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Another one of those "Am I being unreasonable or is DH?" threads....

(12 Posts)
BashfulSleepyHappy Sun 12-Oct-08 21:11:54

Our DD1 was a brilliant sleeper, slept through from an early age, though she could be quite hard to settle when she went to bed. She cried and cried when we put her to bed, but we used to play soothing music and pat her gently until she went to sleep. She did go to sleep crying, but we were there with her trying to comfort her.

Now we have a 7mo DD2. She's not a great sleeper and still wakes once or twice a night to feed, but I just plop her on the boob next to me and go back to sleep, and then roll her onto the other side, then back into her bed (she sleeps sidecar) when she's done. Annoying, but not the end of the world.

At bed time, I breast feed her, then top her up with a bottle, and she usually falls asleep during this feed, so she's mostly pretty easy to get to sleep. Some nights, however, if she's not quite tired enough, it's quite a mission to get her to sleep. She cries if we just leave her to fall asleep on her own, patting doesn't help, PUPD doesn't work, even holding her and rocking doesn't work. She just needs to play and cry for a bit until she's more tired, then I put her back on the breast and she goes to sleep. But it can be over an hour past her bedtime and very disruptive.

Now DH and I have been arguing this evening. He says we should just leave her howling to cry herself to sleep. He says she's just playing with us cos she stops crying when we go in to her. I say that's cruel! She cries because she's alone in the dark, and stops crying when we go her because she was crying for us to keep her company and cuddle her. It's hardly 'playing' for a baby to want love and attention.

He says that unless we ignore her crying and teach her to settle herself, we'll always struggle to get her to sleep. And he thinks she'll sleep better through the night as well. I've tried comforting her back to sleep when she wakes in the night (which worked with DD1), but she genuinely is hungry and won't settle without a feed.

DH seems to have forgotten how we got DD1 to sleep, and thinks we left her to howl. I don't think we ever did, and can't imagine myself being so cruel.

So the question is, is he being unreasonable wanting to leave her to cry, or am I being a big softie always giving her the breast when she cries at bedtime and at night, and making a rod for my own back later on?

falcon Sun 12-Oct-08 21:16:39

YANBU.He is, for heavens sake she's only a 7 month old baby. I hate the idea of cio anyway but the thought of leaving such a young baby to cry makes me feel ill.

I wouldn't expect a 7 month old to sleep through the night, they have such tiny stomachs, now some may but it certainly isn't standard.

hotbot Sun 12-Oct-08 21:21:45

reckon you were rally lucky with no1.. its not him being "inconvenienced" is it, stick to your instincts and ignore him.. or better yet dont make him any tea / drinks and see how he likes it

BashfulSleepyHappy Sun 12-Oct-08 21:25:31

We know we were very lucky with DD1, and I didn't expect to be so lucky again - I was right!! We're both just absolutely exhausted so tempers are a bit frayed. I've been known to scream "just shut up just shut up just SHUT UP!" at her during an afternoon crying jag. Not pretty, and definitely not productive. But sleep deprivation does nasty things to people.

DH is a lovely man otherwise... he (like me!) just wants a nice peaceful evening and a full night's sleep, and thinks this might be the way to get it. He just happens to be wrong! smile

Elasticwoman Sun 12-Oct-08 21:27:33

Call me old-fashioned, call me sexist, but your dh should butt out. OK let him give his opinion once, but you are this baby's mother and it's up to you how to deal.

Men should know their limitations. His role is to support you, not to make the mothering decisions.

You can tell him I said this too.

hotbot Sun 12-Oct-08 21:37:57

i reckon we have all at one time or another behaved like that when exhausted, i think men dont realise the pull that our babies have on us.... wasnt being funny about you being lucky with no1 btw, just trying to say in my stupid way that no 2 are the same, but i reckon you both know that now right ! grin

itgetseasier Sun 12-Oct-08 21:39:38

You will have years and years of peace a head when your kids are older. Ejoy her while she ia a

wehaveallbeenthere Sun 12-Oct-08 21:41:49

Only you know what your DH is like and why...and sometimes they only let you guess. Maybe he is missing you and your alone time because of the experience with the first?
Try tiring out your LO and getting some fresh air before a bath and bedtime. Try a schedule of this...I know it's tough but she is still little so it should get easier. Hopefully, this will be less crying and you and your DH will find a middle ground. It doesn't sit well with you arguing, the baby will pick up on this disagreement.
Women actually become more attuned to their babies while men actually become more attuned to wanting more sexual attention from their wives. Nature has done this.
Try giving your DH a little more attention and perhaps that will help with him seeing things your way. Hopefully, you can get some sleep in there for yourself too. You have the toughest job of all trying to please everyone.

exasperatedmummy Sun 12-Oct-08 22:02:26

I hate "controlled crying". I mean, we live in a society where it is (probably correctly to be fair) frowned upon to give a child a tap on the back of the legs for something major but we are encouraged to leave babies to sob themselves to sleep hmm. I know that some babies grizzle and grump themselves off to sleep but to just leave a child to cry, imo is cruel. We have a real problem sleeper and she is three now - would i do CC, nup, no way.

bloss Sun 12-Oct-08 22:18:47

Message withdrawn

BashfulSleepyHappy Sun 12-Oct-08 22:25:56

Thanks for all your help ladies. DH and I never usually argue, he generally just goes with what I want grin so when he pushed his case this time I thought it best to run it by the wise MN jury. Now I can tell him that I'm right cos MN said so. And how can he argue with that!?

BTW, he's tired because he stays up too late. I'm tired because I'm feeding DD2 a couple of times a night. He does wake up briefly when she cries, but he can just roll over and go straight back to sleep, while I have to actually feed her (though I do it dozing). Sadly that won't change until I stop bfing her, or his moobs get big enough for him to bf her too!!

hellymelly Sun 12-Oct-08 22:31:03

My baby still wakes a lot for feeds at 17m,would I do cc? No.i think its horrible and cruel.Yes I am beyond tired but I have an older daughter who was the same and I know that eventually it will change.I have the baby next to me in bed and that helps make it easier.I know my baby is just feeding as a comforting way to get back to sleep when something (teeth,dreams)has made her wake,but is that so unreasonable? She is a baby,babies wake and want their mummies,that is what babies do.I think leaving a baby to cry somehow damages the trust they have in you.And it must be horrendous for you to listen to.

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