Newborn Night Duty

A look inside a night in the life with a real NYC couple.

Newborn Night Duty

One thing you realize very quickly after becoming a mom is that life with a baby is predictably unpredictable. So many things can work out differently than you envisioned, from the birth to how and when you feed your baby.

A schedule is almost impossible to pull together in those first few weeks, when the lines between night and day are blurred. And while you may be one of those parents with the magical unicorn baby who naturally sleeps through the night early on, most of you will start cringing at the question “Is he sleeping through the night yet?”


The good news: Nighttime doesn’t have to be so hard when you’re prepared with the right tools. Sure, that prep is going to look different depending on whether you’re breastfeeding, formula-feeding, or doing a combination of both. But if there’s a bottle in the mix, the BabyNes Smart Nutrition System should be one of those tools. It ensures your baby’s bottle is the perfect consistency and temperature each time, which is pretty much a lifesaver when you’re simply trying to get through the day.

You’ll get through it. We all do. So find your cool and be proud of these moments. The happy ones, the hard ones, the gross ones. They’re all beautiful. Want proof? Here’s a glimpse into newborn night duty with NYC mom Melanie Cohen, her husband Evan, and their newborn son Hunter Leo.

7 p.m. Every other night or so we give him a bath at the start of the bedtime routine. We change his diaper and put on pajamas. After that, we give him a bottle on the glider in his room with dim light.

“Our bedtime routine came together pretty organically. I don't remember what initiated it, but every night has been the same since then,” says Melanie Cohen.

7:15 p.m. Swaddle him. Read two books. Sometimes give him a little more to eat if he does not seem satiated (either by breast or bottle).

"The BabyNes' simple design had us under its spell from the moment we hit that button. I mean, a perfectly mixed bottle, at the right temperature, in 60 seconds? How great is that?” says Melanie.

7:30 p.m. Turn on white noise machine and turn off light. Hold him just for a few more moments until he is relaxed and closing his eyes. Place him in crib. Bolt across the apartment and cross our fingers!

“Multi-tasking has been the most challenging! It seems like we are always trying to accomplish our to-do list items while juggling the baby,” says Melanie.

8 p.m. Clean up. Wash the bottles, clean up dinner plates, tidy up the living room, put stroller away, etc.

“The BabyNes pods are user-friendly and less messy than scooping formula into a bottle (especially with a baby in your arms),” says Melanie.

Middle of the night Every now and then he will wake up in the middle of the night. If he seems super unhappy, by process of elimination we usually figure out that he is hungry and give him a bottle. This usually settles him back to sleep pretty quickly.

"I feel fortunate that I can breastfeed my baby and have my husband bottle-feed the baby as well. Even when I can't provide him with breastmilk, it's a relief to know this formula addresses my baby's nutritional needs by stage,” says Melanie.

8 a.m. Get him out of the crib. Sometimes he has already woken up by then on his own and we leave him hanging out in his crib until 8 (we recently started finding him communicating with the stuffed animal heads above his crib). Other days he is still sleeping by 8, and we open the shades and his swaddle, which leads him to open his eyes and stretch his arms up above his head.

“The experience of having a newborn is so much better than we thought it would be! We are overwhelmed at both the feelings of responsibility and also intense unconditional love that we feel for him,” says Melanie.

8:15 a.m. Once he is relatively awake, we change his diaper and then he breastfeeds on the living room sofa while we watch the news (or sometimes DVR'd episodes of The Kardashians or Real Housewives -- a truly guilty pleasure!).

“The best moments are when our little family of three can spend time together free of any distractions. The best is usually when we take him out of the crib in the morning and he opens his eyes, connects with us, and smiles. There is nothing more delicious,” says Melanie.

Enter to win your own BabyNes Smart Nutrition System & Pods below! This giveaway is open until Jan 3 at 11:59pm EST.

Photography by Jonica Moore

This post was sponsored by Gerber. Gerber recommends breastfeeding as the best start in life.

By its very nature, motherhood requires some lifestyle adjustments: Instead of staying up late with friends, you get up early for snuggles with your baby. Instead of spontaneous date nights with your honey, you take afternoon family strolls with your little love. Instead of running out of the house with just your keys and phone, you only leave with a fully loaded diaper bag.

For breastfeeding or pumping mamas, there is an additional layer of consideration around when, how and how much your baby will eat. Thankfully, when it comes to effective solutions for nursing or bottle-feeding your baby, Dr. Brown's puts the considerations of mamas and their babies first with products that help with every step of the process—from comfortably adjusting to nursing your newborn to introducing a bottle to efficiently pumping.

With countless hours spent breastfeeding, pumping and bottle-feeding, the editors at Motherly know the secret to success is having dependable supplies that can help you feed your baby in a way that matches lifestyle.

Here are 9 breastfeeding and pumping products to help you no matter what the day holds.

Customflow™ Double Electric Breast Pump

Dr. Brown's electric pump

For efficient, productive pumping sessions, a double electric breast pump will help you get the job done as quickly as possible. Quiet for nighttime pumping sessions and compact for bringing along to work, this double pump puts you in control with fully adjustable settings.


Hands-Free Pumping Bra

Dr. Brown''s hands free pumping bra

Especially in the early days, feeding your baby can feel like a pretty consuming task. A hands-free pumping bra will help you reclaim some of your precious time while pumping—and all mamas will know just how valuable more time can be!


Manual Breast Pump with SoftShape™ Silicone Shield

Dr. Brown's manual breast pump

If you live a life that sometimes takes you away from electrical outlets (that's most of us!), then you'll absolutely want a manual breast pump in your arsenal. With two pumping modes to promote efficient milk expression and a comfort-fitted shield, a manual pump is simply the most convenient pump to take along and use. Although it may not get as much glory as an electric pump, we really appreciate how quick and easy this manual pump is to use—and how liberating it is not to stress about finding a power supply.


Nipple Shields and Sterilization Case

Dr. Brown's nipple shields

There is a bit of a learning curve to breastfeeding—for both mamas and babies. Thankfully, even if there are some physical challenges (like inverted nipples or a baby's tongue tie) or nursing doesn't click right away, silicone nipple shields can be a huge help. With a convenient carry case that can be sterilized in the microwave, you don't have to worry about germs or bacteria either. 🙌


Silicone One-Piece Breast Pump

Dr. Brown's silicone pump

When you are feeding your baby on one breast, the other can still experience milk letdown—which means it's a golden opportunity to save some additional milk. With a silent, hands-free silicone pump, you can easily collect milk while nursing.


Breast to Bottle Pump & Store Feeding Set

After a lifetime of nursing from the breast, introducing a bottle can be a bit of a strange experience for babies. Dr. Brown's Options+™ and slow flow bottle nipples were designed with this in mind to make the introduction to bottles smooth and pleasant for parents and babies. As a set that seamlessly works together from pumping to storing milk to bottle feeding, you don't have to stress about having everything you need to keep your baby fed and happy either.


Washable Breast Pads

washable breast pads

Mamas' bodies are amazingly made to help breast milk flow when it's in demand—but occasionally also at other times. Especially as your supply is establishing or your breasts are fuller as the length between feeding sessions increase, it's helpful to use washable nursing pads to prevent breast milk from leaking through your bra.


Breast Milk Storage Bags

Dr. Brown's milk storage bags

The essential for mamas who do any pumping, breast milk storage bags allow you to easily and safely seal expressed milk in the refrigerator or freezer. Dr. Brown's™ Breast Milk Storage Bags take it even further with extra thick walls that block out scents from other food items and feature an ultra secure lock to prevent leaking.


Watch one mama's review of the new Dr. Brown's breastfeeding line here:

This article was sponsored by Dr. Brown's. Thank you for supporting the brands that support Motherly and mamas.

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