he squished her (long sry) - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 15 Old 06-27-2009, 07:32 AM - Thread Starter
 
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love him to death but living DF alone with our 2 month old scares the crap out of me. i'm scared enough that i'm going to screw something up with her myself but i worry about him doing things wrong like crazy. he knows you are supposed to check their diapers but he never does, he would probably leave her wet way past due. he doesn't really know when she's hungry. if she's sleeping and he says he'll get her if she crys i shower with the door open in case she wakes up i hop out and get her. with his 6 months old nephew he went to lay him down on the floor and didn't set his head down all the way and baby bonked his head on the floor and started bawling. it wasn't that bad but it scared me. now DF never wakes up when she cries, but it's ok because he needs to go to work early and needs to sleep, but i would never be able to leave them for a night. she normally had slept in bed with us, at his request. well i was out of bed and in the kitchen getting some things done and they were sleeping, her on my side and DF on his, plenty of room. i hear her screaming and run in there to find DF had rolled and somehow she was completely sideways and part of her head and arms were under DFs back. i pushed him off and calmed her down, he never woke up. i was crying hysterically even after she was calm i just couldn't get over it. i wanted to call my mom but she might be sleeping but she was online so i tried to explain everything to her and it was obvious i was freaking out and in the middle of me explaining to her she was like "i'll be back in a minute", i needed someone!!!! she came back like a half hour later and just told me to stick annie in the crib. i didn't sleep the rest of the night, i held annie and let her sleep, but i was afraid to let her sleep in her crib, she seemed ok from the experience, wasn't acting different but i was scared she wasn't ok. i couldn't fall asleep with her next to me for fear of him rolling over, even on my side i was scared i might squash her (even tho i don't move at night). it's been like 3 more nights now, she falls asleep next to me, i stay up for an hour to make sure she's sleeping and move her to her crib. if she wakes up in the crib i bring her back to bed to fall asleep (another hour wait) and move her to the vibrating chair. she used to sleep through the night 5-7 hours. now she sleeps 3-4, waking up at 3a.m. when she never used to. 2 nights in the last 4 i haven't slept at all, the other two i got max 8 hours (the two nights combined). this turned into more of a rant than i thought it would, i apologize. DF loves her to death i know he does, but i don't think i could leave her with him, even for a 15 minutes shower! i'm so traumatized from all of this i'm overwhelmed, no sleep, scared of my DF for sake of my child and every time i think of him rolling onto her i break into tears and panic.
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#2 of 15 Old 06-27-2009, 08:53 AM
 
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You sound really, really scared. I know now that it is impossible to think logically or sequentially when you're really scared/nervous for your child, even when they are 10 years old!

Here are some things to think about. Sometimes bed sharing doesn't work for everyone. Maybe DF just can't wake up enough to be safe. My mom never felt safe about that with my dad, even though she was OK with bed sharing--my dad's just a really way deep sleeper. Sounds like DF is too. Or is working so much that DF is chronically tired.

You could put a twin mattress on the floor next to your bed and you could sleep down there with the baby and then move to the big bed when she's sound asleep so she's right there and yet you can get to her immediately, so you can get the rest she needs.

You could have the routine of putting her in the crib once you're out of bed (like when you went to the kitchen).

If she transfers, you could put her in a pack n play near the kitchen.

Lots of moms leave the baby (safely) in a crib or bed for a shower--you can too. Just sounds like DF shouldn't be left alone.

Review the principles of safe co-sleeping--bedding, etc., and especially if DF is taking any kind of medication, even for insomnia or a bad cold. Of course any alcohol consumption or other product usage is going to change DF awareness level.

Hang in there. Parenting is a learned thing. Leaving dd with a messy diaper for 15 minutes won't kill her, even if he forgets to change her.
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#3 of 15 Old 06-27-2009, 08:15 PM
 
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I would either stop cosleeping, or sleep with her by yourself in a bed. Babies are pretty resilient, but until she is older, or he can wake up easier, I would just not put them in a bed together.

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#4 of 15 Old 06-27-2009, 09:36 PM
 
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They make co-sleepers like the Arm's Reach co-sleeper that goes on the side of your bed-it's like a crib with one rail missing. Baby has their own mattress but is right next to you. That being said-it is not considered safe to put a small baby in the middle of the bed. The blankets can end up over their heads and suffocate them (when ODS was small he got his head stuck under blankets one time-I was much more vigilant after that). It also is not recommended that an infant sleep next to any adult but Mom since others (even Daddy) don't have that built-in awareness. Here is a good link that talks about safe co-sleeping.
http://www.askdrsears.com/html/7/T070600.asp

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#5 of 15 Old 06-28-2009, 11:36 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dahlea View Post
I would either stop cosleeping, or sleep with her by yourself in a bed. Babies are pretty resilient, but until she is older, or he can wake up easier, I would just not put them in a bed together.
yep. or at the very least, you could make SURE you are always between DF and the baby. he is not a safe co-sleeper at this point.

but the main thing is, you heard her, you responded, and she is fine. these things happen, mama! it's okay.

don't worry about not being able to leave them overnight. hopefully you won't need to for a long, long time. especially if you are breastfeeding. DD is almost 26 months old and i've only left her for one night, when she was just under 2 years.

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#6 of 15 Old 06-29-2009, 03:23 AM
 
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You got lots of advice on the sleeping thing already. When we started looking into cosleeping I remember reading that the child should sleep on the "outside" of the bed, next to the mother. Not in the middle between the two parents. And the reason was because the mother was more sensitized to the child and not likely to roll on them, whereas the father/partner did not necessarily/usually possess this sixth sense. I found that to be true in our case.

Anyway I am really posting because I wanted to respond to the overall emotion and worries you posted. At two months postpartum I was still incredibly hormonal. In hindsight I think my mother's instincts were good (and hormonally driven), but also that I over-reacted to a lot of things. Your partner didn't give birth. He doesn't have the mommy hormones making him respond to your baby's cries the way that you do. And most men just parent differently. You have to give him the space to find his own way. He'll be better with his own baby than with his nephew -- because he'll have the opportunity to learn and interact with her every day, and he'll have a better understanding of what she is and is not capable of (for example, the head control thing and that he needs to support an infant's head when laying them on the floor). Give him the chance to learn, starting with that 15 minute shower. If you jump out of the shower every time the baby makes a peep, he will never have the chance to learn to parent her. And about the diaper change and feeding and stuff -- teach him! Give concrete instructions -- change her diaper at X time and X time (I know, as mommy you would smell the poop and change it then, but if he can't handle that, then just ask him to change her frequently by giving him specific times to do it). Tell him if she cries, pick her up and try to comfort her, and if she still cries, then try feeding her. My DH was eager to help but scared that he didn't know anything. He needed instructions -- instructions that I felt like I shouldn't have to tell him but that he needed.

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#7 of 15 Old 06-29-2009, 10:24 AM
 
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DH is a deep sleeper too. I can't always keep DS on the side away from him since I can side lie nurse only on one side at a time. But when DS is in the middle, my arm is around him protecting him, and I'm there so if DH's arm squished him I wake up and move it and yell at him for it. I think so long as you're there it should be ok, and if you need to lay her down when you aren't right there, have a baby bed by the adult bed for her.

So sorry your DF isn't tuned into her needs at all, is he just clueless and absentminded or is there really a lack of connection or carelessness there?
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#8 of 15 Old 06-29-2009, 10:25 AM
 
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And to the scared thing - we had a scare where ds went under water yesterday and though we were both there dh and I missed the moment and ...well it felt like 10 whole long seconds went by... but probably more like 5... anyway My pregnant brain is traumatized and I got stuck in what if and replaying this over and over last night.

I can totally relate to the being upset thing... and after ds was born I went through alot of tough moments... when you get worked up try to look at it like this, your mommy homones are doing their job... as the hormones weaken you will be stronger, by experiences and having lived through the hormones of it. Don't them run away with you is what I'm trying to say....for me it was very overwhelming at times and I had to work through PPD too so just try to be greatful that the hormones are making you a fierce and very aware mommy... don't let yourself get into negative thinking about how upset you are... it comes with the teritory and you are very stong lady.

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#9 of 15 Old 06-29-2009, 04:27 PM
 
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weve had babies/toddlers in our bed 11 years now. & i have never left a baby beside dh or in bed with him alone. they have always slept on the outside beside me.

if he's in bed , im not ready yet & baby (or toddler) is ready.. i put them down on the couch.

dh is just too hard a sleeper. he squishes ME.
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#10 of 15 Old 06-29-2009, 06:42 PM
 
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Hey, OP, I have family in your town!

Annnnnnnyway... it sounds like your DF is a really, really deep sleeper (I'll leave the other issues alone since the main issue is the rolling). It also sounds like you guys need a different sleeping situation... namely, one in which you get some sleep. PPs have given some good ideas; I'd look into some kind of mattress on the floor for you and baby (or you could crawl back up into your bed after your DD falls back asleep if you want).

Me+DH+DS1+DS2+Dog=me and a house full of guys, which is really just peachy, thanks.
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#11 of 15 Old 06-29-2009, 07:28 PM
 
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Lots of good advice (co-sleeper/sidecar crib, sleep on the outside with a rail next to mom not in the middle, not letting them sleep alone, having seperate beds, etc.). But I want to address "leaving her with him"...

First, this will get much easier with time. The more verbal they get and the less "delicate" the are and the less dependent they are on routines and "gear", the easier it will be for dad. And co-sleeping gets easier too. By 3, my son was pushing dh around .

But if I were you, I would seriously talk to him about it. There is a tendancy for mom to "take control and be in charge" and it ends up short-changing everyone. Mom can never relax for 1/2 hour while dad takes baby. Dad misses out learning and bonding. Baby misses out on Daddy experiences. There is no reason why a healthy adult could not understand dangerous situations if explained to them and abide by it. Dads often don't understand or pick-up on baby's cues. But of given the opportunity, they can learn. But they have to have the chance. And sometimes, a mentor (you) to help learn the ins and outs. And often (esp. 1st time moms) want everything absolutely perfect (and done their way) which makes the trial and error of dad learning hard for mom to take. But you know? The end result can be so important that the stress of the daddy learning curve is worth it. I kick myself for locking dh out for so long with my first. I felt like only I really knew what to do. But it was so not true. It just took talking about it and letting him work things out- letting him figure out the signals, gain some confidence. And he was/is really good about managing danger if I tip him off too it. Now with my 2nd, dh says "That's a tired cry!". He takes him all the time and the only things that are "my jobs" are nursing and co-sleeping night time duty (dh sleeps with ds1 in the other room for the same reason here- he is unsafe with an infant). And he is AMAZING with my 4 yr old.
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#12 of 15 Old 06-30-2009, 12:43 AM
 
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Hugs... that would be scary.

It's true that men are often less responsive to babies in the bed - either because they sleep more deeply, or just because they're less attuned to the baby. James McKenna (the heavyweight in cosleeping studies) has said that cosleeping is safest with involved parents who are "consciously cosleeping" (not just plonking down to sleep, vaguely aware that there's a baby on the bed, or putting the baby in the bed once every two weeks because they're too tired to put her in her crib). In other words, it's a mindset... and if you're on prescription drugs, past a certain level of tiredness and/or not very "in touch" with the baby, you can't achieve that mindset.

It sounds like that's where your DF is now. It's not his fault, but it does mean they shouldn't be in a bed together - at least, not next to each other. (DF, you, baby is a safe combination, as he couldn't roll onto her without squashing you!) The cosleeper/sidecar suggestions are good.

I do think your DF needs to step up to a more active parenting role. Whether that means setting a timer to remind himself to change the nappies, reading some basic "how to safely put a baby down" info online or whatever, you both need to get to the stage of being comfortable taking care of your little one. Otherwise you're going to get SO burned out, and all sorts of resentment and fatigue issues will come cropping up. And the good news is, the more "into" parenting your DF gets, the safer he'll be to sleep around the baby. (Not that I'd put her back with him any time soon, of course; but you might find him more responsive to her cries at night and so on.)

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#13 of 15 Old 06-30-2009, 03:32 PM
 
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i think you've gotten all the advice i could give you about co-sleeping.

i wanted to give you some hope for the future

when dd1 was born, i couldn't let DH find his own way until she was about 10 months old. dd1 was/is very high need, and very sensitive to other people's stress. it wasn't until *i* calmed down about leaving them together that they were able to find their own way

i think it's super important to spend as much time as possible together as a family, so that you can let him take the lead and everyone can get comfortable. the trick is that you can't micro-manage (or make faces, or use body language that indicates he's doing something wrong) unless it's a BIG DEAL (like, not letting baby's head flop around in a dangerous way, for instance.)

this was altogether *impossible* for me as a new mama! hehee

now, though, DH is AMAZING with our 2 year old! he has been since she was around one. she waits for him to get home from work, and they have "crazy play" from the second he walks in the door till our bedtime routine starts (and he gives her a bath, reads her books and we snuggle her to sleep in our bed).

if i would have judged Dh's parenting abilities on how he was with dd1 as a small baby, and never let him have a chance to find his way, dd1 would be missing out on SO MUCH!

i know how hard it is. just remember that even super-daddies can be off their game in the first few months

he still forgets about diapers sometimes. when he's alone he usually sets an egg timer so that dd2 gets changed every hour

(this time, with dd2 (2 months) DH is much more confident, and i trust him totally. he still doesn't get much time with her, though, because dd1 needs his undivided attention right now more than ever!)
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#14 of 15 Old 06-30-2009, 05:58 PM
 
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My DH also has sleep issues. He falls asleep while driving and in social situations, and sleeps very deeply without even realizing he's asleep (will insist "I am awake, why are you so mad?" when I smack his arm and tell him for the tenth time to move over or give me some of the covers!) I don't want him to even lie down with DD because I'm afraid he will fall asleep unknowingly and squish her. I also worry about him rocking her in the rocking chair, that he might drop her. This makes night times sooo stressful for me, so I can totally see where you are coming from. I am also a first time mommy and want everything done perfectly...I have a lot more kid experience in general then DH so it is nerve wracking for me to watch him do certain things with her. Sometimes I give him advice but overall I just try to let him do what he needs to do.

When DD is in bed with us, she is always on my side. DH would have to squish me before he could get to her!

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#15 of 15 Old 06-30-2009, 11:24 PM
 
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Oh honey, I'm sorry, that must have been so scary for you! I know that fear, my DH weighs about 400 pounds and sleeps like the dead, he could roll over on my babies and never even notice it. I always made sure with both of them that they were on one side of the mattress, then me, then DH. I placed a thick folded blanket beside the mattress in case they would roll off, but they never did because they snuggled up to me throughout the night. Perhaps that is an idea for you? Other than that I really don't have any advice, just a big hug:

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