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At what age should I have my child overnight?

(42 Posts)
Daddie0 Tue 16-Dec-14 14:21:51

Hi there, would love some advise on my situation...
little about myself and my life...I am a father to 3 children, I have a 6 year old son who stays with me 3 nights a week and a 15 year old son who lives away but stays with me during holidays.

last year I found out I was going to be a dad again from a brief encounter (I know your probably screaming now you really need to keep it in your pants! and your right!) although we both agreed we both didn`t want anything off each other romantically, we talked and I really wanted to be a father to what would be my daughter
we used time before birth to get to know each other a little and most things after the birth in February have been amicable, to begin with I visited few times a week to spend time with my daughter
about 4 months ago she went back to work and we agreed for me to have my daughter two days a week to help out. everything has been going smoothly with that (as smoothly as most parenting a baby does ;)

my daughter is now 9 months and I would like to have her over night, I know she is still young but for me its a big thing in my relationship with my daughter
I understand that its her first child and naturally she will be nervous and I know I cant force the situation
but I do have her 2 days a week (she drops her off at mine in morning at 7 and picks her up at 5 after work) and also about once every few weeks I stay over at hers and do the night feeds and the morning so she can go out

I have tried to talk to her reasonably about it and will do anything that will help the situation. the only reason she has for not letting me is she doesn't feel comfortable yet....which i understand but she seems stuck on the idea that she should stay until after shes a baby perhaps 1 and a half plus? which feels unfair
I don't expect a solution here but would like some parents advise

Phoenixfrights Tue 16-Dec-14 14:24:14

Is your daughter breastfed or bottle?

Daddie0 Tue 16-Dec-14 14:26:10

also I did have my middle son 3 nights a week from when he was 6 months old....obviously its always different with children but I am a good father and have some experience on my side

Daddie0 Tue 16-Dec-14 14:28:43

bottle....she was a difficult child at first with sleeps and her mother has worked hard to get a good routine,which i stick by when I stay over, but nights are reasonably good
one of the things she has brought up is that she doesnt thing she should stay untill she sleep right through without feeds but I feel theres no reason for that?

ilovelamp82 Tue 16-Dec-14 14:29:05

If she stays with you from 7-5 twice a week then I can't assume its an issue because she's breastfed. Is it?

If not, it seems perfectly reasonable that you could have her overnight now.

Do you think that it might be down to the fact that she might recieve less maintenance from you? Just a thought. Sounds like yo u need to have an honest discussion with her. But be sympathetic rather than demanding. It is hard for a mother to be away from her baby. Once it begins, she will be fine.

Cubee Tue 16-Dec-14 14:31:51

I recently separated from my husband. We had a 16 month old daughter together at the time. He lived in the family home with her, cared for her, was around for night times etc. I still didn't feel comfortable with him having her overnight. Which he accepted. She turns 2 in a couple of months and had her first overnight stay with him last week. I am not overprotactive. She is our third child, and he has had the others overnight from day one. But these things shouldn't be rushed. My daughter was a baby. Your daughter is a baby. She needs to feel secure. Give it a few more months, and try not to put pressure on the baby's mother. I understand it would be nice for you, but you have to consider everyone else. Be an adult, wait it out.

ArcheryAnnie Tue 16-Dec-14 14:42:06

What we all think is reasonable isn't really the issue - it's what your DC's mother is comfortable with that matters. And if she isn't happy with it right now, pushing for it won't help.

By "overnight" do you mean "once in a while" or "every week"? Because the first might be a hell of a lot easier to sell as an option than the second.

Daddie0 Tue 16-Dec-14 15:00:16

I certainly dont think its to do with maintenance ilovelamp82 as financially she is in a much better position than me although obviously i pay maintenance

I do understand it must be difficult to be away from her baby though I know there is no easy answer here and each parent will feel differanly I appreciate that all your advise

your right archeryannie I am coming at is as I want a regular weekly overnight stay (it just seemed the right thing as I have her monday and tuesday to push for the monday night) perhaps I should be talking about a possible one off in the future, it is a lot of pressure to put on her

Chunderella Tue 16-Dec-14 16:05:47

She's still very little yet. Some babies would be ok away from the primary carer at this age, others not. Does she still need her mum at night to settle? Does she sleep through? What's the teething situation right now?

waterrat Tue 16-Dec-14 17:30:17

The tricky thing is that if you have her Monday night she won't see her baby for 48 hours? Every week that would be a big deal for any mum - it sounds like you are building a lovely relationship given the circs - why not try to relax and see things as a long game ... You slowly build trust and patience into your relationship with her and in a few years time it really won't matter that it was a few extra months before you had her over night

And jut as a thought - what about starting with a different night than the Monday - so she doesn't go so long without seeing her

MerryMarigold Tue 16-Dec-14 17:36:31

Perhaps if she works, and doesn't see her much in the night, those times are precious to her. It's all I can think of as she obviously trusts you with her dd to have her the 2 days per week.

I would let it lie. It sounds to me like you spend a lot of quality (awake) time with your dd anyway, so I don't really see what a night would add, apart from straining the relationship with your dd's mum. If I were you, I would leave it for the moment and go there again when she is older.

MerryMarigold Tue 16-Dec-14 17:37:24

I meant if she doesn't see her much in the day, then the night times are precious. Bed time routine, snuggles and waking up. All that is precious if she doesn't see her during the day.

Chunderella Tue 16-Dec-14 17:37:30

Yes that's true. I wonder if it would be best to go for something like Thursday or Friday evening for a bit, rather than an overnight? At the moment your contact is squished into the start of the week. DD is going for 5 days without seeing you, which is a lot. Little and often can work best for babies.

Daddie0 Tue 16-Dec-14 17:37:53

this is true she is only a baby
but I do stay over and do the nights at hers every few weeks....admittedly usually she does the putting down herself by time I have come round after work but I stay in my daughters room and do all the night feeds on my own and the morning and theres no difference she sleeps well
also I make sure I put her down in her cot at mine for each sleep when I have her in the day to make sure he is comfortable with sleeping at mine

Daddie0 Tue 16-Dec-14 17:42:12

you have got good points maybe I have made it a bit of a issue and I do get 2 days a week with her which is a lot for my position
probably its because I did have my son 3 nights a week from start and how much that helped or connection and bond but I guess each scenario is different and I should relax thanks smile

Daddie0 Tue 16-Dec-14 17:49:04

also I hadn't thought about how much time that would take my daughter away from her mum in one chunk...thats something i need to take into consideration

pinkbear82 Tue 16-Dec-14 17:51:45

It will come. The fact you have your dd so much, and show willing with the routine, in my eyes will help eventually.

I split from my dd's dad in March. He makes time for dd for two hours a week, as long as nothing else is on. He hasn't got a car seat for her (I don't drive) he has moved in with the ow, and they have made the spare room a room for his other children (not mine) but no allowances for dd, who is 18 months. He has no idea of her routine and doesn't pay anything towards dd. Oddly, when he comes up with saying he wants dd over night, I don't feel inclined to make that happen, yet. I know it will, but he has a lot to improve on first.

Whatevertheweather Tue 16-Dec-14 17:52:22

Actually I think you sound lovely and considerate. Yes it would mean mum not seeing her for a chunk which would be hard but then at present you are not seeing her for 5 days which is also unfair on you. I don't think you'd be unreasonable to push for 1 overnight a week. I applaud you for trying to ensure you build up a good relationship and take responsibility for your daughter

diddlediddledumpling Tue 16-Dec-14 18:06:44

i agree that being patient and continuing to build trust will pay off in the end. i also think that suggesting a weekly night is too much too soon, at this stage. i know you have lots of experience and ive no doubt your dd would be well looked after. its more about her mother, who perhaps since dd's birth has never had the experience of waking up in the morning to an empty house. i definitely found that an unsettling feeling the first time it happened.
i would suggest asking as a one-off, for now, and see how that goes down with dd's mum. I would also suggest you do it on a weekend, and bring her back quite early (unless her mum likes the idea of a lie-in!).
good luck.

Wait4nothing Tue 16-Dec-14 18:20:10

Maybe try suggesting staying over as an alternative on one of the nights you would normally look after her in her mums house. Just as a one-off/trial and be very accommodating about pick ups and drop offs. Good luck, you sound like a very caring dad

WhyOWhyWouldYou Tue 16-Dec-14 18:25:53

I think you'd stand the best chance of it happening if you ask for the next night that you would have stayed at hers to look after DD, to be at yours, with you returning her as early as the mother wants - its not such a big step then.

Also when DS was 9months I couldn't have spent from the morning one day, to the evening the next away from him. Its too big a chunk.

MinceSpy Tue 16-Dec-14 18:29:35

As DD isn't breastfed now is an excellent time to start overnights.

MerryMarigold Tue 16-Dec-14 19:12:04

Is your dd's Mum working every day? Maybe a weekend night would be good so she could go out? As a one off for a start?

BertieBotts Tue 16-Dec-14 19:25:19

I agree perhaps see about having her on a Thursday or Friday night, just teatime to lunchtime perhaps? Or you could drop her off at childcare. If you do it on the Friday then Mum gets a chance to go out with her work friends occasionally too, which she might appreciate. I agree little and often is better than seeing her in one big chunk only once a week.

What about suggesting a trial run and see how it goes and if it goes well maybe begin with once a month/every other week and over time you could add another overnight, perhaps to extend that Mon-Tue, or just to make it a bit more regular.

WhyYouGottaBeSoRude Tue 16-Dec-14 19:31:15

You are having her two full days a week and doing over nights in her own house, you know her routine etc so i see no reason why her staying overnight at yours would pose a problem for the baby. The mother mightnt be ready but there are two parents whose wishes should be considered and there is no risk to the baby by what you are proposing.

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