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To think a full night's sleep and a short nap are sufficient prep for a night shift?

(143 Posts)
blueberrypi27 Sat 19-Aug-17 10:31:23

My DH works a mix of days and nights in a healthcare role. He works 12 hour shifts with 15 minutes travelling time. I am on mat leave with our 9 month old until next week, who has been poorly lately which has made the last run of nights miserable. When he is on shift I do all cooking and cleaning, all baby care, all night feeds etc. Baby is going through separation anxiety and cries every time I leave him to do a small job, like bin a nappy or prepare calpol. The thing that's winding me up is the night before he starts a night shift, my husband insists on a full nights sleep at normal time plus a lie in, then often goes back to bed when I'm trying to make dinner 'to relax'. Baby woke up this morning with a raging temperature and day 7 of diarreah and I could really have used his help at 9am but he refused. AIBU?

Headofthehive55 Sat 19-Aug-17 10:36:05

Sorry, having worked nights I think you should leave him to have a lie in.
It matters.
You have one child to deal with ?
I am astounded that you need help.

Babyiwantabump Sat 19-Aug-17 10:38:45

YAB a little U.

Working night shifts is hard. People who don't work nights don't ever seem to understand.

Would you stay up all night and then work a 12 hour shift from 7am to 7pm? It's the same thing .

Would you want someone looking after you if they had had no sleep before working 12 hours?

blueberrypi27 Sat 19-Aug-17 10:39:59

So how long would a lie in be with a young baby? I would have thought 9am was a lie in when a typical day starts at 5-6.

Am astounded that you don't understand why someone would want their husband to hold a screaming baby so they can get them some meds and a clean nappy? He will likely get more sleep than me as he can catch up tomorrow but I will be getting up early and also through the night

ElizabethShaw Sat 19-Aug-17 10:40:40

My DH does similar shifts, though with an hour commute. The night before a night shift he sleeps normally and gives me a lie in. Then that day he usually goes to bed in the afternoon and sleeps 4 hours. After a night shift he usually sleeps 7-8 hours in the day.

petalsandstars Sat 19-Aug-17 10:41:04

A normal nights sleep then a 3hour ish nap in the afternoon can see through a 12hr night shift for the 4 shift workers that I know close enough to know of their sleep habits.

caffeinestream Sat 19-Aug-17 10:42:30

But it's not really the same as having a full nights sleep, is it? He's sleeping, staying awake all day, having a nap/rest and then working all night.

user1495884620 Sat 19-Aug-17 10:44:17

Shift change onto nights is horrible. If he has been doing night shifts for a long time, he probably plans his day to cope with it as best he can. "Relaxing" may be the best way he can manage to get rest. It is really hard to force yourself to take a nap, knowing you will be up all night, when you are not tired.

How often do his shifts rotate? Is this happening a couple of times a month, or a couple of times a week? That will probably make all the difference as to how sustainable his routine is for you all.

Babyiwantabump Sat 19-Aug-17 10:44:30

But for him it's not a typical day - it is in effect his night time? As he will be working when you are sleeping

NapQueen Sat 19-Aug-17 10:44:47

Maybe on the days he works nights he should do the 5am start with the little one then go and have a long deep afternoon sleep in advance?

But generally yabu. Mixing between nights and days is shit and exhausting.

Babyiwantabump Sat 19-Aug-17 10:45:17

And you won't be awake the whole night. He will .

Ginfernal Sat 19-Aug-17 10:45:31

Baby wear? Let baby have a shout in pram/cot whatever if you can't carry baby and get supplies.
Nights are hellish. Rather than tit for tat and who got the most sleep, maybe count the night before as a working day so you assume he isn't there to help?
(Navy wife here and I do understand it's hard)

ElspethFlashman Sat 19-Aug-17 10:45:38

It's only reasonable to get him up at 7am if he gets a nap later on.

It's not reasonable to not have slept for 12 hrs before going into a 12 hr shift. That's being awake for 24 hrs in total.

Tbh you do not need a second pair of hands for Calpol and a clean nappy. You don't need to leave the baby in a different room to prepare it or to bin a nappy.

Babyiwantabump Sat 19-Aug-17 10:47:36

(I am currently lay on the sofa in preparation for my nightshift tonight so may be slightly biast in this argument)

U2HasTheEdge Sat 19-Aug-17 10:48:23

I do nights and I try have a nights sleep and a lie in- no later than 10.30. I then go back to bed in the afternoon for a few hours.

If I was your husband though I would be getting up in the morning with the baby and then just have a nap in the afternoon. The lie is in lovely but I would skip if I was your husband, when the baby is ill at least.

When he is on shift I do all cooking and cleaning, all baby care, all night feeds etc.

Well yes. There is no choice though is there? That's part and parcel of being with someone who works nights.

PinkDaffodil2 Sat 19-Aug-17 10:48:32

12 hour day shifts are bad enough, especially with the understaffing and rota gaps prevalent in so much of the healthcare system. Night shifts you have to do what works for you to stay safe.
I do the standard stay up late the night before, get up late (I aim for noon), and nap before work. Basically the days either side of nights we count as work days and my DH has very low expectations!
Do you have any friends / family nearby who can help you?
I found that nice ready meals / having stuff already in the freezer helps loads. His sleep pattern sounds quite standard tbh.

tearsinmyeyes Sat 19-Aug-17 10:48:52

He should be helping you !
I bet you don't get to have a full nights sleep and a lie in to prepare you for being up with a sick baby . People are telling you how hard night shifts are etc well tough shit you lose the right to being fully rested when you have a 9 month old who is unwell . You're not asking him for anything but a few minutes respite here and then so yanbu

e1y1 Sat 19-Aug-17 10:49:22


My OH does a mix of night shifts and day shifts (13 hours and occasionally more).

When he is on a night shift, he needs to sleep a normal amount of sleep hours in the day.

Being up all day with a nap is not sufficient for a 12 hour night shift.

Needcoffee2244 Sat 19-Aug-17 10:49:27

I work nights and yes I do think yabu.
I often sleep in late and go back to sleep before work because I find it exausting working nights, even when I sleep all day after a night shift I don't always feel fully rested because it's not a deep sleep.
If he's going back to bed he probably does need the rest.
When I did a mixture of night and day shifts it was a lot harder than just nights, it really messes up your body clock.
Hope your baby is doing better now though op flowers

Pigface1 Sat 19-Aug-17 10:49:33

It's difficult to comment without understanding his full shift pattern but a 12 hour night shift in a healthcare role sounds absolutely brutal - as does only getting a short nap in a 24 hour period while working 12 of those hours.

But do I understand your post to mean you're going back to work next week? so presumably the whole routine's going to change anyway?

OstentatiousWanking Sat 19-Aug-17 10:49:37

I worked a changing shift pattern and it's hell ish going from days to nights. It completely knocked my body clock out and I was a nightmare to be around.

Shootfirstaskquestionslater Sat 19-Aug-17 10:49:50

YABU I do the same job as your DH and nights are extremely hard they are even harder if you haven't had enough sleep. He needs all the sleep he can get he is looking after people you have a baby to look after you must've known about his work pattern before you chose to have the baby so you can't really complain now if he's not there to help with the baby when he needs his sleep for work.

MFR3 Sat 19-Aug-17 10:52:19

*You have one child to deal with ?
I am astounded that you need help.*

Astounded? What a horrible, goady, unhelpful comment. Superwoman yourself?

blueberrypi27 Sat 19-Aug-17 10:52:28


Very sleep deprived and grumpy, so my decision making skills are poor right now! There only so much whining a person can listen to (from baby, not DH).

His shifts change often. Commonly he will work 3/4 nights one week, then a few days off and 3/4 days the following week. It varies massively though. This week he has worked 3 nights then had one night off and will have another 3 nights on starting tonight. He has lots of night shifts this month

joannegrady90 Sat 19-Aug-17 10:52:29


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