An Overnight Visit with a Postpartum Doula + Newborn Baby

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Overnight care is one of our most popular services here at Doulas of of Long Beach! Do you keep hearing about your friends or co-workers who’ve hired overnight support with the help of a postpartum doula, baby nurse or newborn nanny and are curious what exactly this kind of support looks like? 

Nighttime parenting is one of the hardest transitions after your sweet baby arrives. It can be utterly exhausting to navigate middle of the night feeding sessions, 2am diaper changes and attempting to swaddle your little one in a zombie-like state. 

We absolutely love providing overnight support to new families because they get to wake up rested, refreshed and happy to enjoy their new baby and family the next day. We often care for families where one or more parent has a demanding job and cannot work the next day on only 2-4 hours of sleep.  We work with families that have a history of anxiety or depression and know that sleep deprivation is a strong contributor. Our team supports families that have their hands full with twins or triplets and want assistance with tandem feeding or establishing a night routine

Let’s walk through a typical 10 hour overnight with a breastfed newborn:: 

8:00pm ~ I arrive with a big hug and sit down to check in on YOU. I’ll ask all about your day; Have you eaten well? Are you feeling rested? How do you feel emotionally? Next we move on to baby and I can answer any questions about baby care, sleep or feeding that you’ve had on your mind. Often during this time we’ll practice baby wearing, review some pumping techniques, chat about postpartum sitz baths and why on earth your baby is SO fussy during the evening hours. 

9:00pm ~ I collect the baby monitor and send you, the tired parents, off to dreamland! Overnight care is all about getting you the sleep your body needs to reset mentally, physically and emotionally; so that you can be fully present and rested during the day with your children and spouse. Once you’re settled in your bed I’ll use this time to restock any diaper stations, fold some baby laundry and prepare any bottles or pump parts needed for the night. 

10:00pm ~ Dream feed time! I’ll change your baby’s diaper and re-swaddle her. This time I’ll use a bottle of expressed milk that was in the fridge and warm it to a perfect 98.6 temperature. I’ll keep the lights dim and gently wake her enough to fill her belly for a long stretch of sleep. As your little one nods off in bed, I’ll lay down on the sofa or guest bed until she needs me again.

1:00am ~  She’s up again! And ready for another feeding. We have a few options for when it’s baby’s time to eat, that we will have already set a plan in place for. I send you a text that baby is ready for milk and you wake up after a glorious 4hrs of uninterrupted sleep. I’ll bring your little one to you for a nursing session in bed, along with a cup of ice cold water and a granola bar.

1:30am ~ You roll over and go straight back to sleep. I’ll handle the burping, getting a clean diaper and comforting your baby back to sleep. This whole process can take anywhere from 30-90+ minutes depending on baby’s age and temperament. Thus without help, it often blends into the next feed and leaves parents feeling utterly exhausted. When your doula is there, you get to relish in all that extra sleep.   

2:30am ~ The monitor alerts me that your baby starts to stir, grunts, opens her eyes and lets out a little whine. She isn’t hungry yet, but she needs a little help getting back to sleep. You and your partner, are sleeping peacefully in the room next-door, while I make sure your precious newborn has every need met, including comfort and building healthy sleep habits.

3:45am ~ You guessed it, baby is showing her early cues for wanting milk! I use another bottle of expressed milk while you stay in bed. I’ll feed her using the paced feeding method to help ensure she doesn’t create a preference with bottle feeds. 

4:00am ~ You wake up for a 15 minute pumping session and then send me a text that you left the bottles and parts outside the door. I come collect the liquid gold, label the bottles with the date & time and place them in the fridge. I’ll wash the pump parts and have them ready for your next session. 

5:30am ~ While baby is snoozing contently in her crib, I’ll quietly head to the kitchen to make you a quick breakfast of yogurt & granola with a side of fresh fruit. I’ll toss any bottles in the sanitizer, wipe the kitchen counter and turn on the coffee pot.  

5:45am ~ You wake up after a combined 8hrs of sleep and sneak into the hot shower for a relaxing start to your day, knowing your baby is well taken care of.  

6:00am ~ Baby is still sleeping blissfully, so I bring the monitor to you and let you enjoy that cup of coffee in silence before your baby is ready for her next feed. I let you know you can text or call me with any questions throughout the day, then head out the door and look forward to seeing you for the next visit!

Overnight care is fully customizable for each family and can be extremely beneficial to those who are exclusively nursing, pumping, formula feeding or somewhere in between. We work with families with that have a variety of parenting methods and lifestyles. Our team members are experts at attuning to the individual needs of each and every family we support.