We all know that bringing home a new baby means a big transition, whether it’s your first child or your fourth! Many of our clients realize the need for additional support during this transition call on a postpartum doula to help. Our postpartum doulas are Newborn Care Specialists and professionally-trained experts. Daytime postpartum doulas can provide professional support including soothing techniques, feeding guidance, and addressing questions about postpartum physical and mental health. Our overnight postpartum doulas provide much-needed support making sure that the whole family (including visiting parents and in-laws) get the sleep they need, offer feeding support, and encourage safe and developmentally appropriate sleeping habits.
Sometimes our Newborn Care Specialists are incorrectly referred to as a night nanny or a night nurse. However, doulas and Newborn Care Specialists are neither nannies or nurses, but rather have specialized training for newborn care.
During every overnight shift, your doula will provide you with a log and notes detailing your baby’s night. Below is a sample of exactly what a shift log from your doula/NCS may look like.
Overnight Postpartum Doula Shift Notes
8:45pm: Arrived for my 9pm shift. Removed shoes, changed into a fresh DOB shirt and washed hands. Greeted Dad and was escorted upstairs where Mom was nursing the baby. I said hello to Mom and Baby as she got up to change his diaper then chatted with her while she tried to nurse him some more.
9:15pm: Baby was a bit fussy, so I offered to carry Baby while the parents showed me around the house and chatted about plans for the night. Mom plans to nurse him for his next feeding and then I’ll give a bottle for the one after that. I encouraged both parents to get ready for bed and worked on getting Baby settled down. He was swaddled with a paci then we walked and jiggled and patted until he finally stayed asleep at 10:35. I tried laying him down several times before that but he would start to cry and jostle around.
10:35 pm: Baby asleep in bassinet.
11:25 pm: He had hiccups and was awake, replaced paci and rocked with hand on his chest.
11:40 pm: Back to sleep.
12:30 am: Fussy. Changed wet diaper and took him to Mom to nurse.
1:00 am: Burped, changed poopy/wet diaper. Swaddled with Paci and rocked to settle.
1:15 am: Soundly asleep in bassinet.
3:35 am: Fussing and grunting. Went downstairs to prep a bottle with monitor. Baby finished 2 oz of the 2.5 oz bottle of EBM. 2 huge burps half way through. Texted Mom so she could wake up and pump.
3:50 am: Back asleep in bassinet.
4:30 am: Brief wake up. Wouldn’t settle with paci, hand on chest or rocking. Finished maybe 1/2 oz of bottle. Burped and right back to sleep.
6:15 am: Fussy and wouldn’t stay asleep in bassinet. Wanted to be held and would go back to sleep and then wake up as soon as I laid him down, so we rocked in the nursery chair.
6:35 am: Changed wet/poo diaper.
6:45 am: Mom came down and nursed him while we talked about the night, including creating sleep associations, tips on keeping baby awake during the day for developmentally appropriate stretches and nursing on demand not to exceed 2.5 hours during the daytime hours.
7:05 am: Said goodbye to a well rested family!
The goals of an overnight shift might change from night-to-night or family-to-family. This is why our Overnight Newborn Care package includes five continuous weeks of three 10-hour overnight shifts per week. This allows your whole family needed rest and sets a foundation of healthy sleep habits for your baby. This postpartum doula care package can be duplicated for extended support as well. Contact us to find out more about our overnight newborn care.