To expect help during the night with newborn?

(66 Posts)
Holly129 Tue 12-Feb-13 12:32:13

Am I being unreasonable to expect my partner to help me with newborn during the night? If I ask him to just change a nappy he tells me he's tired and has work in the morning and that I don't so therefore I have to take care of ds during the night. I'm exhausted, I have to work from home just to keep us afloat and I feel like he doesn't understand that looking after ds & dd all day is just as (if not more) exhausting than his job. Is this normal? Am I supposed to be doing everything in the night because I don't have to get up and drive to work?

Ilovesunflowers Tue 12-Feb-13 12:35:58

How much work do you do from home? If you are 'only' doing a few hours then I can see why you would do the majority of night time care. Driving while exhausted is extremely dangerous. He should be doing his equal share at weekends and in holidays though.

MortifiedAdams Tue 12-Feb-13 12:38:18

You need to speak to him during the daytime about what you would like form.both of you in the night.

It is reasonable of him to.want a full nights sleep before work, and that you will do the night wakings on days when he is at work.next, however I expected.my DH to do the night wakings on Fri and Sat nights. These were my nights off. Would this work for.you?

Alternatively, if he doesnt go to bed til, say, 11pm, could you get to bed early on the understanding that if dcs wake before 11 he attends to them, and you do the night wakings (again, weeknights only).

DH would and still does, get up with DD in the.morning and leave me.to sleep.until her needed to leave the house....would ge do that?

ivanapoo Tue 12-Feb-13 12:38:21

It's a tough one as he does need a decent sleep if he's driving - but so do you. His attitude stinks though. Can you go to bed earlier/stay in bed later to get your sleep?

We try to do it so any feeds etc between 1-7 are done by me, anything between 9pm and 1am (except the BF itself) is done by DH.

I have to tell my DH to go back to sleep as I'm worried he'll be unsafe on the roads! He also will take DS as soon as he gets in from work for as much of the evening as he can.

Holly129 Tue 12-Feb-13 12:46:28

Thank you for your replies! I think I'm going to have to ask him to get up when he's not in work the next day, at least then ill get 2 nights (half decent) sleep. That's more than fair surely?

MortifiedAdams Tue 12-Feb-13 12:48:56

You definetly need some.nights of unbroken sleep otherwise you will go nuts.

His response to your very reasonable requests will be very telling.

ivanapoo Tue 12-Feb-13 12:50:57

Yes that's fair, forgot to say at weekends DH does lion's share.

Holly129 Tue 12-Feb-13 12:53:54

Good point mortified!

NumericalMum Tue 12-Feb-13 12:55:43

Not sure about the driving excuse... My DC didn't sleep for 2 years and I had to return to work and adjust to being tired. I tried to do it all in the week dring mat leave and nearly lost the plot. I was BF so had to do the feeds but then if she wouldn't settle DH had to help too.

KatAndKit Tue 12-Feb-13 13:00:44

I don't buy the driving excuse either although obviously a long drive early the next morning is different. I have to drive too unless I am to stay cooped up in the house with a baby every day. To get the shopping done I need to drive, to go to any sort of baby group I generally need to drive. If I had an older child I would need to take them to nursery/school etc.

Just the fact that the man is going to work the next day does not mean they can do nothing at all in the night. It isn't fair. Looking after a newborn is a full time job plus overtime. Not fair that one person is working 24 hours a day and the other person is doing a 8 or 9 hour working day. Obviously if you are BF then the lions share of the night waking will fall to you, but that doesn't mean you have to do absolutely everything. Your DP is being unreasonable and you should have a talk with him about it. If he needs more sleep due to going to work then he should go to bed earlier.

MortifiedAdams Tue 12-Feb-13 13:01:26

Yes, OP, lots of parents both work FT (me included), and do the night wakings because that is life, so it wont kill.him to help in the night.

Get a pair of earplugs each. You both need a full.night uninterrupted per week. I have nights where I dont get back from.work til 11.30pm and need to be up at 6 for.my.next shift - ive recently started wearing earplugs and dh does these nights as I could.only just manage on five hours uninterrupted sleep so adding in.bottles and crying and im.like a zombie the next day.

purpleroses Tue 12-Feb-13 13:01:31

We found what worked best was for my now-ex to get to bed early, whilst I settled the baby, then I did the night feeds, and then he would get up with the toddler and baby if she woke any time from around 5am.

If you're breastfeeding then there's not a lot he can really do. You shouldn't need to change nappies at night unless they've pooed.

MortifiedAdams Tue 12-Feb-13 13:02:22

OP, what does your dh do in the evenings? Amd the mornings?

Holly129 Tue 12-Feb-13 13:13:32

He drives less than 3 miles to work. He works odd shifts, If he's around in the evenings he's very good and we take it in turns to change nappies, look after ds etc. If he's around in the mornings he just sleeps in. I should note he does not work during the night, he will always be home by 10pm.

forevergreek Tue 12-Feb-13 13:19:32

I would say whilst you are all tired you go to bed at 8pm and he deals with baby ( bottle of ebf or formula) until 1pm. Any time between 1pm and 7am you do it. That way you can get 5hrs sleep min a night and he can get 6hrs min. Yes you all might want more but you should be safe enough to work/ drive on 6 hours sleep.

You dh can always go to bed early at 8pm also and would get some sleep between then and 1pm even if feeding and sorting baby. And you should hopefully gt some sleep between 1-7am also.

It doesn't have to be permanent but just until you have all caught up

firesidechat Tue 12-Feb-13 13:20:03

Can't really see the point in both parents being up at night. I didn't work when the children were young and husband had a very demanding job. I had to get up to breastfeed anyway and changing a nappy, if necessary, only takes a couple of minutes. We were talking about this at the weekend and he said that he did get disturbed sleep, but soon managed to doze through the disruption. That was fine by me because I could rest a bit in the day and he couldn't.

However if things got too much for me in the middle of the night he would always get up and take over. Sometimes he had more patience than me and was great at soothing a crying baby. He was a great father and very hands on during the day.

Eskino Tue 12-Feb-13 13:21:43

I have a newborn and I'm afraid i can't see the point of waking dp up in the night, when I'm already awake, to change a nappy, which takes about 20 seconds.

He has to get up at a fixed time and drive to work, meet with clients all day and function in a unsympathetic environment. He needs his sleep.

MortifiedAdams Tue 12-Feb-13 13:23:47

Agree two parents awake at night is pointless but if FFing, DH could and should do the two.nights he isnt at work.next.

GirlOutNumbered Tue 12-Feb-13 13:25:34

I do all the night time stuff as DH works. I wouldn't want him driving to work shattered. I'm up as I breastfeed, so don;t see the point in him being up as well.

With our eldest son, he used to get worse when Daddy went in anyway. I am happy to be mummy at night time, it will soon pass and then you will miss it.

CailinDana Tue 12-Feb-13 13:27:29

Sorry it is absolute bollocks that someone who is driving to work needs a full night's sleep. Just because a woman becomes a mother doesn't mean she can suddenly survive on practically no sleep - night after night of never getting an unbroken block of sleep severely affects your mental health as well as your general ability to cope. It's irrelevant whether you can nap during the day or not, being up all night and then having to sleep in snatches during the day is beyond miserable and sucks all the joy out of motherhood. I was often baffled as to why my friends found being a new parent so hard until I discovered they were basically on 24 hour duty from Sunday to Thursday - that would break anyone!

My DS was mix fed and a terrible sleeper so I would go to bed at 8/9 o clock while DH stayed up with DS until 1/2 am. I would then take over for the rest of the night while DH went to bed and slept until 7/8 am (depending on work) meaning he got a six hour block of sleep, which is plenty for any healthy adult. That meant every night I had a 4 hour block of sleep guaranteed before facing the horrid small hours (oh the misery of the 3:30 feed!). It worked really well for us and meant that I usually got at least 6 hours of sleep a night. Not all in one go, mind, but there was never a night where I ended up with less than 5 hours' sleep.

Your partner absolutely does not need a full night's sleep for a 3 mile drive. He is being lazy.

I used to have the opposite problem - my dh would wake up and stay up when i was feeding ds - he would then be thoroughly nackered the next evening when i desperately needed a small break after having a new born feeding for up to 3 hours at a time! In the end i exploded when he came in one evening and went straight to bed - we spoke about the issue in the daytime and agreed he would come in and bath the baby whilst i got a rest and then he would sleep through but get up after 5am with ds to wash and dress him, this worked perfectly and we still do this and ds is 3.5!

He used to think our baby slept all day and was totally shocked when i kept a sleep diary - he thought we both slept for a few hours at a time but mysteriously never asked how the house got so clean or where dinner had come from!

NumericalMum Tue 12-Feb-13 13:34:38

If your baby only takes 20 seconds to settle after feeding then waking your partner up is stupid. For us it was often several hours of soothing between feeds. Feed for 20 minutes, soothe for an hour, sleep for 1.5 hours if lucky and then repeat...

purplecarebear Tue 12-Feb-13 13:36:18

oh gosh the arguements ive had with my OH about this confused confused

DrCoconut Tue 12-Feb-13 13:38:59

I'm amazed at all these people whose DH's are awake at night to even consider baby duties. For a good 9 hours a night WW3 could break out and mine wouldn't even stir! I have to literally shake him from side to side to get any response if I need to wake him. I'm jealous actually, I wake up if a fly farts two blocks away and have not had a complete night's sleep in over 2 years. You adapt to it up to a point.

CailinDana Tue 12-Feb-13 13:40:38

DrCoconut - DH wasn't great at waking for DS so he used to just stay up and watch tv. He actually wakes much more easily now that DS is a toddler and we alternate mornings getting up with him (he's an early riser).

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