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To ask what is fair here re: night waking

(33 Posts)
Leonas Thu 17-Nov-16 10:17:36

For context: 2 dds, I am currently on mat leave with dd2 (6m). DP works full time (mon-fri 9-5) and extra freelance work evenings and some weekends.
DD1 (3) has been getting up and coming into our bed for the last fortnight or so and, for an easy life, we have let her (I know, rookie mistake and we should never have let it happen regularly). She is a restless sleeper, thrashing around and talking in her sleep, plus we only have a double bed and we are, ahem, not the smallest of people, so it got to the point that nobody was getting a good sleep. Added to that is dd2, who is very clingy just now and was only sleeping if she was in with me too - 4 in the bed, flailing toddler, snoring baby, eurgh!
So, we agreed that we would have to get dd1 back to her own bed and would just keep taking her back through to her room and settling her if she got up through the night. I also made some changes to the cot and routine etc to get dd2 out of our bed too.
Night 1 of new regime - dp went to bed first, I came up to find dd1 snoring away in our bed. I lifted her back to her own bed (he muttered an apology) and got her settled. She got up another 3 times through the night and each time I took her through and got her back to sleep (eventually). Thankfully dd2 slept pretty well in her cot.
Night 2 (last night) - dd2 has a cold, sleeping is awful so ended up in with me. DD1 got up twice, second time DD1 was already awake for a feed so I ended up with both of them in dd1's bed (a single) trying to get at least some sleep.
Still with me??
My question is, if I am off work just now, should it be me doing all of the nighttime shenanigans? Should I leave dp to sleep because he has to get up for work or should I expect him to take a turn too?

spacefrog35 Thu 17-Nov-16 10:20:44

Most people seem to think that the night wakings should be shared. Personally I think you need to go with what works for you. I do most of ours as I feel that I have more opportunity to nap during the day than husband does (I'm on maternity leave he is out of the house 13 hours a day). Once I'm back at work then we will need to share more. If it's not working for you at the moment though then something needs to change.

PeachBellini123 Thu 17-Nov-16 10:21:38

I do your OH should be helping as well. Have you discussed what will happen when you go back to work? You both need to be on the same page with returning her to her bed otherwise nothing will change if she can 'get away with it' with dad.

You need your sleep as well - looking after kids and sleep deprivation isn't good!

EmzDisco Thu 17-Nov-16 10:22:36

I think it depends on what works for you both, are you coping ok? Or are you feeling exhausted/struggling/unwell? What's your DPs job like? Is it practical for your DP to work on broken sleep? Or can DP do weekends so you get a rest then?

I think the key thing is communication and trying to make sure everyone's needs are met, as much as possible.

Sparlklesilverglitter Thu 17-Nov-16 10:24:28

I am on maternity leave at the moment , DH works. Our DD is a few months old and is mix fed.

DH always does Friday/Saturday night and he does sometimes get up in the week if he hears her crying and I'm sleeping well.
I wouldn't expect DH to get up every night as he does have work the following day and I do the same job as him so I know how stressful it can be. I can also nap in the day with DD, DH can't do that at work

EatTheCake Thu 17-Nov-16 10:27:29

There is no right or wrong reply to this. You need to find a balance that works for you

My youngest is 8 months now and when I was on maternity leave DH did nights with the baby on the weekends and I did in the week as I could nap in the day.
Now we are both working full time and we do 2 nights with baby then swap for 2 nights

GoofyTheHero Thu 17-Nov-16 10:33:45

I have 2 DD's, just 3 and 16 months. Both (until very recently!) were awful sleepers. In the beginning I did all DD2's wakings as she was BF while DH dealt with DD1. Once no longer BF-ing we split wakings maybe 70:30 (me doing more). DD2 now sleeps through and DD1 is up a couple of times a week, and DH does all night wakings now as he finds it easier to get back to sleep!
For context, I'm a SAHM and DH is out the house 12 hours a day (some overnight trips). I didn't get to nap during the day due to toddler, so it made sense to share wakings. I don't get the approach that the one at home should do all night wakings... I still have two young children to entertain all day, still have to drive places, and don't get any opportunity to rest/sleep!

Leonas Thu 17-Nov-16 19:54:53

Thank you all for your replies. I realise that there is no 'right' answer to this but I just wondered if I was being unfair to ask dp to deal with DD1 from time to time to give me a break. I am finding the lack of sleep quite hard now and, due to his work/ other commitments, I am on my own with the kids the vast majority of the time. I go back to work in 2 months and if I don't have night times sorted by then I am going to NEED his help - we do the same job, albeit with him in a more senior role

JustMarriedBecca Thu 17-Nov-16 20:59:33

Difficult. I have a 2 year DD and a month old DS. Whilst it's easy to say 'I can nap during the day' it's not possible with a non napping toddler and I think you need to be as rested unless he's a barrister and in the middle of a major trial or a surgeon who needs to have steady hands!

With our first DD, I did most of the night wakings because I could nap during the day. Now I have DD to be responsible for we share night wakings. DS is EBF so I do the feeding and winding and changing and DH does the settling and bouncing if it's required.

Gatehouse77 Thu 17-Nov-16 21:15:15

I did night wakings as DH had to be up and awake enough to drive and do a day's work. I, however, could catch a nap when they did. But, DH would then take over when he got home to do bath time, etc. so I would get a 'break'.
There was no expectation of a spick and span home to come to or even, necessarily, an evening meal.

Gatehouse77 Thu 17-Nov-16 21:16:40

DH usually did weekends though.

Nicketynac Thu 17-Nov-16 21:19:25

I am on mat leave and doing all the baby night time stuff but DS had some restless nights after starting school this year and DH dealt with him although we have a spare room which made it easier.

Joinourclub Thu 17-Nov-16 21:25:46

I have similar aged children and my baby does not sleep for more than 2 hours. I see night time as my responsibility up to a point. Ideally a 6 month old would be waking once or maybe twice and I would happily deal with that, but when it gets tougher I need support. I do as much as I can but sometimes I am just too exhausted and my husband has to step in. No one can cope with night after night month after month of very little sleep. So yes, he should get up once maybe to help to yon a tough night.

Feckerlino Thu 17-Nov-16 21:25:52

I'm probably in the minority here, but I'm very strongly of the opinion that the person who works needs to sleep. I had 15 months on mat leave and bar when I was ill, i did all the night wakenings because DH had a stessful job and needed his sleep.

However, it worked for us because I can function on minimal sleep, whereas DH needs 8 hours. Not everyone is the same!

onedayimightforget Thu 17-Nov-16 21:39:36

My DH has always said that it's more important for me to get more sleep than him, that what I am responsible for in the day is more important than what he is responsible for (he's not a doctor or anything!) Since we've had DD2 she is EBF and co-sleeps which is working for us so I wake up with her and DH wakes up with DD1. It's like we each assume responsibility for a child!

user1470997562 Thu 17-Nov-16 21:54:45

Depends on what dh is doing. If he's driving for a long time or in a safety critical type job, or needs to "perform" at work - I think he should take his turn at weekends. If he were working a short stroll down the road, crunching some numbers quietly in a corner, he could take the odd turn in the week.

But certainly with small babies I'm all for dh feeding them at 11pm with a bottle whilst I go to bed at 9pm. Or if he's getting up at 6am, he could do the first feed and put breakfast out whilst I lay in until he leaves.

BarryTheKestrel Thu 17-Nov-16 22:04:47

Pretty much from day 1 we have done alternate nights, or in the very early days alternate feeds. DD was formula fed so easy to do for us and no matter how tired I am I can't nap in the day and due to medical issues it's unsafe for me to be very tired as it exacerbates the issue.
We agreed that doing one night each in turns meant neither one of us were sleep deprived for more than 24 hours. We had the spare room to retreat to if DD was particularly unsettled or noisy and disrupting the other.

I think in your situation your DH needs to be helping with putting DD1 back to bed, especially given the example you've given where you weren't aware of her being in your bed until after the fact and he hadn't attempted to return her.

GoofyTheHero Fri 18-Nov-16 07:07:39

I'm probably in the minority here, but I'm very strongly of the opinion that the person who works needs to sleep

Fab in theory. If I had done every night waking for my 2 I genuinely think I'd have had a breakdown/been seriously ill. When DD2 was 3 months old she was waking 4-5 times a night for a BF and DD1 (not yet 2) was up 3-4 times a night with night terrors. This went on for a couple of months.

43percentburnt Fri 18-Nov-16 07:15:28

How do working single mums manage with nightwakings? Of course he should take a turn!

43percentburnt Fri 18-Nov-16 07:16:42

Or working couples? Do neither get up because they have to drive tomorrow?

MrsBobDylan Fri 18-Nov-16 07:20:53

We've done night-time wakings with bells on. We shared right from the off when it was just one baby waking several times a night, to 3 dc waking multiple times and one only sleeping for 4 hours a night.

We're in it together, we got up turn by turn, and then in later years, assigned ourselves a child each and shared the 3rd!

DH still has his job, I have mine and nobody got hurt. We also do all the other stuff as a team and still like/love each other so it's worked for us.

I couldn't have shouldered the main burden over a long period and not become a martyr to myself.

Hellmouth Fri 18-Nov-16 07:21:42

I do all the night time stuff with our DS, who is 4 months old, as DP has a nearly 2 hour drive to work. I'd rather be exhausted than him being exhausted, and crash! If your DP is a driver, I'd say you should be taking the lionshare of the work.

Hellmouth Fri 18-Nov-16 07:22:48

Just to add, when I go back to work, the arrangement will probably continue as I commute by train and can always nap then :D

Frouby Fri 18-Nov-16 07:28:00

He should be helping out.

What worked for us would be I do all the get ups until about 5am when ds used to be up for the day. Dp would then bring him downstairs so I could grab an extra hour or hour and a half before he left for work.

We also share lie ins 50:50.

And my dp leaves the house pretty early and is a builder so in a physical job.

TotalConfucius Fri 18-Nov-16 07:34:34

My DH worked in an environment involving public safety so we always felt he should get decent rest the night before shifts.
But, DH always did a full overnight at the weekend, and that included breakfast duty too.
When things were really bad, he'd try to get a Thursday morning off, I would go to bed about 8pm on Weds, he would cover till about 3am. We felt that the 6 HR stretch of unbroken sleep was important.
There were times when he'd get in from work at 6.30, I'd be in bed by 7pm. We just muddled through.
When it just got too soul destroying (and by god it did), we bought a cheap double mattress and a secondhand bed frame, cut the legs right down so it was very low in case of roll-outs and put it in the dcs room, so that if one of us had to go in with them, at least there was a decent size bed in there.

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