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

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

Wow Mortified, that's a timetable!

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.

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.

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.

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 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 04:34:54

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

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.

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.

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!

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

Ah, ignore the first line! X-post.

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.

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.

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.

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.

Pobblewhohasnotoes Tue 05-Feb-13 17:26:28

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.

AliceWChild Tue 05-Feb-13 16:50:32

I don't wind and he's always fine

debbie1412 Tue 05-Feb-13 13:35:05

In the early wks my dp would give her a formula feed in the evening, I would go to bed. Then bf the rest of the night. It's only really manic for the 1st 12 wks. Just go with it each day and sleep whenever you can x

honeytea Tue 05-Feb-13 12:08:22

Oh and winding, my mum told me I didn't need to wind a breastfed baby (not sure how much truth there is in that) so I don't wind ds I just put him back down to sleep. He's a very calm happy baby so I don't think he suffers from the lack of winding.

Lafaminute Tue 05-Feb-13 12:01:44

...and a sleeping bag once they were out of the moses basket and in a cot (3 or 6 months - can't remember....3 months??)

Lafaminute Tue 05-Feb-13 12:00:08

I always did it all myself - and resented dh a lot of the time but he did have to get up for work and give 100% all day whereas I could slob around (not that I think I did all that much) at home. SIL made my brother do half of everything (and he started a new job a few days after one of the babies was born) which I (very quietly!) didn't think was fair but each to their own. I was bf'ing so I could have handed the baby over for winding but dh is so lazy he'd have chucked the baby back in the cot w/out winding and I'd have known and been terrified of them choking!! Hmmmm, maybe I'm too controlling!! Tbh I had 2 babies and bf them both, if I had a third I don't think I would bf as I found those nights too long and lonely and I'd've loved to have been able to hand some responsibility over to dh even if it was just weekend nights.

ChampyandtheWonderHorse Tue 05-Feb-13 11:56:53

Lowering expectations works for me. I'm on my own and I co sleep, but however zen about it you are, you'll still be wrecked in the morning.

However, it is gradually getting a bit better at 4-5 weeks. I manage in the days by trying to walk rather than drive, (safer) and by keeping visitors/social activities to a minimum. Get older children to help with little things as well, if you have any.

This stage passes so soon and I am relishing having this little chap with me - it is a very precious time. Don't wish it away smile

honeytea Tue 05-Feb-13 11:53:14

Oh and hooray for a good sleep last night! I hope it is the first of many for you smile

honeytea Tue 05-Feb-13 11:51:46

My ds is a chunk he was about 13 pounds at 5 weeks for a smaller normal sized baby 5 weeks might be too early. The swaddle blankets worked great we only stoped because ds was ill with a temperate and they ate not supposed to be used when the baby has a high temperature.

GraceSpeaker Tue 05-Feb-13 11:48:10

Thanks for all your tips. Last night was actually DD's best night ever. She slept through pretty much from 11.20-4.30, then had a feed for half an hour and went back to sleep (on and off) until 7 or so. We didn't actually get up until nearly 8. We didn't do anything differently and I was poised at half three to take her downstairs, long past when she's normally up, but she settled back down. DH got about 7 hours solid sleep. smile

Naturally, she's been sick all over her moses basket and weed all over her changing mat since she's been up! Typical!

DD sleeps in blankets at the moment (cellular + a woolly one). We tried her in a sleeping bag once (she's theoretically big enough for one), but didn't have a great night. honeytea, you said you put your LO in a sleeping bag at 5 weeks - when did everyone else do it (if at all)?

Desperately seeking the ideal sleep solution... it must exist, even though no one's discovered it yet!

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