Question For Ppl On Swingshift Night Schedules

12 Replies
docbytch - November 5

How many of you have young babies (my ds is 4 weeks old) and HOW are you creating a predictable schedule for feedings/naps/sleeping? I need help!! My DH and I don't work a daytime schedule...in fact...our schedules can change month to month....how do we incorporate this into the creation of a predictable routine for our son?? We also have older kids living at home which also mixes things up a bit. I need help!! Plus...I spend about 4days/week with DH GONE and I am alone here with my son and no one to help. Thanks very much

 

docbytch - November 5

the older kids are my skids so I do not ask them for help with the baby. plus they are gone half the time anyway at their moms

 

docbytch - November 5

oh and i have happiest baby on the block and the healthy sleep habits books. but they seem geared to daytime normalcy..which we are NOT...LOL

 

kim00 - November 5

Hey docbytch! I was also a night nurse, and I feel your pain!! Who will be watching Derek when you go back to work? With my 1st dd, I went back when she was 6 weeks. I worked 3 12hr shifts from 6p-6a. My dh watched her at night. At the time finances were too tight to afford daycare, so I learned to fall asleep at the drop of a hat, when I could. I was a complete zombie. But anyway, back to your question, I would get home, give her a bottle, then play with her doing tummy time or just relaxing on the bed, then a bath, she would have another bottle for naptime and I would sleep when she did. Another bottle when she woke up, then she sat in her bouncer while I did laundry/dishes, if it was nice we'd go for a walk. Then another bottle and another nap, I would wake up when she did, and get ready for work. Dh got home and gave her a bottle, another bath, at 7:45 he would read her stories and another bottle, by 8:00, she would be down for the night. That schedule only worked for so long though, then I was too tired to function at work, so I requested to work every Thurs, Fri, and Sat night. And then dh kept her in the day (he had Fri, Sat, and Sun off), while I slept. It is so hard to figure out how to make it work. Where does your dh work that he's gone that much? That must be hard having him away. I'm sorry I'm not much help, but I do feel your pain. Are you going back f/t?

 

docbytch - November 5

Hi KIm! My DH is an airline pilot...so trips away for days at a time are par for the course. It never used to be an issue until the baby of course. I am a per diem ER RN so the good thing is that I can work my schedule around his (which changes ALL the time) and we won't have to leave Derek with a sitter. I tend to work 7p-7a...altho I would certainly prefer 6p-6a. As far as how often DH is gone...it's variable....sometimes as much as 5 days and nights a week...but then he is home for spurts. It sounds as if you had to have been exhausted based on the schedule you describe...I am pretty sure I'd become a raging b___h from hell if I tried the same. You basically kept a quasi-daytime schedule then when you didn't work? That's one of the hardest parts for me...I've NEVER been able to "naturally" function (without alarms..which I hate!) on a typically day rhythm. My DH will have her on nights I work and also for the days needed to sleep...so my schedule with be on and off overall.

 

wailing - November 6

I work nite shifts also. Usually go in at 4pm or 6pm and sometimes don't get home until 1-3 am. It's definitely hard. I just started working again, so I really dont' know how it's going to work out. So far, I'm just exhausted when I have to work and then wake up the next mornign. BF has the same type of shcedule. So,what we do is kind of trade off who's turn it is to get up w/ him at 8am. It usaully dependds on who has to work later the next day. Then, the other one sleeps in a litlle longer and takes over so the next one can nap. Ha ha...sounds nuts when I explain it, but really it's the only way we can do it. U have to trade off on who gets some sleep and who is sleep deprived. Good Luck to U!!

 

c_baer19 - November 7

I am worried about this too! Not for my sake, but my DH is going on nights in December for two months, working 8 PM to 8 AM 2-4 days a week. I'm not sure how well it'll work because I think he'll want to sleep all day, and how it'll work on his days off.. but we'll see! I wish I had a set plan for it, but I dont'.

 

docbytch - November 7

Do you have to place your baby on a "day schedule" Are there ANY people out there on this forum who have placed their young infants/toddlers on a modified schedule? One that matches your own somewhat? I know of no one who has done this (with the exception of John Travolta..whose got the big bucks and whose entire family lives on a night schedule...way to go!). I am just not sure if it is possible to manipulate my baby's schedule a bit (especially once he hits the 3 month mark) such that he could be waking around...say....10am? Help!! It sounds like even those of you who do work or stay up later are still slave to waking at a way early hour. I will give up if I am told there is no hope for that....but any more takers?

 

c_baer19 - November 7

docbytch, my LO goes to bed later and typically wakes up later in the morning. It's not always easy, but you could try keeping your LO up a little later each night (about 12 hours before you want him to wake up). My DD went to bed at 9-9:30, but with the time change it has changed to 8-8:30.

 

docbytch - November 7

cbaer I've thought that myself...but then I've read that book about healthy sleep habits which states to put them to bed EARLIER if you want them to sleep later. One of the issues here for me is also that my sleep deprivation makes it hard such that his constant wakeups all night starting around 2 am (earliest I can usually ever make myself go to bed is around midnight to 1) and lasting basically until 10ish make it such that I spend all that time up and feeding or trying to get him back to bed...so I can sleep. He goes down but because it takes me 15-20 mins at least to fall asleep...by the time I am just starting to drift off he starts wailing again. Thus the night feedings take 2 hours at least before he is actually asleep long enuf for me to actually fall asleep myself. This goes on and on and I find our quality of early daytime together has gone down the tubes because I am basically desperate to get him to eat enuf and be full enuf to sleep longer than 2 hrs. I don't feel awake enuf to face the day until at least noon...and even then it's because of all those wakeups have finally made it such that I can't sleep if I tried. Hence we have no estsblished routine yet. Guess I am hoping and praying that some magic switch will flip when he is a little older making him sleep longer and eat more at one time. Then maybe we will work out a livable schedule. The suckiest part of this whole thing is that I feel so....inadequate. Like I should have been good at this since I've done it before. But wow what a long time ago it was....I have forgotten what my dd's infancy was even like. Plus I am under the distinct impression that girls are usually easier than boys. I dunno. Vent over. Right now Derek is crashed in the bjorn thingie. He is soo cute sometimes...his little baby noises.

 

Allisonc79 - November 8

Those 3 days I would let your husband do the night shift so you can sleep. You need itleast a couple days a week to get a full nights rest. I would always ask dh to take over on the weekends. If you b___stfeed maybe you could pump. As for a predictable routine this early, I wouldn't know b/c my newborn just woke up when she felt like it for feedings. I fed on demand, and just tended to her cues. She didn't really start sleeping thru till 3 mo and now we are on more of a schedule.

 

c_baer19 - November 8

docbytch, my LO is 3 1/2 months and doesn't really sleep more than 2 hours at a time! She will sleep from 8 or 9 until around 12 sometimes, and then after that it is up pretty much every 2 hours or less. So I can't really give you advice in that area!

 

eclectic66 - November 11

Docsbytch- Well, I too faced this same situation and the only way we were able to make things work for us was for dh to take a LOA from his job!! It sucks and I really hate being the only one working right now, but there was no other way for us to make it work. Just like Kim00 we tried to work it with us both working our wacky hours, but it just wouldn't work bc I was not getting enough sleep during the day for my 12 hour night shifts and dh was a zombie trying to work 6 10's a week with little sleep on the nights I was at work (while he watched the baby). So, unfortunately that was our solution....at this point only one of us can work while the other is the full time day care bc we just don't trust strangers with our baby so it's a price we are willing to pay at this point, but yeah it sucks and I am soooo jealous of those that have regular daytime schedules bc it just seems more attached to reality unlike this strange world we call night shift...lol

 

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