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Can people (men) learn to wake up when babies cry??

(20 Posts)
LittleGandT Wed 23-Sep-09 20:43:22

I am a very light sleeper & i wake if my baby so much as sighs. As long as I am responsible for him, I simply cannot fall into a deep sleep.

My DH meanwhile, will snooze (and snore) with DS screaming in his ear and he claims there is nothing he can do about it.

My instinct is that it is possible to 'decide' to be more alert and tuned in while asleep, but i have heard that the ability to wake up or not is a hard-wired brain function and cannot be changed.

Does anyone know if this is true?
Does anyone have this problem?
Have you learned to wake up or to stay asleep?
Anyone know how i can get DH to bl**dy wake up and let me have a night off?

LittleGandT Wed 23-Sep-09 21:58:14

Bumpety bump!

stainesmassif Wed 23-Sep-09 22:11:21

how old is your baby? i found it very hard to sleep when ds was tiny, and gradually got used to his snuffles and sighs. dh never wakes up, even when he cries in the bed with us. i have given up expecting anything else!

PinkyRed Wed 23-Sep-09 22:15:30

I find that a quick jab in the ribs from me generally helps my dh to wake up.

He is just a heavier sleeper than I am - he's perfectly happy to get up once I wake him, so I really don't think he stays asleep on purpose.

bosch Wed 23-Sep-09 22:16:05

I only got a good nights sleep if I was in a different part of the house - eg downstairs and baby and dh upstairs.

If you're going to wake up, it doesn't matter if dh wakes up at same time/slightly later, the damage is done and you're awake.

I can't help thinking there's something biological going on here. Don't try to change your dh. Your ds won't be hurt for crying a bit longer while waiting for your dh to rouse.

LittleGandT Wed 23-Sep-09 22:18:09

Baby is not really the word actually. -20 months.

I'm less concerned about my failure to sleep which is annoying but useful i suppose. What i want to know is how to make that snoring mound at my side do his bit...

Do you never feel irritated by your DH's peaceful sleep? Maybe you are more generous than me!

HeadFairy Wed 23-Sep-09 22:18:21

I used to sleep the sleep of the dead before I became a mother, now a mouses fart wakes me up. I think something changes in your brain after having a baby. I've never needed a baby monitor, even when ds was on a different level of the house to us.

Hulababy Wed 23-Sep-09 22:19:03

I suspect DH would wake mre quickly if he was the one expected to get up and deal with the baby in th night. At the moment he knows he doesn't have to rouse himself because you will do it, so he doesn't force himself to.

HeadFairy Wed 23-Sep-09 22:19:11

I do get irritated by dh's peaceful sleep... so I make sure I make tons of noise as I hurrrumph around the room "looking" for my dressing gown

LittleGandT Wed 23-Sep-09 22:21:50

Oh hi. -Crossed posting.

No i don't think my DH is doing it on purpose either. I guess what interests me is whether it is a biological difference as you suggest Bosch, and whether it is gender based. (This really is curiosity as much as irritibilitywink.)

The thing is, DS wouldn't be crying for "a bit longer", but for hours. DH will not wake...

LittleGandT Wed 23-Sep-09 22:25:32

HeadFairy yours is the kind of evidence i want to present him with! If your brain can change, why can't his? I know he hasn't had a baby, but it's not like i'm asking him to hear with his uterus grin.

notcitrus Wed 23-Sep-09 22:26:51

Until about 3 months ago (so A was 9 months), I woke at a mere sniffle and MrNC who sleeps across the hall hardly at all. Since then I don't know why but I sleep through a lot of squeaks and MrNC brings me a baby in his arms to drop on me (and I feed him, which is why MrNC has to wake me up).

Baby monitor wired up to Mr OP?

HeadFairy Wed 23-Sep-09 22:40:24

I know what you mean LittleGandT, but I have a horrible feeling the changes in the brain, if they've taken place at all, are down to hormones released in pregnancy... or something like that. It would just be typical really, perhaps some pharmaceutical company could research a drug we can give dh's so their brains become similarly altered

LittleGandT Wed 23-Sep-09 22:55:32

Hmm, i'm getting fed up of blinking hormones sticking their noses into everything. I wonder if that really could be true.

I wondered about baby monitors notcitrus. Maybe adapted to give DH a mild(ish) electric shock when DS cries?

Have you no idea at all what caused the change notcitrus?

LittleWhiteWolf Thu 24-Sep-09 08:54:20

I read that women hear a higher frequency than men, which is one apparent reason for us waking while our husbands sleep.
Personally I found that when DD slept in our room I woke constantly, unless DH and I swapped roles and bedsides. If I was on his usual side and knew he was taking the responsibility should she wake up that I could sleep through her waking, mostly.
Now she's in her own room I do wake if I hear her, but she's sleeping through til 6 usually (7 today!) so I tend to enter a lighter sleep in the hour before she awakes I guess, as noises she makes throughout the night only wake me then.
Arent brains fun... hmm

gallery Fri 25-Sep-09 10:46:36

When I was on maternity leave with my first baby, my husband never woke. When I went back to work, I made him share the night getting up. He said he thought him sleeping through was a pyschological knowledge that was ingrained from me doing all the getting up while I was on ML and it took him a few months to adjust when I was working. He just slept. Sometimes I would ask him to go. Now, I go the first time, the second time, I lie there and let the crying escalate till he goes. He has often slept through me going the first time. I no longer resent it as he is good at getting up once he wakes. And if I prod him, he will go. I just wish I could sleep through too! Does it matter if it is scientific, what is the desired output- more sharing of night calls. So just tell your husband he has to take his share

Fennel Fri 25-Sep-09 10:50:16

hmm. in our house I wake most easily but I also struggle to go back to sleep when I've got up to deal with a baby or child, whereas DP can get up, change nappy or soothe child, and go straight back to sleep easily. So in our house DP did more of the night caring. I would often have to poke DP awake though.

I don't think it's a gender thing, but yes some people go to sleep more easily than others, and some wake more easily.

alypaly Fri 25-Sep-09 10:51:46

a knee in the groin and ..get up its your turn works really well

meltedmarsbars Fri 25-Sep-09 10:52:06

Dh "hears" through his leg grin

alypaly Fri 25-Sep-09 11:18:23

try placing screaming baby next to his earsmile

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