There's going to be a row...

(10 Posts)
ohthegoats Thu 30-Apr-15 11:26:54

Right, my 6 1/2 month old is not a very good sleeper. Well, no.. she's fine during the day with naps, just not so good at night. She often needs settling more than once during the evening, and never sleeps more than 3 hours without waking either for reassurance or food. We co-sleep after the first main wake in the night.

My boyfriend moved out into the spare room the day she was born, and we've not slept in the same bed since. He often just shuts the door saying 'good luck' before bedtime. I sort of don't mind this - in all honesty, if he's not involved in the bedtime routine at all, she'll sleep all evening without needing to be settled and will sleep better at night (although still in my bed).

Now I've started to mix feed, he's keen to be involved in feeding her and with the bedtime/nighttime stuff. He still doesn't want to get up after 11.30 at night though, so not all that helpful really, but the willing is there now so I need to take advantage of it.

He used to have a way of getting her to sleep that involved rocking for 10+ minutes, but now doesn't want to use that. So nothing is working, and she gets steadily more and more wound up until he gives up and brings her in to me/comes and gets me. At which point she's quiet and goes to sleep on her own after a bit of chatting and flapping.

My feeling is that he's just got to keep working on it. Is there anything else I can suggest to him? Or a way that I could make it easier for him? He just keeps blathering on about it 'being time for' controlled crying.. a whole two weeks after getting involved!!

FATEdestiny Thu 30-Apr-15 11:43:09

Getting him much more involved in the daytime would probably be a better place to start, than night feeds.

How would he be if you gave yourself a few days off from parenting? Even if you don't go anywhere (although going out may be easier on you), he takes on sole and full responsibility for everything from first thing until bedtime, when you take over.

He needs to develop his own range of strategies for dealing with Upset Baby. He can only learn those by being left to trial and error (just like you probably had to go through in the newborn stages when you were learning to be a parent).

What works for me doesn't work when DH does the same thing with our DD, and vice versa. Handing her over without successfully calming her every time is not helping his confidence or ability. I appreciate there will be some times when nothing but Mummy will do, but it is unhealthy (and unhelpful) if this is the case with every time she cries.

He's a parent. He needs to man up and deal with his daughter warts and all.

What could he try? My DH is the master of shushing (I don't shush) and he tickles DDs face while she lies in the cot. If this doesn't work he'll try cradle hold, rocking and shushing. If this doesn't work he'll feed her. If this doesn't work he'll co-sleep, tickle and shush. If this doesn't work it's time to swap and I take over.

But as I said, it's all very personal for what works for him and his daughter. He just needs to try different things.

ohthegoats Thu 30-Apr-15 11:58:15

Yes, this is what needs to happen - and it can now, as of yesterday I'm down to only boob first thing and last thing (and overnight if necessary), so I don't need to bother her with my exploding boobs at lunchtime!

He'll hate the suggestion though. In a few weeks i'm going away for a night, not very far away, but he's already talking about who he can get over to help him. He's been away loads without me or her, and somehow I've managed had people round to dinner/decorated whole rooms As of tomorrow actually, he's starting part time hours so that he can have her on a Friday every other week (on a permanent basis), so I think perhaps part of his getting cross with stuff is that he feels that looming and he feels unprepared.

I think maybe you're right about daytime first - not just because of her, but because he gets frustrated about the fact he's losing sleep etc.

FATEdestiny Thu 30-Apr-15 18:59:16

It's time he started getting prepared and learning the nitty gritty of parenting.

But it is easier said than done for a closely attached Mummy to just step back and let him make the mistakes and learn from them.

My DD is very (maybe even too) strongly attached to me and as a result while it's easy for me to settle her, it is hard work for my DH to. But that is not reason for me to wade in and take over every time.

At times this is frustrating for everyone - DD strains her head and reaches out towards me if she can see or hear me, so I have to stay out of the way so that DD doesn't get frustrated. DH gets frustrated because it might take him 45 minutes to achieve what I could do in 45 seconds. Then I get frustrated because every mother knows how hard it is listening to their child when distressed.

splendide Thu 30-Apr-15 19:47:31

We're the same Goats. .My husband hasn't slept in our bed since the first (terrible) night. I don't think he's ever going to help with night stuff. He'll take the baby during the day but recently announced he couldn't put him down for his afternoon nap so could only do mornings.

This was ok until recently the sleep went so wrong. I do need some help at night really but not sure how to ask.

Vikkijayne2507 Thu 30-Apr-15 23:16:55

My lo (13 months ) has always slept badly. He only has bf during night once. Oh never hears him wake up ever. But when Ds is having a really bad night and my patience is waning I will literally give him the baby and go a make tea. Ds will often go even more mental at this point but usually calms down eventually. Oh gets very frustrated when he can't but I've had very serious talks saying we need to alternate bedtime and he's agreed I had my first night out and although hard he managed.

Greenstone Sat 02-May-15 20:55:08

I think the Fridays he will have with her will help loads over time. Dh used to have Wednesdays with dd1 and it was sink or swim and he got there in time. Lots and lots of walking in the buggy and little trips to cafes once she was on solids.

It's taken him longer to get there with dd2 but he's getting there now - the old jiggle on knee while letting her chew his finger still works. At night it's still me or bust mostly but she'll settle in his arms for a bit.

The only way to ask for help at night - if none is forthcoming- is to say 'I need you to take care of the next waking. I am so tired I am getting angry/faint/ill and I need you to take the baby so everyone is safe.' That gets the message across sharpish.

But yeah, daytime settling first is the way to go I think.

ohthegoats Tue 05-May-15 12:43:02

Well, over the weekend we had to sleep in the spare room. After one night he started talking about coming home 'so he could sleep'. I pointed out that it would make no difference to MY sleep, alright for him etc... to which he didn't seem to give a shit. There WAS a row!

Baby now has a cold, snot everywhere, so sleep has gone totally to crap. Up every hour for comfort. Can I put her in the recycling?

ohthegoats Tue 05-May-15 12:48:13

Spare? I meant 'same' room.

Binglesplodge Tue 05-May-15 19:18:50

I can't offer any advice but I just wanted to offer sympathy as we're the same here! To give him his credit, my dh is fab in lots of ways and does way more than his share of housework and cooking but he sleeps in our bed all night with earplugs in and has done since the night we came home from hospital and he decided that since he can't breastfeed the baby there's no point both of us being woken in the night... I sleep in the spare room with the monitor and ds is in his own room at 29 weeks but like yours has a cough and is waking pretty much hourly. Not fun.

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