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Getting partners to be more effective at baby stuff

(12 Posts)
DesertDweller Sat 30-Aug-14 18:08:31

I've been doing the bedtime routine for my 2month old since birth, along with all the night feeds. It's still not perfect and though once he's down he sleeps for five hours before waking up for a night feed, the actual getting him settled at around 8ish takes time; rocking, dark room, dummy, swaddling, and I usually stay with him for up to an hour until he nods off. Sometimes it only takes ten minutes. I just never know so go with the flow. It's our first so still quite a novice. The thing is I'd quite like my husband to start doing an evening settling now and then and then perhaps build up to a night feed too, so I can sleep through once in a while. But to be honest, he's still barely able to sooth the baby if he fusses a bit in the day. He gets quite wound up, and any screaming soon really winds him up. I end up just doing it myself to avoid him getting into a mood. The one time he tried he was in the bedroom three hours and still no sleepy baby and I had to eventually go in, managed to settle the baby quite quickly, but husband was fuming by this point. I know he hasn't really fully bonded yet, which I know takes time, but I guess I'm just asking what tips you can share for getting dads up to speed a bit more? I wonder if I'm being a bit too 'easy' on him by not just throwing him in the deep end with the baby more? He works so has seen the baby far less of course.

KatyN Sat 30-Aug-14 19:08:18

I assume your baby isn't bf ?
Mine wasn't so from day 1 my dh used to do one night a week. He used to do Friday so if it was dreadful he had Saturday to catch up and have a Ealing Sunday.
I think the easiest way is to give him space. Leave the house with hi and the baby. They will survive and there will not be the option of deferring to you. It will also mean that you won't see him doing something 'wrong' and ' help'!!

Ask him if you could go for a coffee on your own one day when he's not working. Make sure he's armed with techniques to settle the baby, but don't micromanage.

Suggest you'd like to work up for a night off.


DesertDweller Sat 30-Aug-14 19:28:54

Baby is BF, but with a mix of expressed bottle feeding and breast, just to make life a bit easier with me taking him out (don't like bf in public as he is wriggly and a bit of a mucking about eater). Yes, I think I'm guilty of stepping in too much, because it's 'easier'. But am making rod for my own back by doing so. I've just said to him I'd like him to attempt one evening feed to sleep. I think I'm going to have to go out though, to avoid witnessing the tantrums (his) !!

DesertDweller Sat 30-Aug-14 19:30:17

To be fair he said yes of course he will do it... Hmmm! I will have to plan a night out now! (First world problems)

addictedtosugar Sat 30-Aug-14 19:34:28

I'd start off small.
So maybe go out for an hour one weekend morning - coffee? Gym? You can feed baby before you go out, leave an emergency bottle incase its needed, and leave them be when food might not be required.

When he gets used to that, you can start going out for longer, or at a planned time: haircut, pedicure sort of thing.

Don't underestimate the effect of missing an evening feed will have on your boobs: the first couple of times DS slept through a feed, I woke up about an hour later with rock hard boobs.

DesertDweller Sat 30-Aug-14 19:57:39

Yes, I've already had a couple of those nights as have missed a few feeds by giving expressed as was having some wine. Like a porn star. Not in a good way. I've left him with the baby for an hour or so before, but he still seems to get stressed and hasn't figured out his own way of 'whispering' the baby iyswim. He's not the most tactile of people anyway... I hope I'm not making him sound like an utter dick, as he is lovely really, just struggling with this, and I don't want to stress him out more by pumping and running! I'll do an evening this week, but ill stay home in the other room with headphones on... Just in case!

DoYouThinkSheSawUs Sat 30-Aug-14 20:04:48

My 2 babies are/were breastfed and would just not be soothed by dp however hard he tried until about 8 months old .... I think sometimes they just want mum at bedtime. Daytime they were happy with him, but not for sleeping!

workingtitle Sat 30-Aug-14 20:10:03

I understand - to start with DH found it hard to have the patience with things like a long evening settling. He also tried to 'understand' DS's moods, when DS was just being a newborn, no more no less. He found things far, far easier from when DS was about 12 weeks (and is just the most amazing dad now). I might start with daytime settling/decent time alone together in the day, and build on that. Would he wear your baby in a sling? This helped DH I'm sure. He used to potter around the house with DS in a sling.

addictedtosugar Sat 30-Aug-14 20:13:30

Honestly, you'd be better out of the house.
Even if just next door with a neighbour. Go somewhere close by, with your mobile. If your in the house, its just too easy to jump in too soon.

At 2 months, to have left him several times, I'd say your doing really well at getting out.

notadoctor Sat 30-Aug-14 20:18:29

My DS (5mo) is EBF and won't be settled by DH in the evenings yet. He's our second and DD (2.8yo) was similar. Her and her DH are incredibly close now so firstly I wanted to say don't worry too much about them not bonding, I'm sure they will in their own time. I think my advice would actually be not to throw your DH in at the deep end but to go gradually to build his confidence. Could you develop a routine where you both spend time with your LO in the evening - he do a fun splashy bath and then maybe a nice baby massage while you have a cup of tea and some time to yourself and then you take over for the actual bedtime settling? And then eventually when both DH and DS feel ready you don't come up and take over but leave them to it instead?

DesertDweller Sat 30-Aug-14 20:55:01

The baby is usually at his most chilled and easy in the mornings, so maybe I'll start by doing a coffee or pedi then for an hour or two, long enough for him to need a change or a feed... But without being likely to get into a fuss. I know how hard it must be for him doing the whole 'fake it til you make it' before he is fully bonded with the baby, especially when the baby cries as DH is super sensitive to certain sounds anyway and of course a baby crying is no fun to anyone, but for him it's extremely stressful to the point where he is almost in tears with the 'pitch' of it.... And in the evening I will start by maybe doing the massage routine as Notadoctor suggests, thank you.... Kind of glad it's not just me with this kind of situation... I was thinking it might be my fault somehow, but I guess tiny babies are still super bonded to their mums over anyone else, lucky us!

workingtitle Sat 30-Aug-14 20:59:20

They are! But it lwill get easier, sooner than you imagine smile

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