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AIBU?

Husband won’t do any night wakes with new baby

157 replies

Chumbibi · 31/10/2022 20:17

We have DD who is 2.4 and DS who is 5 months. DS been in room with me since birth and since then DH has moved into spare room. DD and DS both EBF so DH has NEVER had to do a night feed. DD has always been a good sleeper, slept through at 6 months and has always done a solid 12 hours. Maybe one or two nights a week she will wake up, and a couple of phases where she’s woken once a night for a couple of weeks here and there.

since DS born DH has insisted sleeping in the spare room. He says he needs to sleep to not be disturbed so he can get up with toddler DD early (usually wakes around 6am but often later) and not be disturbed for work. We’ve just been away for the weekend and in the same room with DS and said he won’t move back into our room until DS is in his own room.

I will probs move him at 6 months but beforehand we need to move DD into spare room so DS can go in her cot in her old room, but want to do this a few weeks beforehand so she doesn’t feel like her brother has turfed her out. DH refusing to sleep in our room and says he will sleep on sofa. Told him I’m upset and that I miss him in our room and feel it deprives of us connection and intimacy. He doesn’t get it and says he needs his sleep to help me in the day.

I’m severely sleep deprived. Full of cold and mouth ulcers. He says I don’t know how lucky I am given that he helps so much. Which he does but I think he’s lucky he doesn’t have to do nights! AIBU?

OP posts:

Am I being unreasonable?

628 votes. Final results.

POLL
You are being unreasonable
25%
You are NOT being unreasonable
75%
bodgerandbadgerrr · 31/10/2022 20:22

He didn’t do it with your first child either so did you have a conversation that you wanted it to change this time?

is he working? What can he do if you’re ebf?
I think yabu but probably due to lack of sleep

Onefootintheghool · 31/10/2022 20:22

Nope YANBU, he is being a tool. Unless he is a pilot or surgeon he could absolutely do his share of night feeds. Will your baby take expressed milk in a bottle ?
For comparison our DC are in their late 20's now and DH did all night wakings on a friday and Sunday night , he worked as a driver.

MeganCrossing · 31/10/2022 20:24

so he was shit with your first child and yet you wanted to go back for more?

AMorningstar · 31/10/2022 20:25

He's a dickhead. He works, so what, so do you, looking after young children us just as valid and arguably more difficult than some jobs. Men are just as capable of doing night feeds.

Confusedandperplexed · 31/10/2022 20:27

I disagree and see where he’s coming from. He’s going to work, your ebf and he also wakes up with your toddler at 6am.

what is the point of you both being exhausted? If you’re ebf you have to be awake too anyway?

Amazongirl9 · 31/10/2022 20:33

I dont get it either unless you can express and he can give baby a bottle at night ,what do you expect him to do? I get the lack of connection being upsetting, but I dont see that him also being sleep deprived will improve your situation.

sheepdogdelight · 31/10/2022 20:34

There is no point you both being sleep deprived. And if baby is EBF, I can't see what he can do to help as they are most likely to want breast. And IME a breastfed baby is not going to take too kindly to expressed milk in the night.
Maybe worth co-sleeping?

satelliteheart · 31/10/2022 20:34

He says I don’t know how lucky I am given that he helps so much.

This would give me the fucking rage. First of all, he's not "helping" he's parenting ffs

Second, he's really not doing that much. While I agree with pp that I'm not sure what you want him to do when you're ebf, although you don't mention whether baby takes expressed milk in a bottle, it's perfectly normal for fathers to do night feeds and getting up at 6am with a toddler isn't "doing so much". Plenty of people get up at 6am as standard for work etc so it's really not a huge sacrifice for him

I would never tolerate dh moving to another room, I agree with you that you lose intimacy and closeness in your relationship which it's vital to maintain in the newborn stage. He needs to buck his ideas up and be an equal parent

Hugasauras · 31/10/2022 20:35

I think he's being unhelpful but I think there's probably a compromise to be found. My DH has never done night feeds but he gets up early every day with DD1 while I stay in bed with DD2 so I'm not starting my day at 6am.

If you are breastfeeding then will he be able to do much in the night? Or would he be better doing more at another time so you can catch up on sleep then?

PinkPlantCase · 31/10/2022 20:39

sheepdogdelight · 31/10/2022 20:34

There is no point you both being sleep deprived. And if baby is EBF, I can't see what he can do to help as they are most likely to want breast. And IME a breastfed baby is not going to take too kindly to expressed milk in the night.
Maybe worth co-sleeping?

You absolutely can share night wakings with a breastfed baby, from around 6 months me and DH took it in turns to do the night wake ups.

In the newborn days DH would get up, change the nappy and pass the baby to me.

Intimacy in a marriage is also important.

You DH is being selfish, can you approach from the point of view of you needing his help? Might be more receptive to it being phrased that way

Willowrose63 · 31/10/2022 20:41

Someone said to me before I had my daughter 'there's no point in both of you being tired'. I'm sure you can guess that was the husband! I think that's absolute bollocks! I did all night waking for the first few weeks with our child alone and it was bloody awful. We then changed it up a bit and during certain hours(I think before midnight and after 5am) he would get up and bring baby to me to bf and then he would change nappy and settle her back to sleep. Everyone's situation is different but I think there really isn't a reasonable reason where one partner has to do every night waking every single night. It's torture!

MolliciousIntent · 31/10/2022 20:41

I couldn't get all that worked up about this. DH moved into the spare room when we brought baby DD home because I was EBF and she woke lots. He was working, and the point person for toddler DD, so he needed his sleep. If we ever had a hellish night where the baby wouldn't settle, he'd come help me out, and yeah I really missed him, but it wasn't a big deal and he came back into our room when the baby moves out.

trailrunner85 · 31/10/2022 20:43

Agree that there's no point in you both being sleep deprived. And surely you can catch up on some rest in the day if you're still on mat leave, whereas he can't if he's working.
If he's getting up at 6am every day with a two year old (and getting her ready, doing her breakfast, etc) and then going to work, it's not as if he's doing nothing at all. I get that you're tired, but if you're EBF that's par for the course. I don't think making him too tired to effectively get up and parent your toddler would help anyone here.

Willowrose63 · 31/10/2022 20:43

Our daughter refused a bottle completely despite our efforts. There's so much the other half can do that doesn't involve breastfeeding!!

Hugasauras · 31/10/2022 20:44

And personally I much prefer sleeping separately when DC are tiny. I don't really care about intimacy, I care about sleep!! We've had all the time pre-kids and will have all the time again once we are past the small baby stage, but I care about getting the most sleep possible for us all. And for us that is def separate rooms while there's a night-waking baby so I have space to cosleep with and feed the baby without having to consider or worry about waking someone else. I don't really want him awake when DD2 wakes up, I just want to feed her quietly back to sleep!

BernadetteRostankowskiWolowitz · 31/10/2022 20:45

Does he see to the 2.4yo when she wakes?

DashboardConfessional · 31/10/2022 20:48

DH stayed with me in our room when DS was breastfeeding but I got good at waking as soon as DS snuffled, quick feed and back down. DH didn't often wake. But when we had bad nights with cold/teething/general sleep issues he would do hours up at a time. For me it didn't make sense for him to wake with me at 5 months. The real test was when DS used to be awake randomly from 2am to 5am and DH would deal with it.

BernadetteRostankowskiWolowitz · 31/10/2022 20:49

I do find it odd that you are almost indignant that he "has NEVER had to do a night feed"

Well, given he cannot lactate, that's impossible. As long as he is fully engaged in parenting during the waking hours, does tasks around the house, takes the 2.4yo out and about, all I'd suggest is that he covers the 2.4yo night wakes on the nights he is off the next day.

Alternatively, you could stop BFing, making it possible for him to help, and give him Friday and Saturday night feeds. Then you sleep through and get up at 6am.

luciaann · 31/10/2022 20:50

My husband slept in the spare room while our DD was in with us. He can't be tired for work and It would have annoyed me to watch him sleep while I was awake/ try to be quiet etc. i did miss him but he's back now. If you're EBF I think it's unreasonable to expect him to be in with you when he'd be no help I'd much rather he took the other kid in the morning

Rowen32 · 31/10/2022 20:50

I think the best thing is for your husband to sleep, that's how we work it. One sleep deprived adult is better than two. I've accepted I do nights and I don't mind, husband does lots during the day and tries to give me lies in at the weekend when he can.. There's no point in both of ye not getting sleep, you can reunite in same room when children are older or maybe the odd night here and there.

DarceyG · 31/10/2022 20:55

Chumbibi · 31/10/2022 20:17

We have DD who is 2.4 and DS who is 5 months. DS been in room with me since birth and since then DH has moved into spare room. DD and DS both EBF so DH has NEVER had to do a night feed. DD has always been a good sleeper, slept through at 6 months and has always done a solid 12 hours. Maybe one or two nights a week she will wake up, and a couple of phases where she’s woken once a night for a couple of weeks here and there.

since DS born DH has insisted sleeping in the spare room. He says he needs to sleep to not be disturbed so he can get up with toddler DD early (usually wakes around 6am but often later) and not be disturbed for work. We’ve just been away for the weekend and in the same room with DS and said he won’t move back into our room until DS is in his own room.

I will probs move him at 6 months but beforehand we need to move DD into spare room so DS can go in her cot in her old room, but want to do this a few weeks beforehand so she doesn’t feel like her brother has turfed her out. DH refusing to sleep in our room and says he will sleep on sofa. Told him I’m upset and that I miss him in our room and feel it deprives of us connection and intimacy. He doesn’t get it and says he needs his sleep to help me in the day.

I’m severely sleep deprived. Full of cold and mouth ulcers. He says I don’t know how lucky I am given that he helps so much. Which he does but I think he’s lucky he doesn’t have to do nights! AIBU?

My word, my ex was the same until I forced him. I genuinely think I just love my single life. I wanted to meet someone for ages but the more I read I just don’t want any of this entitled bs in my life.

strivingtosucceed · 31/10/2022 21:03

I slightly see where you're coming from, but I don't really understand the benefit of your husband being awake with you at night, when he's going to take care of the 2 year old in the morning and then go to work, especially if the baby is ebf.

He should definitely be helping if baby is unwell, or unusually distressed but i'd be wanting him to be as well rested as possible so he can a) get to work and do it safely and b) be fully able to take care of the kids when he's home so you can have some rest.

Seems like you're a bit resentful that you are getting broken sleep, while he gets some good continuous hours in. It sucks, but seems to be the best way forward for now.

Walkingtheplank · 31/10/2022 21:08

One of the reasons some men think they can get away with such awful behaviour is the number of women they know who allow it to happen - as evidenced by some of the responses here. This nonsense about both not needing to be tired would make sense if perhaps the menfolk were going into work and operating heavy machinery, driving an HGV and when they come home were providing a hot meal to the mother of their child - but I suspect not. A decent man would not want his wife to be so sleep deprived and would do everything he could to co-parent.

I EBFed and neither of my babies would take a bottle. The age gap was pretty similar to yours OP. DH stayed in bed with me most nights. Yes, he could not do the breast feeding but he did the nappy changes, put the baby back in the cot and made sure I had everything I needed. There were nights I was asleep before DH had burped, changed the nappy and got them back to the cot). There was a handful of nights when he debunked to the spare room (and that made me feel really lonely) and there were a few nights when he told me to go to the spare room to get some sleep as our first baby was a grunter/farter. He just brought her through when she needed feeding.

You say that he says that you are lucky because of how much he does to help. You've not listed what that help comprises unless he just means getting up at 6am (or later) with the toddler.

Personally, if he's not going to pull his weight, I'd let him stay on the sofa indefinitely. You do need to help the toddler settle in the spare room first. That could take weeks/months. Then the baby might take the same amount of time to get used to be separated from you at night-time. It's unlikely that the baby is going to not need night-time attention, so I'd be as noisy as I could about that (but I'm immature Blush ) and perhaps have the baby monitor on full-blast - well you don't want to miss the baby waking up....

Cw112 · 31/10/2022 21:14

So my thoughts on this initially were that yanbu until I read you are ebf. So now my thought is that ds needs to be in with you until 6 months as recommended. However, you're presumably on maternity leave and your partner is working full time, so my feeling would be that the fairest way to manage that is for you to do the bulk of the nights when he has work the next day especially if you are breast feeding and have decided baby doesn't take a bottle of expressed milk during the night. I see no reason for the two of you to be exhausted, however I also think that he needs to take on more at other times to let you catch up, eg he comes home and immediately takes over childcare so you can sleep or let's you lie on in the mornings at weekends/midday sleep. And you need to step back and let him take over while you sleep. Would you consider switching to a bottle of breastmilk for middle of the night only so dh can do nights at the weekend and let you sleep through to catch up on yourself? I get why you might not want to introduce a bottle at night at this stage but if you're at breaking point then it might give you a full night's sleep and he would have no reason not to take that over at weekends? It's not an easy stage to be at op, getting to 5 months ebf is a serious achievement and I don't think people realise how much sacrifice it comes with. Could you look at other ways you can boost your intimacy during the day to make it a little easier for you at night to still feel loved and secure? This is temporary and won't last forever. I'd also suggest talking to your health visitor and see if you need any additional vitamins etc to boost your immune system while feeding.

Goldbar · 31/10/2022 21:33

The problem with "there's no point you both being sleep-deprived" is that there's usually only one person who ends up sleep-deprived (the mother) and it's rare that the father helps sufficiently the rest of the time to compensate. As a result, you start to grow apart since one of you is at the coal face of parenting and experiencing the biggest lows (and sleep deprivation is torture) alone without support. While the other parent is relatively unaffected and doesn't necessarily understand what they are going through. Difficult to come back from the resentment this can cause.

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