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Are you doing shifts with a newborn?

(28 Posts)
ricecakeaddict Fri 04-Apr-14 19:18:27

DD is 3 weeks old. So far, DH and I have spent every night from 9pm working in shifts - each spending 2 hours shifts feeding (bf or EBM) and trying to settle her in the lounge. She's not yet settling in her Moses basket so normally falls asleep in our arms, meaning we can't sleep on shift.

I can't wait to actually go to bed at the same time as DH in our own bed, even if we have to wake up to bf / feed throughout the night....but this feels such a long way away! I am also really struggling with the midweek sessions when DH is back at work as I can't stay awake from 12am - 6am to cover!

I just wondered how others with young babies are managing the shifts. Are you splitting shifts? I feel like this can't go on for much longer and we need to get her in our room but just don't know how yet!!


Annietheacrobat Fri 04-Apr-14 19:22:52

TBH when DD was like this I used to sleep with her on my chest in bed. I know it goes against the SIDS advice but there is no way I'd be able to stay awake for hours on end.

onedogatoddlerandababy Fri 04-Apr-14 19:22:56

When you say not settling in the Moses basket, do you mean self settling or do you try to put her down asleep and she wakes?

And are you after suggestions of help or simply sympathy?! Will happily give one or the other or both smile

heather1 Fri 04-Apr-14 19:26:32

Have you tried feeling while on your side in bed? I used to do that with Ds. Would often wake up an hour or so later having fallen asleep and Ds had too. It takes a bit of getting used to and practise but it's very useful if you are tired.

keepitgoing Fri 04-Apr-14 19:30:32

have you tried waiting 20 mins till she's deep asleep (floppy arm) and putting her in. keep persevering and it'll work sometimes. good luck

HandragsNGladbags Fri 04-Apr-14 19:32:29

I used to go to bed at 7, DH would do all feeds/holding until about 12, I would take over from there. It's crap but doesn't tend to last long.

Why isn't she settling? Mine were always hungry but would settle for the ten minutes they weren't thinking of their stomachs smile

ricecakeaddict Fri 04-Apr-14 19:37:21

Thank you! She is waking up and crying a few minutes after she goes into the basket (although not during the day).

I suppose I just wanted to know whether shifts is just what everyone does in their first few weeks or whether we should be trying harder to get her in the bedroom. And, if it's the second, helpful advice is v much appreciated so thanks so far!

keepitgoing Fri 04-Apr-14 19:40:46

yes mine settled easier in the day too!confused I think keep trying. they change v fast and just because it didn't work yesterday doesn't mean it won't today...

Wheresmysocks Fri 04-Apr-14 19:45:42

Can I steal your dh?

dd is 8 weeks, my dp has done 2 feeds in 8 weeks... It's dc4 so no rest in the day either.

Seriously, my face was twitching today in Sainsbury!

slightlyconfused85 Fri 04-Apr-14 19:51:03

We used to do this; My DH would do 7 till 12 or 1 while I slept, then I would do the rest of the night. I think it's the best thing to do, everyone gets a chunk of sleep and you can all manage the next day better It really doesn't last long and then you can go to bed together.

onedogatoddlerandababy Fri 04-Apr-14 20:08:41

I try to keep a muslin under dd's head and transfer it with her so familiar smell and no sudden cold bit under her head, makes transition a bit easier, also keeping a hand on her chest/stomach helps to settle her.

We did a bit of shift work but never stayed downstairs, always sat up in bed. By dd1's 5th night we thought it might kill us! For dd2, dp remembered those days more clearly and sacrificed his spot in the bed so she could sleep close to me, worked pretty well!
Mine also sleep better in relative darkness, I also firmly believe no lights for night feeds works best, I know people who get up, into a different room, lights on, tv on-I think it just wakes everyone up too much. I'm after an easy life so pick up out of cot, hoick her into my bed, muslin under head, feed lying down, she's usually back in her cot within 30/40 mins. Try to master lying down feeding, you doze, baby unlatches and I find there's less need to wind afterwards.

Sorry, that was a bit of an essay!

BertieBotts Fri 04-Apr-14 20:15:05

Aww it's lovely that you're taking shifts smile Probably a good idea to get some sleep in!

In this situation most people co sleep, I reckon. I did with DS and it was the best thing I ever did, lovely, easy to feed, maximum sleep for everyone. You need to look up how to make the bed safe, but it's safer than risking falling asleep with her in your arms, when you haven't planned do.

We converted the cot into a bedside one - it's easy to do.

TheScience Fri 04-Apr-14 20:15:36

No, have never done "shifts"! I'm breastfeeding though. I like my sleep too much to even consider staying awake overnight tbh.

I just feed lying down at night and generally sleep through feeds when possible. DP is on the sofabed at the moment so he gets a full nights' sleep, DS2 is a month old now and so far has just slept in bed with me, but I think we will put the cot up next to our bed in the next few days and see if he will sleep in there.

For the first few nights the baby slept on my chest, so lying next to me in bed is an improvement.

BertieBotts Fri 04-Apr-14 20:18:07

This is some good safety and practical advice for co sleeping

CityDweller Fri 04-Apr-14 20:22:33

We did 3hr shifts at beginning - we all went to bed at same time and DH and I would take turns holding her while she slept (she'd only sleep on one of us at night in the early days). I tried for a couple of nights to sit up all night with her in an armchair, but I quickly realised that was impossible and that we needed a different tack.

I think when DH went back to work (DD was 2 weeks old) he'd do the shift until midnight and then I'd go straight through until 6am, when he'd then take her for a couple of hours so I could get a bit of sleep before he left for work. It wasn't long before she'd let us put her down in the co-sleeper crib and although she was still waking for frequent feeds, at least I could sleep in between them.

TheScience Fri 04-Apr-14 20:24:01

I find that advice a little bit OTT, especially regarding no pillows/blankets - obviously you need to keep pillows and blankets away from the baby but getting rid completely is a bit extreme! I have a pillow and duvet for me and the baby in a sleeping bag next to me. If you are worried about accidentally pulling the duvet over the baby then you can tuck it in under the other side of the mattress so it can't be pulled up too far.

BertieBotts Fri 04-Apr-14 20:26:16

Oh - yes true! I didn't get rid of pillows or duvets either. But other than that I think it's very good at covering every base, the wall thing for example and bed guards which might have a gap because they're designed for older children.

RaRaTheNoisyLion Fri 04-Apr-14 20:29:33

What we did was this.

I'd have DH's dinner ready for when he came in, having eaten mine.

Pas he came through the door I'd go to bed. I would be disturbed only for feeds and I'd do them half asleep lying down.

At midnight, DH would go to bed and be undisturbed until 6:30am when he woukd again take baby away for an hour before he set off for work.

trilbydoll Fri 04-Apr-14 20:49:51

We didn't do shifts, but DH was on the futon on our floor and me & DD were in the bed. She only wanted to sleep on us, but would eventually accept being curled up with me in bed!

whereisshe Fri 04-Apr-14 20:50:31

I fed DD lying down in bed at that age (still do for night feeds but she is still only 3 months). The Moses basket was next to me, so I'd just settle her back in it after a feed, although I fell asleep feeding quite often so I set it all up for cosleeping before feeding her to be on the safe side. She never had a problem settling back to sleep.

No lights on or talking to her, I just had a little night light behind the bed which was enough light to see by, and some of those electric LED tea light candle things for the change table in case her nappy needed changing.

I did all feeds other than one in the morning that DH gave her after 6 when he got up (EBM) so I could have a few uninterrupted hours of sleep. I was quite tired but not unmanageably so. We tried me going to bed early but it didn't work, I couldn't sleep.

neversleepagain Sat 05-Apr-14 13:22:33

We have twins. DP and I would share the bedtime feed and the dream feed (he was obviously at work in the day). I would then do the night feeds on my own in the week. On the weekends, he would do Friday and Saturday night feeds.

NickyEds Sat 05-Apr-14 22:34:34

The dark days of shift sleeping- you have my sympathies-this too shall pass. We did this for a week or so before deciding enough was enough. We still did shifts but in bed- we'd have a DS side and a sleep side-feed DS and hold to sleep then transfer into warmed moses. He'd last maybe 10 minutes then cry- we'd take him out and hold him but in the dim bedroom whilst we either played on mn(me) or angry birds(OH). After around 2 hours I'd put DS into moses, knowing he'd wake soon for a feed anyway and sure enough he would, feed then swap to OH. He then gradually stayed in the moses longer and longer each time-it sort of clicked that day was day and night was night. Good Luck

TheFabulousIdiot Sat 05-Apr-14 22:38:44

No. I co-slept. DH was in the spare room. Three years later things are still the same. Unfortunately I was never able t sleep while someone else had the baby, wanted to be with him or else I just lay there wondering if he was ok.

Jellybellyrbest Sun 06-Apr-14 04:48:04

Doing shifts here with DC4 (7wks). I BF till 22.00ish usually (would like it to be earlier, but he cluster feeds till about then ). Pop him in pram downstairs & go to bed till after next feed. DH FF at the next feed, then a swap. I come downstairs & DH goes to bed. I try to let DH sleep till. 08.30 when he gets up to do school runs & then goes to work. Sometimes DH will do FF, settle DS & sleep on the sofa till he wakens for the next feed so I get 4/5hrs. Got 7.5 one night which was amazing. I sleep downstairs mostly ATM, & really appreciate my few hours in bed. We have a toddler & 2 older Dds so it all has to work around their bedtimes/school hours. In the next few weeks when there's a bigger gap between feeds/no night time nappies we'll all move into our bedroom. There'll be a bit of co-sleeping & a bit of trying to get him into the cot. Think they all settle better in the day time OP, & mostly resist being out down at the start during the night. It gradually gets better all round....Google 4th trimester. I remember the shock of it all with my eldest (now 8). Distant memory now; it truly all passes sooo quickly so although you're tired now there is hope! I find the teething stage harder TBH...

yellowsnownoteatwillyou Sun 06-Apr-14 04:56:50

Oh I remember shifts. The novelty of the first time both dh and I went to bed with baby sleeping in the room I still remember fondly.

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