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Helper doing the Night Shift / sleeps with toddler?

  1. #9
    tenten is offline Registered User
    Join Date
    Apr 2010
    Thanks everyone for the suggestions and comments. I hear you on the sleep training - for what it's worth, my daughter was a perfect Gina Ford baby up till abt a mth ago. Slept on schedule, by herself in her cot, slept throu the night...knew it was too good to be true!
    I chalk it down to teething, her starting to cruise and also just generally being an older, more aware and social little one. I know I shouldn't be in her room, picking her up at night etc but she is just so darn loud and insistent - abs does not back down. And we're due for a long summer trip to the US soon so am wary that any sleep training done now will just be unwound in a few weeks. Sigh....crossing fingers it's a phase and that she'll snap out of it before the bad habits
    get truly ingrained.
    Btw, it was 220-520am this morning - exhausting!!

  2. #10
    banane76 is offline Registered User
    Join Date
    Mar 2009
    Hong Kong
    It sucks, but I guess it's part of parenthood. My parents seem to have made it through with full time work and no helpers...I guess they were lucky to have my grandparents help with childcare. I feel fortunate here that I can even have a helper live in. I couldn't imagine her having to get up in the night and do a full day's work in the daytime too. It's up to you and your helper though.

  3. #11
    MommyTo3 is offline Registered User
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    I can't comment on Gina Ford, as we followed Healthy Sleep Habits Happy Child. What I would try if I were you to put your child down earlier. You're saying a lot is happening in her life with regards to development, but does she get sufficient sleep? My children at that age were going to bed at 6 pm. I would move back and forth depending on their behaviour and sleep pattern, but with early bed times I never had problems waking up during the night at a later age. Overtired children have more trouble falling and staying asleep, and I couldn't agree more.

    With regards to working double shifts, I agree with the others, you just got to get through this (possibly the hard way) and catch some sleep during the day if needed but I wouldn't ask my helper for night shifts AND working during the day. If we're having trouble doing that, how can we expect them to do it?

  4. #12
    thanka2 is offline Registered User
    Join Date
    May 2009
    I would do the pick-up/put-down method to get her back on the sleeping schedule. (That comes from Secrets of the Baby Whisperer which I really enjoyed and which helped me a lot when my older child was a baby. I've never read Gina Ford so I have no comment on it.) I think if you indulge it too much (the night-time waking) it will solidfy this temporary shift in the sleep schedule and could set you up for a longer battle.

    My infant daughter is a solid sleeper once she goes to sleep. We don't have my helper do "night duty" but we have come up with a plan of "shift-work" on nights when we need more sleep and the baby is going to bed later. We take the baby for a shift and then the baby goes to the helper's room for a shift. The shifts are about 90 minutes each. It has worked for us but also once my daughter really falls asleep, she's really asleep for the night...usually that's around at the latest midnight.

    Nowadays, in our household we're all a bit worn out and exhausted and she just accepts it along with the rest of us that this is how things will be while the baby is young but we're carrying our share of the load--it's a cooperative arrangement. This is because of our full-time work. If we had the option to stay home and nap in the afternoon or sleep in to make up for a poor night of rest we likely wouldn't have the helper working late at all.

    And I second what another poster wrote about being able to hire local help which is NOT ILLEGAL and the going rate is about $50 HKD/hour if you find that you really need it. I had a local helper (I'm not Chinese, though) when my firstborn was little and I had back problems...she was one of the best helpers I've encountered actually--she came at 10 am and left at 5 pm. It was a huge help.
    “Many women have described their experiences of childbirth as being associated with a
    spiritual uplifting, the power of which they have never previously been aware …
    To such a woman childbirth is a monument of joy within her memory.
    She turns to it in thought to seek again an ecstasy which passed too soon.”

    ~ Grantly Dick-Read (Childbirth Without Fear)

    Mother of Two
    JMW, boy, born November 29, 2007, 9:43 pm, USA
    MJW, girl, born March 17, 2011, 4:14 pm, HK

  5. #13
    carang's Avatar
    carang is offline Registered User
    Join Date
    Sep 2004
    Sai Kung
    thank you..... i have never said that part-timers are illegal. i've said it is illegal to hire FDHs as part-time.

    for your question, though, i always went with the "whatever works" mentality. at one point when #2 came along and #1 started to wake again, i asked hubby and helper to alternate with me as much as possible so that none of us ever had to do it "all the time". this worked to a certain extent, except that i was breastfeeding, so i always had to do that... but the other two would alternate with the changing, comforting of the older one and also the nappy changing of hte younger one, so that ALL i had to do was breastfeed.

    it only lasted a couple of weeks, so i was ok with it.

  6. #14
    lesliefu is offline Registered User
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    South District
    sleep training would be the way to go in the long run -

  7. #15
    Gracey is offline Registered User
    Join Date
    Sep 2009
    Hong Kong
    Tenten -- Just a question. Are you working? Or a FT mom?
    If you're FT mom, can't your helper do night duty, and you do day duty, or vice versa? Not to sound unsympathetic, but there are many FT moms in the West with no live-in help, and they find a way to juggle -- though it is very hard.

    Thanka is right. You can get legal PT help -- and this arrangement might be less threatening to your FT.
    If it's just a matter of several more hours of housework done during the day, while your helper takes a break after night shifts, consider something like Merry Maids.
    I used them before -- when my PT was on vacation, my FT hadn't arrived yet, I was working and I was going through a tough period of pregnancy.
    I didn't think they were great, but it was worth it to spend a couple hundred HKD for someone to come in and clean my house for a few hours.

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