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How to share the care without killing each other?

(26 Posts)
Mammie81 Sat 08-Jan-11 11:15:22

DP is back at work now and I'd originally thought I could manage the night feeds alone so that he could get a good rest IF he did the 1am feed - giving me 2 hours sleep before the next. However he has taken to bringing the baby to me at 1.30am complaining that he has to get up and baby wont settle without me. We used to go to bed after 1am in the old days anyway! Ok, says i. Perhaps he could do the 11pm feed while I rest then? Except again, the baby 'wont' settle without me, and I end up preparing it anyway (baby is mix feed so theres just one bottle at night which i thought DP might actually enjoy giving him after a day away)

is any of what i've said unreasonable? Because last night, as it was friday night and he doesnt work weekends, my MUM got up to do the 1am feed because he'd fallen asleep/left baby crying/couldnt settle him/couldnt wind him etc. (Staying with mum this week because of building work, i was in brothers room down the corridor and heard none of this)

is he shirking or am i expecting too much? How do you guys share it out with a working partner?

mamas12 Sat 08-Jan-11 11:19:14

He is shirking but maybe he needs more confidence.
He shopuld be doing his 'share'

Tell him not to bring him to you. If you have to learn how to cope then he will have to learn how to cope.

His way of settling him may be diferent to your way so yu both have to learn your own ways how to do it.

mutznutz Sat 08-Jan-11 11:19:50

I think you're expecting too much. If he's willing to do the 11pm feed (which would probably be perfect) but the baby won't settle...that's not really his fault is it?

We managed by husband doing the feed around that time and me getting up in the night at all other times. Saturday nights he would either do the feeds or he'd get up with the baby early Sunday morning so I could lay in.

throckenholt Sat 08-Jan-11 11:20:41

What worked for us was me going to bed about 8ish and sleeping through until any feeds after about midnight. DH dealt with the baby from about 8 until going to bed about midnight (earlier if baby had settled). I guess somehow he has got to get the confidence to realise he can cope - he can find a way to settle the baby - chest to chest worked well with ours and DH.

Or even just walking around jiggling (we have all done that for hours I am sure).

And remeber that this manic phase is only for a few weeks - even if it feels like forever at the time. If DH can find a way of really helping you get some sleep then it will make life better for you all.

Also - assuming this is a first baby - make sure you sleep during the day when the baby does - don't feel you should be doing something - an hour or two sleeping will do you much more good.

mutznutz Sat 08-Jan-11 11:22:41

Maybe it's not a confidence thing at 1.30am when he has to get up for work and the baby wont settle?

Mammie81 Sat 08-Jan-11 11:28:20

Should add - mum has flu. And he didnt have to get up today.

I dont think its confidence. When he was off with me he was a dream at settling him. Better than me at times. I just dont know how best to work it, baby settles after most evening feeds with me or Mum. Perhaps its boobs?!

I might talk to him about doing early evenings then, thats a good idea, thanks.

Mammie81 Sat 08-Jan-11 11:30:01

Also, we used to go bed at 2am all the time before the baby. So hes not getting any less sleep by doing the feed at 1am. I dont expect him to lose too much sleep, thats why i suggested 11pm.

mutznutz Sat 08-Jan-11 11:31:58

Perhaps that's it then if he was good at settling him when he was off...it's probably tiredness and pressure - pressure being the fact he knows he can't have an afternoon sleep the next day?

I agree with whoever said it's manic the first few weeks. You think it's never going to end and then all of a sudden it does and all this will be a distant memory.

Good luck smile

LadyintheRadiator Sat 08-Jan-11 11:34:37

Be warned, some people get very odd about precious men who Go Out hunting for food To Work All Day having broken sleep.

My DP does the 1am feed. I do think he is fab, but I work bloody hard too, and can't rest in the day as also have a 3 year old. We both work hard.

YANBU, but it sounds like you need to talk to him...

SkyBluePearl Sat 08-Jan-11 11:41:47

what feeds do you do normally during the night? I think he should do a bottle feed to be honest - he has to work out how to settle baby.

Mammie81 Sat 08-Jan-11 11:42:35

I think hes been trying to talk to me about it this week actually. Although his method has been 'I do have to WORK you know'. I honestly thought he wouldnt mind 1am, he and the baby used to have some man time watching the history channel while baby nodded off! It never took more than half an hour.

I'll see how he gets on at 8-9ish wink

COCKadoodledooo Sat 08-Jan-11 11:42:40

If I was your mum I wouldn't have got up (well, except to wake your lazy arse dh wink).

I was home alone from Sunday night to Friday night from when ds2 was born until he was 8 months. His sleeping was atrocious and he fed every 1.5 hours approx in the beginning - he was still 2.5-3 hourly when dh came back. We co-slept because it made my life easier, and I barely had to wake to bf him. At the weekends I'd do a final feed at 11ish then decamp to the sofa bed for a night off, leaving dh in charge.

He was absolutly knackered, bless him, because he was doing his PGCE, scheduling his work so he could spend guilt free weekends with his family (so going to bed after midnight and getting up before 6), but he stepped up to ensure I got at least 1 night off a week to recharge.

Had he been home during that time, I don't think our arrangements would have been that different tbh. In fact when he started work in September ds2 still hadn't started sleeping through, and during the week it was me who got up to him.

So yeah, personally I wouldn't expect a break every night of the week. But I would expect a break at some point.

Mammie81 Sat 08-Jan-11 11:44:34

I do 3 and 5 and express after each.

Mammie81 Sat 08-Jan-11 11:44:49

I do 3 and 5 and express after each.

fedupofnamechanging Sat 08-Jan-11 11:52:29

I think that if your mum can settle the baby, then there is no reason why your DH can't. I think it is reasonable to give him the choice of doing either the 11pm or 1am feed, but he is taking the piss by bringing the baby to you rather than learning to settle the baby himself. He is taking the view that he doesn't need to make the effort, because he can get someone else to do it (you, or your mum). I think he should be embarrassed by that tbh.

Show him what you do to settle the baby and maybe give him a blanket that smells of you to keep close to the baby when he is trying to get settled and tell him to get on with it.

DreamingofFour Sat 08-Jan-11 12:01:29

we do what throckenhalt did - I go to bed early with the aim of being asleep by eight, with me off duty and DH in charge until 1am. Then he sleeps 1-7am. That way we both get a block of sleep. but we also try to sleep when we are 'on' with the baby - at least an hour or so between feeds. As your baby is taking a bottle you are really lucky because you can share the feeding. Another way to share it is for you to do five days a week and him to do the two weekend nights (fri and sat) but this can be a bit tricky if you are breast feeding as you tend to wake up feeling very engorged.

As others have said this is a short period, but you both need to prioritise sleep - go to bed early, take naps etc, don't stay up late

sleepingsowell Sat 08-Jan-11 13:03:53

Agree with karma - if your mum got up and managed to settle the baby, so can your DH.
He is shirking.

You BOTH have to get up the next day and work hard. Just because his is out of the home doesn't mean he gets god given rights to sleep.

He is being unreasonable, unless you get up and hand the baby to nursery all day and then put your feet up and catch up with some sleep which of course you don't....

I would make very clear to him as of NOW, that he needs to take his share and pull his weight. One feed a night is NOT asking too much. If the baby won't settle, well that's hard but that's parenting. He deals with it until the time you have agreed that you cover. Don't let him get away with this!!

Bogeyface Sat 08-Jan-11 13:30:27

This really pisses me off.

My ex used to do this, as somehow him working 8 hours a day trumped me being up at 6am and being on the go nonstop til after the kids were in bed! Its as if the minute you give up paid work you dont have as much right to sleep or relaxation!

Time for some tough talk I think! OK so it can be difficult to learn to settle a baby ffs, if you hadnt managed you didnt have anyone else to hand it over to! It sounds like he may be lacking in confidence at his own abilities and is taking advantage of the fact that he knows you will get up rather than leave the baby.

Tell him that tonight he must settle the baby, as you will be saying no if he bring the baby to you and you will be telling you mum/mil (whichever it was!) that she isnt to do it either!

Get tough now, otherwise this abdication of responsibility will continue for the rest of your parenting life. Trust me!

PorridgeBrain Sun 09-Jan-11 07:50:46

Our DD1 had colic and used to scream non-stop from 7pm to 2am for 8 weeks so we HAD to take it in turns for survival and we each had to deal with a baby that neither of us could settle and which quite frankly often reduced us to tears.

A new baby is such a difficult and tiring time for both parents (i.e the one at work who has to concentrate on limited sleep AND the one at home who doesn't get a let up from the baby all day on limited sleep) so its only fair that each gets an allocated rest time.

DH was on shift until midnight which included a 10pm feed and I took over after that. DH used to have to get up for work at 6am and he never complained, I was often up with the baby again by 6am having been up in the night.

compo Sun 09-Jan-11 07:58:14

I think it's unreasonable to expect him to get up at 1am when he's working the next day
I'd co sleep
and not bother expressing after each feed

McGinger Sun 09-Jan-11 08:28:54

When my son was a baby I bottle fed him.

I used to go to bed around 8 or 9. DH would then give him a bottle usually around 11, put him to bed, I would do the 3am bottle and then DH would feed him in the morning before going to work.

With my daughter I fed her, eventually I expressed and gave her a bottle as her 11ish feed and DH would always do this one.

I dot think it is unreasonable for your DH to look after his own child, I also think its a bit of "kid you're daft and you'll get a hurl" if he comes to you saying the baby will not settle and you settle the baby that's one less thing for him to worry about.

Everyone is knackered when there is a new baby in the house, he needs to know you are just as tired as he is and he needs to help.

onceamai Sun 09-Jan-11 08:29:45

If this is the first few weeks and DH is working and you are at home, I'm sorry but I think YABU. Your baby has been close to you, inside you for 9 months. These first weeks are a time for you to utterly and completely bond with your baby. I have nothing against formula but nature designed women to breast feed for this unique relationship to develop.

My DH went to work - I didn't. I did all the night feeds with both children to make sure he slept and could work to his full capacity. And I was the mother and he couldn't possibly do it as well as I could - I was in charge wink.

McGinger Sun 09-Jan-11 08:29:58

Don't, not dot blush

Rowgtfc72 Sun 09-Jan-11 08:35:40

I was reasonably lucky with dd sleeping 7 till 7 after about three weeks.However for those weeks I did the feeds as bf but partner did nappy.Usually about 4am.Our view was ok he had a shift at work to do but I needed sleep too!Even now dd is 3 we still take in turns if shes ill and Im only part time compared to his full time shifts.Feed baby with no fuss or chat and youll both get to sleep sooner we found.Babies are a shared thing !Good luck.

SmethwickBelle Sun 09-Jan-11 08:40:52

I agree with throckenholt I remember sleeping in the evening until midnight and then taking over overnights so DH could sleep for work, so that is a good tip.

It could be a confidence thing - the more time he spends with his baby the better he will get at reading the cues. So he has to keep at it - if not overnights, at the weekends so you can get some sleep in the daytime (and during the day it can be easier to figure out what to do with an awake baby).

It is difficult when you're both knackered and overwhelming - this stage does pass although my youngest is a year old now and I often still curl up in bed at 7pm the minute they're down but that's through choice not exhaustion.

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