BF what can partner do?(17 Posts)
I'm due my first baby in a couple of weeks and I'm planning on ebf should all go well. Obviously my DH can't do much to help with the feeds but what else could he do specifically at night feeds?
In the very early days things like change nappy, bring baby to you for feeding, make sure you have a drink/snacks to hand. Rearrange pillows, make you comfy.
That kinda thing.
Yes, there is plenty he can do. You'll find in the first couple weeks that little one might not go back to sleep after feeds in the night, getting day and night a little muddled. DH will be a god send for cuddling, pacing the floor a bit with the baby after feeds so you can get a rest.
Latching a baby on can be a bit tricky while both you and baby get the hang of feeding. DH can bring you drinks, snacks, kindle etc when you're pinned to the sofa.
Make sure you have plenty of water to drink, and snacks! A biscuit tin by the bed is good, and bananas. My MW with DD1 told to take a plate of sandwiches to bed! He can also do the nappy changes, as tiny babies usually need a couple of changes in the night, mine often filled their nappies after / during a feed. And make sure you have a pile of muslins handy if you have a sicky baby. He (and you!) can also read up on bf in advance - I recommend The Womanly Art of Breastfeeding - so he knows what's normal (frequent feeding etc) and how to help / support you if you have a hard time.
The other thing that your dh can do is that you feed the baby at 8 or 9, then go to bed leaving baby downstairs with dh. Then when they wake up again they change them and bring them to you to feed. That way you get the chunk of the night most likely to be a long stretch.
Learning to feed lying down and safely co sleep (even if your baby goes to sleep in the cot and gets put back there later) is fab for you as you can snooze and feed at the same time getting everyone more sleep
He can pin down those beautiful lil hands that squirm around and make a brilliant barrier between booby and baby.
Once baby is latched on he can tell you how bloody amazing you are and make sure you're both comfortable with all essentials in reach... muslin, phone, water bottle topped up, biscuits, etc
Plus he's on nappy duty!!
I express breast fed for 6 months and although there was a lot dp could have done - he didn't. He is equal to me in everything regarding childcare except when it came to night feeds.
I hope you find a good routine that suits you both.
Thanks for all the advice, I'm so looking forward to it. It's strange that the last 8/9 months have flew in but the next 2 weeks are dragging so slowly, my DH is a hands on kind of guy so this stuff will be right up his street
I would second the advice given above about leaving the baby downstairs with your partner while you get some sleep in the early part of the night. I found getting even just a couple of hours sleep in would really help with getting through the rest of the night. Also, having someone on hand to bring drinks/snacks/the TV remote etc is invaluable - there's nothing worse than settling down for a long feed and then realising you're desperate for a glass of water (I drank LOADS of water when BF). Good luck!
Definitely the fetching and carrying! My DH brings me breakfast in bed with a cuppa every morning - he gets up at 6am and DS feeds around then, so DH takes him for a nappy change, brings him to me then goes downstairs, puts a bottle of water, fruit, glass and snacks on the table next to where I sit and then brings a brew and breakfast up to me whilst I feed DS.
During the night I let DH sleep, I'm awake for feeds any way so it is silly him being up as well, but DS is very good and only wakes for feeds and goes back down once fed. If we have a bad night I wake DH up at 5am so I can get an hours sleep before he goes, but at least he's had a good chunk of sleep.
The above will change when I go back to work though!
It's working well 8 week in.
With ds (pfb) dp and I took turns staying awake to hold him as he wouldn't settle in his moses. This let me have blocks of sleep in between feeds. Once ds was settling in his moses dp did very little during the night really. I'd get everything I needed ready before I went to bed and really wouldn't want to wake him just to change a nappy if he was working the next day. There are plenty of things to be done during the day though, making meals, general housework etc. Dd either cluster fed or just needed to be on me every evening until 5 months so dp would often have to cut up my food!
Pass you anything you need, bring you water, tea, biscuits, the remote!
Make meals, keep house going so you can focus on the baby.
Both DS1 and DS2 liked to be held and sleep on someone, neither would settle in the moses basket so you can take turns with that.
Make sure you find a way to get some sleep. Go to bed early and leave baby with Dh, let Dh rock baby after night feeds or Dh get up earlier and leave you in bed. This is what worked for us. I did all the night feeds, DP slept in spare room to get a full 8 hours. He would get up at 5 and take DS2 downstairs and I would have till 7. Amazing how 2 uninterrupted hours is so wonderful!
Hope it all goes well for you
Forgot that one Nicky! DP would often cut my food into pieces that could be eaten with one hand!
During night feeds, I would feed from one side, then DS would go to DH for patting and burping. He would usually poo (DS, not DH), so DH would change the nappy. Then DS would have the other breast, before (sometimes…) going back to sleep.
I watched a quiz show on bbc1 the other night and the contestants were a chef and sahm (a couple), and she said that his best cheffing skills were that he had learnt to cook lots of one handed meals for her whilst she was breastfeeding each child. Shane Richie was the quiz host and he said "there's a book ready to be written there"
DD2 was born on Thursday lunch time, last night went as follows
20:00-23:00 I fed on and off while DH slept
23:00-02:00 I slept, DD slept on DH while he watched a crappy film
02:00-04:30 I fed on and off while DH slept
04:30-06:15 I slept, DD slept on DH while he watched another crappy film
DD will not be put down to sleep at the moment. I find I'm fine to stay awake while I am doing something but keeping my eyes open while she is sleeping is impossible!
My top tip is stay inbed until you have had 8 hours sleep- you don't need to get up just because its morning. If I'm reading your post correctly you've only had just over 5 hours sleep, you need more to recover properly, and you can do this while DH is on leave - will be more difficult once he goes back to work.
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