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How much does your DH/DP do with your baby?(34 Posts)
First time Mum here, 37 weeks today and eagerly anticipating the birth of my baby boy.
DH and I have talked about his expectations of me whilst on mat leave and how he can pitch in when baby arrives. He seems very clear on giving me some time when he gets in from work (usually around 5.15pm) looking after baby so I can shower or get the house sorted. He also wants to do the bath/bed routine so he can spend time with him, then feed him an expressed or formula bottle as his last feed to allow me to get some sleep.
This all sounds great, but I wonder if this is realistic once baby gets here? He's not one to say things he doesn't mean or won't stick to, but I wonder whether this is something men say and the reality is different.
How much do your OH's help out with the baby?
I feel bad writing this but my dh does very little. This is mainly because I've breastfed my lg so as well as feeding, bedtimes and comforting usually falls on me because I have the easiest option to do it! Dh also works away so I'm on my own in the week. Our girl is 5 months now though and he is starting to spend a lot more time playing and interacting so I get a break then.
Best of luck with your new bundle x
My DH does loads with our children (including DS2 aged 8.5 months). When DSs were still BFing he settled him after feeds, took him for walks in the sling etc and now DS2 is formula fed he does every other night with him (all wake ups) and we give each other a lie in at the weekend. He also takes him when he gets in from work and takes both boys on day trips etc to give me time to myself. He's a great father.
Two things - both very important:
1. I didn't take on the bulk of the housework when on mat leave. We agreed that otherwise, when the time came for me to go back to work, we'd have to learn all over again how to run the house. So, dh just carried on as if I worked full time. Which of course, looking after dc at home is.
2. When dh got home from work he would put baby in a sling and spend the evening minus any breastfeeding together.
Start as you mean to go on. Allow Dad and baby a close relationship. Parents are parents. Good for child to be comforted by either parent.
Your DH's plan sounds similar to what me and DH do.
We operate on a policy of roughly equal downtime and try and split chores.
In the early days I would often shut myself in the kitchen to make dinner (something i enjoy) while he spent time with the baby. Now he's a toddler we tend to take turns in putting him to bed etc...
Lots. We don't divvy it up like you have, just whoever is closer/ has more energy/ is more inclined does the job that needs doing. I do all the night waking as I'm breastfeeding. Dp does early mornings so I can catch up on some sleep. Dp does most of the bath times and at weekends most nappies. We seem to use the sling more than the pram so dp does more of the baby wearing. I work part time so do most of the cooking/ shopping and laundry. We share what cleaning gets done.
Definitely for all your sakes start as you mean to go on!
My dh did bath every night. It was important for them both to bond a bit as I'd had him all day. He also took him out for a couple of hours every Saturday morning after a feed so I could sleep. I bf but he also stayed up till midnight many nights so I could get a block of sleep at the start of the night.
Dh has always taken the baby when he gets in the door from work and plays:baths:feeds: puts to bed. I would go for a soak and then prep our evening meal. He did it when dc2 came along too.
He would take them to the shops in the pram when he went weekends and would take them swimming alone too.
Now we have a 2yo and a 5yo and he does half. He is on duty when I'm at work; drops and collects from cm if needs be when we both worlds. Takes them both swimming or to soft play or to the supermarket. He cooks for them and does bath and bedtime etc. We really are 50 50 with the kids.
My son is nearly 16 months. We didn't want to know the sex, but my dh said he would always do plenty to help. Not to brag, but he was true to his word. He didn't know anything about babies before, and antenatal classes weren't my thing at all. I went off watching my mum bring up my siblings. When lo was born, he quickly learnt how to change him, bath him, feed him and wind him, make bottles (lo was exclusively formula fed). He played with him, dressed him. Done his fair share of night feeds. As lo got older he continued to do plenty with him.
He wanted to do it all. I know I'm very lucky.
Enjoy your baby
My two DC are in their mid 20's now but when they were small my DH did loads with them and within the home, he was very unusual within our circle of friends however in the way he mucked in and 'helped' me look after our children. I think it is great how the fathers and mothers nowadays both take on the responsibilities of a family together. He was once evicted from a 'Mother and Baby' room in a restaurant with our daughter when changing her! This was only in 1993!!!!
TBH I used to practically throw DD at DH when he walked through the door! But she was a difficult baby with CMPA.
Now she's nearly 3 and we usually spend the evening together until 7, when I go off and do the washing up (on my own, bliss!) and he does milk/story/PJs. He's been in charge of that since she was tiny, really. Sometimes I go and have a bath when he gets in, but generally he plays with her in the front room while I sit on the sofa and try to recover from her talking my ear off all day...
I did/do most night wakings apart from when it was really bad. For awhile she would only let me put her to bed so DH did all the cooking, but it felt fair because we were both busy. Now we take turns, one cooking our dinner and the other putting her to bed, which is much better.
If he's someone who already does his fair share of the cooking, cleaning, organising, shopping etc then he'll probably do his fair share of helping with the baby. If he's someone who doesn't already do his fair share then he probably won't help much with the baby. What's he like at the moment? X
My dh always took our dd when he got in from work (if she wasn't feeding) and did bath. He also got up with her in the early morning, 5/6am and had her until he went to work at 8, so I could have a little catch up sleep.
He did most evening meals in the early days and the washing-up because our dd was generally feeding for that period of time!
I think your plan sounds realistic! You'll probably find you naturally settle into a routine. DH took on nappy changing and baths as I was feeding, then when we introduced a bottle in the evenings he did that and I did some of the baths, etc. He took additional paternity leave (as it was then) when I went back to work so we were keen that we both were confident doing everything!
Completely agree with the PP who says don't take on all the housework as well!
My dh is similar to those mentioned already.
About the feeding though, it's easy for him to help out if you're ff but expressing is a real drag and I find it easier to just camp out on the sofa bfing while DH does dinner etc. You can then get in a bit of sleep while DH settles baby between feeds (if you get a chance with cluster feeding). Expressing shouldn't really be attempted until bfing has been properly established anyway and people don't tell you beforehand that it requires just as much, if not more, effort than bfing. I intended to express with both dcs but couldn't be bothered in the end!
Have to admit - I'm definitely doing a lot more directly for 14 week DS than my DP.
I EBF and don't express, so all feeds are me. I cosleep with DS but DP is in the spare bed as he takes painkillers at night that make him hard to wake (not good for co sleeping)
DP does however, work full time, and does more than half the cleaning, does all the laundry, walks the dog, does pretty much half the cooking, almost all the boat maintenance (we live in a boat), wood chopping for the stove etc etc
- and when he's home runs around after me fetching drinks/ running baths/ making snacks...
I worried a bit that he isn't bonding well with DS but now DS is interacting more, crying for me less when he's with daddy, and is basically less of a passive amoeba and more like a baby, they're spending more time together (while I take a bath etc) and I'm hoping to
start running again soon, giving them their first proper daddy-son time
DH does loads. He works silly hours (out the house 5.30am - 7.30pm) so I do everything in that time (we have a 4yo and 5mo) but when he's here he's great. I just bung him the baby and he entertains/walks/whatever. He's just had a couple of weeks off over Xmas and did half the housework, a fair bit of the cooking, lots of general sorting out that wanted doing, and put the 4yo to bed pretty much every night. I find that when they're tiny, the childcare does fall largely to me as it's just easier, but the older they get the more DH comes into his own. DS will take a bottle too, which DD never would, so that really helps too. The only thing I do almost exclusively is night wakings - DH has done a couple of night shifts, but he drives 3hrs a day on some fairly treacherous roads so he sleeps in the spare bunk as I want him to be alert and well rested. I think you figure out what works for you - it's a new dynamic and you have to find your way with it all, but it sounds like you're on the right track and he's willing to pull his weight.
To be fair, we're pretty equal now with housework and cooking, naturally taking it in turns and doing things without being asked.
He's also taking off the last three months of parental leave, so I'll go back after nine months and he'll do the last three. I was really keen for him to be as involved as possible.
He finishes at 12pm on a Friday so has already earmarked that as his time with the baby, taking him out and letting me rest. We've also discussed each having a lie in on the weekend so fingers crossed that happens too.
I guess I just wanted reassurance that these plans could actually work and that I wasn't being overly optimistic but it seems other people manage it to - phew! Thanks for the responses all
We both work full time and DS is 14 months old goes to a CM 10-6
When we had him DH took parental leave on a massive pay cut for 3 months. Together with me on maternity for 6 months so we overlapped for the first three months.
In those three months I breastfed. Everything else - cooking cleaning shopping baby bathing rocking changing - everything was done by him.
After he rejoined work at 3 months he continued to do dishwasher + tidying + laundry before leaving at 7 am for work and washing up + tidying + all baby stuff after return from work at 6 pm.
Between ages 7 months and 13 months my work took us to Asia and two European countries. To support me - and enable me to do this while still breastfeeding - DH took annual leave and came along to all those trips with baby and looked after him all day as I worked bringing him to me for feeds.
He is my rock
Loads. Both as a baby and now.
When I was on mat leave we had this routine. DH would wake up at 6ish. He would shower and eat his breakfast. And make me tea and toast. I would eat it while breastfeeding. And hand over DS to him.
Then for the next 20 mins I would have a shower and do a quick tidy.
DS would be changed into a fresh set of clothes and have some Daddy time.
Then DS handed back to me for the rest of the morning feed. DH would put away laundry. Put on a fresh load. Sterilise bottles. And make me a sandwich. He would do a quick hoover if needed.
All of this took a fairly exhausting 45-50 mins and we ran it like clockwork. BUT this meant that when DH was out of the door, I was showered and in clean clothes. I had eaten. DS was ready for the day. There was a sandwich for lunch. And the main house chores had been done. So from this point onwards if the day went tits up (as it does with small babies) I could sit on the sofa and not worry about food for me, feeling slobby or any housework. By the end of that morning hour we sometimes felt we had been in a boxing match (we had an actual list on the fridge) but it made the rest of the day so so so much easier for me.
My DH does loads with now toddler DS. I mostly bf in the early days and he never did a night feed, but he got up early and took DS for an hour or 2 before work every day. We have a lie in each on a weekend now since he sleeps through,but DH only had occasional ones until that point. When we did a dream formula feed at 11pm DH usually did that so I could get to bed early. He does most baths, about half bedtimes, takes him to park, to soft play etc on a weekend. Drops him at nursery on my 2 work days. Looked after him alone for a weekend when I was away with friends. I do the majority of the cooking and cleaning, but he stepped up with that during the early days when it was all hands on deck. Basically, he's been great so far and he has a great bond with DS!
We FF so DH did feeds as well. As soon as he got in from work he would take DS, he had usually been crying inconsolably for at least an hour by this point so I would practically throw him at DH . I could then have a bath.
Friday and Saturday nights DH did the not shift and when needed he did the evening shift (6 till midnight) so I could get an early night.
At the weekend we split feeds, nappy changes etc equally.
Before the birth I batch cooked which was a life saver in the early weeks and we have a cleaner which I can't recommend enough.
This post makes me so sad.
The idea that babies are simply women's work that the man is so gracious to 'help out' with.
DH does lots with my babies because they are HIS babies too. He doesn't 'help out' 'pitch in' 'give me half an hour to sort the house.' He co parents, as he is a parent too. I don't need to 'make him feel involved' any more than he needs to make me feel involved.
It's early and I'm ill so if that sounds smug or sanctimonious I haven't meant it to. I'm just so fed up of reading how low women's expectations are.
Definitely doable. I EBF (occasionally expressed) so did all night waking until DD weaned. But DH would normally get up too, pass her to me, doze for 10 mins while she fed and then take over to wind her (it used to take ages!) He also used to do the baths and obviously nappies etc. Now she is bigger he does everything I do for her, and on the rare instance she wakes in the night he is usually the one to comfort her (or both of us). I am part time so on my days at home I obviously do whatever needs done during the day, but DH usually gives DD her dinner while I prep our dinner/ have a shower/ hang up washing etc. Weekends we all spend together and it is not formally divided up, we both just kind of do whatever needs done.
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