Down to the nitty gritty of the daily routine. Your baby is probably going to wake up during the night for a feed. Forget about water or any other sop that has been suggested. What your baby needs is food and that is what she must get.

A dimmer switch is a useful gadget, because you can turn the light up just enough to be able to see without flooding the room with brightness and making your baby think it is time to get up. If you are breast feeding, simply reach for her and let her latch on. Some babies do not like to feed with a wet nappy, in which case you will have to change it beforehand. Make sure you have nappy and all you need on hand ready from the night before, or else change her at the end of the feed because she is likely to so;her nappy during the feed anyway. Burp her and put her back to sleep with as little fuss as possible, hopefully for another few hours . .. then go back to sleep yourself. Do not think of the day ahead and what you are going to cook for supper … go straight to bed and collect some sleep.

If you are bottle feeding the same routine applies, except that you will have to warm a bottle. Some mothers give the bottle straight from the fridge but it can cool her down and a lot of energy will have to be used to get her body temperature up again. You can keep hot water in a flask so that it is ready to heat up the bottle at night, but do not leave the bottle in a bottle warmer for hours as this creates an ideal medium for germs to multiply. Do not use left-over milk because saliva will have mixed with it and it will be unsterile.

If your baby is not easily persuaded to go back to sleep after the feed, try taking her into bed with you. You will not smother her simply swaddle and cuddle her close to you – just be careful not to rest her face in a pillow.

Get up when you really have to and bring some semblance of order to the house. A lick and a promise will do. You must have a proper breakfast or you will be weak and weepy from low blood sugar (hypoglycaemia). You need protein as well as starch and sugar to keep you going, so have an egg or yoghurt or cheese with your toast and tea or coffee.


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