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Don't know how to explain to my husband he's not helping :(

(34 Posts)
FTM85 Thu 23-Mar-17 22:20:56

Hi all

We have a gorgeous 8 week old little girl. We've fallen into a very light routine of bath and bed between 7-8. The reason it is light as my husband likes to bath her as it's the only time he sees her in the day (which is lovely) but sometimes he gets back from work at 7, sometimes not until a little later.

When he baths her I rush downstairs to get dinner on. When he has bathed her he brings her downstairs and I feed her either to sleep or until drowsy when I hand her back to my husband. If she wakes I ask him to resettle her. This is where the problems start. I walk in on him playing records and dancing around with her wide awake bolt upright over his shoulder - this is lovely don't get me wrong! But just not the right time of day. I say o thought you were going to settle her and he says I thought I was, I don't think he gets it.

So then he takes her, wide awake, to her cot. He sits with her but not shushing or patting, just sitting. I explain newborns can't get themselves to sleep they need help and he says he doesn't get it.

I'm really struggling as feel like I need this help in the evening but actually end up taking over fully because I can settle her (quiet space, shushing, rocking, dummy etc).

This isn't for a moment about me getting the baby 'out of the way' but she gets so tired by 8 and when it works for her it's the perfect bedtime, then she wakes for a feed at 1.

How do I explain to him without hurting his feelings/sounding bossy? I am starting to get wound up at bedtime each night. He's now sitting with her, in her cot, making faces at her to make her laugh!

Sorry I appreciate this is a bit 'agony aunt' haha but anyone had similar situations?

FATEdestiny Thu 23-Mar-17 22:31:03

At 8 weeks old your baby should sleep in the same room you are, at all times. That includes the evenings and daytime.

So until 6 months old, baby's bedtime is your bedtime.

www.lullabytrust.org.uk/room-share

This basically negates your entire point.

While I appreciate that some people choose to bend the rules on SIDS requirement to room share with a 5 or so month old. But at 8 weeks old your baby is still newborn. This risk is great.

On top of that, it does sound like you are needlessly stressing over nothing here. No need to stress over bedtime and routines for many months yet.

Let your husband enjoy his new baby.

FTM85 Thu 23-Mar-17 22:53:51

Not sure at what point I said we weren't sharing a room? We actually bedshare but she stays with us in the living room until we go to bed.

FTM85 Thu 23-Mar-17 22:56:40

I'm also not stressing over nothing. Everything I do is baby led, since she worked out night and day she chose for her sleeptime to be between 7-8 so I follow her cues.

FATEdestiny Thu 23-Mar-17 22:58:53

So what's happening at 7pm?

She will have awake time between naps. It's not unusual for a young baby to be unsettled through the early evening. Often cluster feeding help a with this.

The better option if you are becoming overly worried about baby sleeping at this point would be DH does dinner and you settle in the sofa with baby on your lap and noob out.

FATEdestiny Thu 23-Mar-17 22:59:06

Boob*

ginswinger Thu 23-Mar-17 23:03:48

A agree with you, I think routines are good early on. Could you ask your husband to help you settle baby and you show him how it's done? It's early days and if you're both 1st time parents, there's lots to learn for everyone but if you're with baby FT, you know her better. Winding down for bed is important and creating a quiet environment is essential, over stressed babies are not great!
Be gentle on yourself and work this through together xx

FTM85 Thu 23-Mar-17 23:06:48

Thanks so much ginswinger, more than anything we are of course enjoying our little girl and I don't want anything to get in the way of that especially me coming across like a bossy nag! Thanks for understanding x

ChuckDaffodils Thu 23-Mar-17 23:07:59

Just before bedtime, put some loud music on and start dancing around the front room. When he looks at you crazy, say you are just setting yourself for the night. When he says 'how is that ever settling yourself' say 'dunno, that's what you have been doing to the baby, I thought I'd try it'. He may get it then.

IHeartKingThistle Thu 23-Mar-17 23:09:24

I think getting into this sort of light routine early is great and I think you've been given some slightly odd advice on this thread.

Putting down awake is something to encourage - DH does maybe need to be a bit calmer around bedtime but I know lots of people who fed to sleep and then got stuck doing it for ages.

It is a minefield. Whatever works for you!

Goosegettingfat Thu 23-Mar-17 23:09:43

Fate, that's not helpful, or related to the op's question.

I totally get it: this is a v tricky relationship area IME. I found I just had to take the bull by the horns: so something along the lines of "DH I think you are lovely for being so keen to be such a hands-on dad. However, I am going to lose my fucking mind if dd ends up being a nightmare to settle at bedtime. To this end, I really would appreciate it if we could encourage her towards self-settling. Your role in this would be to do a, b and c. Thank you."

ginswinger Thu 23-Mar-17 23:12:17

You're not a bossy nag! Newborns can be stressful and it's not obvious to everyone what to expect. I can remember holding my day old newborn and reading the Mumsnet Book of Babies and being a little aghast! I had no idea I had to burp her! FWIW, she's 5 and has survived babyhood.
Be gentle and share the work, he'll get it soon enough but don't be afraid to show him. If he can't quite get it, maybe find other ways to get him involved that are more energetic.

Waterlemon Thu 23-Mar-17 23:19:31

I thought the first poster was pretty harsh!

I'm pretty laid back, but always had a routine like yours from pretty early on with my 2 dc.

IMy DH found it very hard in the early days, to be at work all day and then to come home at dc bedtime. All he ever did mon-fri was put them to bed, there was little opportunity to play with them or have quality time, so I see where your DH is coming from. At the same time, some babies crave routine!

Ds1 even now he is nearly 10 has always needed an early bedtime. He still struggles staying up past 730. Going to bed at same time as us was never an option.

Maybe let them have their play when he comes in the door, even if that means keeping a ratty baby up, but after bathtime, it's quiet time?

FATEdestiny Thu 23-Mar-17 23:36:12

I got your PM op, I don't tend to reply to PMs although I have read it. I prefer people who have the balls to say what they want to say in public, where I reply with the straight-to-the-point way that is my nature.

I did a little search to see when I've come across you before. The only other thread I can find was regarding side-sleeping in a newborn and my entire contribution to your thread was the SIDS risk, like my post above.

I'm not sure what the problem is in doing that? I post a lot on the sleep board and SIDS guidelines is always going to be a big part of that. The understanding of safe sleeping in the UK is worryingly low. That's not me being judgmental. It's not personal it's just the fact.

I certainly don't mean to be judgmental. What I do realise is that first time parents often feel "lost at sea" (as it were) with regards to baby sleep. Especislly if they find themselves posting here. They face that cliff-face of a learning curve that we all go through. They had all these plans, hopes, expectations of what it will be like. Then reality kicks in.

It's usually (although not exclusively) the first time parents that don't like to hear the stuff I say. It's hardest to hear when your hopes and expectations are so high.

I'm not judgmental. But I have mostly been there and done that. I don't do hand holding and fluffy loveliness. I offer realism and the voice of saying it like it is, even if it's not lovely and cuddly.

Anyway, I digress from your actual point...

Your DH has to go through the same learning curve you have been going through. While he can learn some stuff by osmosis, mostly he has to learn by doing. Just like you did - being thrown in the deep end in a 'sink or swim' introduction to being a parent.

One way to deal with this is to accept the role of primary carer yourself. Be te me in source of comfort and feeding for baby, let Dad (for now) do things like nappy changes, getting baby dressed, entertainment (such that it is at 8 weeks). It will change as the child gets older, so he doesn't need to worry there is no rush.

Or, he needs to learn by doing and facing the consequences. So if he doesn't get a tired baby to sleep, he has to deal with the over tired screamibg later.

I cant see how that works with a breastfed newborn, to be honest. So maybe letting him do the dinner and housework would be easier, for now. Baby needs you (you specifically) in this "fourth trimester" phase.

Settle in on the sofa with baby for a mamouth cluster feeding session. Feeding and napping on and off until you go up to bed. Get DH to wait in you hand and foot.

Fair enough turn off the lights, turn down the tv and whisper all evening if you feel the need to. Honestly though, you really, really REALLY don't need to be worried about that with an 8 week old baby.

FATEdestiny Thu 23-Mar-17 23:56:06

Goosegettingfat: Fate, that's not helpful, or related to the op's question

It's entirely relevant. OP talks of DH settling baby in the cot while she "runs downstairs to make dinner"

Cot upstairs then.

I suspected that the OP did not have a robust enough understanding of what room sharing actually means.

Yes, it's harsh (as another poster said) that i pointed that out. But it is no less highly relevant.

It also completely negates the point that he is failing to settle baby to sleep in the cot.

I didn't even bother to continue about cluster feeding, expectations of unsettled evenings, primary carer role. As well as all the things around DH needing to learn his role. All these were subsequently covered.

But the fundamental central point here is that baby should not be be "put to bed" due Safe Sleeping Guidelines.

Room sharing is not just about the nights.

Maybe the op understand that. The opening post certainly doesn't make that clear. So I started from the basic point of safety. Completely relevent and related to the ops post. It stops all of the hassle she describes if she realises baby should be in the living room / dining room / kitchen with them.

teaandbiscuitsforme Fri 24-Mar-17 05:45:30

Do you BF and cosleep or use the cot? If it's the first, your DH is going to have quite a different role, especially in the early months. My DS is now 11 weeks and I feed to sleep with him downstairs whilst DH puts our toddler to bed. DH gets time with DS when he's doing nappies, having a little walk around if DS does wake up or holding him whilst I go upstairs for a quick shower and get ready for bed. Then he brings him up, does his nappy whilst I feed and we all go to sleep. He obviously does a lot more at the weekends with him but during the week, DS is with me for the most part in the evenings.

But in a few months, you'll be able to do more of a bedtime routine and DH can have more of a structured role - bath baby, read a couple of stories, pass to you to feed to sleep for example. It might be your DH just needs to be told exactly what you want him to do and how you want him to do it?

Is the bath helping or making things more stressful at the moment? Maybe DH could play quietly with her on her playmat whilst you make dinner and then you take over to feed? (Or he could make dinner! grin)

TheLegendOfBeans Fri 24-Mar-17 06:17:21

I did a little search to see when I've come across you before. The only other thread I can find was regarding side-sleeping in a newborn and my entire contribution to your thread was the SIDS risk, like my post above.

Ok Fate, maybe back off now? I'm guessing the OP as the mum of a newborn doesn't need you pecking her head like this so publicly. In the words of Elsa (or Anna?), "let it go".

OP just tell him! Just say it, but be gentle and kind. I had the same situ as you and DH had to be told by me on several occasions to modify things and he took it on board.

Whatthefreakinwhatnow Fri 24-Mar-17 06:33:43

DC3 is now 12 weeks old, still slopes in the moses downstairs until we go to bed and will do for another 3 months yet as did the previous two. In our

I'm not really one for routines anyway but we'll fall into one once they are able to go into their own room like we did with the others I'm sure.

I agree with fate, just enjoy your baby and don't stress about routines! Just settle the baby in the lounge and cook dinner or he can cook dinner, whatever is easiest. It doesn't need to be this hard OP, honestly.

I've had no set routine for any of mine, all fell into one themselves and we've had no problems. Their sleep patterns change so frequently that you'll just stress yourself out when what was working last week no longer works etc. Go with the flow I say smile

Shurleyshummishtake Fri 24-Mar-17 06:43:41

It's pretty harsh on your DH to arrive home and then have you decide that is the time that the baby needs to go the sleep and then criticing him when he tries to interact with the baby. It's his baby too and he is getting almost no time to bond by the sounds of it.

Bonding with dad is way more important than some false routine at 8 weeks imho

We get so fixated with routines and creating bad habits but babies change all the time and what works one week doesn't the next anyway

Let dad have some playtime when he gets home. Give baby a smallish feed to keep her going and then later on at say ten she can go up to bed when you do and you can feed to near sleep and do the whole dark room shush and rock thing.

Please don't prevent yourDH having some time with her and do be careful not to do the 'I know the baby best thing' as it's hugely disempowering.
You'll be on here again in a few months saying DH doesn't want to be involved and has no relationship with the baby etc etc .

Try to relax a bit. It's a stressful time but being too regimented rarely makes it easier in truth.

PlaymobilPirate Fri 24-Mar-17 06:54:10

He's obviously desperate to spend time with her, in his way. Honestly, I'd just back off a bit and let him develop his own routines for his time with her.

xStefx Fri 24-Mar-17 07:16:38

Op my DH was exactly the same , he had no sense of what tactic to play at what time but like you I thought it was cute the things he was doing with her.

I say let him get on with it :-) daddy's and daughters are so sweet x

holidaysaregreat Fri 24-Mar-17 07:17:12

No idea how some people on mumsnet get things done. Seems to be recommended sitting on sofa feeding all evening.
Mine went in own room from day one and were just put down to sleep. Had same routine every day. Babies, children and many adults thrive on routine as they feel safe.
I didn't start using mumsnet until mine were older because of people being so opinionated.
You are in the right OP and baby needs to be calm and settled. You could shift timings though so instead of aiming for 7-7 aim for 8-8 so OH gets some interaction.
However I am the sort of person who likes routine and a tidy house. Not everyones cup of tea.

holidaysaregreat Fri 24-Mar-17 07:18:44

Don't apologise for wanting a calm routine. Most people do but won't admit it on mumsnet.

Whatthefreakinwhatnow Fri 24-Mar-17 07:23:39

Erm, you can have a tidy house without a routine for a tiny baby, but thanks! 😂

I didn't say we have no routine at all, the toddler and older have a bedtime etc but my three month old has to stayin the room with us to sleep so no, there isn't a routine for them. I put him in the basket, he goes to sleep whilst I cook, clean etc.

Babies don't need to be in their own rooms to 'get stuff done' hmm

Whatthefreakinwhatnow Fri 24-Mar-17 07:27:17

oh! I've just somehow managed to hoover and dust ownstairs and my baby is fast asleep in the sitting room with the noisy toddler, fancy that eh holidays wink

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