Sharing night time feedings?

  • Currently, my husband is a stay at home dad and I get pretty exhausted with working and being up all night breast feeding our son. We have talked about him getting up one time and giving a bottle so I can get a little more sleep. Do any of you do this? I’m curious to know what your arrangements are. -- Julie, StrongMoms Facilitator

  • Oh if only i got any real help with Hazel.. that would be a dream. In theory having your husband doing a night feeding would be awesome, but will you be able to actually get him out of bed to do that? I know some dads are good about taking their share of the child duties, but as for my fiance I can't name a single time he has gotten up with our daughter in the middle of the night for any reason. I really hope for your sake that he can do a night feeding for you, i know it can be exhausting doing it all on your own. You will never know until you try.

  • Yes, he should most definitely do this! My husband works and I am the Stay at Home Mom, so it doesn't happen for us, but I sure wish I could give away a middle of the night time feeding! I think that your husband should get up and take the 3 am feeding! Good luck!

  • I think he might be willing to give it a try - I'll have to see how it goes! He's already gets up to get the baby and change his diaper before I nurse him...wouldn't be too much more to feed and bottle and put our little man back to bed once. I'll keep you posted! 

  • My wife handles most of the duties, especially while she is on maternity leave. What I do is give her a night off now and then on the weekends. She can sleep in and I do overnight with the baby. It's amazing how much one good night's sleep can do to recharge her batteries. The only downside is I don't like feeding baby in bed, so I sleep him in downstairs and sleep on the couch. I try to do this for my wife at least once a month. It's not much, but it really helps her... and us!

  • When babies are needing every three or four hour feeds as a nurse, I usually suggest to families that mom and dad alternate feedings at night so that they can each get a good chunk of sleep t some point in 24 hours.  So if baby eats at 8-11-2-5, then i typically suggest that one takes the 11 & 5 am feeding and the other takes the 2 am.  That way one parent can sleep from 11:30-5:00, and the other can either go to bed early or sleep in.  It seems to really help a lot to get a good 5 hours of sleep in a row.

    -Jess

  • Oh i never could do that Jess.. When Hazel was little i did every feeding except one bottle in the evening. that was her bonding time with dad since he works all day. I do agree that whichever parent says at home should get the brunt of the baby duty, but that parent also has a lot to do during the day while taking care of a child who is entirely dependent on them. (ever hear the song MR. Mom by Lonestar ) Even though you can sit down and take a brake at home you can't fall asleep while there is a toddler running around. and any stay at home parent know that nap time is really the only time that you can make good progress on housework. It isn't always easy when you have only had a few hours of sleep or very poor sleep because you were on the couch all night with a screaming baby. 

    In my opinion being a parent goes both ways and both parents need to realize and respect the others position in the household, then take their share of the responsibility for the sake of their partner. In our house i do EVERYTHING except make the money. My fiance is a contractor and works with very dangerous tools like saws and nail guns so for his safety and the continuation of our little family i take all night time responsibility. We don't need him having a work accident due to being sleepy. This is why i don't get any help even though sometimes i desperately need it. anyway each family has their own situation, but just because you work doesn't exclude you from helping your husband or wife with baby duties at night. Both parents need their sleep. (This isn't directed at any one person by the way)

  • Well, it was sort of a no-go anyway. My little man was NOT happy about a bottle versus nursing from me. It took my husband over 45 minutes to get him to go back to sleep, at which point I was awake anyway...a lot easier for me to just nurse him in 10 minutes and put him back in his crib. Oh well! :-p

  • My fiance always does a night feeding. He wasn't as helpful in the very beginning, but now things have changed and we always alternate feedings. During the day, it just depends on his work schedule, but at night we alternate. It's kind of day to day depending on when he works the next day and when he will be up. Our little girl eats every four hours, and at night sleeps from about 12-6am, so if he does the 12am, I do the next one, or vice-versa. I often have to get up still to pump, but it saves time if he feeds her so I can get back to bed. I couldn't imagine doing every feeding during the night. And honestly, I dont think that's fair! He's even offered to do two in a row and I've said no because I just feel bad because I know it'd be hard for me if I had to do that.

  • My fiance gets up all the time with my son. He is understanding and knows I have a very hard time getting to sleep and staying asleep. We took turns when my son was younger, but once he started sleeping through the night my fiance started getting up with him on the rare occasions that he did wake up in the night. I plan to breastfeed my daughter when I have her (I breastfed my son for only a month, there were some problems), so I will have to get up every time. I know I can pump, and I plan to, but I will still be up most of the time with her. I will have to adapt some how to going back to sleep and such or I will get no sleep (like with my son).

  • Oh Julie! That is quite the story.  That baby just loves being with mom!  JlovesJ-what a nice guy to help out.  I love it that your baby can go 6 hours at night and let you sleep.  That is lucky!  The stories that we all have to share about those long night.

    -Jess

  • Jess- My fiance is very helpful, even though he works too. He does feedings, washes bottles, preps bottles in advance, changes diapers etc. We split the responsibilities. In my opinion, that's how it should be. Even though he works, it's his daughter too and should be involved. I am lucky because he has never complained about it...And yes, her sleeping longer during the night is great (she is 9 weeks now). We were doing every four hour feedings but decided to see how long she'd sleep, so after her midnight feeding, she will wake around 5-6:30. Hopefully it'll keep stretching out! lol To Julie- good luck! I hope your husband will help with a feeding. Especially since he is a stay at home dad, he should be willing to step up and let you get some more rest so your not burnt out.

  • Jlovesj - my husband gave it his best shot several times in a row but my son is seriously attached to nursing during the night versus a bottle. He screamed bloody murder and it took him about 10 minutes to eat and go back to sleep breast feeding versus over 45 minutes with a bottle. I think I'll just skip all the drama and nurse him at night. :-p He's old enough now that he often gets up only once - it's not so bad. We made it through the tough part where they are up 20 times a night!

  • with my son i worked alot after i had him and my husband stayed at home...i breast fed and used formula for our son because i wasnt able to produce as much milk as needed for him...it was actually my husbands idea for him to formula feed a couple times a night and me breast feed once or twice so i was able to sleep and pump him more milk for during the day while i was at work....so yes hun i think your hubby should help you out a little and take on a couple of the night time feedings...it wont hurt him to have that extra time with baby and extra bonding time too...