Dad's guide to the night shift

Parenting after hours is all part and parcel of being in the parenting club. And while the night shift has a bad reputation from sleep deprived parents, doesn’t putting a positive spin on it like parenting after hours make it sound more intriguing? Fun even?

Not convinced?

New babies are a novelty at the start, but when they’re 6months+ and still need tending to throughout the night- Dad it’s your turn to pitch in too! Surprisingly enough, you can’t function properly as a human on just a few hours of broken sleep for 6months straight!

If taking over the night shift on occasion makes her happy, then ultimately it will make you happy too.

In the dark, with just the glow of LED display screens on electronics and streetlights (if in a city) to see by, there’s a whole new world waiting.

You just have to get up and experience it!

Here are some of the benefits:

Dad and baby bonding time

Taking the night shift does offer some unique bonding time for dad and baby – it’s just you and your little one so make sure to enjoy and cherish it!
Watch Out: While enjoying it, also try to keep the fun to a minimum, if you’re both having too much craic you may actually teach your little one to wake at an ungodly hour- every night – expecting a party with Dad!

Improve your multitasking skills

You’ll be surprised what you can do, and all while holding a half-sleeping baby! Throwing in a load of washing, paying the bills or organising the team for 5 a side next week.

Much more productive

Where there’s multitasking there’s also productivity! Think of the extra things you can get done with an extra hour or 2 you now have in your day?

Basically, you’ll become a ninja.

Your senses will sharpen! Before long, you’ll be able to navigate around the entire house in complete and utter darkness without stepping on little land mines that light up and start singing nursery rhymes and wake the whole street! Essential skills, right?

Now that you’re convinced to take the night shift, here’s how:

Be ready when they are

To minimise the amount of time you have to be awake, preparation is key for the night feeds. If you’re on duty, try get ready for the night feeds before you even go to bed yourself. Have nappies, bibs and muslin cloths and other supplies all within arm’s reach. If your partner is breastfeeding, have the expressed breastmilk ready and stored correctly in the back of the fridge and if bottlefeeding, have bottles prepared.

Once your little one reaches 6 months, and if they are formula fed or your partner has moved on from breastfeeding, consider having some Cow & Gate Follow On Milk Read to Use milk beside the bed. The milk in the 200ml and 1 Litre bottles is sterile and you don’t have to store them in the fridge before they are opened. You can simply pour the liquid straight into your little one’s sterilised bottle and feed them. You won’t need to worry about going downstairs and trying to count the scoops while still half asleep (we’ve all lost count before).

Supplies at the ready

Just imagine, it’s an ungodly hour of the morning and you’re up to feed your little darling, struggling to keep your eyes open and your mind concentrating on the task at hand. Have your phone to browse, a book or the remote to the TV to keep you alert. And make sure you have these supplies to hand before you sit down and start feeding!

Creatures of habit

Try to get into a routine as quickly as possible, if possible at all (depending on your work schedule). Human beings are creatures of habit and if we do something regularly our bodies soon get used to it and the lack of sleep will become more bearable. Choose the days you’re on the night shift and stick to them!

Recharge your batteries

When you’re not on the night shift, consider spending the night in the spare room or a comfy couch, if you’re a light sleeper or if there’s a chance you’ll be disturbed. You need to rest up and get your Zzz’s in when off duty to keep your levels of exhaustion as low as possible.


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Join the C&G baby club today

  • Weekly emails with tips and advice for your stage
  • 1-to-1 support from our dedicated Careline team, 8.30am - 5.30pm Monday to Friday.

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