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DP snores - separate bedrooms - how can he help with newborn?

71 replies

LuckyEarthDragon · 28/01/2023 03:03

Hi everyone,

Looking for all your best tips and advice :)

Im expecting first baby soon and right now I wear ear plugs every night because DP snores so loudly! He’s tried a few solutions to reduce it and I know feels really bad about it, but it is what it is for now.

With pregnancy insomnia making that harder to handle I’m planning to move into the spare bedroom as I know once baby arrives I won’t be wearing ear plugs anyway.

But my question is - how - if at all - can DP help with the night shifts if me and baby are in a whole separate bedroom? Presumably he’ll be totally oblivious to when we’re awake / feeding / asleep, and I’m hoping to breast feed so there’s that too. Is it a question of resigning myself to doing everything myself for the first few weeks / months? I feel like if we were in the same bedroom at least he could wake up to change nappies, put baby back down to sleep, bring snacks or water etc. How did your DP help you?

And assuming I’ll need the ear plugs back to get a good night of sleep when we share a bedroom again - how long realistically are we going to be in separate rooms? As I don’t love that setup and would like to be back together when possible. I’m wondering if once baby gets to a certain age I’d feel comfortable wearing ear plugs and just letting DP settle baby if he wakes up in the night? But appreciate I’m totally ignorant yet about how mum instinct kicks in after birth and so that might be super unrealistic :)

Thanks for any experience and wisdom you can share.

OP posts:

feelingrubbish2023 · 28/01/2023 08:08

I would say I did 90% of nights. For a start dh was going to work each day, I didn't think he should be sleep deprived. I was at home with a baby and could sleep when they did during the day.

When breastfeeding at first there was nothing dh could do anyway, I used to go to bed armed with bottles of water and snacks etc. Never changed a nappy during the night unless it was poo. By the time we swapped to formula dd we introduced a dream feed at 11 which he did and she slept through til 5/6.

I did used to go to bed earlier and he would keep dd down with him and then bring her upto me when he went to bed or she was hungry.

It all worked out fine. However much harder with number 2 as i could no longer catch up on any sleep during the day as dd pretty much dropped naps as ds was born.


tealandteal · 28/01/2023 08:14

I breastfed/am feeding both of mine. With DS1 DH got up with us and did nappies etc. With DS2 I sent him to sleep elsewhere so he could be well rested in the day for having the kids and letting me sleep. I wouldn’t want to wear earplugs at night even now DS1 is 5 as if he was sick or something in the night I would want to hear. DS2 is 7 months and still up regularly during the night at the moment.


CatNamedBob · 28/01/2023 08:17

LuckyEarthDragon · 28/01/2023 03:34

Thanks Pirrin, that’s really helpful.

Worst case scenario there’s no solution to his snoring bar something drastic like surgery (which he’s suggested in the past and I’m not a huge fan of) at what point with young kids are ear plugs back on the cards from a mum / instinct perspective?

I've had two babies and worn earplugs throughout. I always woke as soon as the baby stirred.


Squamata · 28/01/2023 08:26

So the snoring didn't bother you before pregnancy? I had pregnancy insomnia twice, both times it disappeared once I gave birth.

Dh snores, it doesn't wake me but the baby did! You get attuned to the noises the baby makes and you can filter out other noise. At least that's what happened with me.

I think you should just take it as it comes and you'll work it out. Most people are so tired with a newborn that snoring wouldn't keep them awake, but everyone's different I guess!


PurBal · 28/01/2023 08:34

@LuckyEarthDragonwhere will baby sleep long term? If you’re not going to sleep in your own bed I would sleep there if possible. A single bed in a nursery if you have the space rather than sleeping in a spare room. That way baby will get used to the surroundings and it makes the transition of you not sharing with them easier. I would also suggest putting them in their cot straight away if you’re going to do that rather than a next to me so they only have one bed to get used to. If this isn’t feasible then I think you DH should have to move, not you!
Safe sleep guidance says you should share until at least 6 months, I only shared until 3 because DS is a noisier sleeper than DH and I was always tired! Like PP we regularly coslept in the early days, not all night, but from about 3am when he wouldn’t settle back to sleep. I did not get quality sleep when cosleeping. After I moved out of DS room this meant I knew I’d be getting up and moving next door most nights.
DS slept through the night consistently about 6/7 months (we sleep trained) but every child is different and for a variety of reasons they’ll wake in the night. DS is 18mo and woke at 4am today because he’s poorly, so it’s likely to go on away for a while. I think mothers instinct means you’ll hear your baby cry when other noises won’t wake you, so you may hear them through earplugs.


PurBal · 28/01/2023 08:37

Oh, and like PP I did most of the nights unless I was sick and night time nappies didn’t last long. It got to the point that unless the wet nappy bothered him or was dirty I didn’t change him when he stirred. Changing him would fully wake him when all he wanted was a feed.


AliasGrape · 28/01/2023 08:39

We slept in separate rooms once DD came along, after the first couple of weeks anyway when it became clear that we were going to have to cosleep if anyone was going to get any sleep ever at all. I couldn’t cope with baby on one side of me, husband on the other - just felt too overwhelming really.

Anyway we did shifts - I’d go to bed about 8, DH would stay up with baby till midnight or later if he could depending on what he had on the next day. He’d then bring her to bed and I would take over until 6ish, when he would get up and give me an hour or so extra (longer at the weekend) before he had to start work. Sometimes I’d try and get more sleep, sometimes I’d use it to get a shower.

That worked for us as I failed at breastfeeding, so DH could give DD a bottle on his shift. I’m not sure it would work quite so easily when bf - although you may want to try expressing or even combi feeding at some point. Or you could go to bed early having just fed and get as much time as baby’s feeding windows allow - with DH literally just bringing baby for a feed but dealing with everything else until an agreed time when he goes to bed?

As for how long - it’s taken us till now to be back in the same bed and DD in her own room and she’s 2.5 - but honestly we slept separately a lot of the time anyway so it wasn’t such a huge deal. It’s nice to be back together but has actually been a bit of an adjustment for both of us!


Mix56 · 28/01/2023 08:55

CPAP machine will stop snoring


botleybump · 28/01/2023 09:03

My little one is only just over a week old, so this might be naive, but wanted to share as it seems a simple solution.

I use an alarm to wake me just before feeding time so I can prepare, rather than waiting for the crying.
We quickly established a three hourly feeding schedule and, other than the times she decides to have a bigger feed and goes slightly over the three hours - in which case I just read my book until she wakes, or take a chance and set the alarm for 20 mins later - it works for us!

That way, whoever's turn it is can set the alarm for themselves, get ready, feed etc and put baby back down without the other needing to be disturbed.

Probably sounds odd to wake up early for a night feed, but I actually find I rest better this way because I'm not on 'alert' waiting, and the feed itself is a calm affair without crying as I'm awake to pick up on hunger cues.


NewDogOwner · 28/01/2023 09:17

SunshineAndFizz · 28/01/2023 06:04

Trust me, both being awake for every feed/wake up won't work. You have to tag team. My DH would have the baby 8-12 at night while I slept for a chunk and then we'd swap over.

And for the first couple of weeks I just did all 'nightshifts', it's hard but just accent it'll be a tiring time. You get through it.

We also did shifts. I slept from 7pm-1 and then was 'on duty' after that.


Elmo230885 · 28/01/2023 09:24

When my two were very little I would do the night feeds ( breastfed ) and DH started getting up an hour or so earlier for work. He would give them an expressed bottle, change their Nappies and settle them back down for a bit. This worked for us as it meant I was able to sleep a little later and he got 1-1 time with the babies.
On an evening if I was tired he'd have the baby then bring them up for a feed or if i was fine he'd have an early night or as neither were too sleep deprived we'd have a bit of time together.


RampantIvy · 28/01/2023 09:30

I agree with @ohdizzy. If you are breastfeeding why should both of you be awake? It just means that both of you are tired, and what is the benefit of that?


trrk · 28/01/2023 09:32

We did shifts in the early days. DH did 8pm-12 or 1am in the living room and I did the rest of the night (you need to be combi feeding or FF for this to really work). Worked well until baby stopped sleeping well in the living room at around 3 months.

If you end up having a C-section you might need extra help for the first few days/weeks while you are recovering. Then your DH might have to step in and pick up the baby, change nappy and then hand them to you for feeding. You could wear ear plugs in this situation and just be woken up for feeding.

Once you are down to one night feed it might be possible for you to wear ear plugs and your DH to either do the feed by bottle or wake you up for BF if you want to be in the same room again. For us this happened about 4 months. Now 6 months and no longer feeds at night but sometimes wakes wanting her dummy.

Personally i’d try to avoid a situation long term where only you can settle the baby. For me it’s been really important to at least have some time every evening when I’m not on duty. It’s also been handy when I’ve been sick and DH can do a bit more to give me a break.


MrsMikeDrop · 28/01/2023 09:38

Once baby moves out of your room, you can share a room again. You put on ear plugs and he can listen out for the baby monitor. Don't get too caught up in future details as things might change and you'll adapt as needed as it suits. Good luck OP


Margo34 · 28/01/2023 10:59

RampantIvy · 28/01/2023 09:30

I agree with @ohdizzy. If you are breastfeeding why should both of you be awake? It just means that both of you are tired, and what is the benefit of that?

Because you're both working the next day. One of you may be working out of the home earning a salary, the other will be working in the home looking after the baby. Neither's day time contribution should be more or less valued, so why should night be any different?


Margo34 · 28/01/2023 11:00

Mix56 · 28/01/2023 08:55

CPAP machine will stop snoring

Are they noisy? Won't the noise of the CPAP machine just replace the noise of snoring?


bussteward · 28/01/2023 11:05

DP snores awfully but I swear I don’t hear it when in the throes of newborn life. Fair warning; babies are just as noisy! Like tiny shuffling warthogs.

For our first and this one i had sections so needed DP to do the nappies so we had to share a room; it was tiring but fine. As soon as the nighttime pooing stopped I booted him out to the spare room and just coslept and did all feeds and wakings. In exchange, he took the baby for the first sleep of the night (it’s usually the longest stretch) so I could deeply sleep without the magical breastfeeding half-sleep awareness, and in the morning so I could lie in. He also did EVERYTHING else and still does: breastfeeding can feel like a full time job and it’s exhausting physically and mentally, not just the night wakings, so DP is doing all the food shop/plan/cook, laundry, cleaning, etc.


bellac11 · 28/01/2023 11:10

Boneweary · 28/01/2023 06:37

Every time there is a snoring man on here MN act as if it’s a personal sort of character flaw that must be amended immediately!

We just sleep in different rooms, it’s never been a big deal.


As if he's doing it on purpose and as if women never snore!

I snore terribly, really terribly, theres nothing wrong with me. I dont have sleep apnea, I dont stop breathing, Ive had it since I was a small child and teenager. I usually have terrible rhinitis which probably doesnt help and Ive had every test under the sun, even an operation on my sinuses. Its not going to go away!


BuffaloCauliflower · 28/01/2023 11:19

Currently on my second breastfed newborn so this is live for me - I’m doing all the nights on my own because I genuinely don’t need my husband. He slept in the spare room for 10 months when my son was born and I bedshared with the baby. Now he’s sleeping in with our toddler (who sometimes wakes in the night too, so he does bedtimes and night wakes with him) while I do the same as before with new baby. I have to get up to do a couple of quick nappy changes during the night but mostly just feed her back to sleep lying down and go back to sleep. He could be doing those nappy changes but there’s not much point.

Bedsharing and breastfeeding lying down I’m honestly not tired, much less tired than I was when pregnant and had insomnia, was uncomfortable and getting up 10 times to wee! You may well find the same. I’ll take newborn tired over pregnant tired any day.

What my husband did do with first baby was way more of the housework so I could focus on breastfeeding (which takes up a lot of time in the first couple of months so do be prepared for that) that was much more helpful than getting up in the night. He made sure I was fed and watered and comfortable too. If you’re formula feeding and can share feeds that’s one thing, but if you’re breastfeeding it’s really all you when they’re little, they will almost all happily fall asleep breastfeeding and trying to have Dad settle them other ways is often futile. It’s much easier to just feed them.

I will say he’s always got up with sick babies and when I’ve actually needed him (middle of the night 2 hour awake parties around 8 months did me and he’d take him downstairs) and he took equal responsibly for nights once I stopped breastfeeding at 20mo.

So short answer - what’s a fair division of responsibility doesn’t necessarily mean both doing 50/50 of everything, especially if you’re breastfeeding which he can’t do half of. Work out other ways to fairly cut the cake 🙂


RampantIvy · 28/01/2023 11:56

Because you're both working the next day.

@Margo34 Unless the OP doesn’t take her full entitlement of mat leave, by the time she goes back to work the baby won’t be feeding several times a night, or she may well have stopped breastfeeding. I’m thinking of the newborn stage here.

DH has a CPAP machine, and I can confirm that they are most definitely not noisy.

Every time there is a snoring man on here MN act as if it’s a personal sort of character flaw that must be amended immediately! We just sleep in different rooms, it’s never been a big deal.


a) I feel that someone who snores really badly should try and seek help for it. It is selfish not to. Besides, it does have health implications, especially if it develops into sleep apnoea (which we think caused DH’s stroke)

b) Not everyone has the luxury of an extra bedroom to have separate bedrooms.


Margo34 · 28/01/2023 12:20

@RampantIvy you didn't read beyond the first line of my post, did you? On Mat Leave, whether you take the full entitlement or not, whether you're a SAHP or back in a salaried role, whether your baby is newborn or 6m or 9m or 12m etc, these are all still worthwhile contributions to the household and should be treated as such.

Sleep deprived and looking after a small human or sleep deprived and sat at a desk - why is one role more worthy of overnight rest than the other and why should nights with a baby not be shared as much as possible?


Mix56 · 28/01/2023 17:45

There's a quiet blowing, unless the nose/mouthpiece is badly positioned. But my God its better than constant snoring all night.


BernadetteRostankowskiWolowitz · 28/01/2023 17:52

If formula feeding, I'd do the following:-

On nights he is at work the next day, you sleep in the spare room with the baby.
He can keep the baby downstairs with him til he goes to bed, so if you want, you go to bed in the spare when tired, if earlier. He can do an 11pm feed and nappy change and bring the baby into the room you are sleeping in. Then you deal with any night waking.

On at least one of the two nights he is off the next day, he sleeps in the baby's room and does the night waking.

Obvs if breastfeeding its different as they tend to cluster feed all evening and then possibly need more night feeds so you may have to just accept all nights in those first 6 months, then you get sat and Sunday lie ins (after a morning breastfeed) while he takes dc downstairs.


wishuponastar1988 · 28/01/2023 17:57

I breastfeed and my partner gets up to do the nappies in the night and will also go and fill my water bottle up/tickle my back on demand etc Grin sometimes it's very annoying when he sleeps through (he often doesn't hear her despite being in the same room). We do give baby a bottle on an evening too so this is his time with her, he does bathtime and feed before I take her upstairs to bed. We introduced a bottle so he could help feed her and incase I have ever needed to leave her for any length of time. The only thing he didn't help with was settling baby back down in the night after a feed, she only really settles for me and I wish we had tried harder in those early days for him to have more confidence with her. It would've been ideal if he could settle her back down to sleep after a feed so I could rest.

If he is staying in a separate room then you could have him take baby for say the first part of the night some nights so that you get a block of sleep? Baby will feed often but sometimes they don't settle unless they're being held - this way you could get some sleep and he could have 1:1 time with baby then bring them to you for a feed/second part of the night.


Sleepygrumpyandnothappy · 28/01/2023 17:58

He can do the start of the night shift while you sleep, made even easier if you express a bottle/allow one bottle of formula. Otherwise yes you do it. Nappy changes at night should be kept to a minimum to avoid over stimulating the baby, you bring up a glass of water before bed, you don’t need a snack at night. Ultimately it makes both your lives harder if you insist he’s up sharing the load at 2am.*

*All this is said with a baby that generally goes back to sleep after a night feed. If you have one that screams for two hours in the middle of the night that’s different. But then you just go and wake your DH up while you get some respite.

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