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Should I be expected to get up all the time during the night

(22 Posts)
Redeyes Wed 26-Feb-03 16:00:52

To be honest I would just like someone elses honest opinion.

Dp works 2day and 2 night shifts and then has 5 days off. The night before his first day shift until the night after his last night shift he will not get up with our baby, she usually wakes at least 4 times a night for no reason in particular, as soon as we lay he back down and put her dummy back in she is straight back off.

Therefore for 5 nights I am expected to get up all through the night and at 5 in the morning and when he is off he seems to bedgrudge the fact I need a lie in, when he does let me have a lie in he makes so much noise getting up I never really get back to sleep.

When its his days off and I get up with baby I go straight downstairs so as not to disturb him whereas he brings her in to me while he goes to the loo etc.

(Sorry gone off on a tangent), basically am I being unreasonable asking him to get up once or twice when he is at work the next day or should I grin and bear it?

grommit Wed 26-Feb-03 16:26:42

Redeyes - no you are not being unreasonable! It really annoys me that men seem to forget that being at home with baby/child all day is harder than going to work! This means you are up all night and then on the go all day. I would suggest you take turns - otherwise you are going to be worn out - she is his baby too! Sounds like you need to have a cosy chat with your dp! Good luck

kaz33 Wed 26-Feb-03 16:39:57

You know he's being unreasonable. Why should you take all the brunt of childcare ? He needs to value your contribution to the family. Having been on both sides of the coin - work is tough, but childcare can be doubly so.

Don't really have any magic solutions for you. You need to sit down and discuss the problem with DP and see if you can come to a solution that suits both parties. I always find that a combination of praise and bribery works best with my DP - tell him what a great dad he is and how much you appreciate that he wants to help with baby. Then in exchange for some time off for you is there something that you can bribe him with - time off to play golf always works with my DP.

You don't say how old your baby is - but hopefully baby might start to sleep better soon. Maybe you can concentrate on getting baby to sleep through the night - that would certainly help the problem. There is loads of useful stuff on here about sleeping patterns.

prufrock Wed 26-Feb-03 16:51:04

Not very unreasonable no - but I can see why he doesn't want to get up when he has to work - I have to say I never expected dh to when I was on maternity leave because I could usually get a nap or at least an hours veg during the day.
But he is being v. unreasonable by not affording you the same courtesy on his days off. There is no real reason why he can't do at least one full night and let you get some sleep - and disturbing you when it is his turn to get up is completely selfish.

NQWWW Wed 26-Feb-03 16:56:40

Would it not be an idea to get her off the dummy? Babies will naturally wake up several times during the night, and she is obviously depending on it to get back to sleep - same as my ds used to with the breast. Our sleep counsellor advised us that he needed to learn to get himself off to sleep without any help, ie without having to do the sucking thing.

Jzee Wed 26-Feb-03 17:13:49

Just a thought, but the next time he's got a day off and he's been up most of the night, go out and leave the baby with him for a while. It might give him a better idea of what you are experiencing.

Crunchie Wed 26-Feb-03 17:20:27

Well I agree he is unreasonable, but I am afraid I got everytime with both my kids. However it was usually only once or twice a night and I found I could sleep again very quickly. I do think the most unreasonable thing is that he pretends to be helping, and then dumps her on you so you don't get a lie in at all.

I would try to explain how you feel, and try to agree that certain nights you need him to help, perhaps on days when he is off the next day.

I agree about the dummy thing, once a baby learns to sleep on their own they may not wake as much. Also have you tried leaving her at all when she wakes? she might be able to get back to sleep herself, and although it maybe hard for a few nights, in the long term it would be worth it.

Lsstly stop being so considerate to him and his lie ins. I used to do this all the time, but I've decided unless there is a real reason that my dh derserves a lie-in, he is going to be awake at the same time as me!!!

aloha Wed 26-Feb-03 19:32:09

My ds has a dummy and sleeps all night - we taught him to put it back himself.
Yes, he is an unreasonable so-and-so - but only because you let him be. I wouldn't tolerate this kind of lazy, selfish behaviour for a minute, I really wouldn't. I would rather not be married - seriously - than seethe with resentment while raising our child singlehandedly. I presume he thinks that what you do during the day isn't work. Hmm, I wonder why nannies earn £30K a year doing it then? The fact that he has so much time off makes it even more OUTRAGEOUS that you do all the night wakings. My dh and I shared night wakings even if he went to work the next day. We had alternate nights in the spare room for a while and also did split shifts - one of us on duty from midnight to four am the other from four until 7am or something. We also took it in turns to have lie-ins. There was no question of one of us dumping the baby on the other while we went to the loo or something - what on earth does he think you do during the day when you want a wee? I LOVE the idea of going out during the day after the last of his night shifts so he can see how he can cope with a day of childcare on no sleep. You need to sort this IMO as it is totally unfair. He does a part-time job while you work 24hour shifts, as far as I can see!
Hey, good job I'm not a marriage counsellor, eh?
BTW, how old is your baby? Could you think about doing something about the night wakings.

Redeyes Wed 26-Feb-03 20:15:27

Thank you ever so much everyone. Baby is 11 months and to be honest I don't really know why she wakes, sometimes she wants a drink (water) and other times when I go in she is stood up at the side of the cot. DP's against controlled crying because he is bothered that it will disturb out eldest who is 4.

I don't usually get time to have a nap or a veg as I share taking and collecting my eldest to school with her and her son (which I really don't mind as that's what friends are for), but during the day as you will all know kids want constantly feeding and in our house there is a constant trail of snot to be cleared.

I know that if I try and sort it with him he'll blame my PND or say his usual 'I do more than your mate Jane Doe's husband'

Redeyes Wed 26-Feb-03 20:15:28

Thank you ever so much everyone. Baby is 11 months and to be honest I don't really know why she wakes, sometimes she wants a drink (water) and other times when I go in she is stood up at the side of the cot. DP's against controlled crying because he is bothered that it will disturb out eldest who is 4.

I don't usually get time to have a nap or a veg as I share taking and collecting my eldest to school with her and her son (which I really don't mind as that's what friends are for), but during the day as you will all know kids want constantly feeding and in our house there is a constant trail of snot to be cleared.

I know that if I try and sort it with him he'll blame my PND or say his usual 'I do more than your mate Jane Doe's husband'

PamT Wed 26-Feb-03 20:39:08

Redeyes, I don't think you are being unreasonable at all but it does generally fall to Mummy to get up during the night. I know he doesn't want to try controlled crying because of your other child but children often sleep through crying anyway and if the problem is sorted within a couple of days it will be well worth it.

prufrock Wed 26-Feb-03 21:12:39

Ok Redeye - I take it back -if you have a 4 year old to sort out as well then you are doing far more than he is every day and yes he should be getting up with you.
And if he is against cc, but you want to try it, then he can deal with the consequences. He can't dictate how you parent but not take responsibility for the issues that that causes (Not taht I am saying it is your fault that your dd is waking)

Chiccadum Wed 26-Feb-03 21:34:54

It's just frustrating that he won't stand by me when it comes to controlled crying. As we are all aware different people deal with depression different ways and mine is to sleep as much as possible when I finally drop off, but I can't and subsequently don't feel as though I'm getting better, he is really lucky as he can be asleep in a couple of minutes whereas i need about 1/2 hour to wind down when first going to bed and then probably the same or even longer after I have been in to the baby.

sobernow Wed 26-Feb-03 21:40:49

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Chiccadum Wed 26-Feb-03 21:44:56

From what I have been told I will definately have to give controlled crying a go, but to be totally honest don't really have a clue where to start as I never had to use it with dd1, she has slept 14 hours a night since she was born. How do I deal with her sitting up and standing up etc, how long do I leave her when she initially starts crying.

She wakes quite frequently but is usually back asleep within seconds and may go 1/2 or 2 1/2 hours before she wakes up again.

I really do not know where to start, I have got a bedtime routine though that she has adapted to very well, it is just the constant waking during the night.

aloha Wed 26-Feb-03 23:01:28

Hmm... so it's not ok to wake your dd, but fine for you to be up all night. Sod that, frankly. If he won't do the night stuff then it is up to you to sort it out. If he doesn't like it, then he can go to her at night. Simple! I totally agree with others who say siblings hardly ever wake. My stepdaughter has baby siblings both with us and at her mother's, and she can share a room and not be disturbed by even the most insistent yelling. I'm pretty sure the waking is pure habit and cc can really sort that out pretty quickly. Your baby has no idea how much her not sleeping impacts on you - she can't know - so doesn't realise what she is doing is unacceptable until you teach her. Also, it makes me even crosser that you have/had PND yet your dh is still being a lazy git.

PamT Thu 27-Feb-03 03:01:48

Chiccadum, I've read both Toddler Taming (Dr Christopher Green) and the Richard Ferber book about sleep problems and recommend you read one of them too. RF is a sticter method but they are both basically the same. The idea is that you leave your baby to cry for gradually lengthening periods of time until they eventually work out that it's not worth crying about becuase you don't come running straight away. For a baby or small child who is repeatedly waking during the night I would leave them completely for a little while and not go to them unless they are really upset, quite often they just have a little grouch and go back to sleep. If they want a drink but aren't hungry, just offer water and they might decided its not worth crying for. Similarly, if they just want attention, go to them and tell them firmly that they must go to sleep but don't cuddle or rock them.

If you stick to the plan rigidly, you should see a vast improvement within 2 or 3 days and possibly have a cure within a week. Parenting is a whole lot easier when you've had a good night's sleep.

kaz33 Thu 27-Feb-03 09:20:47

Redeyes - give controlled crying a go - it helped get our four month old sleeping through the night. We only had to do it for three or four nights for him to get the message.

Bugsy Thu 27-Feb-03 10:42:35

Redeyes and Chiccadum, would strongly recommend cc. I am huge wuss about crying babies but found with cc, I could set my own time limit. When I initially tried it, I went in every two minutes to check 15 month old howling ds was ok and murmer the same calm "night, night, go to sleep now" mantra. Having realised he wasn't going to die or spontaneously combust, I was able to stretch my going in time to 5 mins and eventually managed the extreme length of 10 mins. Having not had a single night of unbroken sleep for 15 months after 3 nights of gradually reducing crying we have had uninterrupted sleep (other than sickness) from ds ever since.
Chiccadum, if you leave dd2 to grumble what happens? As others have said, she may just grumble back to sleep again. My dd will do this several times in the night and I find that going in to her makes it worse.
I wish you both good luck, sleep deprivation is so horrible and can make life a real misery.

Bozza Thu 27-Feb-03 11:10:09

I think Chiccadum's problem is only really going to be resolved by not going into the baby at all rather than the traditional CC where you reassure and then leave at intervals. PamT's suggestion sounds good. Because if just going in quickly solves it you never get to the reassurance at intervals. DS wakes in the night and we just go to the door say "sshh its nighttime" (me) "shut up go to sleep" (DH)and he drops back off. The only way I can see to get round this is not to go at all. But I agree with the others and would try now before she gets older and more stubborn.

Also agree that your DH is being unfair saying that he won't get up but she can't be left (ie you have to get up).

NQWWW Thu 27-Feb-03 21:40:19

We did the cold turkey thing, and I absolutely hated every minute of it, but it absolutely worked in 4 nights. It was textbook - the first night he cried for nearly 4 hours, the second night for 2 hours, the 3rd night for 1 hour and the 4th night for half an hour, the fifth night (and almost ever after) not a whisper. I really don't think it did him any harm at all, in fact he was much happier after a proper night's sleep, and my life was transformed. I hate to hear my ds cry as much as the next mum, and used to say I would never leave him to cry, but was really at the end of my tether (and now of course I wish we'd done it earlier).

Chiccadum Thu 27-Feb-03 21:45:05

I understand what you are saying about doing the cold turkey thing but she goes to bed fine and will sometimes wake up in 1 hr sometimes alot longer, do I go into her as soon as she wakes or just leave her. The main problem is she takes seconds to go back to sleep after I leave.

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