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Breastfeeding means I'M the one who has to get up all night?

(29 Posts)
rooks14 Sun 31-Jul-11 02:36:01

I just wondered how everyone felt about the fact they were/are the ones getting up to a screaming baby, while DP's/Dh's sleep?

I'm hating DP at the mo as he's snoozing next to me, and I haven't slept in 9 months because of restless leg syndrome (just posted another thread if anyone can help?) and so am like a zombie all day, added to the 39+4 pregnancy, and he has the cheek to ask what I've done during the day! At least with FF we would both have to share the load? (I'm fully aware of the advantages of breastfeeding, hence why I want to iron out any stresses pre-baby, rather than rowing with DP when the baby's here! but as both of us were FF and uni graduates, I'm not going to beat myself up if I can't/don't end up BF!).

I'm going back to uni when DS will be about 8 weeks, only for a few hours a week, the rest at home so breastfeeding shouldn't be too bad schedule-wise if I can express. I'll still have a lot of work to do so i'm going to need an equal amount of sleep and in the beggining I know expresing isn't easy!

Many Thanks for your opinions smile

PenguinArmy Sun 31-Jul-11 03:53:35

how many feeds is it, not that it matters with a new one on the way.

In the early days when DD took a while to go off I would hand her over to DH over a certain period of time. When I was struggling with back to work then he passed her to me, I fed her laying down and he put her back to bed. She fed every 2 hours until close to 1.

I went back after 4-6 weeks for a half day here and there (was finishing PhD) and then started post-doc at 4 months.

You are both working during the day, it's not like you have your feet up. Me and DH try to split the evenings and weekends evenly e.g. he's used to get up before me because I did the nights. Before he became a SAHD he would get up, feed her, play with her for a bit then put her down for a nap before he headed out. FWIW I expected him to do no housework while I was at work, his job was looking after DD. Does he give you lie-ins at the weekend to compensate

I'm rambling but I hope there's something there

DoNotDisturb Sun 31-Jul-11 04:08:36

A second vote here for lie ins. After the first feed of the morning (done in bed) send dh downstairs with baby while you try and kip for a couple of hours.

Orbinator Sun 31-Jul-11 04:13:02

Re: Restless Legs - are you still taking/were you taking iron tablets? I think iron deficiency can be a case, along with some anti-depressants.

I'm 12 days overdue here so have all of this to look forward to hmm

Good luck OP.

Kat3L Sun 31-Jul-11 04:35:19

At weekends my DP gives our DS expressed milk for the first feed during the night which gives me the chance of a longer sleep. I wouldn't be able to function if we didn't do this!

allhailtheaubergine Sun 31-Jul-11 06:50:16

It is understandable that you are worried about this. I had similar concerns before I had my first born.

I actually felt far less tired with a newborn than I did while pregnant. It is true that you are up and down in the night, but in between you do actually get some decent dollops of sleep in between.

Also, when you are breastfeeding, your body releases all these clever hormones and chemicals that make it easier to get up with your baby, and much, much faster to fall back into a deep sleep after feeding.

Before having our first, dh and I had discussed the fact that he needs much less sleep than me and we therefore decided that he would be the one to get up in the night and bring the baby to me, and put her back to bed - in actual fact once the baby was born, dh found it impossible to cope with continually broken sleep followed by a day at work, whereas I actually found it okay. I mean, yes, I was tired but I could cope. And this was with a husband who desperately wanted to help in every single way possible. You may find that you bottle feed only to end up doing it all yourself anyway.

I found what I most appreciated was him doing the early mornings so I could get an extra hour or so after the 1st feed of the day.

I don't have any experience of bottle feeding, but I understand that when giving a bottle n the night it involves going downstairs to make the bottle every time. The huge advantage of breastfeeding is that it's all right there - truly, it is the lazy persons feeding method of choice!

Also, you have the opportunity of co-sleeping which means you can feed and doze lying down.

It's not always easy, and I didn't have an easy time breastfeeding my first. It can be daunting. But with a bit of extra confidence and support, with my second I had him in bed with me latching on and off as he needed to and I got a decent amount of sleep.

Plus, of course, doing ALL the night time feeds is most excellent leverage for every pooey nappy and super-vom that you don't fancy cleaning up yourself becaise you're 'quiet tired' wink.

Good luck!

allhailtheaubergine Sun 31-Jul-11 06:51:34

PS - am pregnant again and also suffering with restless legs. I find an orgasm is the best way of relaxing everything and getting off to sleep grin.

FlyMeToTheMooncup Sun 31-Jul-11 07:06:44

When my DCs were little my DH would pick them up when they woke and plonk them in bed with me. He'd change the nappy too. I didn't need to move. Fair compromise IMO - he does the getting up bit but then they can sleep while you feed.

RitaMorgan Sun 31-Jul-11 07:09:18

I found night feeds were fine actually - had ds in a bedside cot (it was this one) or in bed with me and fed him lying down in the night, after the first few weeks it barely disturbed my sleep. Then I'd kick DP and the baby out of bed at 7ish and he could usually entertain ds til 9/9.30 before he'd need another feed - at which point I'd feed him in bed again and we'd both nap!

There was never an issue with screaming babies as I'd feed ds as soon as he stirred. On the few occasions where he needed changing or threw up in the night I woke DP, but otherwise we didn't disturb him.

It got much harder actually when we moved ds to his own room just after 5 months. He had a feed at 10/11pm before we went to bed and then another at about 3am, and I'd have to get up and go and feed him in his room. I found that pretty exhausting - with the next baby I'll keep it in with me until it's sleeping through.

TimeWasting Sun 31-Jul-11 07:32:14

DH used to get up to do the nappies for the first couple weeks as I'd had a section, but after that what would be the point in him waking up?
When you're bf you get nice hormones to help you get back to sleep.

So, you get up every night, and feed the baby all day, but he does everything else.

FlyMeToTheMooncup Sun 31-Jul-11 07:45:08

Between coming home from hospital with DD and DH going back to work (about 2 weeks) I don't think I changed a single nappy. There is loads of baby care a dad can do despite not having boobs, and if he tries telling you otherwise then BFing probably isn't the problem IMO.

mousymouse Sun 31-Jul-11 08:17:43

the 'trick' is not to let baby scream smile
keep him/her close to you so you can pull baby close for feeding whilst staying half asleep.

MoonFaceMamaaaaargh Sun 31-Jul-11 09:00:29

some great be advice here, esp allhail and mooncup. And timewasting and mousey. smile

BertieBotts Sun 31-Jul-11 09:18:13

Seriously, just co-sleep. Best perk of breastfeeding IMO grin You can't sleep while FF a baby! smile If you're worried about squashing the baby or it being a difficult transition later, get a bedside cot or convert one. (In fact get one anyway. Any of the ikea cots with the removeable side are perfect for this and cheap if you don't want to splash out.)

Get your partner to do baths, I think it's nice for them to have something special to do together as bf is "your" thing, and he can stretch the bathtime routine out to an hour (that's an hour for you to relax or do your uni work!) if he includes some playing beforehand (raspberries on the tummy etc) and baby massage after. Once they are older a lot of my friends have found they can do the last feed downstairs and then pass baby/toddler over to dad to do stories, bath and bed, and this was a group of hardcore AP-types.

As an aside, if you're interested or you find expressing more difficult than you thought (it tends to be easy in the earlier months, after 9 months or so it gets hard IME) it might be an option to take a tiny baby into lectures in a sling and just feed her if she wakes up. Obviously no good once they are more alert and need entertaining, but newborn-in-sling is my emergency plan for if I accidentally get pregnant while at uni. And then childminder at 5 or 6 months, or DP if he's awake and not working at the relevant times.

And one more uni tip (I have DS who is 2) make sure you set aside time for your work, with childcare covered at these times, it prevents the whole "Oh I can't be bothered, I can do this later" because you know there will be more distractions later, and usually the childcare is either a favour or you're paying for it, so you want to make the most of it!

Good luck smile

EauRouge Sun 31-Jul-11 10:03:24

Yes, co-sleep grin There are lots of good sites about co-sleeping if you want to do some research- I like this one. I had terrible insomnia and restless legs when I was pregnant so I sympathise. I got loads more sleep with a newborn than I did when I was pregnant, thanks to co-sleeping.

Secondtimelucky Sun 31-Jul-11 10:35:53

Another one here to say that you will probably be less tired once the baby arrives if you are having a tough time now. I certainly am (DD2 is 7 weeks). Breastfeeding really doesn't interupt your sleep that much - reach over, pick up baby, feed. If you've got a really unsettled baby who needs rocking, walking, etc afterwards, there's no reason your other half can't do that.

TBH, I think even if you bottle fed you would likely be awake for the duration of your child's waking anyway, unless you were in another room with earplugs. When DD1 was older and waking, DH would share the settling, and whereas he could go back to sleep if it was my turn, I never could. I also woke more easily than him. I think it's a mother thing. grin.

TransatlanticCityGirl Sun 31-Jul-11 11:06:42

Unfortunately in the early days feeding is all down to me, but DH does all the nappy changes when he is home including weekend night times and the odd week night change. He also looks after baby on weekend mornings which allows me to lay in... Only wakes me if baby needs to feed.

DD is only 3 wks old but I've been expressing and he'll start doing one bottle feed per day using the expressed milk as soon as we feel she is ready.. Will try a test run in the next week or so.

Also co-sleeping is a fantastic was to catch up on some zzzzzs. I call this the "feed yourself and leave mummy out of it" position smile

It's really not as bad as it sounds when it's all down to you especially if you have a supportive partner.

Offspring Sun 31-Jul-11 11:55:34

DH had 3 weeks off when DD was born, he used to get up and take her in to change her nappy, then would bring her to me and I'd feed her and try to settle her. If she didn't settle I'd hand her over and DH would have a go. We were both exhausted but I didn't resent him sleeping while I was breastfeeding as I knew that I could rely on him to help me with other aspects. I had a bit of a freak out moment when he had to go back to work and I had to do the nights by myself (at my own insistence) but I really did get used to it after the first few nights and I found the days more taxing and infuriating!

BertieBotts Sun 31-Jul-11 12:35:39

I didn't find it was as bad as everyone went on about even though I had a very unsupportive partner grin

dolldaggabuzzbuzz Sun 31-Jul-11 17:10:15

I have never known a bf bay to scream in the night. Mum wakes when she hears him searching and chomping for his breast. Mum and baby's body clocks are in harmony while breastfeeding. DH stays asleep. Mum and baby quickly go back to sleep.

DS had his first 'sleep through' at 9mo. It was the worst night for me- but I got used to it!

PenguinArmy Sun 31-Jul-11 17:13:04

mine did, even with co-sleeping. Damn fussy eating stage and nursing strikes. To be fair, most people don't know what babies other than their own do and with another baby on the way, co-sleeping with both babies probably isn't going to happen.

sungirltan Sun 31-Jul-11 17:18:41

i didnt ff becausei knew waiting for dh to make a bottle at his pace would annoy the hell out of me - plus you will wake up anyway esp if you take turns.

my cousin did ff because her dp said he owuld help with the feeding plus his dds oculd also help - in my dear cousins' words 'funny how no one wanted to get up in the night' not worth the risk imo

i'd say give bf a go - but i'm a peer supporter so im biased BUT you can always ff if it doesnt work out - you cant start of ff and then bf if you feel like it - at least give bf a chance - for your baby if not for you

AppleAndBlackberry Sun 31-Jul-11 20:14:07

My DD is 5mo and I get got more sleep doing a couple of night feeds breastfeeding than I would doing even just one formula feed. I don't co-sleep but I do feed in bed and it's pretty quick (say 10 minutes) so I just drop straight back to sleep once I've put her back in the cot.

Also agree that the last weeks of pregnancy are worse than the first weeks of having a baby.

rooks14 Mon 01-Aug-11 00:19:19

wow! I've never got so many responses on Mumsnet! There's some great advice here, thank's for sharing all your experiences!

I made DP out to be a meanie, I was just jealous that he was asleep and I wasn't grin. We read this together and agreed he'd take a lot more of the nappy responsibility in the day and him doing the baths sounds like a really good idea since I'll be having bonding time breastfeeding.

So thanks for all your advice, it's very much appreciated!

FutureNannyOgg Mon 01-Aug-11 10:27:08

Totally agree with everyone about co-sleeping. DS is in a sidecar cot and sometimes I wake up to find him in bed with me, without being able to remember the first time I fed him and brought him into bed, I would be so much more tired if I was getting up and making up a bottle (while he got hungrier and woke up properly). He has never cried for food in the night, I always hear him snuffling about before he even wakes, and he feeds in a doze.
Another point there, is that you will most likely be more sensitive to the baby waking up than DP, which means that you will wake up when baby wakes, whether it is you that has to get up and make a bottle, or whether you have to poke DP in the ribs until he does it.
Dads are great at bathing, playing, nappies and making you tea and snacks, no need to have them feeding for lack of things to help with.

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