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How to stay entertained during a 3 a.m. feeding

A native of the storied coastal city of Charleston, South Carolina, Julie Sprankles has been a lover of words her entire life. As a Southerner, she certainly has what her mama calls “the gift of gab.” When she’s not writing, Julie can be...

Sleep isn't an option

As a sleep-deprived new mom, it's tough even waking up for middle-of-the-night feedings, much less staying awake during them. Or, if your baby is a marathon feeder like mine was, the real trick is finding a way to keep yourself entertained. Here are a few ideas for whiling away the time when you're burning the midnight mama oil.

Mother nursing baby

Photo credit: KidStock/Blend Images/Getty Images

Start a new series

You could try Netflix or Hulu Plus. Seriously, have you seen Orange is the New Black or, my new favorite, Nashville? You can conservatively get through at least one episode of shows like this during each feeding, so starting a series from the beginning will not only keep you awake, it'll actually have you looking forward to the next middle-of-the-night noshing sesh.

Troll YouTube for funny Vines

If you're starting to doze off, laughing hysterically at cats slapping humans on YouTube is just the ticket. You know what else guarantees a hearty giggle? Sports bloopers. Watching funny Vine compilations is a guilty pleasure, like watching America's Funniest Home Videos — only without the cheesy commentary.

Stock up your Kindle with all the books you've been meaning to read

There are a few advantages to keeping your Nook or Kindle on your nightstand. You'll likely only have one hand free, which makes reading a print book nearly impossible or at least glacially slow-going (figuring out how to turn the page without disturbing the feeding baby is like solving the riddle of the Sphinx). Second, a lit screen is much easier on your eyes in the dim light of your bedroom at 3 a.m. If you're feeling ambitious, check out the Rory Gilmore Reading Challenge.

Pinterest it up, girl!

When I was pregnant, I became a pinner of epic proportions. While my baby quietly nursed, I morphed into a Pinterest ninja. In the span of time it took him to eat, I created new boards and organized old ones, commented on pins I found to be incredibly clever and even thoughtfully shared pins that reminded me of loved ones. There are few things more useful to a mother than Pinterest. I firmly believe that.

Join Ancestry.com and get friendly with your family tree

Funny story: During my first pregnancy, I would often head over to Ancestry.com to learn about my family lineage. It was an enlightening and enjoyable way to pass the time. Until, that is, I found my husband in my grandfather's family tree. Eek! But don't worry, I didn't marry my cousin. As it turns out, my grandfather listed my husband as a son in his eulogy, thus causing some ancestral confusion online. Moral of the story: It's good to know what's hiding in your family tree.

Plot how you'd spend your lottery winnings

If you're like me, you'll probably never win the lottery. Not because you have bad luck, but because you never actually remember to buy lottery tickets. However, in the rare event such miraculously good fortune should fall upon you, you and the hubs should probably have an idea about how you'll divvy up the spoils. Plus, c'mon... it's totally fun to imagine that tropical island you're going to buy.

Catch up on all your favorite blogs

Should you ever need a little middle-of-the-night reassurance, head to the blogosphere. There, you can read musings by mamas just like you. And, as you and I both know, there's something oddly gratifying about knowing someone else is in the trenches and possibly even deeper in the muck than you are. If you want to laugh your head off, check out Neon Fresh maven Roo Cambriella's "This is How I Feel" series — unless, of course, you had a C-section recently, in which case you might literally bust a gut.

More on having a new baby

How Google is helping moms breastfeed
Completely irrational fears of new moms
Dozing off while nursing

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