Starting with Maddie, Heather and I have always been pretty good about sharing the misery of nighttime feedings. With James, we’ve come up with an arrangement where Heather feeds him around midnight before she joins me in bed, then gets up at the crack of dawn to feed him again. I have just one night shift, but it comes somewhere around 3:30 or 4 in the morning.
Even though I’ve done this twice before, I have to say that getting up in the middle of the night is still not fun. I force myself out of bed, sleepily change James’ diaper, then head to the kitchen where Heather has left me a bottle of milk. This will sound crazy to some of you, but lately I’ve been so tired that I’ve started to down a Diet Coke as I feed James. This wakes me up (which is much preferable to fighting to stay awake the whole feeding), and when it’s time to put James back down I’m usually tired enough that I get back to sleep in no time.
James at 4 a.m.: “You think you’re tired? Try being a freakin’ baby!”
The crazy thing I’ve found is that, as hard as it was with the girls, it’s worse now because we also have a toddler in the house. That means that – in addition to dealing with James – Heather and I have to get up in the middle of the night when Annie has a bad dream or needs to go to the bathroom. Oh yeah… and she’s an early riser, too, so there’s no sleeping in even if James is up for it.
It’s not all bad, though. There are a couple definite perks being up this late, the first of which is getting to watch whatever I want on television – not Sophia the First, not Grey’s Anatomy, but guy TV! This week I watched a documentary about Charles Bukowski on Netflix and then a show Heather refuses to be in the room for, Bizarre Foods with Andrew Zimmerman. Funnily enough, this flashback post to when I fed Maddie at night says that Bizarre Foods was one of my shows of choice even then!
“I love this Bizarre Food show… but hey, all the food you people eat is bizarre to me!”
The biggest perk of all, though, is the guy I get to watch TV with. During the day I’m pulled in a lot of directions – with work, Annie, etc. – and James obviously spends most of his time with Heather. But during our four a.m. feedings it’s just the two of us. I love getting to bond with my little buddy, to hold him in my arms, to gaze at his cute little face and kiss his cheeks. It’s pretty special.
Still… I won’t cry once he starts sleeping through the night.
HA! You’re preaching to the choir my friend about being exhausted as you deal with a newborn & a sibling on top of that as many of here are mama’s who have been there…done that! However, you are COMPLETELY RIGHT!!! It is INCREDIBLY EXHAUSTING though so much so, a lot of times my friends & I can hardly remember a lot of our babies newborn stages b/c we were so damn tired! The GOOD news is this too shall pass and who know somewhere down the line when you no longer have a baby in the house, you may even MISS times like these!! In the meantime, grab an ice cold diet coke, enjoy your weird shows & give that sweet baby boy a kiss and a snuggle for me!!!
satchi Nitay says:
Awwie. He’s growing so big.
That first photo is freakin’ adorable!! I have to say it was easy for me the third, fourth time…because you know it ends and you know you’ll make it through. I miss it and cannot wait to have a grand kid or two…But then, I will always miss baby everything. I know, I am weird!!
I started watching Justified when my son was born. It was so action packed, it got me through the 3:00 am feedings.
Mike, I think it’s terrific that you take a feeding every night. I’ve heard of dads doing that but it never happened in my house- and my husband is a really good dad. The sleep deprivation is a killer- especially when you’re trying to recover from surgery/childbirth. Anyway, GOOD JOB. Hoping that James will be one of those babies who gives you both a good stretch of sleep sooner rather than later!
Your lucky, with my oldest he was so sensitive to the tv that if I turned it on that he was up for hours. My youngest I didn’t take the chance.
I was about to say. With my daughter, we still have that problem. She’s 2 1/2. She sleeps in her own freaking room with a fan on. Yet, have the TV on more than a whisper, and she starts her “I don’t want to sleep, you’re not sleeping yet, so I don’t have to” routine. I swear she has super hearing, that one. Now that we’re getting wise to it, we mute the TV down and do CC, and wait for her to fall asleep more deeply.
She’s getting wise to us too, though. The other night my husband went to check on her for gazillionth time, and she asked “dada? is mama sleeping already?” and her dad lied and said “yes”. It worked, but I was all “That smartypants! She was hoping you would say no, so she could argue she should stay up until I was asleep too.” I used to do the same thing to my mom when I was a little kid, except mine was more of a “Well, you’re staying up until daddy comes home from work, so I can stay up until daddy comes home too!” (n.b.: my brother and I had a bed time of 7:30 and 7 PM respectively; dad made it home around 8 PM. Being a toddler, though, that hour probably seemed like the opportunity to stay up for an eternity!)
James is darling!! Enjoy this stage in your life. It goes fast and you will miss it!!
I never put the lights on or the TV during the middle of the night feedings. I wanted the baby and me to get back to sleep quickly and I was always afraid the lights and TV would stimulate me and the baby too much to fall back to sleep. I guess I missed the opportunity to watch the shows I wanted to watch!! Good job Mike!!!
That’s so cute! With my second one hubby always got up in the middle of the night feeding as well. Worked for us. The only advantage was that my 3 yr old LOVED sleeping in which gave me time in the mornings with the new baby.
You guys have a great balance.
Enjoy your bonding time w/ James.
Mike – I love that you are enjoying your dad time with James. It’s great that fathers bond more now than in the past with their children as infants. I find it funny when people gasp if I say anything about Paul parenting the kids as infants.
Men can be dads too without anyone being shocked. Men can change diapers, feed, and cuddle with their children. I hear women say “Oh, husband is babysitting tonight so I can get a free night.” What? That’s not BABYSITTING, that’s being a dad. Why would a wife even say that their spouse was babysitting?
James is just adorable and his hair? His hair could start a trend amongst the infant/toddler/preschool set.
Those cheeks are so nomable!!
He is SO adorable!!!!! Y’all have the cutest kids
Maria Gibbons says:
Sounds like you are doing a good job. Our 4th baby is 6 months old and I am the one that usually gets up with her, (although, she does sleep through the night for the most part). My husband happened to seal the deal for me a few weeks ago. Quinn woke up and I nudged my hubby to get up with her, hoping he would get her back to sleep. When I woke up in the morning, I found her all snuggled in the crib……… wrapped up in the curtains. My husband had no recollection of doing it, although I secretly think he did it on purpose, so I will think he is incompetent to help at night.
Those are 2 pretty adorable pictures of James–pretty sure he has his eyes on you in the last one in utter amazement.
(First, because you’re his Dad and second, because you must have just read that Flashback post to him and he’s thinking “My Dad…MY DAD wanted Chinese food based off of watching a man eat a bull’s penis??? Man, I need to start sleeping through the night ASAP so this doesn’t happen again!!!”)
I have to say, though, there is something so very special about late night feedings, when you are just one-on-one with the baby and can really bond. So special. I have horrible issues with insomnia (getting to sleep–once asleep, I can go for 12 hour stretches!) which is why I always gladly volunteer to help out friends and family with newborns. Need some sleep? Hey, I’ll probably be up all night anyway, might as well let me feed your baby for you!!! (A reason I like mom’s who pump and/or use formula–I get to feed their babies!!! LOL)
If you guys get seriously sleep deprived, feel free to fly me down to CA for a week or so…yes, I’m a total stranger offering to come into your house to do your night feedings–sure you’d sleep REALLY well! LOL