Stave off sleep deprivation by tag-teaming overnight feeding
Parents of newborns: Jenna's overnight feeding how-to will save your sanity (or, at least, slow its departure):
When my daughter was about 5 weeks old, we were going OUT OF OUR MINDS with sleep deprivation. A friend shared this with me, and I swear, its the best single piece of parenting advice i've ever gotten.
"The Dream Feed" works with either formula or expressed breast milk. Not knowing if you're breast or formula feeding, here's my breastfeeding version. Formula sort of speaks for itself. Here's what we did:
- Pump the equivalent of a 4ish ounce bottle over the course of the day.
- Make sure baby will take a bottle from Dad.
- You put baby to bed, say 9-10ish...whatever time she/he goes to sleep, presumably with a feeding.
- Dad is totally responsible for all things baby related from the time you get her down until about 5 hours have gone by...so, say 9-2. This includes feeding, changing, rocking, driving, whatever.
- You, then, are responsible for all things baby from 2-7 am, or whenever the morning starts.
Basically, this lets both of you get a solid 3-5 hour block of sleep/downtime. If one parent works outside the home, that person should take the first shift so they get the sleep closest to the workday. (If both parents work, consider switching off.) Moving baby to his/her own room isn't necessary, but it helps!
This routine saved our sanity, I swear. Eventually, my husband got SOO good at this that he could change M's diaper IN HER SLEEP and feed her the bottle WHILE SHE WAS IN HER CRIB. Seriously, I never figured that one out, but that's another hack for another day. Hope this helps someone!
This looks very much like the schedule we eventually stumbled upon when our son was a baby. But we had to suffer weeks of sleep deprivation first!
Anyone else have tips for sharing the overnight feeding duties?