AIBU about sleep?(75 Posts)
Dp and I have a 20 week old dd who doesn't like to sleep much and hasn't done for about 2 months now. We are really struggling as we also have a 4 year old dd who has just started school. She is dp's step daughter so he has never experienced baby induced sleep deprivation before.
Now dp is very supportive all day, he makes most evening meals, cleans the kitchen and takes dd1 to school most mornings as he works in schools so he is on his way to work anyway. I do most school pick ups and most laundry stuff. He is so good with dd1 and often takes her to her dad's for me too. He does do a lot. But... at night he doesn't really help at all and thinks I should leave the bedroom with dd2 when she wakes up, which is sometimes 8 times a night at the moment, so that he can sleep because he has to work. He's self employed and worries that lack of sleep would have a detrimental effect on his business.
I don't leave the room because dd2 just usually wants feeding then goes straight back to sleep. If she wakes up properly I do go downstairs with her, even at 2am if she wakes properly then.
So last night was a bad night sleep wise and I was so exhausted I fell asleep in bed while feeding dd and was upset that I put her at risk so I said to dp I really need to sleep, this is dangerous and he flew off the handle at me saying this is the only night he gets to have a decent nights kip as he doesn't have work today and I ruined it. We then had a massive row at 5am.
Obviously all partners go through tough times with a new born but I'm sure we should be able to work it so that we both get sleep but dp says that my 'job' is looking after dd so apparently I'm not entitled to sleep. I feel like a wreck at the moment and some days I'm so tired I'm scared to drive. What can we do to sort this out? I've offered to do the evening meal and give him time to chill out with the kids but he says him doing it is a better use of our time because dd might want feeding and he can't feed her (i'm breastfeeding). I'm not being selfish am I? Surely we both need to sleep somehow.
No, you both need to sleep
He should be helping. I also breastfed, but Dh would help but resettling also. By 20 weeks they don't need feeding at every feed. I would feed them at 11pm, they wouldn't feed again until after 3am if needed. So if they woke between 11-3am if was dhs turn to resettle without a feed. If they woke again after 3/4am feed then again Dh turn to resettle
By not feeding at every waking it also meant they actually woken far less and actually rarely woke between 11am and morning
How can he do nights if you're breastfeeding? You need to come to a compromise. Can you not go to bed about 8/9 and your DP do the feeds until 12am (expressed milk?) and then you do it till the morning. Can you try and nap when she does in the day? 20 weeks is very young and it does get better.
Or even get a side cot attached to the bed to make it safer sleeping and easier for you if she's just waking for a feed?
You need to sit down and explain how you're feeling with him and hopefully you two can work something out
You're not being selfish, he needs to massively step up.
Can you have a rational conversation in day time? Not to excuse his behaviour (which for the avoidance of doubt is appalling) but I know DH and I are prone to being unduly harsh to each other during night wakings.
You need rest in order to look after your child properly - it'a hard work. Does he not see this?
Some men use bf'ing as an excuse to be lazy with their babies but it really isn't good enough.
He needs a massive reality check and to stop being so bloody precious about his sleep.
Does he work sat/sun? Could he get up in the morning and let you have a lie in? It is hard if you are breastfeeding as I find breast feeding the quickest way to get them back to sleep!
Exactly Owlina, she's rarely actually hungry at night now, it's more of a comfort thing. We are working on getting her to take a dummy but I'm too exhausted to rock or sing her back to sleep at the moment, whereas dp probably could.
So last night was a bad night sleep wise and I was so exhausted I fell asleep in bed while feeding dd and was upset that I put her at risk
How did you put her at risk?
Well I was sat up in bed feeding her and she fell asleep on the boob in her sleeping bag but obviously I fell asleep too. Not ideal really.
I still don't see how you think she was at risk. Thousands of women feed babies in their sleep. Usually laid on their side with baby in the space under their outstretched arm.
Perhaps make some plans to cosleep safely rather than in an unplanned way?
she's rarely actually hungry at night now, it's more of a comfort thing. We are working on getting her to take a dummy but I'm too exhausted to rock or sing her back to sleep at the moment, whereas dp probably could.
Does DP know this? You need sleep too. I don't think he is deliberately being a dick - some people need more explaining. That said, I don't agree with his sleep being more important than yours. Why can't he step up at the weekends when he is presumably not working? Ultimately the baby is his child too and you cannot do everything - he needs to understand that.
Do you have any family/friends that can help and maybe take the baby during the day for you or come over and just let you get a few extra hours sleep in the day? That might help with you being able to have a calm and rational conversation.
Dp moves around a lit in his sleep and snores. Somewhat frustrating really as I think that's often what wakes her up! So I don't think co sleeping would help and it's just not been something I've personally wanted to do.
Xpost with boffin, we don't have a lot of help at the moment, dp's mum is ok for round the house but isn't so confident with baby stuff. I think we just need to redress the balance. Going to try and talk to him calmly later.
A lot of fathers are like this, not that it excuses them. He's exhausted but remind him that it's the same or worse for you. Is there any chance one of you could go and sleep in another room while the other settles the baby?
Have you a spare room? I would send your partner off to sleep somewhere else, and take baby into the bed with you to co-sleep safely. Having to get out of bed when baby wakes means you're both awake for longer - far easier to just stick a boob in and go back to sleep.
Could your DP sleep elsewhere so that he's not disturbing DD and you can cosleep? My DH moved to the spare room for year after we had our twins as I was bfing there was nothing useful he could do at night so he took the lion share during the day with our older (but still pre-school) DCs. I slept a lot better with more space.
...but he is being unreasonable complaining!
I would just set up so you can cosleep safely, sending him out of the room. Then you can all get sleep. Have a look here: www.llli.org/sweetsleepbook/thesafesleepseven
He is BU by the way, if your 'job' is looking after your DD all day then that is a job with huge responsibility, of course you need rest in order to do it properly.
Thanks for the co sleeping tips I've always been wary of doing it but these are desperate times!
You both need sleep.
But even if you take the view that his should be prioritised as he needs sleep in order to work, which I accept is the case for some jobs but clearly not all, he should go and sleep elsewhere. Sofa, spare room etc. He certainly has no business complaining.
Any chance he could sleep somewhere else like the sofa for a few nights, get his energy back (poor little sausage! *Totally sarcastic) then take over from you in rotation after that?
Maybe try cosleeping for those few nights without him turning and snoring, that way you might get more sleep and feel better about the whole situation.
So thoroughly feeling for you
What Hyacinth said. He has to get up for work, so I'm not sure it's fair to expect him to share the nights 50/50, but expecting you to leave the room with your baby is ridiculous. And if he has a day off the following day, he should be giving you a break.
He got a few hours kip this morning and is now being overly nice to me... will have a proper chat later and hopefully get this sorted.
Oh it's hard isn't it! We tried to share the nighttime stuff first time, but second time dh moved out into the spare room. I went to bed early with the baby (who also wasn't a fan of sleep) and dealt with all the night wakings, unless it got too much in which case I'd call dh to help. In turn he dealt with our older child, getting up with her in the mornings etc. It was exhausting but I think whatever you do it's exhausting anyway if you have a non sleeping baby.
Were you able to have that proper chat OP?
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