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Ds sleep causing tension with DP

(18 Posts)
okthen Sun 21-Apr-13 13:58:03

Have posted in Sleep but no replies- maybe traffic lower there.

Am so upset and annoyed with DP today over dc2's sleep. More upset than I should be iyswim.

Basically he (ds- nearly 6mo) is a bit of a rubbish night sleeper. Me and DP manage this ok between us, with me doing lion's share as a) I breastfeed b) DP works ft and has a long cycle ride so to/from work.

Ds has however always been an excellent day napper- but only in his pram. He'll nod off in the porch or garden with no rocking and sleep for 2 hours+

Yet DP in his wisdom, having read nothing about baby's sleep (as I have) and having never looked after a baby full time or looked after both kids alone (not because he doesn't want to, just because of circs, bf and so forth), decides that ds should be napping in cot, not pram.

I agree to a point as it's a bind to need to take the pram when we go away, and also I guess there's an argument that if he naps in cot he may sleep there better at night.

I didn't want to over-rule dp on this, as i don't want to exclude him from stuff involving care for the kids.

But today has been a flippin nightmare. We have spent most of it with one of us in ds's room trying to get him to sleep. He's had 2x 20 min naps plus a LOT of crying. Usually he'd have had 3 hrs sleep by now and be his happy chirpy little self.

And dp has cheek to say I have no PMA! That I shouldn't get stressed by it. He also said a few weeks ago that he 'holds me responsible' for ds only napping in pram (as I've always relied on it I guess). He says he knows this is unreasonable but he was just being honest instead of stewing on it.

I know it sounds like a petty disagreement over a baby napping. But it has really touched.a nerve with me. Maybe because I do the vast maj of childcare (being on mat leave) and yet my choices on this issue are apparently not valid... Maybe because I can't believe he would expect me to spend a day like today when I've got ds and dd (3) on my own.

And maybe because ds now whimpers as soon as you put him in cot so I fear nights will be further ruined! I could cope with nights as the days were so easy.

Someone talk me down from this hysterical ledge! Does DP have a valid point, or is my righteous indignation justified?!

CogitoErgoSometimes Sun 21-Apr-13 14:28:46

You both have a valid point. When you're run ragged by a child that isn't sleeping, politeness tends to go by the board, everyone thinks they have 'the answer', tempers fray and nerves get touched. If it wasn't your DP saying 'let him get used to the cot' it would be someone else and you'd feel equally miffed. I've been a single parent since birth, have no 'D' anything to comment on my parenting skills but have still occasionally felt the way you do because, for every little problem, everyone has an opinion and it doesn't chime with mine smile

So you have to take a step back as a couple, apologise for the hurt feelings all round, kiss, breathe normally, rediscover a sense of humour and then try a different approach. Your baby will get the hang of sleeping eventually, whatever you do.

yellowutka Sun 21-Apr-13 14:30:55

Your DP is trying to put his foot down at the expense of your and your baby's well-being. Why does he get to make unilateral decisions on subjects he knows nothing about? If I were you, I would suggest that a better solution for your ds not sleeping at night is to co-sleep, we did this from 3 months on and the difference to everyone's sleep was amazing: even if you don't fancy this, you can find plenty of supporting evidence online to show your DP, and the suggestion may make him think twice before suggesting changes to your son's sleep routine again wink. Our son was simply not comfortable in his cot, and like yours, he also slept in his pram during the day with no trouble. Your son is too young to be left to cry while he gets 'used' to the cot in the day, and whatever makes him happy and lets him sleep comfortably is what you should do: you can't dictate terms to a 6-month old baby. In fact, your DP is bloody lucky that ds can get to sleep in the pram and doesn't have to be taken out in the car for his naps grin

So, in short, does he have a valid point? Does he heck grin grin

PurpleThing Sun 21-Apr-13 14:33:15

Blaming you for the situation is not on. Some dc are just crap at sleeping.

You need to discuss this when you are both calm and come up with a joint plan of action that recognises (a) you do the majority of the childcare work atm and have more knowledge of what works but (b) that he has an outsiders perspective and so may be able to see the wood for the trees as it were. Approach it as a team so your family can get through this difficult time. You don't want to feel criticised for what you do to get through the day but that doesn't mean you should disregard his opinion. Agree that you will try X for this amount of time and abandon it if it's not working.

Do you get time to yourself? Even a bf baby can manage for 2 or 3 hours without you occasionally. A regular break might give you some perspective and a chance to re-charge your batteries to deal with what is going on. And give dp an idea of what it is like.

RandomMess Sun 21-Apr-13 14:36:04

Can you put the pram part of the pram in the carrycot, perhaps he doesn't like hte openess of the cot?

yellowutka Sun 21-Apr-13 14:43:06

A very good idea by purpleThing, a bit of time to yourself can make a huge difference to how you are feeling, and time spent with the baby on his own may help your dp appreciate that napping in a pram or out of it is not a massive issue as long as it keeps the baby content.

Twattergy Sun 21-Apr-13 15:01:44

I think your husbands problem with baby sleeping in the buggy is totally misguided. I dont see how the location of day time sleeps might affect the quality of night time sleep. why not agree a compromise, clearly baby won't settle now in the cot. Could you agree to leave it for now and trial it again in six weeks time? Then you are not dismissing his idea but saying you'll try again.

okthen Sun 21-Apr-13 15:05:50

Thanks for replies.

To be clear, we haven't been leaving ds to cry, but staying with him and trying to settle him. But yes I agree that sometimes you just have to go with whatever suits the baby.

I also totally agree that it would be annoying coming from anybody- especially dp- but that doesn't mean it isn't worth considering...

I think we are both floundering around trying to find our way through the fog of babyhood and sleep disturbances.

He just took ds out for a walk/nap and I had a shower and calmed down. He bought me a chocolate bar and apologised. We agreed that we'd try to put ds down in cot each naptime but if it doesn't work we'll put him in pram. Then hopefully one day something will click, as it did with dd when she was a baby.

I think a big part of my frustration was/is that I don't get a great deal of time to myself, DP encourages me to go out etc but I never seem to take initiative and actually do it.

We went out for a meal on fri and it was LOVELY but I fed ds literally just before we left, and as soon as we got back he was crying for a feed. It took the shine off the evening for me. He is a total boob monster at the moment and it is wearing me down a little.

Am waffling now... Thanks again for replies.

Wheresmycaffeinedrip Sun 21-Apr-13 15:10:06

Arguments aside what would you like to happen? If you are happy to continue to have him sleep in a pram in the day and be up alot at night then continue as you are. Explain to dh that as you do the lions share , until he feels like stepping up things are not going to change.

If you think he has a point then work together to research a plan that you can agree on and implement.

The problem could resolve on its own in a week a month but could also be three years. You do have to consider how long you are willing to carry on with things the way they are.

okthen Sun 21-Apr-13 15:31:05

Caffeine you are right.

Arguments aside, I would like ds to nap in his cot consistently, as he does in his pram. I know this won't happen by magic.

I would like him to wake for one feed in the night, or sleep through (ha! We are so far from that right now that the idea seems ludicrous...)

I can handle the idea of tackling night time sleep, as I will have dp for back-up at least to some extent. Once ds is on solids properly we will take steps to sort the nights out.

But part of the reason I got so upset with dp over the nap thing was because I felt like shouting 'YES I KNOW! BUT IT'S ALL VERY WELL FOR YOU TO SAY- YOU DON'T HAVE TO LOOK AFTER TWO KIDS ALL DAY AND TRY TO GET ONE OF THEM TO SLEEP!'

That, really, is what it boils down to :/

Wheresmycaffeinedrip Sun 21-Apr-13 15:39:57

I'd be inclined to express some milk and leave dp to it. Is that something you would feel comfortable doing?

Do you usually end up feeding him back to sleep? If you were looking to cut down night feeds then you will need dps help. He won't settle as long as he can smell milk on you. Dp could try to settle him.

If he honestly feels he could do a better job...

I'd stop babying to be honest. My dp was the same, happy for me to do all the night feeds while he slept and all of a sudden they finally have an opinion on what you should be doing. But in order for anything to work you both need to be on the same page. It's no good you trying to put him in the cot if dp can't be bothered and will cave strait for the pram etc. I think you need to stop worrying about disturbing dp and just go for it. Ultimately it could take a very short space of time and you can both get done long needed sleep. Y is your rest less important than his??? X

okthen Sun 21-Apr-13 16:11:34

Hmm yes. Tbf DP has stepped up at night recently. I decided to only feed if three hours has passed. Dp does wake-ups in between. But yes when we do decide to eliminate night feeds it MUST be as a team. From the start I fed ds back to sleep, so dp had license to snore happily as I did all the night shifts... But now the balance must swing back so it's equal. I know he has to drive/cycle and work- but I am at the end of my tether w the tiredness. I have to look after two children!

The nap thing, though, has to be down to me during the weeks, as DP is at work. And I can't face it with dd (3) to look after as well.

Wheresmycaffeinedrip Sun 21-Apr-13 16:13:17

Could dp perhaps take some holiday? Just so u can both make a start together ?

BranchingOut Sun 21-Apr-13 16:24:32

Here is my two-penneth.

Introduce something to the pram:

Special blanket to lie on
Slumber bear or white noise.

Have him nap with that sleep-aid for a while. Then, try in the cot with the same sleep-aid.

Also, see if you can identify what it is particularly about the pram he likes. Is it the coziness? Can you reproduce that in the cot with a sleeping bag or similar?

7to25 Sun 21-Apr-13 17:43:00

Why not have him in the pram at night, if he sleeps better there?

okthen Sun 21-Apr-13 19:32:47

Thanks for the practical tips as well as relationship advice!

Yes it wd be a good idea for dp to take some holiday so we can sort sleep issues. Will suggest it.

Good suggestions for making associations between pram and cot. Will give it a go.

Ultimately the goal is for him to sleep in his cot all night, so putting him in pram at night or co-sleeping 'full time' (at the mo he's in our bed from 5am ish) don't really appeal, but thanks for suggestions.

yellowutka Sun 21-Apr-13 21:11:01

Another thing we tried was to have the cot side off and flush against the bed (we were lucky that this worked with our bed), with the idea that it would be easier for us to bring him in for a feed and then put him back without too much hassle in the middle of the night. It didn't work in the way I expected in our case as he woke each time we put him back, but every baby is different and I know some people do use that to get them used to the cot and to save on sleep. It is horrible to be sleep-deprived I know, you have my sympathy!

Bookwolf32 Sun 21-Apr-13 21:17:48

Just to chip in here, although I don't have a baby who sleeps brilliantly, have you thought about a Amby hammock?

Our DD finds lying down flat on her back very uncomfortable, wiggles and can't sleep. We bought an Amby on ebay and she is happy to go down in it and sleep for naps and at night.

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