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Night feeds - how do you balance between you?

(35 Posts)
MotherOfBeagles Mon 06-Nov-17 19:28:23

So early days I know, but we are now on our 3rd night at home with our first baby and struggling to work out how to balance night feeds/wake ups between us.

Unfortunately dh does not have paternity leave as he is a contractor. But he is able to work from home. So he has a morning meeting at 8am on the phone and is then able to help out in bits through the day - but obviously still has quite a bit of computer work to do.

I’m on maternity leave but haven’t slept properly (no more than maybe an hour a day) since baby was born due to hormones and adrenaline. I’m also obviously very sore and a bit broken.

Anyway! Dh and I are trying to work out how to tackle the nights and wondered if you’d be willing to share what you did to give us some ideas?

demirose87 Mon 06-Nov-17 19:31:58

I do all the night feeds myself as my baby is a difficult feeder, very windy and reflux too. When he was on paternity he went down to make the feed and I would give it, but now I just do it myself.

NutellaCookie Mon 06-Nov-17 19:39:29

Firstly congratulations on your new baby.

DH and I split the night between us. I would go to bed around 8pm and DH would do the feeds up until midnight ish. I would then take over from that point so he got sleep before work. DH would often then get up and do the first morning feed around 6-7am, allowing me a bit of extra sleep.

We FF our babies so it was easy to split the feeds between us.

It feels horrendous when you are in the middle of it, but baby will soon start stretching out feeds and you (hopefully) will get a bit more sleep.

Do try and rest in the day when baby sleeps
Housework etc can wait. It's more important that you are rested (I didn't listen to this advice at the time but wish I had!).

NickMarlow Mon 06-Nov-17 19:47:23

I breastfed so most of it was down to me. I expressed so dd had one bottle of expressed milk a day from 2 weeks. To start with, I would feed her at 9ish and then go to bed. Dh would keep dd downstairs, do the bottle, and only bring her up when she needed the next feed.

At some point, we realised she was sleeping longer and dh was staying up half the night for no reason. So then he did the bottle about 6am so I could sleep a bit longer in the morning.

I did all the other feeds, but dh did any nappy changes needed, and resettled her if it was taking a while. He was also brilliant about taking her out of the house at weekends so I could nap or have a bath in peace.

Rockandrollwithit Mon 06-Nov-17 19:52:16

DS2 is eight weeks old so DH is back at work. We share night feeds equally, baby is formula fed so it's possible to do that.

MotherOfBeagles Mon 06-Nov-17 20:28:15

Sorry should have said we formula feed! I am keen to give my dh more chance by himself as due to the way things have fallen he’s not done many feeds and needs to build his confidence that he can do it. And he wants to which is important I suppose lol.

Think we might give splitting the night a go. I think I just wanted to dodge spending half the night downstairs lol

eurochick Mon 06-Nov-17 20:52:35

I was expressing so typically I was expressing for the next feed while he was feeding the baby.

When my husband was on leave, we both did them all. When he was back at work we did input/output together at 10pm and 1am. At 4am I would skip an express and just feed the baby on my own so he could get a decent stretch. By the time I went back to work (6 months) she was down to one night feed and we would alternate.

HeyMicky Mon 06-Nov-17 20:55:33

Exactly the same as Nick. Getting maybe 4 hours uninterrupted was a life saver and DH still got midnight - 7 barring teething or a two-person poonami

Frankie2015 Mon 06-Nov-17 21:06:01

With my Son I’d do the night up till 3am and then my husband would take over anything after that and would get up for work at 6am and then it was back to me. So mostly me, he was FF but those 3 hours sleep were a god send and meant my husband wasn’t too tired going into work. Xx

OoohSmooch Mon 06-Nov-17 21:15:37

We started as EBF and then moved to a combi feed, but all night feeds were BF so that was down to me. me and my husband also sleep separately (we are not good cosleepers 😂 & we're ten years in). However once or twice a week he'd take our baby for the whole night and do all the feeds with the pre-mixed formula and kept the clean bottles upstairs so they were on hand. Baby is older now so we don't do night feeds woo!

I took the bulk load of the overnight as my husband worked, but that whole 'sleep when the baby sleeps' was complete tosh for me so I was a bit of a zombie for a long time. It helped to go out everyday though!

confused123456 Mon 06-Nov-17 21:17:53

When our ds was small, we based it on when my dh was working. If he was working early in the morning, I did them. When he was off the next day, he did them.

BuzzKillington Mon 06-Nov-17 21:21:57

I breastfed so did all the night feeds. Even if I had ff, I would have done the night feeds as dh was working. He always let me sleep in at weekends.

I was knackered! But slept during the day when the baby did, and also put them in bed and plugged them in and went back to sleep - obv not an option if you ff.

chloechloe Mon 06-Nov-17 22:20:21

I BF so have done every single night feed for the last 10 months! I'm on maternity leave and DH is working so he needs the sleep more than I do as he needs to be able to perform at work. He deals with the toddler though if she wakes on the night. I then lie in for an hour or two on one day at the weekends and he gets up with baby and toddler.

ajb17 Mon 06-Nov-17 22:31:09

When my DS was tiny and DH was on pat leave we tag teamed so I did one, he did the next which we still do on weekends and DS is 15 weeks. During the week DH does the bedtime feed which they both love as it’s bonding time after he’s been at work all day and I do the night feeds if there are any, again on weekends DH normally offers to do them to give me a break. We are formula feeding. I guess it’s just finding a routine that suits your family.

amys14 Tue 07-Nov-17 03:18:20

I go to bed when my toddler does at 8pm and sleep through until around 1 or 2am. Meanwhile my husband stays downstairs with my newborn son and naps on the couch/feeds him when required. Then we swap over and husband goes to bed and gets a few solid hours sleep. Means we are both getting a good 4 or 5 hours solid sleep per night and then napping on the couch too. Ive spoke to a few people who have done it this way and it works well although it means my husband and I haven’t slept in the same bed in weeks 🙈 but worth it for sleep! The days seem so much easier when you’ve had a rest. Hope you sort something out x

wasMissD Tue 07-Nov-17 03:30:37

I did all the night feeds in the week, and we shared them at weekends as husband was working all week.
The first few weeks are hard in the night, but it doesn't last long, don't worry.
My DS started sleeping through at 8 weeks old (he's 14 weeks now). Don't get me wrong, he wakes up some nights, but he doesn't need a feed.
Funnily though, I'm wide awake tonight and he's fast asleep confused!!

FenellaMaxwellsPony Tue 07-Nov-17 03:37:54

FF here and we did the same as Nutella.

Smitff Tue 07-Nov-17 03:50:10

Why do you need to spend half the night downstairs? Can’t you take the baby up to your bedroom? If you’re worried about prepping bottles in the night, it’s worth getting a proper set up upstairs: bottle warmer/ mini fridge/ perfect prep machine (sorry don’t know exactly what, was ages ago that I gave a bottle).

Take all the shortcuts possible, lower all expectations of doing anything other than feeding the baby and keeping it clean, and the same for you. TBH, I’d rather focus on doing those things and have DH do everything else - shop for food, provide me with food and clean clothes, let me sleep during the day, deal with house admin and cleaning, deal with other people etc.

Thissameearth Tue 07-Nov-17 03:53:58

I'm breastfeeding (through clenched teeth and sore nipples) so I do them all and just hate my husband for not having lactating breasts. This is a new reason I am malevolent towards him. I don't want to express and bottle feed at moment as just shy of 4 weeks and still wanting to establish bf, plus deciding when to express and sterilisation etc is not straightforward either. My husband WFH self employed too but during week I think hmm is it fair to get him up as I'm on leave but he's not? Then I don't actually care about fairness as I'm fucking knackered BUT that said it can be good to have him not knackered able to do work and take baby for 15 mins here and there for shower and shoving lunch down you plus if baby naps I leave with him while he's on laptop working away so I can sleep upstairs without responding to every grumble baby makes it take baby walk in pram. On weekends He gets baby out of crib for feeds and changes her nappy during night (also changes during day obv) also useful to run to shops, make cuppa and do housework. So doesn't necessarily need to be feeding to help with sleep? Congrats and good luck - 1 hour sleep a day??? Nooooo.

MummaTwinkleToes Tue 07-Nov-17 04:18:26

Hi OP, during his paternity leave we would alternate on night feeds, then when DH went back to work he went to bed at 10pm and I would do the midnight feed. DH then would do feeds before 3am and I would do the ones after. Weekends he has a lie in on a Saturday as I take DS1(3) to sports lesson then I have a lie in on Sunday. Make sure you get sleep too. Yes DH has to have rest because he's working but so are you but in a different role in the house, remember that! If possible sleep in daytime when baby does. My DS2 hardly sleeps in the day sadly.

piggleiggle83949 Tue 07-Nov-17 05:25:07

Husband stays up till around 11-00 and gives a feed and settled to bed. I go to bed early, around 9ish.

I do all night feeds while husband stays in bed.

Depending on how much I’ve been up in the night will determine whether I ask husband to get up for the first feed of the day or not (5ish) so I can go back to sleep for a couple more hours if I need to.

So i get broken sleep but he stays up late and gets up early so it evens out really and we generally get about that same amount of sleep.

Howsthings1234 Tue 07-Nov-17 06:25:28

Congratulations on your new baby. We are expecting baby number 2 in Feb. With baby number one we did exactly as another poster mentioned and did shifts. It feels horrible going to bed at 7 or 8 and sleeping in separate rooms but honestly it saved my sanity and it really is for a short time really (although may not feel that way to you now!)

I think you need to aim for a five hour block of sleep as often as you can so I would just take myself off to bed at 7ish after dinner and my husband would see to baby till midnight. He would then put baby to bed in the room I was sleeping in for me to take over from then. It meant he then had 7 hours block sleep before work.

I can’t recommend this highly enough as you can under estimate the importance of sleep and the importance of at least one you bring well rested - otherwise things just get fraught. At weekends we would sometimes do a whole night each as a treat/luxury. Definitely one of the benefits of formula feeding is that husband gets to help so make the most of it!!

Isitwinteryet Tue 07-Nov-17 13:15:24

We took it in 2 hour shifts if baby was awake. We both slept if she slept longer obviously.
Baby is now four weeks old and so my partner is back at work. I now do all of the night feeds and settling in the week and partner does weekends.

mindutopia Tue 07-Nov-17 14:06:13

Initially, while I was still BF (10 weeks), we did it in shifts. I went to bed around 7-8 ish and he stayed up til 1am with her downstairs, bringing her up to me for feeds and then going back downstairs after. This gave me at least chunks of uninterrupted sleep, usually 8-10/11pm and then 10/11pm until 1am ish. And then I took over and did all feeds myself after that while he slept.

Once we were bottle feeding, we both got up for every feed and did it together so we could both get back to sleep faster. At that point, she was pretty much only waking twice a night for a feed, but might need settling at other times between feeds. He would get the bottle/warm it, I would do any changing, etc. while he did that. Usually I would feed her while he dozed, and then he would take over after that to rock her or settle her if she didn't go right back to sleep (and then I would doze while he did that). Sometimes that was switched around just depending on who was more exhausted. Basically that helped neither of us to really wake up for long stretches of time and have trouble falling back asleep. We both did a bit so the other wasn't having to do it all by themselves.

Once she was older (9+ months) and didn't need a feed, one of us would do it while the other slept. It was usually whoever needed the sleep more. When I was still on mat leave or working part-time and not working the next day, it was me. When I was extra exhausted or needed to get up early (used to get up for work at 5am), it was my dh. No formal system. We just sort of worked it out based on how each of us was coping on any given night.

PotteringAlong Tue 07-Nov-17 14:13:04

I breastfed so I've done every night feed for all 3 of my children.

He did all the settling when I night weaned them (about 13 months for ds1 and 2, not there yet with ds3).

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