick and fast. Wake baby and successfully feed the baby a whole 20 ml of the bottle before awake baby becomes sleeping baby. Give up. Place baby quickly back in bed in the wishful hope that sleep will now resume until 06H00. Mission accomplished. Only just.

04H55 Night Feed 03 Complete

05H00 TODDLER WAKES UP

Wait until “MOMMY” has been called enough to assume that toddler is, in fact, awake and not just having a moment. Husband assesses the situation. Hear TV being switched on and CBeebies music quietly filling the house. Try, for half an hour, to sleep. Unsuccessful due to wriggly, hungry baby moaning and groaning for bottle that went undrunk at 04H14. Attach baby to boob and lie down to feed. Pass out and wake up 5 times in as many minutes. Get up to join bleary-eyed husband and perky toddler for a 06H00 episode of “Show Me Show Me”. Resist the urge to shout “ABORT MISSION” and make a run for it.

Over and out.

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18 thoughts on “Operation Silent Night Feed

  1. Yeah! I didnt laugh when reading this, I got scared & started asking myself again if we’re nuts for wanting to do all again! Its amazing how quickly one forgets how hard a new born is!

  2. HAHAHA!! TOTALLY been there! Got my kids used to room temperature bottles as soon as I could, to avoid the bottle warmer drama! Thanks for the laugh and I totally feel your pain!!

  3. So funny, and so true! Been there done that! We had this situation, and the opposite too, I.e. please let the toddler who has always slept through, not wake up the baby! (He went through a bad patch of waking up between 2 and 4 AM when we brought baby home) xx
    PS – The Avent bottle warmer has an on/off switch on it and is super fast!

  4. The life and times of a mom to a newborn and a toddler 🙂 It sounds like you are doing a great job!

    I hope you’re able to catch up on your sleep during the day when Mika naps.

  5. This is my favourite post of yours ever! For the record, you are winning in the ‘most hectic night feeds’ category right now – I will never complain that Ryan makes me ONLY get up three times between 10pm and 6am. You must be exhausted…

  6. I’m so grateful I have a boy who can switch on the tv and help himself to breakfast! Don’t know how you do it with a toddler and a baby.

  7. These nights are still so fresh in my mind! Jack is STILL not sleeping more than a solid 3 hours (and thats a good night).

    Motherhood is special!

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