Managing newborn nights with one parent at work - what do you do?

(65 Posts)
GraceSpeaker Mon 04-Feb-13 20:03:37

As it says on the tin, really. DH is back at work tomorrow and I'm dreading dealing with all night feeds/changes/settling on my own. I'm expecting to be a complete wreck during the week (at the moment DD is feeding every hour and a half and takes an hour to settle back down at least). I understand this is part and parcel of having a newborn (nearly 3 weeks old), but would appreciate it if you could describe how you manage things during the week. Do you still manage to share to some extent? Or does the non-worker do everything?

TIA

Pobblewhohasnotoes Tue 05-Feb-13 17:27:42

Polyethyl,

6 day olds don't know night and day yet. It takes time. Yes they can feed and feed. Remember their stomach is only the size of a walnut. It can take time for them to establish a routine, plus they have growth spurts so suddenly feed and feed again.

My LO wouldn't sleep in his crib for 3 weeks, until we bought a slumber bear. Have you tried something like that? Or putting something that smells of you in her bed? Someone told me that all a newborn wants is it's Mum. They've spent 9 months with you so why wouldn't they? You're doing the right thing by keeping things dark and quiet at night. Keep things normal during the day.

It's exhausting but it will change. She's only six days old, give her a chance! I mean that nicely.

sayanything Tue 05-Feb-13 17:37:34

DH gives DS2 a dreamfeed before going to bed (so I go to bed early), I do the nights and then DH does the first feed of the day, takes care of DS1 and gets DS2 ready for nursery while I sleep in (ha!) until he goes to work around 8am. If I'm lucky, DS2 will also go down for a nap just as DH is leaving, which means an extra hour's sleep for me. This saved my sanity and DH gets to be involved.

I used to EBF until a couple of weeks ago, but I expressed twice a day for the two bottle feeds.

And Poly, I promise you it will get better, just hang in there.

Polyethyl Tue 05-Feb-13 17:39:08

Thank-you. A friend gave me an expressing pump. So I shall now try to work out how to use it so that DH can feed her occasionally.

GraceSpeaker Tue 05-Feb-13 18:16:25

Pobble, assume that was for Polyethyl? Her LO is six days old.

Interesting about not winding BF babies - mine's definitely less bothered by breastmilk than by formula, which she often spits up to some extent.

GraceSpeaker Tue 05-Feb-13 18:16:56

Ah, ignore the first line! X-post.

GingerDoodle Tue 05-Feb-13 20:46:11

DH was really keen before DD arrived to share in the night work but in reality I did 99% of it and still do. He did however get up if I had a really bad night.
She didn't get on with her crib but was good in her carry-cot. We never co-slept as such but she did end up in with us a fair bit.
You can and will cope and get through it!

MadMonkeys Tue 05-Feb-13 21:28:47

DH did DD2's only bottle at 9pm and settled etc until about 1am, then I took over and did the rest of the night as she was breastfed apart from that. Worked well.

33goingon64 Tue 05-Feb-13 21:39:09

Casting my mind back, first few weeks after DH went back to work, he would sit up with DS downstairs until midnight and I would go to bed straight after dinner 8 or 9 ish. He would then bring DS in for a bf at midnight on his way up to the spare bedroom so that he could get six hours sleep which was just about enough to manage a commute and a day at work. I would bf DS and put him in basket and then bf him again whenever he woke (usually about 2am and 6am). DH would bring me tea and toast before leaving for work while I was doing the 6am feed (or would leave it next to bed if I was asleep). I would then stay in bed until DS woke 'for the day', around 8ish. So not too bad really. It did mean DH and I only shared a bed at weekends but tbh it was worth it for a few weeks.

Polyethyl Thu 07-Feb-13 04:34:54

Hello, me again.
Baby has again fed and cried all night long.
I'm just baffled to know what to do.

Eskino Thu 07-Feb-13 04:52:09

I'm BFing my 2 week old DD in our bedroom. DP has moved (amicably!) into the spare room which is next to our 2yo ds's room so he can hear if he wakes which he still does occasionally. DD and I bedshare in the big bed and seem to have turned the room into one big soggy warm milky nest! (It's the very small hours!).

Polyethyl, I'm sorry you're both not sleeping. Do you manage to catch up a bit during the day? It doesn't last long, this time I promise you.

Polyethyl Thu 07-Feb-13 05:02:48

Yes, I did get an afternoon nap, so I'm not as demented as last time.... but even so..... It simply cannot be right for a newborn to fuss all night AGAIN. Don't they get sleep deprived?

Eskino Thu 07-Feb-13 06:54:07

Oh, and she is bf and very windy! We are working on her latch which still isnt perfect a lot of the time ( and i have fast flow nips!) but It's getting better as she grows and she's becoming less windy but I wouldn't dare put her down without some vigorous burping.

MortifiedAdams Thu 07-Feb-13 07:01:11

At three weeks, we would bath bottle swaddle dd about 7pm and she would sleep in her carrycot in the lounge while we ate dinner. Then Id go to.bed about 8.30 if I.needed it and DH would stay up (TV/Xbox) til her next feed (she woke or we would wake her at 11pm), feed and then.bring her into our room to sleep in her basket.

Id get up wirh her through the night (waking at 1am and 3/4am ish), then dh would get up with her at 6.30/7 and feed and change her and get.himself ready for work while I slept. Because she was still so tiny, by the time he left for work at 7.30 she was ready for more sleep so he would reswaddle her and bring her back in to me and her basket. She would go straight back to sleep.and we would both wake at nine.

MortifiedAdams Thu 07-Feb-13 07:02:23

I never napped in the day.eirher and have only started now dd is 1yo and having couple.of hour naps.

Eskino Thu 07-Feb-13 11:43:38

Wow Mortified, that's a timetable!

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