What time should we all go to bed?(14 Posts)
Thanks for letting me join, I'm a new dad, father of Maya, who was born on Monday (C-section). We were in the hospital til Thursday and the last two nights have been...difficult. The baby is very healthy but last night wouldn't sleep til around 5.30am. By about 4am I was actually going mad after two hours alternating between pushing her back and forth in her pram with the white noise app going fullpelt, and holding and rocking her; nothing worked and I can confidently say it was the worst night of my life. Today has been fine, we've bonded some more and managed to get some more sleep although my wife didn't. We've just been to the hospital and found that the baby has gained 0.26lb in two days, which is really encouraging. My question is about bedtimes: what time should we go to bed in order to maximise our seep time despite (obviously) needing to get up and feed and comfort her?
Congratulations on your new arrival
Forget "bedtimes" as such. She is so new to the world, she has no concept of day and night yet. I know it's cliché, but seriously, sleep when she sleeps! You and your wife could also sleep in "shifts". When both my kids were born, if baby fell asleep, I would have a nap while my husband did a load of laundry or something, then the next time the baby slept, my husband would have a nap while I did something round the house.
The first few weeks are a shock to the system, but as she gets a little bigger, it will all fall into place
Thanks! Really appreciate your reply. I was thinking more though in terms of what time we should go to bed, rather than try to put her down. Maybe it's a how long is a piece of string question...
At that age I'd try to get some sleep at about 9pm and dh would have the baby in the lounge with him in the moses basket while he played games, watched TV etc, napped oj the sofa, then I'd feed at midnight, 2am, whatever time and he'd go to bed and the baby in moses basket would come upstairs
I would go to bed when you're tired. You'll be up and down in the night, take it in turns (unless your wife is breastfeeding, in which case offer her drinks and snacks if you do wake up and if you don't then don't be surprised if she wants to smother you for sleeping so peacefully while she's up 15 times a night). While it's all up in the air at the moment, you'll probably find in the next few weeks that your baby does her longest stretch of sleep from early evening - so maybe 7-10, or 11. You could choose to go to bed at the same time as her then, to get a small stretch of sleep.
One thing my DH would do for me in the early days is to get up with the baby - so at around 7am he would take her downstairs, leaving me in bed to get a couple of hours more sleep which meant I was more able to face the day. He'd rock her, walk her around - basically try and placate her for as long as possible before she needed me to feed her again.
Don't worry too much about day and night yet. The important thing is that you both optimise your opportunities to sleep. If the baby is asleep, so should both of you! If the baby is awake do shifts. DH always used to stay downstairs until midnight/1am and I'd go up to bed about 9 so that I could get a few hours in. I'd then do the rest of the night. DH used to give a bottle of formula to enable this but appreciate that's unhelpful if you're hoping to EBF. It gets better quite quickly.
I think it depends on if your wife is breastfeeding? If she is, I'd go for she does night shifts and you let her sleep whenever you can during the day. If not, I'd to turn about like PP says. At this age, no set bedtime but I'd try and do night time is quiet and dark versus daytime is bright and loud even if it takes the baby a while to get it! We did early bedtimes for me (8:30pm ish) while husband stayed downstairs with the baby til a feed was needed then I did all night feeds but he did any nappy changes required (don't change nappy unless there is poo!). But that is a bf routine, you can split differently if bottle feeding.
In the early days, until around 2 weeks when the gaps between breast feeding got bigger, I went to bed at 7.30, immediately after dinner and feeding. Not the best but DH did a bottle of expressed milk around 9pm and he would bring DS to me around midnight and I would take over until 6 am when I went back to bed.
It's really hard at first but you will adjust and if breastfeeding is too hard for her then just go to formula and ignore anyone who says you shouldn't - it's a very personal thing and it really is up to your wife to decide.
Just sleep when you can and decide your own routine between you and if you're going back to work you will find coping mechanisms. Good luck OP!
Is your wife breastfeeding? If so, just keep the baby on or near the boob til they fall asleep, then don't put them too far away as they'll need boob again a short while later.
For a while I went to bed at 8 and DH dealt with the baby until about 12, then we switched. I snatched any sleep I could. You kind of lose all sense of day and night with a new baby.
Is she crying, or is she just it sleeping?
*just not sleeping
And congratulations, Maya is a beautiful name
Sleep when you both can. Alternate it. Congratulations on the arrival. Then the last few days before paternity leave finishes try and get in a new routine that suits both of you x
Thanks so much to everyone for your helpful and thoughtful responses! In the end my wife slept on the (actually very large and comfortable) sofa bed in the living room and I got up every couple of hours to help. All of us slept pretty well! Quite a contrast from the previous night which was based around one of us trying to get her to sleep before we went to bed. My God what a learning curve...:-P
It might help you to know OP that my DH had a migraine and had to go to bed for some time on Day 3 as he wasn't taking care of himself. If your wife is breastfeeding the baby and you're making sure your wife is fed, please do look after yourself as well so you don't just collapse! Ask for help if needed.
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