Including tips on how to stick to your breastfeeding routine and still enjoy November nights.
‘Remember, remember the 5th of November …’ is how the old saying starts. But, really, how could we forget Bonfire Night in the UK? With fireworks crashing and banging outside our homes for several days before and after the 5th, it’s not likely to slip our minds.
And, if you live in a multicultural part of Britain, you may also take part in Diwali, the 5-day Festival of Lights, where fireworks and bright lights are very much a part of the celebrations.
While both events are a lovely way for families to celebrate, the noise and flashing lights don’t delight everyone. And if you have newborns at home, it’s an undeniable ‘baptism of fire’ into British traditions or new customs.
That’s why I’d love to share with you my tips for sticking to our breastfeeding routines and keeping our babies calm when things get loud!
It’s All About Routine
Newborns and babies love routine. My older kids love it too, to be honest. Routines help me stay sane when my life gets hectic. And, let’s be honest, for us modern British mums, that’s all the time! But with a newborn in the home, I’m more aware than ever that routine helps keep my home a little calmer.
When we put a celebration into the equation it’s tempting to throw our routines out of the window. Resist if you can! Babies tend to get uneasy if there’s disruption, and consistency provides a sense of security when unusual noises occur. That’s why I try to stick to my breastfeeding and pumping routine, even when the rest of the family are getting out the sparklers.So here are some tips to help you breastfeed better: How to Care for Your Breast Health During Breastfeeding？
If you have another responsible adult in the home, let them take your brood to your town or village’s Bonfire Night event. Or, you could ask a family member or friend to take them this year. You need to prioritize your routine. If this is baby number 1, you’ll probably be more than happy to stay at home on what is usually a dark, cold and often wet November evening anyway!
November Nesting, Even on the 5th
Most of us start to nest for the winter in November. The clock’s going back in late October is usually the cue to hunker down. And this will also work in our favour when we’re breastfeeding. Breastfeeding doesn’t always go like a breeze, so having a calm environment will settle you and your baby, particularly during celebrations.
There are certain parts of nesting that work in our favour during loud events.
- Close your blinds or curtains. You may have double glazing that could keep the noise down, but adding even a thin layer of additional sound baffling can reduce the noise even further. If you have thick curtains—even better!
- Dim your lights. A dimmer environment is a naturally calming signal to our babies, and it soothes us mums too. When we’re more relaxed, our babies will too. So whether we’re pumping breastfeeding, or just bonding with our babies we’ll both be more relaxed even when things get noisy outside.
- Put on soothing music. Music or white noise is not only relaxing but it can drown out some of the noise coming from outside. If it’s nap or bedtime, you can place a speaker near your baby’s crib to help them focus on the noise next to them rather than outside. You could use a baby monitor, like mine, to make sure your baby stays calm and relaxed if the noise increases.
Get more tips to help babies sleep better: How to Create a Safe Sleeping Environment for Your Baby？
FOMO? No Mo!
If you have a fear of missing out on big cultural celebrations, there’s no need! You can still attend celebrations if you want.
But be prepared!
Use as many of a mum’s secret weapons as you need. And I’m certainly happy to share my arsenal of mother’s little helpers: think, pump action! More tips for how to use pump: How to Use a Wearable Breast Pump: A Game Changer for Pumping Moms?
I use my fantastic portable pump from Momcozy to make attending celebrations less fraught. If I attend events in November I usually leave before the fireworks start. But whether you leave or stay, pumping is a great way to stay focused on the fun. If you know you have expressed milk with you, you don’t need to worry about how, where or when you’ll be able to breastfeed.
Everyone’s pumping routine is different. Some mums express in the morning, some pump roughly an hour after we’ve breastfed. So if a planned event falls during a time we would normally express, the Momcozy pump is totally wearable and won’t interfere with any of our activities. It fits effortlessly into their pumping bra, so we can keep to our schedules even when the fireworks are lighting up the night sky.Choosing a perfect pumping routine for you: When is the Best Time to Pump Breast Milk？
The Skin’s The Thing
A great natural bond is formed between mammas and our babbas when we’re skin-to-skin. You already know this, but it’s useful to be reminded of it during loud festivals or events, like Bonfire Night.
That’s why I like to keep my baby close when there’s going to be a lot of noise. Physical touch is one of the most powerful ways mums can calm our babies and I use it to reassure my little one that I’m there to protect her. When the fireworks start outside, I hold my baby next to my skin even if I’m not breastfeeding. I wrap us both in a cosy fleece and it’s an extra sound buffer too.
If this doesn’t appeal to you or is impractical, you could try swaddling—it has a similar effect and reminds our babies of the protected environment of the womb. It’s another great way of keeping baby calm amidst the chaos.
A Few Final Thoughts
Every baby is unique, so these suggestions may work differently for you and your wee one. You may like to experiment with different techniques until you find the one that works for you and your baby.
And even if you only watch the fireworks through your window, I hope you’ll treasure the precious memories you make despite the noisy celebrations outside.