We often hear from parents that they are interested in Overnight Doula Care, but wonder what exactly an 8 hour shift looks like.
Typically an overnight shift is 8 hours, and begins around 10 or 11pm. When I arrive at a family’s house, I get an update on the day and identify any concerns that may be helpful for me to know as I begin a night of caring for your baby. Once that is done, I take the reins with baby and send the parents off to bed for a good nights’ sleep.
Once everyone is off to bed, I get coffee ready for the morning, and do some breakfast preparation. I am often throwing in some laundry and if there are dishes in the sink, you can rest assured I will get them done for you! I will then settle in close to baby so that I may tend to any of babes needs throughout the night. In the case of a bottle fed babe, I prepare bottles, including sterilization and preparing formula. Throughout the night, I tend to all of babes needs such as diaper changes and feedings. When a momma is nursing, I will bring the baby in to mom when baby wakes for her to feed and then I take baby back, once again, tending to all other needs.
As an overnight doula, I am completely supportive of whatever type of feeding, sleeping, bedtime and diaper routine parents have established. My job is to come in and keep everything the same as what is done when I am not there. This helps to reduce any anxiety or stress the baby may feel being around someone who is not a parent. During our time together, if a family has identified anything that they are requiring help with, I will work with the family to work through whatever might be happening and make suggestions where I can. Most of my experience with overnight care has been with sleep training.
In the morning, parents wake up to freshly made coffee and breakfast. Parents are also encouraged to make special breakfast requests! I come prepared with a book of recipes that I have collected over the years and make breakfast based on what is available in the kitchen. Before leaving, I give an update of the night and see myself out, wishing you a great day.