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Opinions on splitting the nights with a baby?

(36 Posts)
munchymoo Sun 12-Jan-20 12:06:45

Just after some opinions really on whether you think the arrangement we have to manage the nights with a young baby is fairly standard?

DS2 is 15 weeks and EBF, feeds well but has reflux (thankfully not colic) which means that he needs to be held upright for at least half hour post feeds and often will only sleep upright on my chest thus I spend hours sitting in a chair all night. He is feeding every 2 hours.

For first 6 weeks we bedshared and I did all feeds, settling, changes etc. and that worked really well but as the reflux seemed to get worse around the 6 week mark that is when I started having to get up for each feed and hold upright etc.

DH wants to be involved and happy to get up at night if nec. What we do currently is I feed baby to sleep around 9.30pm (he's not really ready before then plus we have to get 4 year old DS1 to sleep which can take a while!). I settle baby in next to me crib and DH sleeps in bed next to baby (totally safe as on separate surfaces). I then go into spare room as I'm a really light sleeper and every snuffle keeps me awake. I get about 2-3 hours good sleep and then DH will come and wake me up when baby wakes up anytime from midnight - 1am. So from 10pm to the first wake up DH is "on duty" but he does sleep albeit lightly as is next to baby. Occasionally if baby isn't settled in this period he will settle him.

I then take over from the first wake up between midnight - 1am and feed every 2 hours often sitting in a chair for hours due to the reflux. I will then hand over baby anytime between 6-7am and get an hour or two sleep whilst DH has baby and toddler and gets ready for work - he doesn't need to do too much to get ready as he cycles so doesn't need shower or anything.

The other day a friend said that I was massively lucky to have a DH that does so much and between the lines I think she was saying I am taking the p*ss a bit by going to the spare room for a couple of hours at the start and end of the night ie I should be doing everything as DH works. (even though he is getting 6 hours straight unbroken sleep). Then another friend said that as DS has reflux and I'm up most of the night DH should be doing more!!

I had some issues after DS1 where I felt that I hadn't done enough for him as we had to do shifts - he was premature and tongue tied and basically didn't sleep for the first year, I had mum guilt that I had failed him as I had to share duties whereas a lot of my mum friends had no help and had to do it all alone. I don't want the same old issues to raise their ugly head again this time round.

Just after opinions really on whether our arrangement seems pretty standard or whether I'm expecting too much/too little of DH?

peachgreen Sun 12-Jan-20 12:09:48

Seems pretty standard to me and if it works for you both, keep at it. Doesn't matter what anyone else thinks.

Cohle Sun 12-Jan-20 12:09:48

Does it work for you? Are you and DH both getting just about enough sleep to be safe and functional for the days you have?

If so then what you are doing is perfect. It really doesn't matter what works for other families.

muddypuddles12 Sun 12-Jan-20 12:21:32

The fact that these two people have such differing opinions, should prove to you that no two families are the same. What may seem "too much" to one person, will be "not enough" to another.
Take input on board by all means, but please don't change what you're doing based on others opinion of it. They're not the ones living it. If it's working for you, then it's the right thing for your family.
If you're asking for advice because it's not working for you, then that's a different matter. Raising a baby is hard enough without the added pressure of "Susan's husband does more than you"....

DesLynamsMoustache Sun 12-Jan-20 12:22:51

Seems fine. DH and I have done similar in the past, but DD has been a good sleeper for most of her little life so we didn't need to do it for long. But he still takes her at 6am every morning as I'm still doing the odd night feed.

I think it's most likely people who have useless partners that get really defensive and funny about stuff like this as they don't want to admit they would have liked their husband to do as much. It sounds like you've got a system that works for you and that's what matters!

Beseen19 Sun 12-Jan-20 12:32:34

If it ain't broke dont fix it. I personally don't split night feeds, I'm awake any way as bf and I'm typically a poor sleeper so can cope a lot better on broken sleep than DH. My worst time at the mo is between 6 and 7 when toddler DS is the most awake person in the entire world and DH does that shift while he gets ready for work. It's a lifesaver and hes up anyway and normally home too late for bedtime so it's the only chance to see him. Do what works for your family!

WindyMiller1020 Sun 12-Jan-20 12:35:51

I think that does sound fair - on a good night he'd be sleeping from midnight til 7 and on a 'bad' night he'd still be getting 5 hours. And 5 hours with a new baby isnt too bad at all!

She's probably wishing she had as much support as you do.

MindyStClaire Sun 12-Jan-20 13:01:04

Sounds similar enough to what we did, DD also had reflux (hell, hope it passes for you quickly OP).

I've been on a few threads here about sharing overnights. I think a lot of the people who think the husband should do nothing because they have to work must have the babies that are up once or twice for a quick feed - up and down again in half an hour sort of thing. I think doing all the overnights for a baby with reflux or colic would get dangerous pretty quickly.

letmebefrank Sun 12-Jan-20 13:10:35

Sounds sensible and fair to me. Ignore your idiot friend.

catlike1979 Sun 12-Jan-20 16:50:51

I think that’s fair OP. I would go to bed at 9pm in the early days and my DH would sit up watching movies with baby until midnight then hand over. He couldn’t do the early morning as left for work at 6am but those few hours were a lifesaver.

I did wonder at the time whether DH should or could do more as we had a reflux colicky baby and we did have some fallings out about it - hence am following your post with interest to see what other people end up doing in this regard.

EssentialHummus Sun 12-Jan-20 16:56:41

I went to bed at 8pm, DH would handle the 10pm(ish) feed, then I'd be up at 2am and handle the rest of the night. Saved my sanity.

munchymoo Mon 13-Jan-20 17:20:55

Thanks all for your replies ladies. Really good to hear your opinions. I think my friend just touched on a trigger point for me basically.

Obv you’re all right in that it doesn’t matter a jot what other people think as long as DH and I are happy with our arrangement.

But in the past once things got easier with DS1 I suddenly felt really rubbish that I’d not been able to do it all, and also felt rubbish that I’d had to decamp to the spare room a lot (couldn’t sleep when he was sleeping as he was so noisy) and when I was up I was up for hours in the night feeding as he was tongue tied and premature)

So now with DS2 when I have handed over a shift to DH and I spend 9pm- 12/1am in spare room as otherwise I get woken up when DH brings him in to settle him in our room, I feel again like I’m abandoning DS and not doing my absolute best.

I had friends the first time round who did everything overnight with their babies and I thought I’d do that this time and now feel annoyed that I’ve not (albeit have still done the lion’s share)

I’m not sure if this makes any sense at all? Thanks so much for listening xx

CherryPavlova Mon 13-Jan-20 17:22:16

You do what works for you.

KellyHall Mon 13-Jan-20 17:29:51

There's no such thing as 'standard'!

In my experience, family members do what they're willing to do, which also works for the rest of the family.

If it works for you guys at the moment, do it. It won't be necessary forever anyway.

Amaretto Mon 13-Jan-20 17:31:37

Petty normal imo and the minimum he shouod do (and can do as he clearly cant bf the baby)

And YOU ARE doing your best because doing your best also include looking after yourself so you can be there for the baby but also your dh and your ds1. Believe me. Ive tried to do it all and when you collapse from the lack of sleep, you are no good for everyone!

BigFatLiar Mon 13-Jan-20 17:32:31

You did say that your DH wanted to be involved so what's the problem. If you speak to him you may find he'd be happy to do more if he can. He is dad after all and part of the family.

Mamabear12 Mon 13-Jan-20 18:58:35

Some men are willing to help more then others. Everyone is different. I have a friend who husband does every night!!! They bottle feed at night and breastfeed in the day. My dh does one night a week (Friday). I do the rest of the nights. However, if baby has been extra difficult I can hand her over for an hour at 6:30am (this rarely happens). My dh argument is he works to provide for the family and can’t do nights. His job is demanding and long hours (and high paying! Which pays for a lot of luxuries like a cleaner, au pair to help with the older kids etc). So I can’t complain. Every situation is different and if it works for you it works for you. Don’t listen to friends if you feel your husband is pulling his weight in the household.

PaddingtonBrown Mon 13-Jan-20 19:27:45

I think if it works for you then carry on and stuff what anyone else thinks!
DH and I used to do similar until DS started sleeping through but after the very early days of 2 hourly feeds when we'd both be up (one would change and make bottle whilst the other did the feed and cuddles until asleep) we got into a good routine of me putting him to bed at about 8. We'd go to bed at about 10ish. DS would wake at maybe 12ish for a feed which I would do whilst DH was asleep, and then the next one would be about 4ish which DH would do. DS would wake again at around 7 when DH would get up to give him another feed and then get ready for work. Meant we both got a similar big block of sleep and it worked really well for us. We will do the same when DC2 comes along.

I have a good friend who's DP never did a single night feed EVER. And I mean EVER. Quite surprised that she's so desperate for another to be honest.

melissa1215 Mon 13-Jan-20 19:53:30

we do similar and my mother in law said I was being selfish for letting DH wake up through the night and that it's "my job"

I say yeah, we are lucky to have them helping because lots of people don't have that help - but we grew their child and relationships are teamwork

Bol87 Mon 13-Jan-20 21:44:56

My other half & I did alternate nights from 6 weeks & still do (got a 2.5 year old who is a poor sleeper)! It meant we each got a good nights sleep every other night in the spare bed. It really worked for us, we both avoided feeling totally exhausted! I was acutely aware my OH had to work, so I’d often do an extra night here & there but we just kept an open discussion on our levels of tiredness!

We have always patented as a total team. My role is no more important or prominent than his. I’m very lucky, I realise that!

You do what works for you as a family. Completely ignore the opinions of others. They aren’t you & they’ve never had your life or your baby. If you’ve found a system that works for you & stops you feeling like a total zombie, do it! Who cares what anyone else thinks?! If they are going to judge, maybe just don’t tell them!

sycamore54321 Mon 13-Jan-20 21:55:27

Honestly, if you have two adults in the house, I think it's insane not to split nights as much as you can. Your baby has no opinion or preference. You are not failing him in any way. The pressure to "do it all yourself" seems to be extreme in your mind, and honestly entirely unusual in my experience. Is there a chance you might have a mild form of post-partum depression? Sometimes that perfectionism and setting ever higher impossible standards can be a symptom - although being well-rested and getting decent sleep can be protective. Not trying to pathologise you in any way but maybe just check in with yourself and see if you could benefit from a PND screening from your doctor or health visitor.

In the meantime, what you have described sounds eminently practical and fair to all. Please don't go changing it due to not feeling good enough. You are one of two parents - the baby is benefittng from having the best of both of you, each well-rested and all the while the baby's needs are fully met. Plus you need rest to care for your older child too.

Best wishes.

bagsofbats Mon 13-Jan-20 22:24:39

My dh did pre midnight feeds and wakes (ebf if it matters) I went to bed as early as I could after pumping. I did post midnight. Dh liked it to have 'his' feeds and cuddles.

AvaSnowdrop Mon 13-Jan-20 22:32:14

You are massively lucky. My DH does fuck all because the poor little soul has to go to work the next day and he can’t possibly drive his car on a busy road if he’s even a little bit tired. Plus he’s soo important and he can’t possibly under-perform due to tiredness. So I take DC to bed about 9.30 and breastfeed all night while DH has a full nights sleep in the other room. This is one of the main reasons why I wish I wasn’t married to him any more.

bagsofbats Mon 13-Jan-20 22:38:21

@AvaSnowdrop mine tried that once and I pointed out that he was happy for me to drive HIS KID around on minimal sleep then.... From that point on we agreed to have as much sleep as we both could manage. Just as well, he'd have been out on his ear otherwise.

AvaSnowdrop Mon 13-Jan-20 22:44:37

I pointed out that he was happy for me to drive HIS KID around on minimal sleep
I tried that. He whinged that I could nap during the day and his salary was keeping a roof over our heads so it was vitally important that he performed well at work. His suggestion was that if I was tired I should restrict my driving to 5-10 minute trips on B roads only. He’s a shit, money is literally the only reason that I haven’t left him already.

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