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ten month old baby & relationship with DH tough going

(33 Posts)
Chloris33 Sun 22-Nov-15 17:45:51

Would love some wisdom from mums, any tips and will it pass? Our first baby is 10 months now and has always been a terrible sleeper. (I cope by co-sleeping, don't want to sleep train at this point). Relationship with DH feels a bit shitty. Not terrible but just that we are arguing a lot and there is no intimacy. He sleeps in a separate room. He takes our baby at 6am while I go back to bed for a couple of hours. He feels he needs an unbroken night's sleep to do this & work, & I am completely dependent on the arrangement to survive the sleep deprivation. We have hardly any physical contact and haven't had sex for a month and a half. We go to bed two hours after baby, again to cope with bad nights and we are always tired at that point and just veg out with TV. We don't have any family locally and haven't yet gone out without baby. In a few weeks my mum is coming to stay, though, so we can try that. Our relationship feels like it's just (often grumpy) co-parenting at the moment and no more...

Haggisfish Sun 22-Nov-15 17:47:39

Ours did, too. Have you tried starting the night in the same bed once or twice on a weekend, just to have a cuddle together? It did get better.

Haggisfish Sun 22-Nov-15 17:48:33

Def go out together just for some time together.

dragonflyinthelillies Sun 22-Nov-15 18:05:41

Why don't you want to sleep train? My DS was terrible and we have sleep trained (not cc!) And we are a completely different family now. Me and my DH are so much happier because we are actually getting kip and our relationship is so much better for being in the same bed again.
The first 2 nights were rubbish but now it's is so much better, he's 9 months and still not sleeping through but we've got a routine and it works for us and he only usually wakes/feeds once. Before we did the training he was waking maybe 6-8 times and I was feeding 4 times, now he wakes at the very worst 3 times but one of them is usually within an hour of bedtime.
There are gentler versions , I seriously think 2-3 bad nights is worth it for the sake of your relationship. (We did the sleep lady shuffle for what is worth)

RandomMess Sun 22-Nov-15 18:09:24

How bad are the night wakening's? Seriously sleep training does not have to involve leaving a baby to cry.

Sorting out having a decent nights sleep is probably the key in the situation you describe...

Offred Sun 22-Nov-15 18:19:43

I think you are doing all of you a disservice by refusing to teach your child to be comfortable in her own bed tbh.

I hate the term sleep training and cc is evil. I did however put some considerable effort into teaching most of my babies to feel comfortable and safe sleeping in their own beds. One of them just did it herself but the other three needed teaching that being in bed was safe, fine and that I was still available and responsive even though I was not right there.

Cosleeping IMO is only a good thing if it is making everybody happy and healthy and I'm a big fan of it if that's what the outcome is. That is not the case with you from what you write in this post.

BitchPeas Sun 22-Nov-15 18:26:13

I refused to sleep train DS as I thought it was mean! He didn't sleep through till 2.5 years. I was wrecked, it gets to a point where it's just habit for them not needs.

With DD I bit the bullet at 7 months. When she woke in the night I offered water in a bottle, wrapped her in a blanket, cuddled and shushed her then put her down and patted and shhhed then point on a white noise machine and got back in bed. It took 3 nights now she sleeps 7:30-7:30am. And it didn't involve screaming fits either. The day you start it offer extra feeds all day to try and fill him up if you're worried about him starving!

BitchPeas Sun 22-Nov-15 18:26:31

Forgot to say, you are important and your relationship is important too. Don't neglect either!

Branleuse Sun 22-Nov-15 18:28:00

I think your baby is old enough to do some gentle sleep training in an attempt to save your relationship and sanity. I know its hard, but you all need to sleep

Chloris33 Sun 22-Nov-15 18:38:55

I'm going to review whether I want to night wean at one year, I've decided. I follow an attachment parenting model and don't want to do things that differently on that front - just a personal choice. All babies are different and right now DS is getting molars and going through separation anxiety. It doesn't feel the right time for sleep training. He usually can sleep in his own cot, in own room, in fact, we're just going through a particulalry difficult period sleep wise. And even when he sleeps in his own cot my husband sleeps in a separate room, so he isnt woken by the monitor and me getting up in the night.

Chloris33 Sun 22-Nov-15 18:46:04

Just wanted to explain that I am not unhappy with the co-sleeping itself -That's a helpful suggestion, haggisfish, for DH to start in same bed as me for a cuddle, at leat at weekends. In fact DS usually sleeps in cot first half of the night at the moment, so we could do that.

Offred Sun 22-Nov-15 18:57:55

I did attachment parenting too. That is about being emotionally and physically available to your child. It's not about destroying your health and your relationship by never teaching your baby to be happy and comfortable not being attached to its mother 24/7.

You do need to make a choice really though, continue with this or don't. The problems seem easily resolved tbh but if you are making the choice to continue with the night wakings/feedings and separate sleeping arrangements your health and your relationship are going to suffer. There is no magic bullet.

WorzelsCornyBrows Sun 22-Nov-15 22:19:20

If your child is sleeping so badly at 10 months that neither of you is able to function normally, your child isn't getting enough sleep to enable him/her to thrive properly.

Good parenting isn't about picking a method and sticking to it doggedly in spite of the effect on your family, it's about finding what works for your baby, for you and for your partner and any other children. I've got no issue with co-sleeping if that's what works for a family, but it seems it's not working for any of you. What do you think will be more beneficial to your child in the long run, having not been sleep trained or having parents who are not divorced?

I don't mean to sound harsh, but I really can't understand all this tribal parenting bollocks. You don't succeed by reading a load of books and deciding that's how you're going to "do parenting".

Haggisfish Sun 22-Nov-15 23:17:18

Lots of children are just not great sleepers. I am not a great sleeper-it is therefore not a surprise one of my offspring is not a good sleeper. Dp is a fantastic sleeper. It is therefore not a great surprise one of our offspring is a very good sleeper. They have been brought up the same with the sand underlying principles. Op I was in a very similar situation to yourself, with similar 'helpful' comments given to me. I did not want to 'sleep train' because if was clear to me dd just needed reassurance I was there. She's very similar now, aged five, and I am similar, aged 38. I still don't like sleeping on my own. This is fuck all to do with being trained to sleep and more to do with intrinsic personality. Sleeping through the night has only become a 'thing' in the last 100 years anyway-in times gone past, it was well recognised sleep happened in two segments, with the interval used for creative pursuits, talking and sex.

Haggisfish Sun 22-Nov-15 23:22:31

And we are very much still animals, particularly when young, and should not be trying to 'train' children out of their natural instincts. Very few countries around the world have such fucking obsessions with children sleeping on their own for twelve hours as we do. I don't think of myself as an attachment patent particularly, just someone who finds it easy to relate to a slightly anxious young child at night,

Haggisfish Sun 22-Nov-15 23:31:52

Apologies, didn't mean to rant. Op I did night wean at twelve months -we gave a bottle of formula at night and dh came through on waking for a good two weeks. He took holiday the first week. It was really bloody hard but it did help stop quite so many wakings.

BathtimeFunkster Sun 22-Nov-15 23:46:18

I was a terrible sleeper as a child. I hated it.

I wish someone had taken the time to teach me how to sleep well, it would have been such a gift.

I became a very good sleeper as a teenager and it made me so happy.

Sleep training is not cruelty. Being a bad sleeper is shit. And it is not something you have to live with forever.

WorzelsCornyBrows Sun 22-Nov-15 23:47:53

Haggis I'm not being critical of the co-sleeping, I'm critical of the reason for it. I have spent many nights sharing a bed with my children, I do what is best for them/us at any given time.

What I cannot get my head around is anyone who explains their approach as being because they follow a "type" of parenting. Sorry, but I just don't get it. If someone decides how they're going to parent because of stuff they've read in books and online, they decide they're going to "parent" a certain way, before they've even really met and got to know their child, who are they really doing it for, themselves or their child. It's not just attachment parenting, any form of tribal parenting to me just seems absurd.

PennyHasNoSurname Sun 22-Nov-15 23:52:05

Does your DH do the night duty when he has a day off the next day? I know id be more inclined to feel intimate and loving towards someone who was doing a fair share.

Haggisfish Sun 22-Nov-15 23:54:18

How, exactly, did you train yourself as a teenager? And apologies worzel I see what you mean now. Can you tell this has been a touchy subject for me grin?

WorzelsCornyBrows Mon 23-Nov-15 00:25:18

Haggis I think anyone with a "bad sleeper" finds sleep a touchy subject grin

OP, what worked for us was to transfer DD to her own bed when she was asleep so that we could go to bed together. When she woke in the night we wanted everyone to get as much quality sleep as possible, which meant she normally came into our bed and one of us would usually move out. I don't think it matters where you wake up in the morning.

DD is 3.5 now and only this week has she started to go to sleep in her own bed without one of us staying until she was asleep (with the help of a behaviour chart and present at the end of a week). We need her to do it because DD2 gets a very raw deal at the moment because bedtime is all about DD1. What I'm trying to say is that you have to be prepared to adapt to the needs of your whole family. I don't think trying to get your baby to spend some time at night in his own bed is a bad thing, and it doesn't have to involve leaving him to scream himself to sleep. Can you try with nap time to begin with?

Purpleboa Mon 23-Nov-15 06:26:40

Sympathy OP. I'm right there with you. Feels like I don't have a husband, I have a co worker. As well as DD being a terrible sleeper, she is ebf and won't take a bottle, so chances of a night out together are zero. It's driving me crazy and we're only 5 months in!!

Come over and join us on the Sleep thread under Being a parent - lots of us going through the same thing there!

Rebecca2014 Mon 23-Nov-15 06:33:50

Hmm you should be sleep training your child. I rather do that then risk ruining my relationship but its up to you.

At that age you shouldn't be so sleep deprived, he is not a new born baby...he is nearly one years old. Sounds like a parenting choice to me

Lovelydiscusfish Mon 23-Nov-15 06:54:54

OP, like you I would not have contemplated night-weaning or "sleep-training" my child at that age (in fact I fine the language of "training" a baby quite strange, tbh. And I have never subscribed to any parenting "model" - my instincts clearly told me that, for my child, this was not the right course. You are quite entitled to stick to your guns.
I would, however, try to make time for you and your dh, and change things around so that you spend as much of the nights in the same bed as possible!

SevenSeconds Mon 23-Nov-15 07:16:41

Have you sat down with DH and chatted about things, and asked if he has any suggestions to improve things between you? That's the first step I think.

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