For those experienced moms, is this even doable????

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TessaS's picture
Joined: 11/19/11
Posts: 100
For those experienced moms, is this even doable????

Ok, so dh and I are trying to figure out (like I'm sure many of you are) what we are going to do after baby comes. Right now I am working full-time time as an at home care worker for the elderly. I love my job and want to keep my foot in at least part time, maybe full time if we have to.

Here is my question. After taking 6 weeks (maybe more if we can swing it) of maternity, what would the possibility be of my husband getting some sleep (because he will hopefully be working) if I do an overnight, or possibly two. I know infants have rough nights at first, but if that usually evened out by the second month? Or, if we end up needing me to go full time, maybe even possibly two nights in a row? I know particially we will have to play it by ear to see how baby is doing, but from your experiences, how would that work out? I know I will have to pump so he could do a midnight feeding.

Thanks for any input Smile

sookysunky's picture
Joined: 11/29/11
Posts: 62

My daughter started sleeping through the night at 2 months, but that meant sleeping from 11-6... Then we went to visit family when she was about 4 months old, and somehow it screwed up her sleeping patterns and she continued to wake up about 4am for the next 4 months... I think part of it was my fault. Because she was really low on the growth charts for weight, I continued to feed her at 4am (or whenever I could). I think if I had stopped feeding her then, she might have started to sleep through the time... I have a friend that had her son on a very formal feeding pattern, she was really able to plan by it. I think after the first two months, I will do the same thing.

Joined: 05/31/08
Posts: 1131

I'm just gonna be honest here. Most babies don't even come close to sleeping through the night until at least 3 months, and my son didn't STTN for real until almost a year. It is more than normal for babies to wake up every 2-3 hours for the first couple months and don't count on longer stretches until a MINIMUM of 3 months, and often it is longer. You could always pump enough for several bottles, but as far as your DH getting to sleep, don't count on it. Once your baby comes, you may just feel like there is no way you could leave overnight so soon. I couldn't have. I would say you need to be open to whatever and play it based on you and your babies needs. Every baby is different, so maybe it will work out.

Kayla1981's picture
Joined: 01/04/07
Posts: 1529

It really will depend on your baby. I know some LO's STTN early on but I really don't think it's normal for them to only be down to one feeding at 6 weeks. I am very pro nursing though and nursed my daughter on demand. My DD was still waking up three times a night at 9 months but I know she is an extreme. She didn't stop nursing during the night until around 16 months.

We also had a lot of issues with reflux and colic for a long time. Starting around 2 1/2 months my daughter woke CONSTANTLY. This went on until 9 months and we really had to take turns getting up with her b/c one person would not have survived so many wakings.

Again, my daughter is an extreme but there was not anything we could do about it. We tried gripe water, prescriptions, the chiro and for the most part she just had to grow out of it.

Joined: 12/16/11
Posts: 5

When you hear of mom's talking about their newborns sleeping through the night, they are talking about 6 straight hours...which is the longest a newborn should go without waking. I would say to be conservative if you are very, very lucky your baby will still be waking up once for a feed, in all practicality still waking up 2-3 plus times. If your baby has colic, reflux or days and nights mixed up then it is a whole other story:) I had a colicky firstborn who was suffering from allergies that weren't diagnosed for months- he was up screaming every hour for his first nine months. My second son was a good sleeper and I could get him to sleep from 7-7 with 2 wake ups in a swing until he was 6 months and then when he was older and our of our room in a crib he dropped it to one and then finally slept through the night (12 hours) at 12 months which is pretty standard I think.
Your husband should be able to handle the baby during the night a couple of times a week though... keep the monitor (or ideally the baby bassinet) right next to his ear....men don't wake up as easily. My husband is very attentive and nurturing but at night our kids can be screaming at the top of their lungs and he never even flinches. They just aren't always as hard wired to that as woman are.
Also educate him on the importance of meeting babies needs...24 hours a day. I had a friend who couldn't work nights because her husband would not get up with the baby...he just let him cry and cry because "eventually he'd learn". Leaving a totally helpless infant alone to cry in pain or in fear is unkind, unhealthy and dangerous, but he felt his sleep was more important. (not to suggest your husband would do this).

SunDevil28's picture
Joined: 04/30/07
Posts: 496

Hmm, not sure I see this as too much of an issue, depending on what your husband's job is. I mean, single moms often have to go back to work after 6 weeks and they don't have anyone to do the night feedings for them. So surely your husband can handle a night or two a week? DH did a LOT of getting up in the night with DS and I truly feel it helped them bond early.

For us, DS was down to one feeding around 3 am by about 4-6 weeks. He slept 6-7 hours a night until 2 months, then reflux hit and his sleeping went haywire!

Still, you'd be surprised at what bodies can handle. He may have to go to bed when the baby does, or shortly afterward (heck when DS was waking up several times a night due to reflux, my goal was to be in bed for 12 hours, obviously I wasn't sleeping that whole time, I was up and down, but that's how I ended up not being a zombie), but I don't see any reason for you to not keep your foot in the door for work. If it's a problem, it's a problem, but I'd assume it's not going to be a problem until it is. Smile

So I guess I mean to answer your question "is it doable?" If your question is "will the baby be sleeping through the night or having just one feeding?" the answer is "who knows :)" But if the question is, "can my husband survive 2 nights a week with less than optimal sleep so I can work?" FOR US, the answer has been yes.

nmpiche's picture
Joined: 08/29/07
Posts: 508

It should be doable. I 2nd that men are just not wired to hear the baby cry at night. DH often thought DD had "slept through the night" when I was up with her for 2 feedings - he heard nothing. You will get crazy keyed into your baby's cry and be jumping out of bed at the first waah! By two months our schedule was, DH would come home from work around 6ish and I would nurse DD, we'd eat dinner and I would go to bed. He'd feed her around 9pm (I was sleeping) and get her to sleep. When she woke around midnight for a feeding, he would wake me up and I would nurse and get her back to sleep. She'd wake again around 3-4 for a feeding and go back down until at least 6am. As she got older it went to 2 feedings between 9pm and 6am, then one and at 10 months she was sleeping from 9-6am. I guess you'll have to pump during your overnights, but you'll get good at that. Good luck!

Emily Joline's picture
Joined: 11/27/11
Posts: 20

Sorry Tessa, which I had some advice for you but my daughter is almost 5 and she still doesn't sleep through the night on a regular basis. Every baby is soooooo different. I hope that when this little one comes into this world that he/she adjust very quickly. Either way, everything will work out for the best! It always does!

ChrissyD2103's picture
Joined: 10/09/07
Posts: 526

Like PP have said I think it really depends on the baby. My first had colic that stuck around until about 9 weeks, and then she slept through the night after that, (well 6 straight hours anyway). My second ate every 2-3 hours for the first 3 months and was up at least once a night until he was 8 months old to eat. So it really just depends. I hope you guys can find soemthing that works for you guys. I think it is really hard to plan ahead just because baby's throw in so many different variables......

Joined: 05/06/04
Posts: 106

I think I got lucky and spoiled with all my kids they would sleep from anywhere between 8-11 until the next morning anywhere from8-11 from the time they were born. My doc said not to wake to feed they would wake if hungry and they never starved to death. The only time they got up was when they were sick.

Now that I have said that I am sure that this baby will never sleep lol

butterflykissesx6's picture
Joined: 06/28/07
Posts: 509

*lurker*
I agree w/PP...every baby is different, I've had all good sleepers and like someone else said, single moms do it all the time. Heck...my DH sleeps like a rock and there are many nights (during sickness, teething, etc) when I only get 3-5hrs of sleep and go to work the next day. It just depends on your hubby. I assume too that you are able to sleep on/off at your job when the people you care for are sleeping?

It's definately doable.....I think you have a good plan...

Danifo's picture
Joined: 09/07/10
Posts: 1377

Lurking ...
The longer you leave it the more likely it will work. At 6 weeks there would be 2-5 feedings while you are gone but at 12 weeks it would be 1-3. As long as your DH understands that there is no guarentee on baby behaviour then it is fine. I would start off with him doing 100% of the baby care and you only pumping some nights before you make the commitment to go back.

I'm confused when you would sleep if you do an overnight shift.

MommyQCT's picture
Joined: 06/12/08
Posts: 387

Well - like most others said - it really depends on the baby and if you are nursing (which I think from your post you will be trying to do)

1) It is doable to go to work without sleep - I did it for a whole year!

2) You must train your hubby to hear the baby cry. I don't mean to put down your hubby, but I never heard of any one of my frinds husbands hearing the baby like mommy does!

3) My DS did not sleep through the night until 1 year old - only one feeding a night from about 9 months to a year, but from birth to 9 months - many feedings per night. I went back to work at 8 weeks post partum (way to early, but its all I could afford) and when I did so my DS started sleeping too much in the day, only taking a bottle or 2 of expressed breast milk and eating non stop through the night - he missed me and wanted the mommy milk straight from the tap - so its important to always have plenty of milk available when your not at home. I would suggest starting to pump your milk for storage the day you get home from the hospital - it can last in a freezer for months - I had over 100 oz. stored by the time I went back to work and still pumped 3 times during my 8 hour shift, once before work and again before bed just to keep up the supply - but it was all worth it b/c I was able to make it to 9 months until I had to start suplementing with formula. I finally stopped pumping at work when he turned a year! then i just gave him cows milk when I was at work and mommy milk at nights.

So yes - it is doable, but might not be easy.... I think you will find that anything is doable if you and DH want it badly enough... if working one or two overnight shifts a week can keep you at home with baby during the day and not have to put baby in daycare - you will make it work...
BTW - I think daycare is awsome! But i was scared of it when DS was a newborn, but I think it was one of the best parenting decisions we have ever made - he has greatfriends, learned so much and LOVES going there! But when DS was a newborn - I did not want him in anyone's arms but my own!!!!

Lorah's picture
Joined: 11/06/05
Posts: 201

My first was sleeping through the night at 4 months. But my second still gets up 3-5 times a night and she's 22 months. I think you need to just feel for what will work after the baby is born. When will you sleep if you were a midnight? I use to be a CNA in homecare with elderly, some people would let me sleep, others wouldn't. I'd say make sure your husband understands, being a parent means being tired!! Get use to it. LOL Wink I doubt the baby will sleep through the night at 6 weeks.

Love.Grown's picture
Joined: 11/01/11
Posts: 192

If I was just talking about my DS, I'd say yes it was something that was possible. However, my sweet DD hasn't slept through the night since birth. I am used to it by now that she is three, but I'm not sure DF could ever get used to it. If she's not getting up and asking for water, its that she has to pee or cannot find her bunny. I know she will grow out of it one day, but that just goes to show you that while opinions are indeed helpful.. every child is different! Smile

ButtonsMama's picture
Joined: 12/05/05
Posts: 283

*Lurker*

I went back to work full time when DD was 10 weeks old. I still got up with her twice, sometimes three times, during the night until she was six months old. Then, had to get up for good at 6 a.m. to get myself ready for work.

I went back to work full time when DS was 8 weeks old, and it was the same deal, only he didn't STTN until he was TEN months old. Before that, he got up, usually twice a night.

Point is, you get used to it. Feedings go pretty quickly once your baby gets a smidge older. In the 10 minutes it took to feed my kids, I'm not even entirely sure I ever completely woke up! LOL. I'm sure that your DH could handle that a few times a week.

cactuswren's picture
Joined: 10/19/09
Posts: 4658

*lurker*

My DD didn't start sleeping through the night in the sense an adult would also feel they'd gotten good sleep until maybe 16 months. "STTN" earlier just means a 5-6 hour stretch, which for many is something like 8-1, usually followed by 2-3 hour stretches for the rest of the night...and that's the GOOD sleepers.

I also wanted to heartily agree with those who said that men--even the super committed dads--are just not wired to wake up as easily as moms. There may be individual exceptions, but as a rule, it's just biological. When my DD was 2 months old, I left her and DH lying on the bed and went to brush my teeth. I came back to find her screaming bloody murder RIGHT NEXT TO HIS EAR...and he was snoring away, sound asleep.

That said, new parents can and do adjust to being functional even without much (sometimes any) real sleep. I think that's just a biological reality too. I am a huge sleeper and not even remotely a morning person--I was terrified of how the lack of sleep involved with having a new baby would affect me, but you know what...I just did it. You just...do. If this arrangement is what works best for your family, you can make it work. But you do need to expect that it's going to be a little rough in spots. For a little while. (And if you get really lucky and it's not...you win!)