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Thread: Night shift questions--I'm really anxious!!

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    Location
    Pullman, WA
    Posts
    363

    Default Night shift questions--I'm really anxious!!

    My little guy is 3 months old. He is exclusively BF, hates all things plastic (read: bottles, pacis). I will be going back to work next month, and DH will be staying with him while I'm at work. Right now, I work 12 hour day shifts. This summer we're moving, and I'll be taking a new job where I have to work nights. Also 12 hour shifts. So I'll be leaving for work at 6:30 pm and coming home to sleep at 8 am. My husband will be in school, so he may be able to be with baby some days, but we may also need childcare of some type. I feel like I'll never see my baby, even though it's only 3 nights a week. That means three days, too, where I have to sleep and can't take care of him.

    I just don't know how this will work. I've been so worried about it. And I don't really have other alternatives. I'm a nurse, and the jobs available where I'm going are either nights or not enough money to pay the bills.

    To make matters worse, we co-sleep. I guess that makes life better for us, but what will baby do when he wakes up and I'm not there?

    Does anybody out there work nights? 12-hour shifts? Any ideas? I'm making myself sick over this, I think (I keep getting hives for no apparent reason).
    Stephanie, mom to Jaime Hoban 11/04/07 and Annika Jayne 12/21/09


    We . . . no room in the bed for more!

    We love our cloth diapers!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Posts
    378

    Default Re: Night shift questions--I'm really anxious!!

    First things first...BREATHE!!!

    remember that your baby responds to the stress that you are feeling. i had similar stresses before i returned to work. i am a closing manager at a bar/restaurant and i leave for work at around 4pm and would get home from work anywhere between 3am and 4:30am depending on how much business we had at the bar. when i arrived home, i would was the pump, wash the dishes, start the laundry, etc. and start any chores around the house that i could. i would try to be in bed by 5 or 5:30....and wake up with olivia anywhere between 7 and 9 am. and then i would wake up and do it all over again 5 nights of the week.
    eventually we found a routine that worked well for us and she settled into having a nap every afternoon that i could rely on. i basically slept whenever she slept. if she closed her eyes for 15 minutes...so did i! i learned to conserve energy whenever i could. i never realized how little sleep i could operate on!
    and i will totally admit that sometimes i would sit her in her crib with a couple of toys to play with and i would lay down in front of her crib and go to sleep. sometimes you have to do whatever you can to help make your situation work.
    sorry to be so wordy! from my experience, you just have to believe that everything is going to be ok and work out alright. having that faith helped me through each day! and on my days off...i maximize every moment that we get to have together.

    good luck and hang in there!

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    Posts
    10

    Default Re: Night shift questions--I'm really anxious!!

    Hello....I was so happy to have read your post just to let you know that i also work 12 hour days....i work nights for a month and then days for a month. one week i work 5 days the next week i only work 2 days. I know what it's like to work 12 hour days. She stay with the babysitter on the weekdays, she then stays with my mother on the weekends. When she's with my mother i don't have a care in the world. She knows my mother very well. My mom will stop by everyday on her way home from work for about 20min just to say hello to her. My LO is actually nicer to my mom because she will sleep through the night for her. Anyway, back to the point. When i know i'm going to be working the next night i sleep every chance i get. No cleaning, no cooking, just playing with my daughter and sleeping every minute she does. What helps me out the most is when i work 3 days in a row on the weekend my mother will take care of her and only bring her to feed. I usually only sleep about 6 hours and before i go to work i play with her as much as possible. Breastfeeding her while im with her definetaley makes me feel better. It lets me know that i'm not a bad mother for being away so much. Do you have a close family member that would be able to watch her for you and just bring her to you when she needs to feed? Anyway, sorry it was so long. I hope it all works out for you. BTW the first couple of night you're gone are going to be hard for your LO, my daughter didnt want to eat the first couple of times and she still doesnt sleep the same with the babysitter and we've been doing this for about 3 months now. So best of luck to you.
    Last edited by Hailey'sLiLmilkMachine; February 12th, 2008 at 03:17 AM.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Posts
    54

    Default Re: Night shift questions--I'm really anxious!!

    When I went back after Lucas, he started sleeping through the night. I'm hoping Mr. Drew Baby does the same. My biggest concern is pumping. At my job, it is either really busy and I can't pump or really slow. More busy than slow lately.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Sep 2006
    Posts
    2,539

    Default Re: Night shift questions--I'm really anxious!!

    I agree, take a breath

    I'm a RN and I work 8 hour shifts now. I attempted to go back to work when my DS was about 4 months old, and he also hated anything except boobie on tap. I wont bore you with the struggles, but I ended up going back to work in 4 hour shifts, yup, you read that right I worked 2-3 days a week 4 hour shifts. Now money was tight (read massive credit card bills), but in the end it was the option we went with because:
    a) I refuse to let my son cry it out, even if my DH is there holding him-it's just not right for my family
    b) It was way to stressfull for me to come home during my "lunch" at 3 am, breastfeed and drive back to work to finish my shift
    c) My husband was working at the time

    Eventually my DH found "his" way of comforting Mason and things are working out great-they even sleep better when I am at work because Mason will sit up once during the night, look around quickly for me and just lay back down in my DH arms and go right back off into dream land. I nurse right before I go to work at 10 pm, and then right when I get home at 8 am.

    Bottom line: deep breath in, hold it, blow it out and drop your shoulders! You will find something that works for you, money comes and goes, but your little ones wants are his needs right now. We really are in such demand that they should definately be willing to work with you and ease you into a schedule that works for you.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    Posts
    43

    Default Re: Night shift questions--I'm really anxious!!

    I am so glad I read all of the posts. I am typing one handed. I am a nurse as well and will be starting to work nights next week. I have been doing weekend days but need to work more for the $. I am very scared about leaving ds at night because of co-sleeping ect. It will work for me and you as well. I wish I could find 12 hour shifts around here. I think once your gone what is a few more hours to be away, and you have another day to spend w/ lo. Good luck.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Posts
    23

    Default Re: Night shift questions--I'm really anxious!!

    Oh I can relate to you!! My DS is also 3 months, and I had to go back to working night shifts a couple of weeks ago. I was stressed out too...I was so worked up, and cried half of the time I was away from him. Its getting better now though. We also co-sleep and my DS also hates bottles and pacis. We're still getting adjusted to my schedule - which is 8 and 12 hr night shifts (I'm also a nurse so I know how you feel about the dreaded 12 hr monster night shifts!). But try not to stress out too much, it will all work out. I try to pump every 4 hrs while I'm at work - and I'm always suprised to see that I get way more milk when I pump at work than I do when I'm at home.
    We have had a little problem with our DS...first of all, my hubby always hands the baby to me whenever he cries - so, it has been really hard for him when I'm not around to calm the baby down. Then, DS gets so worked up, he doesn't want the bottle - and doesn't take it very well at all. It was sort of awful at first. We're still going through this adjustment - the baby cries the entire time I'm gone almost because he misses me. I have been encouraging DH to feed him a bottle of breastmilk a night so he gets used to the idea. I also wear the same Tshirt for a couple of nights before i have to work and have DH put the baby in it when he feeds him to try to help calm him down. It hasn't worked so far though....
    Working nights is great, because the baby sleeps a lot right now and we get to snuggle when I get home from work - and when he's hungry, I'm right there and DS LOVES that. Plus, you don't need childcare....you just walk around exhausted alot...LOL. I'm not sure how to work things out when DS gets older. Right now, I sleep when my 2 yr old DD naps in the afternoon...and that's my nap of the day before work...so I run on very little sleep (which stinks), but I've been able to do it so far....I know this is very long, but I hope it helped a little. Good luck....

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    Location
    Pullman, WA
    Posts
    363

    Default Re: Night shift questions--I'm really anxious!!

    Thanks for all of the input, ya'll. I go back in about a week and a half, but luckily I don't have to do nights until this summer! Yea!! At least he'll be older by then. Meanwhile, DH continues to "practice" the bottle with him. He just doesn't get it. Chews on it, but won't suck. Or maybe he does get it and doesn't want all that flow. I have a feeling we'll be reverse cycling.

    I'm glad to hear, scrappymama, that you do get more milk out pumping at work. I was starting to worry about how I would provide milk for my baby when I only pump about 2 ounces off of both sides!

    Thanks again,
    Stephanie, mom to Jaime Hoban 11/04/07 and Annika Jayne 12/21/09


    We . . . no room in the bed for more!

    We love our cloth diapers!

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Apr 2008
    Posts
    1

    Default Re: Night shift questions--I'm really anxious!!

    I am also a nurse but, I am not due until June. I have started asking my manager now, where I can pump? I have not heard anything back. My next step is to email HR and ask them? I am worried because my floor is so busy and I wander if I will have a chance to pump. I nursed my 3 year old for 13 months and pumped during the day on my lunch while I was in nursing school. But, I did not start nursing school until he was 6 months and it was only a one year program.

    However, when I return to work, it will be when the baby is only 3 months and I will work nights. I have talked with some of the other nurses who pumped and had babies and they did not pump for long but, when they did, they said they just used the bathroom. That is an unacceptable option for me and I REFUSE to use the bathroom to pump. I even told my manager that I would be willing to take two 20 minute breaks and no lunch break so I could pump. I am nervous about this. I may have to apply for a job with the float pool and work 5- 4 hr shifts if I have no place to pump.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Posts
    271

    Default Re: Night shift questions--I'm really anxious!!

    What will you be doing with your baby during the day?


    Caitlyn was 4 months old when I went back to work and I started back working nights, 10 hour shifts. Instead of taking her to dc, we had someone at the house to watch her while I slept. When I got home from work I would take her to bed with me and she would take a little nap. When she woke up my dcp would take her so I could get some more sleep. If she needed to she could always bring her to me.

    I was lucky and only had to do this a couple of months before switching to day shift (seniority is a WONDERFUL thing ) I waS also lucky and my dcp is my 22 yo daughter who is our live in nanny. If it weren't for her I wouldn't be able to work full time with three babies
    Carol
    Proud mom to,
    Cassi 5/17/85
    Carlie 3/16/96

    The Twinzillas
    Camryn 8/17/06
    Carson 8/17/06
    & their Shadow
    Caitlyn 4/22/07

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