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Would it be unreasonable to ask DH to let me have a few more lie-ins?(73 Posts)
DS is 11 months old. Since he was born, he has never slept for longer than 4 hours at a time (apart from 1 stint of 5 hours a few months ago!). Mostly he wakes every 3 hours. As he's breastfed, I'm awake with him every time. I also co-sleep with him, as it's the only way he'll stay asleep for longer than an hour, but he can be quite restless, meaning I'm awake even if he's not. DH generally gets up with him at weekends, since I'm up every day during the week.
I'm exhausted, having averaged about 6 hours' sleep every night for almost a year. DH gets full night's sleep every night. I also have depression and suffer panic attacks, which gets worse if I don't get enough sleep (pre-DS I averaged about 10 hours' sleep each night, which my body seemed to need)
DH is about to have 4 weeks off work. He said how much he's looking forward to getting lots of lie-ins. I asked what he meant and he said he thinks it's only fair for us to alternate getting up with DS, so he gets up early one day, and I get up early the next. I feel this is a bit unfair, as his lie-in after a full night's sleep is a luxury, whereas mine is more of a necessity for catching up on sleep. Mine is also often interrupted by DS needing to be fed, so I sometimes only get an extra hour anyway.
I'd like to ask DH whether he would mind if I got an extra lie-in every few days, but I'm not sure whether that's reasonable, or just me being lazy. DH is someone who is very "fair" about splitting responsibility, but by that he means it all has to be split equally, whereas I think it can depend on circumstances.
If he's off work could he take ds if you catch up on sleep during the day? Does he realise how interrupted your sleep is?
Oh and no, I agree with you, it depends on the circumstances.
I think alternate lie in are fair.DH also has to do his share of day parenting and chores
Whether you are asking for something"fair" or not, you are asking for a little bit of kindness, what sort of relationship would it be for one partner to be unable to ask a small kindness of the other?
Alternating does seem fair, but if you are at the end if your rope then you need to push for more.
I've told him what my sleep is like, yes. Sometimes I get a nap during the day, but I don't tend to sleep so well then, plus I have stuff to do.
I know he does his share of parenting and chores during the day, but so do I.
It can just be frustrating if he's lying in bed reading for an hour while I'm up with DS having been up during the night.
I do all the night wakings with 7mo DS and the early starts during the week as DH is at work.
But at the weekend, I still do all night wakings but DH does the earlies on both days. Obviously, it all has to fall to me on weekdays as DH works but I think it's only fair that he shares the shitty sleep at the weekend! He had the choice of night wakings or earlies and he chose the latter so I get two lie ins a week and I really look forward to them!
Would something like this not work for you?
Would you not be better off with2 lie ins back to back? Then you get a real chance of a catch up?
Have you considered letting DH look after DS for 24 hours on his own?
You seem to be on a treadmill of disturbed sleep for both you and DS - maybe you are disturbing each other. At 11 months I would be surprised if the feeding during the night is anything more than a soothing to sleep mechanism.
4 weeks off work would be a great opportunity for DH to hone his parenting skills.
How long are you planning to breastfeed for? Not a snarky question, just wondering how you want to account for that.
I'm another one suggesting that you go off and stay with your mother/sister/at a hotel (depending on budget and family availability) for a few nights.
But the split isn't fair, is it? I accept that he can't breastfeed, but that doesn't mean all your effort in doing those wakings should be disregarded.
Is your DS in childcare? If not, then I think the time off should include your DH taking him for some full days. I second the suggestion of you going away for a night too - book a cheap Travelodge or Premier Inn and feel the benefit of a full night. You can work up to this, of course, maybe by your DH agreeing to shush/soothe your DS for one of the night wakings to help get him moving towards sleeping through.
Thanks for responses so far.
To clarify a couple of things:
DS has severe eczema, which is why he wakes so much at night. DH has never had any success at settling him without me, so we're giving that a break for a while. Basically, the sleeping and night feed arrangements aren't going to change in the short term.
I'm a SAHM, so I don't have to go out to work; we're both around for the 4 weeks that DH is off.
DH was off for about a week at Easter, and it was just a bit irritating when I was getting up totally exhausted to see him lying in bed having a read for an hour, when I was getting no real time to myself during the day. DH also goes out with his friends quite a bit; if I don't fancy going (which I generally don't, because I don't really get on with them), then I'm at home looking after DS. He just doesn't really seem to see the need to rest (his family consider it wimpy to nap during the day).
I agree that maybe weening off breast feeding might help. Obviously for the eczema, you must have been told the rules, no synthetic fabrics, natural soap for washing clothes, towels, sheets, no fabric softener EVER, no bubble bath, only natural non scented sop etc.no industrial foods with E numbers etc....
it all makes sense.
I think your DH she try having baby all night & feel the resulting fatigue to understand how shattering it is
Every other day seems fair to me. If you're not going to allow DH to learn to settle him at night then you are choosing the nights to continue as they are, eleven months is quite old to be having such regular night feeds. Your DH deserves a lie in too, especially when you're not allowing any alternative at nights so you can't really say "...he sleeps all night."
Oh and try Lush Dream Cream for the eczema, it was the only thing that worked for my son.
Tried Dream Cream - it's nice, but didn't help! And I'm not choosing not to let DH help at night - don't know how you took that from what I said. We've tried it, and it didn't work. Ended with DH bringing DS in and almost throwing him at me before going back to bed. We'll try again, but we're giving it a break.
And the problem is not night feeds as such. He's waking up because he's itchy; he'll scratch and scratch (even with scratch mitts on) until he wakes up completely and starts yelling. If I'm next to him I can hold his hands down so he stops scratching and goes back to sleep; if I'm in the next room then he's wide awake before I can get to him.
Massive sympathies. Sleep deprevation is horrible.
I think there are 3 things here: ecxema, the lie ins, and the time to yourself.
Have you been back to the GP with the scratching? We went through several emolients before we settled on on which suited DS's skin. If emolients aren't cutting it, you need to go up a level. Steriods, or maybe even wet wraps. Don't let the GP fob you off if he is scratching himself raw.
Could you agree that you maybe get Mon, Wed, Fri, and one day at the weekend, and he gets tues, thurs, and the other weekend morning: so slightly more over the week?
Also, while you say you can't sleep, please use some of the time after DH gets up to shut yourself away, and relax, read, have a bath. Something, anything, for you.
At 11 months, I would think that DS could be pursuaded to forgo a bf for an hour or so, and have breakfast / snack instead? Mine would - but then they were food monsters, not milk monsters. Can DH try that on his mornings?
Or I used to get up
at 5.30 when DS woke, feed him, stick on cbeebies play with him til about 7, then crawl back into bed and boot DH out. It was easier than an afternoon nap.
It may also be worth booking in somne time out of the house, and arranging with DH when those times are going to be, as he will be incharge. Or can DH take his son out for the day: park, picnic, farm?? Give you some time at home alone.
Hope you have a lovely, restful, month at home with all of you.
Thanks. Yes, we've had hospital appointments about the eczema, and he has steroid creams - it really is that bad! I never understood how bad eczema is until DS came along. We seem to have a fairly good cream for his face, just since a few days ago - it's looking clearer and he's scratching less. Hopefully we're starting to see things settle down.
I think you're right about making time for myself once DH gets up. I've got into a pattern of not being very good at that. And I should probably book myself a few hours out of the house before DH gets in all his times out with his friends! He has taken DS out a few times on his own; even a couple of hours gives me a nice break, and I guess as DS gets older it will get easier to do that as well.
He does now last longer in the mornings without bf, which is great - again, I keep forgetting that that will only improve with time too! He had always refused bottles, but we're teaching him to use a cup. It would still take forever to give him a full feed from the cup, but he's getting there.
I feel a bit better now. I realise this will be easier now than even they were at Easter.
The only way I survived those days was that I did all the night wakings and my husband did all the mornings no matter what time they woke up.
Sleep is a need not a treat . If you are not sleeping properly at night then you NEED a break in the morning . Until you are able to share the nights your dh should be taking the mornings .
Although if you are staying with baby because of scratching then can't dh do that if the boob isn't needed?
DH is scared to sleep with him in case he (DH) rolls onto him. He sleeps very deeply and thrashes around a lot, so he just wouldn't risk it. It may be possible in a few months' time once DS is a bit bigger, though.
In that case he should be doing the mornings.
IMO h/she whose health and wellbeing isn't good has priority for lie-ins! (Or whatever works for them, personally I prefer down time during the day to lie-ins).
I think you might need to rethink you doing everything at night given how exhausted you are. DS would probably get used to it pretty quick if DH persevered. DH doesn't seem to understand or appreciate the impact on you of such a long period of sleep deprivation.
If DH is getting more than his fair share of leisure time (out with friends etc) and / or not able to care for DS for long periods without you, then you need to address that.
Might DS like a sippy cup or even open cup with help since he won't take a bottle? My DD never had bottles but at a similar age would accept cups from anyone other than me.
I'd recommend the Dr Jay Gordon approach for stopping bf at night (12 months upwards), basically lots of cuddles (it's not "cry it out") but no boob! DH and I did this for DD at one because I was becoming unwell due to exhaustion, 5 nights of hell but then DD was OK and I felt better and continued to feed in the mornings and day.
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