- 08-22-2013, 11:38 AM #1Registered User
- Join Date
- May 2013
When does husband spend time with baby? Need advice
So we're expecting our first in a couple months, and I'm trying to figure out how to make time for my husband to bond with the baby. If he's not too busy at work, he gets home around 9-10pm. But when he is busy, it can be anywhere from 1am-6am (not kidding.) And when they're closing a deal, he might just come home to shower at 7am and go back by 9 (though that is rare, fortunately.) His schedule is very unpredictable, so there is never a "regular" time from day to day.
I want to breastfeed, but if I do, and he keeps these hours, I worry he'll see the baby like once a week (and he often has to work on weekends, too - though recently he's been working more from home than from the office on weekends.) Do I try and introduce a middle of the night bottle or something like that? (I know you're supposed to wait 4- 6 weeks.) Is that a good idea or would it ruin breastfeeding for the baby? Any other ideas?
I'm concerned the baby will just be like "who is this strange man who walks in and out of the house and tickles me on occasion?" My husband feels bad about this, but he does make a good point that he feels more pressure to provide, now, so he may start working even harder.
- 08-22-2013, 12:20 PM #2Registered User
- Join Date
- Jun 2013
Wow - how did you manage to find time to make a baby with those crazy hours?
When our baby arrived (back in the UK) my husband was at the birth and took a week of paternity leave initially so got some bonding time then - can your husband do that? After he went back to work he was typically off to work at 5:30am and home by 7:30pm and baby would go to bed an hour later (I think, memory of that time is hazy). Once he was working Asia time then he was off at 4:30am and back around 5-5:30pm. So he didn't generally get any time with baby in the morning, but would get some hours in the evening. Since moving to HK in July, my husband typically gets up to an hour with baby in the morning and an hour or so in the evening. He rarely works weekends, but if he did it would most likely be at home. My baby definitely knows who daddy is, because she sees him pretty much every day and because of the way he interacts with her.
I was breastfeeding throughout (still am, but baby is also now doing baby led weaning). The first month or two baby basically eats/sleeps/dirties nappies, so unless you follow a strict regime you can't necessarily say when baby will be awake or asleep, and they don't tend to sleep for that long. Once you get to around the 6-8 week mark (I think) then baby might start sleeping for 4 hours in a row at night before doing 2 hour sleeps after each feed for the rest of the night. If you give them formula they might sleep longer, I'm afraid I don't have any experience of formula feeding.
Once they get to around the 10-12 week mark you can start bringing in a night-time regime, which for you might be a bedtime around 10 or 11pm to maximise baby/daddy time. As long as you do this consistently I reckon your baby will settle into a pattern of having her main sleep of the night after that. I think babies are pretty flexible and will follow whatever suits you.
Anyway, I guess what I'm trying to stay is relax, it's sure to work out. Another excellent way of daddy bonding with baby is to lead on nappy changes and baths when he is around - just a thought!
- 08-22-2013, 03:24 PM #3
When we had our first, my hubby started trying to make an effort to come home earlier and if he had to work from home in the evenings, he would. Also, I would take the baby into Central once or twice a week to have lunch with him. Weekends were good quality family time as well. That said, my hubby's job is not as demanding at many other jobs in HK and his boss has been quite understanding.
All that said, I don't think it worth trying to force the baby's schedule around an erratic working schedule of your husband - rather try to see when you can make time - whether at lunch times, or if he can come home for a couple of hrs and head back if necessary... things like that... just my opinion :)
- 08-22-2013, 06:10 PM #4Registered User
- Join Date
- Jul 2013
My husband did burping duty (as long as the actual feed, usually!) and also, since bub was feeding every 60-90 mins the first 6 wks he would walk around carrying her and whispering to her to give me another 15-20 mins break sometimes before the next feed. He saw a lot of her in his brief time at home, as she would go to bed 11pm most nights. We were baby led and her sleep routine was typically like this- feed 7am, sleep til 8 (quick shower!) then aside from the 15mins ish sleep on the boob after each feed, she would have a mid morning 30-60 min nap, after lunch a 2-3 hr nap, a mid evening crying crisis for 60-90 mins, bed around 10-11pm, followed by feeds around 2am and 5 am. That was our first 6 wks. She still eats every 3 hrs, but has been sleeping through the night since 10 weeks and now goes to bed at 9.30 after hubby feeds her her cereal, sometimes with a feed at 11. You could pump a bottle for him to give around 11pm so you can sleep earlier. Nuk teats are very good for breast fed bubs. Good luck! :)
- 08-22-2013, 06:12 PM #5Registered User
- Join Date
- Apr 2012
- North Point
We had a similar situation when Ev was born. So we decided to bottle feed her once a day from day 1. So that way my husband did the 11pm for about 3 months and he got to bond with our daughter. (He really enjoyed it and misses it now).
My hubby doesn't work crazy hours now, but I still wake him up about 30min before his alarm goes off in the morning so that he can have some play time with Ev otherwise he doesn't see her till the weekend. When he's home on weekends, he does bath time and story time before bed, and gets up with her in the morning one day.
Also agree with trying to take bubs out to lunch, we do this at least once a week.
But do what feels right for you. Good luck and congratulations!
- 08-23-2013, 12:13 AM #6Registered User
- Join Date
- May 2013
Wow, all of this routine stuff seems really confusing - the feeding times and everything. I guess that's the first thing I'll have to get the hang of! He will get paternity leave, but we just found out yesterday that it has been pushed to January (baby is due end of October.) Luckily my parents will be here to help during those first few weeks (doesn't help with daddy-bonding, though.)
Lunch isn't really an option - we've stopped trying to plan lunch together during the week because he'll often have to cancel at the last minute. Or - a couple of times - we'd actually started walking down the street to the restaurant, only to have him get an email and sprint back to the office, leaving me on the sidewalk. Best not to be in that situation with a bub!
I always used to get annoyed when he would come home and then go back (kind of a childish "but why can't you staaay?" kind of thing, I'll admit), but that might have to happen more regularly when baby comes. I've encouraged him not to do that for so long that I totally forgot it was actually still an option :-)
FishMama - not to be too nosy - but did you guys give her EBM or formula in a bottle? Would it be okay for me to get the baby in the habit of EBM in a bottle if that means my husband would be able to feed him more easily whenever he's home/available? Or does actual breastfeeding from the breast have more benefit?
Ahahaha - TrailingWife, let me tell you, we had to be VERY organized about babymaking and scheduling "sessions." Sadly have never been able to be spontaneous - even our vacations (honeymoon too!) have been interrupted by work. We were definitely concerned about losing whole months because of stupid conference calls and nonsense (he has to take calls on US time a lot - so that means 9pm, 11pm, etc. - right when other things might have been scheduled.) Had to be proactive - all I can say is, thank goodness for OPKs!
- 08-23-2013, 04:38 AM #7Registered User
- Join Date
- Apr 2012
- North Point
NGNHK, we gave EBM, I used to pump 2 times a day.
From my experience I'd day day go ahead and bottle feed once a day when you can - never had any problems with Ev getting 'nipple confusion' and no side effects. Was great as it also meant that if needed I could sleep for more than a 2hr stint. And as I said its a great way for Dad and bubs to bond. Will also give Dad the opportunity to learn how to do things his own way.
If you have any questions don't be shy about asking happy to tell you how/what we did. Also if you want to meet for tea/coffee if you want more info then just PM me.
- 08-23-2013, 02:02 PM #8Registered User
- Join Date
- Jan 2012
- Hong Kong Island
Hi I'm a leader with La Leche League Hong Kong, we are an international organisation recognized by WHO which provides free support to breast feeding mothers. In regard to breastfeeding we recommend to new mums not to pump in the first 4/6 weeks while your supply is being established. This is for a few reasons; firstly while your supply is being established you are much less likely to run into problems if you feed directly from the breast. Secondly you and your baby are still learning and the more practice you get together the better. And lastly some babies who are offered a bottle in this period then don't want to breastfeed- Fishmama was lucky her baby wasn't one of them, unfortunately you don't know in advance which babies are going to have the issue!
There are many ways for your husband to bond with the baby, just cuddling him or her whether awake or asleep, burping, carrying the baby when you are out in about in a sling or baby carrier, bathing etc etc.
If you need any assistance with breastfeeding once your baby is born you can call or email us, see LA LECHE LEAGUE HONG KONG ?????-?? - La Leche League Hong Kong Main Page for details and good luck with your new baby!
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