Mumsnet Logo
My feed

to access all these features


or is DH? (DS's sleep)

25 replies

CheerfulYank · 30/03/2011 22:44

DS is three and a half and does not nap. He needs a lot of sleep. When he gets enough (11-12 hrs) he is delightful. When he doesn't, he's, erm...less than delightful. :)

DS has to be up by 7:30 at the latest, but usually wakes up around 7:10 or so on his own, so I feel he needs to be asleep by 7:30. The problem is, DH doesn't get home until after 6 most days.

He is a wonderful father and he and DS are very close. When he gets home they want to play and roughhouse until well after 7, and then DH wants to read him three or four stories. A lot of nights DS is not getting to sleep until closer to 8:30 or later, and then he's terrible the next day. For instance, last night he was up til almost 9 and today he's been screaming at me, hitting, etc. He's in the naughty spot right now for the umpteenth time this afternoon and I'm practically in tears myself.

I get done with work every day at noon and bring DS home from daycare. When he's been up late he starts wearing down around 1 and I have five hours with an exhausted little screamer til DH gets home.

He will not nap. On the very few occasions he does fall asleep, he's cranky when he wakes up and then will not fall asleep until 11 p.m. or so.

I feel awful enforcing bedtime; I know DH just wants time with him and I'd much rather have that than the opposite of course! But I really feel like DH gets very little "quality" time with him as it is because DS is so cranky in the afternoon/evening.

So AIBU to think that DS needs to be asleep at 7:30 even though it means less time with his dad?

(I'm actually a little nervous here; I feel like a miserable hag already, always breaking up the fun to put DS to bed... :( )

OP posts:

FabbyChic · 30/03/2011 22:46

Sounds like you already have your answer, your son needs to go to bed for 7.30, his dad can read him stories whilst he is in bed, that is how you are going to have to work it.

It's you and the boy who are suffering from the late nights not his father.


SarkyLady · 30/03/2011 22:48


I only see my dc for 10 mins in the evening on 3 days of the week. It sucks but the alternative is worse.


harecare · 30/03/2011 22:51

You are right. You just need to get DH onside. Is he around at the weekends?


squeakytoy · 30/03/2011 22:53

Its just one of lifes things.. Dad is working late and is going to have to miss out on a bit of fun, because your sons sleep really does have to come first. He wont be 3 for long, and in a years time will be a lot less cranky and need less sleep. :)



omaoma · 30/03/2011 22:57

YANBU. Would it be possible for dh to take a day off, to see what ds is really like after not enough sleep? Appreciate it could be hard for him to comprehend.

But if you are at home with DS then you are the manager and you get to set the rules. Make it up with special dad time at the weekend? Swimming or some such. then you get a break too (and he also gets a taster of what it's like to do 'proper' parenting on your own, when things like eating/nappies/safety have to be dealt with, rather than just playing!)


CheerfulYank · 30/03/2011 22:58

Yes he is harecare, so it's not like he never gets to see him. I would hate it if I only saw DS for an hour or so, so I do understand fabby says I feel it's unfair to DS and me since we're the ones dealing with the fallout from the late nights.

OP posts:

CheerfulYank · 30/03/2011 23:01

Omaoma I really think he doesn't connect it! He knows DS gets cranky but I don't think he realizes he's exhausted. They do spend a lot of time together on the weekends too, it's just during the weekday evenings that he doesn't see him.

OP posts:

harecare · 31/03/2011 21:06

I agree with Omaoma. You are the manager during the week so will have to be the mean Mum and lay down the rules for the good of everyone. Children aren't toys, they need to have their basic needs catered for before playing, and one of those is sleep.
How to communicate this to DH in a way that makes him happy not to play in the evenings is beyond me. Maybe cut it a little at first? I am actually letting my DDs (almost 4 and 18 months) stay up an extra half an hour at the moment as it's so sunny out. They're still asleep by 7:30 though.
Be thankful DH is so hands on. My DP gets home in time to read a story about 3 days a week - including weekends and often works one of those. I sometimes wonder if he prefers work...


CheerfulYank · 31/03/2011 21:10

I sat him down last night and informed him that mumsnet said he WBU had a Serious Talk. DS was asleep by 7:30 and has been lovely all day. :o

OP posts:

fiveisanawfullybignumber · 31/03/2011 21:10

Try setting up a videocam in an unobtrusive place that will capture DS's tired and cranky behaviour for him to see.
Have to say though, I'm like a parrot at night, constantly repeating, 'don't wind the children up before bedtime!'


harecare · 31/03/2011 21:42

Ha ha, brilliant!


Satireisbest · 31/03/2011 21:45

Can he finish work earlier?
I would if not doing it meant I didn't see my children much.


pointythings · 31/03/2011 22:08

8.30 - 9 is a bonkers bedtime for a 3yo, you are so NBU. He won't be this young for long, good sleep habits now will help him for life. Your DH will just have to live with it - he will need to jump in and do the evening routine (stories and so on) to get the quality time he wants. It's good he's so engaged, but sleep is vital.
FWIW, my two were going to bed at 7 when they were that age - they needed their sleep. DD1 still napped until she was past 4!


CheerfulYank · 01/04/2011 02:37

Pointy I would love it if he napped, he just doesn't! He used to lie in his bed for an hour, which I thought was pointless. He really hasn't napped since he was a little over 2. Occasionally he will fall asleep in front of the TV if he's very, very, very tired, but then he can stay up til midnight without blinking. Sigh...

DH has been a lot better, it's nice to have mumsnet back me up! :) Also he came home early today and saw how lovely and calm DS was being since he was well-rested.

OP posts:

PenguinArmy · 01/04/2011 03:19

I would also love to spend time with DD when I get in, but she has chosen her bedtime and I get happen to get in after this.

It is my personal opinion that (i) it is hard work to change their bedtime and (ii) it is unfair and selfish of me to do so

It's :( but that's life sometimes. I just make the most of weekends, I always make sure we go out, even if it's just the cafe for lunch.

Your right they should be having 12 hours sleep and for a few more years yet.


hillee · 01/04/2011 03:59


DD goes to bed at 6.30pm come rain or shine. DH normally doesn't get home from work until 8 or 9pm, but even if he's had an earlier mark, he knows full well that I will not make her wait up for him to come home.

I know it seems unfair for DH, but it's incredibly unfair for DD if she has less sleep (and on me too for having to deal with the ramifications).

I think sometimes it can be a background thing. DH and his siblings were allowed to stay up til all hours and hang out with their father after he came home from work. I think it's ridiculous.


ZacharyQuack · 01/04/2011 04:14

It may make it easier for your DH if he thinks of this as a "for now" solution. Your DS won't always need this much sleep (maybe...) At some stage he'll be able to stay up later, even if it's just once or twice a week. But for now, he needs the sleep and it's not fair on him to keep him awake. I'll bet DS has a much nicer time on the days when he's well-rested and calm, than when he's overtired and grouchy.


SofiaAmes · 01/04/2011 04:27

Any possibility of changing your schedule or your ds' schedule so that he can sleep later and therefore stay up later and spend time with his father.


CheerfulYank · 01/04/2011 06:01

Unfortunately no, Sofia. I work at 8 every morning and it can't be changed as I work at a school. So to get DS to daycare on time he has to be up by 7:30 at the latest. Soon I'll be off for the summer and then staying up later will be a possibility, but he doesn't often sleep in anyway. (Especially in the summer when it's light so early in the morning.) He gets up between 7:00 and 7:20 naturally whether he falls asleep at 6pm or midnight.

The only possible option would be for DH to go into work very early and then he could possibly get out earlier, but they frown on anyone leaving before 5:30 at the earliest. They are good about him taking time off to take DS to story time at the library (which he does once a month) and do things at DS's preschool though.

OP posts:

FreudianSlippery · 01/04/2011 07:01

You are in the right here, not DH. Unfortunately it's just part of being a WOHP :(

But there's lots more that dad can do without rough play (save that for the weekend, they can have time together and you can have time off! Does DH get weekends off?)

It's just as important for dad to do the gentle stuff too, if you can really big up the need for him to do bath and bed routine maybe he'll feel better about it. I'm guessing DS has dinner before DH gets home?


CheerfulYank · 01/04/2011 07:05

Yes, he's usually had dinner and is bathed and in his pj's. DH does put him to bed, actually, and reads him stories and prays with him. It's just the winding him up bit first and then wanting to read four or five books. There just isn't the time!

I hate that we never have dinner together anymore :( Have thought about giving DS a later snack and then we could eat a quick dinner all together, but DS is still pretty messy when it comes to eating some things and it's just easier to bathe him afterward.

OP posts:

FreudianSlippery · 01/04/2011 07:10

Hmm well if DH gets home at 6ish, that does leave a bit of spare time before DS needs to be asleep, so maybe that's why they end up feeling that there's time to play, and then get carried away?

Any chance of leaving the bath for DH to do as soon as he's home, then he can get DS into jammies and into bed by half seven?


omaoma · 01/04/2011 22:58

re your much earlier comment about naps - actually, i think an hour's quiet time is as valuable as a sleep if they are not able to actually nap during the day. (for you as much as for him actually!) I wouldn't write that off just because he's not completely sleeping


CheerfulYank · 01/04/2011 23:14

Right, we do have quiet time. Sometimes he watches a bit of a DVD and I doze catch up on housework, or else he plays quietly in his room or looks at books for half an hour while I watch Grey's Anatomy do many important and non-frivolous things :o

OP posts:

porcamiseria · 01/04/2011 23:18

this is such a hard one! as I feel for your DH too. but little ones need their sleep too. can DH start and leave work a bit earlier, even by half an hour? and maybe try and have 8pm bedtime as some compromise and enforced quiet time in the pm???

Please create an account

To comment on this thread you need to create a Mumsnet account.

Sign up to continue reading

Mumsnet's better when you're logged in. You can customise your experience and access way more features like messaging, watch and hide threads, voting and much more.

Already signed up?