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Helper doing the Night Shift / sleeps with toddler?

  1. #1
    tenten is offline Registered User
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    Helper doing the Night Shift / sleeps with toddler?

    In the last 3 weeks, my almost 9mth old has been acting up a lot during bedtime and naptimes - refuses to lie down in her crib, pulls up immediately and starts shouting for attention after a bit. She has also been waking up in the middle of the night, sometimes for 2-3 hours and refuses to go back to sleep. I find myself sleeping in her room, on a spare bed most nights. Needless to say, am exhausted by all this.
    Question - does anyone have a helper that does the night shift or sleeps with the baby? I'd like to broach this with my helper but don't think she will like it. To be fair, she has a fair bit to do in the day. It she were to do the night duty, I'd prob need to hire a part time helper to pitch in in the day. Anyone in a similar situation?
    Does anyone know a good part-time helper?
    And yes Carang, I know hiring a part-time helper is illegal :)
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  2. #2
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    nicolejoy is offline Registered User
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    I have never asked my helper to do "night shift". Personally, I just feel that it is my responsibility. I would rather have my helper watch the kids first thing in the morning so that I can sleep in, or during the day so I could have a nap. That said, I know MANY people who have their helpers do the "night shift" - and I think that IF you can work it out so that the helper gets enough time off during the day, it could work... I think that if you overwork your helper though, it could lead to other problems or sour the relationship between you so it's in your own best interest to treat her good :)

    I have a baby a similar age and what I do is if/when she is like that, I co-sleep so she will wriggle around our bed but we can at least rest while she does so. I think that by getting up or turning the lights on or interacting with her or feeding her, we'd be giving her REASON to wake up. So instead we just keep her with us in our bed and she's happy enough and falls back to sleep by herself eventually. It's not a major issue - although it does still happen. I think it's just a phase they go through at that age. My older daughter started it at 7 months but she'd go back to sleep easier than my 2nd...

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    tenten is offline Registered User
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    Agree with you Nicolejoy - I feel my daughter is my responsibility so am the main caregiver. My helper is rarely tasked with baby duty although she is great with my daughter.
    The reason I say she's unlikely to like the sleeping with daughter idea is because she does not like to work with another helper, and that is prob what will have to happen if I need her to do the night shift. Very aware that it will be too much to expect a helper to do household work in the day and the night shift after.
    Very early on, my helper told us that she'd prefer not to be in 2 helper households ( too much drama she says). She works very well with us so am happy to respect her wishes. Just that I'm missing my sleep and would love to get back to my room!
    And co-sleeping...she's never slept in our room so am not willing to start that - petrified she will never leave after!
    I guess a lot of households have helpers sharing the children's room from lack of space, no? Wonder how that works....
    Anyone with this set-up at home? Does your helper take her rest in the day then?

  4. #4
    Obiwan is offline Registered User
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    How about sleep training her?

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    nicolejoy's Avatar
    nicolejoy is offline Registered User
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    tenten - about co-sleeping, what we do is that our girls MUST go to bed in their own beds, even if it takes us 3 hours to get them to sleep there (and on the worst nights, it has). But if they wake in the middle of the night, we find it easier to just sleep with them rather than to go through all the effort of putting them back in their own beds. I feel like we get the best of both worlds!! Our 2.5 year old ends up in our bed around 3am maybe once or twice a week, and often she crawls in without us noticing her until morning. Our 11 month old is a better sleeper throughout the night and only wakes at night maybe once every two weeks. It works for us - and both our girls are great independent sleepers who just enjoy a bit of a cuddle in the middle of the night every now and then - and we actually enjoy it too :) Anyway - that's way off topic, sorry!!

  6. #6
    starbucks2 is offline Registered User
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    I'm with the posters above, we always did the night shifts mostly because we felt that we should be doing it as parents and also because she needed to look after them during the day when we were both at work. We wanted to make sure she was well rested to take care of them when we weren't there.

    Maybe you could nap during the day and have your helper take over (with or without a part timer out (if needed))?

  7. #7
    charade is offline Registered User
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    My helper does sleep with my baby and gives him one feed at night. Actually, I was determined for this not to happen as I felt my helper needed a good night's sleep to care for my baby in the day when I was at work. So when I went back to work, I soldiered on with the baby sleeping in our room and waking for his feed, even though it meant not getting a good night sleep because everytime my baby stirred I'd be up checking on him. After two weeks of this, my helper came to me and offered to have the baby in her room. She said she wouldn't wake up with his little noises and could rest in the day when my baby napped if need be and that she was used to waking up at 4 am in the Philippines. I was so zombied out I decided to try it for a week... after the week, I asked my helper if she was okay, feeling tired etc, and she said she was fine. I encourage her to take a nap in the day but I know she doesn't because she has told me she is incapable of napping in the day. She is also incapable of sleeping longer than 6 am, even on Saturdays when I would encourage her to sleep till at least 7. However, my baby takes a good 2-3 hour nap in the afternoon and although she doesn't nap, my helper sort of chills out then, watching TV etc. Recently, when my husband asked her if she found the work too tiring she said no and added that her previous employer never let her sit for a minute, so maybe that's why she's ok with this. She is also very patient and fond of my son so that helps.

    Not sure if I would have broached the topic if she hadn't volunteered. However, if it was getting too tiring for me I might have asked if we could do alternate nights and discuss extra pay for that service. I am not too sure of this, but I think the contract we signed with the helper (standard one from immigration?) mentioned "midnight feed" and when we signed my helper we discussed with her whether she was ok with helping at night, and she said 'yes, yes, midnight feed I know'. However, since my son tends to wake at 2 am and not midnight, not sure if that counts as midnight feed or not.

  8. #8
    ssheng is offline Registered User
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    I second trying for sleeping training at this stage. Once your child becomes used to the night wakings and the attention, it becomes a cycle - one you must eventually break with sleep training regardless. You might lean on your helper, however, to help with the sleep training, as that alone is tiring - involves going into the room and comforting in increasingly longer sessions. Sleep training is also related to what happens during the day, so your helper will need to be on board with naps, bedtime routine, etc.

    Also, I don't think a part-time helper is illegal, I think it's a part-time foreign domestic helper that is illegal? You can hire locals via a government program for part-time cleaning and child-minding. I think it is HK$50-70 an hour.
    Last edited by ssheng; 07-06-2011 at 10:40 AM.

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