3 Good reasons why dads should do night shift:
- Mums need the rest so they can focus on doing it 100% during the day.
- Mums are doing it all day – and this is your OPPORTUNITY to do it.
- Men cope easier with less sleep. Can’t remember where I read it. Anyway – you can drink as much coffee as you like. Breastfeeding mothers can’t (or shouldn’t). Plus you’ve done NS so technically speaking you’ve been trained. Just a little less Dota, CS, Fifa and you’ll be fine.
If you don’t need anymore convincing, then here is how I streamline my night duties:
- Prep a milk bottle with the right volume in the fridge. The last thing you need is to be pouring milk at 3am when half awake.
- Prep the warming cup. put the milk in the cup, pour hot water into the cup. This heats it up much faster than the bottle warmers.
- Prep the night station. This can be done cheaply or expensively. We know babies are pricey so we save money where we can. Here’s our setup:
Good deals exist everywhere:
You will probably do these 2 things at night.
- FEED – Approx 45 mins! This one is guaranteed. Practice in the light first before doing in the dark so you don’t accidentally feed his ear. Or nose.
- CHANGE DIAPER – Approx 3 mins! Not too difficult but you’ll just need to remember which hand goes where and where the soiled diapers are. And control his arms and legs. Again, practice in the light so you don’t end up with shitfingers.
Dads can help more if we get bottle feeding going in the early days. To do this is a real training experience but once it’s done, the load is shared equally and grandparents, aunties and whoever can help out. TADAA – OUTSOURCING!
Assuming you’ve got the baby on bottle feeding:
- Get a nice chair – you’ll be using it at LEAST 2 hours a day. We got a nice knockoff Shell Chair from taobao here that had the perfect angle. Click the photo for the link. This is exactly the one we bought.
- Dim the lights – don’t want to confuse the baby that it’s day time. Use JUST enough light for you to see what you’re doing. I got LED strip lights and a driver from here. Click photo for link.
- UNSWADDLE him. It’s mean and it’s cold but it keeps him up till he finishes his food. I also think he drinks faster when it’s cold. Baby will know the routine.
- Rest him on your arm or brestfriend
- Bottlefeed comfortably, but he should sit as upright as possible so He won’t fall asleep. Be careful not to let his head fall forward and impale his throat on the bottle teat- it will cause INSTANT vomit. You don’t want that at 4am.
- If drinking more than 50ml, try to burp him when he stops halfway or so.
- ALWAYS ALWAYS ALWAYS BURP BURP BURP. Shoulder method or lap method or whatever. Read about burping cheat codes and shortcuts here
PROTIP: I’m surviving my bottle feeding shifts by thinking about them as bonding experiences. Imagine you’re in this 10/10 dream state, and suddenly you start to feel hungry….. a craving…. for…. say… truffle fries.
But you just cant find it anywhere in this dream. No matter where you look, food can’t be found.
You get hungrier and hungrier. you start to breakdown in despair. You cry to yourself. The hunger worsens. You cry out loud. You curse the Gods.
And then… a giant person scoops you up and in a warm cuddly embrace puts a steady flow of truffle fry goody-goody-gumdrop goodness down your throat. Yum yum.
See. Instant bonding. Unfortunately at this point in time, we’re just giant milk dispensers. Just gotta make the most of it.
*note to self, don’t write posts during lunch.