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Sleeping arrangements with new baby(334 Posts)
NC as DSis is on here and DH knows I post.
We are expecting our first DC any day now, currently 40 weeks. DH will be taking paternity leave for 2 weeks and then going back to FT work, fairly stressful job and he's currently out of the house approx 8am-7pm.
He has said that after paternity leave has finished, he'll "have to" sleep in the spare room as he won't be able to function at work with such broken/lack of sleep. He moans now about being knackered with 7+ or 8 hours sleep while I'm getting sod all sleep as am so uncomfortable
I think that is slightly unreasonable as I'll be knackered too and it's our first baby - also neither of us know quite what to expect yet and how well DC will sleep etc. So I don't feel like we can plan that far ahead yet, whereas he seems to have it in his head that this is what is going to happen.
How do others deal with night times when their DP goes back to work? Some people i know do "shifts" but DH said he couldn't do his job properly if we did this.
I am planning on EBF (so it would be a case of me feeding and him doing nappy changes I guess) and he is generally great, absolutely pulls his weight and will be a good dad so it's definitely not a "why are you having a baby with him"/LTB situation!
His plan is sensible tbh. He can't feed the baby which is what the majority of night wakings are for.
I think you should compromise, weekends he's in with you and weeknights he sleeps in the spare room. You and baby can sleep in the day whereas he can't. Broken sleep is hell and if one of you is well rested it does help.
Dh and I did shifts at weekends, I'd go to bed about 8 and sleep til midnight, then we'd swap as I EBF.
Your newborn won't sleep through at 2 weeks. They aren't designed to!
I EBF and co slept, my DH, similar work situation as yours, slept in the spare room.
The baby used to go into a deep sleep around 5am and when we slept in the same bed, my DH would disturb me by getting up etc.
I've never seen the point in both parents having broken sleep.
I used to nap during the day with the baby.
I think as you will be awake in the night anyways, then having him awake too to do nappies is a bit pointless. No point both of you having broken sleep. And I don't think it's daft for him to sleep in the spare on the nights he is working the following day.
I would expect him to get up after the first early morning feed (6/7am) with the baby and do a nappy change and let them play on the playmate in the living room while they potter on getting ready to leave for work. You stay in bed for this. He can then pop the baby back into bed before he leaves for work. Similarly on a weekend, if he is having full nights sleep then he takes baby from that early feed and has them downstairs until they need their next feed so you can lay in.
We switched to bottle feeding very early on, and then Friday night's became dh responsibility. 6pm Friday I clocked off and he did all wakings, feeds, nappies til about 11am Saturday am. God that one night interrupted was amazing.
We've all said the "he's a good dad" line but are they really if they don't see the effect their actions have on their partner?
Dh and I did shifts despite dh going to work. He usually had the least sleep to be fair to him.
You need to sit your dp down and tell him that taking care of the baby day and night is not just your responsibility and he needs to take 50% just as you do. If he maintains his spare room sleeping arrangement then I don't think I could cope with the frustration at him and a new baby. It will cause a lot of animosity between you
If he works Monday to Friday he gets to sleep 7 core hours in spare room Sunday to Thursday and he does Friday and Saturday night without moaning. Also he takes over from you as soon as he gets home after work so you can grab some early evening sleep before your nightshifts
Most of MN think that if the woman is BF that absolves the father of any night time help and their partner should be left to sleep undisturbed for 12 hours because God Forbid he has to go to work tired.
At lot of men seem to have jobs that they say they couldn’t perform properly or couldn’t do safely if they don’t get a full night’s sleep...
I am not of this belief though and thankfully neither was my DH who was bloody brilliant. He told me we were in it together and he wouldn’t have dreamt of disappearing off to the spare room and leaving me to manage alone every night.
Congratulations on your pregnancy
To be honest OP I don't think it's entirely unreasonable of him, especially if you're planning on EBF. Nappy changes only take a few minutes so if you're awake you may as well be doing them. My DP slept in the spare room the first couple of weeks back during the week and was obviously in our room at weekends. I found it much better because he was able to take over/give me a lie in at weekends as he wasn't also totally knackered.
That's all assuming you have a fairly straightforward time, of course. If you find you're really struggling then it's a different matter.
Those first few weeks are crazy, but they don't last forever. I wasn't happy when DP was in the spare room as was obviously used to having him around, but it went quickly and as soon as DD was in a decentish routine with sleep then he was back with us.
Make sure he does as much as possible before going back to work though - you need the chance to recover.
Congratulations on your imminent new arrival
I'm 37 weeks and plan to EBF, we have decided that when dh goes back to work he will stay in the spare room and move back in with us Friday and Saturday.
I'd rather that than he have an accident falling asleep at the wheel etc.
Spare room Monday to Friday and gives you a block(s) of undisturbed sleep on the weekend. If you do start expressing after a few weeks, he can do an entire weekend night and you get a full night- bliss! Agree, I’ve never seen the point in both parents being shattered. He will need to step up with housework etc in the evenings though if he doesn’t already. It’s amazing how little you get done while looking after such a tiny little thing!
If you have a second and EBF then this all changes and he’ll need to be doing any overnights with your eldest while you have baby....so he needs at least a BIT of practice at functioning on less sleep than he is used to!
I think that only a selfish dickhead who doesn't really love his partner or child would expect to have unbroken sleep while you get none.
My dp, like millions of others, both worked and did a share of night waking.
I discussed this much earlier and wouldn't have conceived with someone who thought this was okay. It's dangerous to look after a newborn when you've been woken every 2 hours for days. He needs to help at night. It isn't all about feeding. Sometimes, especially when BF, I feel like the baby isn't really hungry and is too tired to feed properly, but when mum holds them they can smell the milk and it frustrates them and you go through this cycle of them sort of latching but not quite. Those times I've found someone else is better at settling them. Someone not milky. Plus although housework isn't a priority, I like hubby (and he appreciates) not coming home to a tip and maybe some beans on toast on the table for tea. That's not happening if I do all night feeds.
Me? I'd ask him if he's serious about this because if so, he needs to move out so I can male better arrangements.
My DH snores though...so I was quite happy to have him out the room for a bit as if it wasn’t baby waking me up it was him!
Thanks for thoughts so far. I'm not sure if either of us are being unreasonable - I don't see though how we can plan for something we have literally no experience with or any idea how well each of us will be coping physically/mentally at the time.
Good suggestions r.e. him taking DC for a bit before work.
And just to say Your newborn won't sleep through at 2 weeks. They aren't designed to! - I know - and totally wouldn't be expecting this!! I'm aware they feed aaaallll the time.
My DH slept in the spare room some week nights.
But I'd go to bed very early and he'd keep DC unless they needed a feed so I got a few hours then.
Also weekends he'd take them early so I could have a lay in.
When you're EBF it's the mum who has to be awake anyway. And having the bed to yourself makes feeding easier.
That's fine he wants to sleep all night alone - but he's going to do all the washing/hoovering and cooking for you right, leave you lunch in the fridge and pay for a cleaner since you're going to have to conserve your energy to look after your newborn safely, right?
A selfish dickhead who doesn't really love his partner or child
Doubled my rights there, it's too early
DP stayed in the same room as us but I'd take baby into the spare room for night feeds and nappy changes.
He would do nappy changes at weekends (through the night obviously).
But that worked for us. There was absolutely no point in us both being awake.
*I'm 37 weeks and plan to EBF, we have decided that when dh goes back to work he will stay in the spare room and move back in with us Friday and Saturday.
I'd rather that than he have an accident falling asleep at the wheel etc.*
Of course a totally exhausted mother who has been up for days on end could also fall asleep at the wheel....
To be honest I think he's being unrealistic and needs to wait until baby is born before deciding how much you'll need help during the night.
It's unreasonable for him to opt out of all nights. Worse is the huge red flag that baby's not even here yet and all he can talk about is prioritising himself
During the week you can make sure baby is fed then hand to DH at 7pm, he keeps him for 3 hours or however long you're comfortable leaving between feeds, maybe give a bottle or expressed bottle if you're able, to extend that time to 6 hours. That's time for you to get a block of sleep. So DH will be responsible for his child from 7pm - 10pm or 7pm - 1am max.
That tag teaming type approach is totally normal. Don't believe anyone who claims otherwise. It's 2019 not 1959.
I encourage you to train your DH in use of a sling and microwave so he can get his own bloody dinner as well (if you're the one who cooks at the moment).
Babies are demanding but martyrdom is optional
BF both children, next to bed kept a bag with all nappies etc, baby either co slept or was in Chico next to me , I never needed to get out of bed, lamp on , quick change of baby, fed baby then back to sleep
If you are breastfeeding there is no reason for husband to help you are awake anyway and to be honest baby settles better with mum anyway in those early days. No point in having him shattered too, let him sleep in separate room then when he comes home from work he can take over and you go and get a few hours uninterrupted sleep. If you bottle feed then maybe yeah he could do some night feeds to help out.
I'm also a FTM due in the couple of weeks.
A fair few people I've spoken to said they started sleeping in separate rooms before the baby even arrived so that their husband could get a good nights sleep. So I suppose if he occasionally feels like he really needs it the odd night in the spare room is only fair.
However I'm not keen on the idea of sleeping in separate rooms every night. So the is plan to set a silent alarm on my smart watch to wake me up for feeds without waking my husband up. We've invested in a bedside nightlight so I can see without having to turn the lamp on.
After the first few weeks I'm hoping to do the last evening feed as bottled breast milk, so I can go bed early and my husband can do that feed before he goes to bed. Letting me have (fingers crossed) one longer stint of sleep each evening.
Obviously I've never been through having a newborn before so this plan may go completely out of the window. But I have friends who've managed to worked it this way.
With my first we all slept it in the same room but I was the only one getting up because I was ebf and to be honest my view was that during the week DH needed sleep to go to work whereas I could manage with less.
I’m having my second now and plan to sleep separately to DH for the first few weeks as DH was still woken by our DD even if he wasn’t getting up and it doesn’t make sense to me for us both to be knackered. I’ll expect that DH stays up with the baby until 11pm if needed while I can go to sleep earlier to catch up a bit. I know that I’ll find it easier not having DH in the room as I won’t be conscious of waking him up.
My husband slept downstairs on the put you up, the baby slept on me all night feeding. There was no way I’d have coped with him in bed as well. I was hot and bothered, up and down. Just wanted my space. It was something we discussed would probably need to happen for him to function professionally (plus I didn’t want him driving long distances exhausted). the first 2-3 months are hard going. HOWEVER, what he did do which was invaluable, was come home from work, take the baby and let me sleep till 10:30pm (give or take) the he brought her up to me for the night. When we switched to bottles he came back in and she went in a cot beside me. If she had a bad night waking he’d occasionally have to pop to the sofa for a few hours kip, but generally it was ok.