DH wants us to stop cosleeping (LONG)! Need a compromise! - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 30 Old 09-29-2009, 12:32 AM - Thread Starter
 
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DD has been sleeping with me since she was a newborn. I love it. I love the convenience of being able to roll over and nurse her without either of us having to fully wake, and without any upset. I love the peace of mind I get being able to hear and feel her breathing right next to me, and hearing her sweet little night noises. More than anything, I love being able to cuddle with her all night , and wake up next to her smiling face . I am not a morning person at all, but seeing her sweet smile every morning is what makes it worth getting up earlier than I would on my own.

DH has been (mostly) against us cosleeping from the beginning. It's so frustrating. The biggest issue is that our bed is not big enough for all three of us, so we've tried a ton of different arrangements, and finally ended up squishing both our Queen and Full size beds together in the Master bedroom - DD and I sleep on the Queen, and DH sleeps on the Full next to us. The beds are at slightly different heights, though, so it's not easy for DH and I to cuddle at all or even really lie that close to one another. He still feels left out.

We don't have a lot of intimacy anymore, and that's a big issue, especially since we're TTC again. Aside from that, he has the idea in his head that DD will NEVER leave our bed if we don't move her out ASAP. Granted, I do want her to eventually have her own sleeping space, but I'd like her to sleep with me at least until she starts night weaning (on her own), so until at least 1 year, and possibly a little longer.

DH is pretty much at his wits end with me over this issue, and I'm so torn. I want to be next to my baby AND my husband, but we can't afford a King sized bed right now, and even if we could, DH would bring up the "she needs to be in her own bed/room" thing again. I guess when we have the next kiddo, we'll have a King by then, and I'll somehow convince him to let that baby sleep with us for at least awhile.

The only compromise I could come up with was to bring the Pack N Play back into our room (she never slept in it as a newborn) - nurse her to sleep laying next to me, transfer her into it once she is completely asleep, and then just bring her into bed to nurse each time she wakes up - repeat. I can't think of any other solution that will make all three of us *relatively* content. DD wakes up between 2-4 times at night, though, so I know I will lose a lot of sleep doing it this way, and I work more hours than DH does now (I was very fortunate to be able to stay at home with her for 6 months).

I am so not ready to have her in a different room yet, but I do feel that DH has been somewhat patient in giving up his bed and space next to me (heck, he slept in a completely different room from us for 3 months), thus why I want to come up with a compromise. I just don't want to argue with him about this anymore. When I mentioned the Pack N Play idea last night to him, he seemed OK with it. I will definitely still be napping with her on my days off from work, though. If he's not there or not sleeping, he can't say anything LOL.

Does this sound alright? Any suggestions or advice? DH would if I suggested putting mattresses on the floor, and they still wouldn't be level. Plus our bedroom is pretty small, and we're both tired of it being overcrowded with furniture. Thanks for your patience in reading this!

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#2 of 30 Old 09-29-2009, 02:05 AM
 
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my first thought is that your dh needs to suck it up and accept the fact that you and dd are happy co-sleeping.

My husband, my 19 mos old and I co-sleep on a full.. we're squished but it's managable.. dd wakes 2-3x/night at this point and I can't even wrap my head around moving her around so much every night (and I SAH!)..

are you sure that ttc is the right choice for now? it sounds like there may be a few kinks to work out first (but maybe not?)...



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#3 of 30 Old 09-29-2009, 02:34 AM
 
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Hey- that is so hard! My dh has been up and down about it too. It helped that we were able to put two kings together (both second-hand, one free) but it sounds like your room is too small even if you had kings. Can you raise the full with blocks so they are equal? Or why not change the arrangement so that your dh sleeps on the queen, you put baby to bed on the full and then scootch over when she is asleep to be with dh? I can't imagine the pack and play working for long- that would be so exhausting. Although, maybe your dh has to see it in action to know first hand how disruptive that would be!
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#4 of 30 Old 09-29-2009, 02:41 AM
 
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Yeah, see the problem I notice is that its no skin off your DH's back that you get less sleep and his child less attention in his prefered arrangement. The only one it works for is him. I think if my DH pulled this I would be too resentful to let it go. He is asking you to choose between his needs and those of you and your child...not cool mama!

Is there any way the three of you can adjust to sleeping in just the queen bed together? If not I would recommend getting a co=sleeper and attaching it to the side of the bed. Your baby will be right there so you can still hear her breathe, and you won't have to get fully up to feed her.
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#5 of 30 Old 09-29-2009, 02:55 AM
 
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My dd did a side-car crib arrangement for her little, the crib is much smaller than a queen or full, so it may fit your room better. It takes some fiddling to get everything the same height. Long bungie cords (not too long) are used to hold the far outside of the crib springs to the far outside of the box-spring or platform of the bed, then mattresses go over that. You have to get it tight, and level from mattress to mattress, don't want baby falling into any spaces or getting wedged in. Then baby has space, you and dh can cuddle too, and you don't even have to wake up as much as getting your little one out of a pack&play.

My grandson is two, and was doing pretty good at sleeping by himself until things went south between his parents.
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#6 of 30 Old 09-29-2009, 03:06 AM
 
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Not sure how the three of you are arranged physically in the bed...I'm assuming she's between the two of you? If so, have you thought of moving her to the outside and getting a railing? That's what we did with ds2 (ds1 stayed in the middle and has now effectively kicked DH out of bed with his restless ways but I digress...). I think the idea of putting your dd on the full and then scooting over to be with DH on the queen is fab, though. After you cuddle with him, you can go back to her when she needs to nurse.

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#7 of 30 Old 09-29-2009, 03:14 AM
 
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IMO, the person who is breastfeeding gets to decide the sleeping arrangements. Tell him that when he starts to breastfeed, that is when he can arrange the sleeping.

I'm actually serious about this.

While my baby is still on the inside ... I really don't understand why intimacy would be a problem with co-sleeping. However, maybe this is because (I apologize if this is TMI), for intimacy, our bed is the LAST place that sees any action. I mean, we literally SLEEP in the bed. We don't use it for anything else, lol.

So ... one idea is to move the intimacy/cuddling into another area of the house. But, just use the bedroom for sleeping. I don't know how it works with you and your dh, but my dp and I are solitary sleepers. In the sense that we can't touch one another while sleeping. So, we don't cuddle anyway while sleeping. As such, in our bedroom, we could be sleeping in separate beds for all we care.

My point is that there are other ways to connect and be intimate beyond the whole "it's night, and we're in bed" type of thing. I would keep the sleeping arrangement as is, and work on becoming close in other areas of your house. Or at other times beyond nighttime.

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#8 of 30 Old 09-29-2009, 01:50 PM
 
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I would try the queen and a co-sleeper or side-carred crib (the crib would last longer, as your lo will be too mobile for the co-sleeper in no time)--that gets the extra bed out of the room and should give each of you enough place to sleep. I don't agree that your dp is asking you to choose between your lo's needs and his--sounds as if your current solution isn't necessarily the best for you all as a family (if he is feeling resentful, that can't be good for all of you!).

You might want to point out that you need to get as much sleep as you can because of being back to work, so you want to find a way to do that. My partner is very sympathetic to my sleep needs--it's a serious issue! I agree with you and the pp's that the pack-n-play will likely cause you to get less sleep, and think that if you can move your little one into something attached and on the same level, that would be less disruptive to your sleep.
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#9 of 30 Old 09-29-2009, 02:05 PM
 
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Can you nurse her to sleep, transfer her to the pack n' play, and then when she wakes up the next time bring her into bed to stay? This is the arrangement we have and it works out really well. We get our time at night together after Lincoln goes to sleep, and then he's in bed with us when he wakes up smiling in the morning!

ETA - we all 3 co-sleep in a queen. It's MUCH easier though once we're all asleep. Moving Lincoln to the bed at night when he nurses the first time doesn't hardly wake me up since I don't ever remember doing it
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#10 of 30 Old 09-29-2009, 02:14 PM
 
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He still feels left out...
He is an adult. That he cannot yet put his child's needs above his wants is no reason for you to take him seriously about it.


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...Aside from that, he has the idea in his head that DD will NEVER leave our bed if we don't move her out ASAP...
Then how does he explain that all co-sleepers eventually wind up in their own beds? He's blowing things out of proportion to try and push you into a situation that works best for him and him only.


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The only compromise I could come up with was to bring the Pack N Play back into our room (she never slept in it as a newborn) - nurse her to sleep laying next to me, transfer her into it once she is completely asleep, and then just bring her into bed to nurse each time she wakes up - repeat. I can't think of any other solution that will make all three of us *relatively* content. DD wakes up between 2-4 times at night, though, so I know I will lose a lot of sleep doing it this way, and I work more hours than DH does now...
This is not a compromise. This is you giving up sleep while you are working, nursing and TTC. Have you spelled this out for your husband? If you have and he still think it's a good idea, he is too immature to get a vote on who sleeps where. Yes, I'm dead serious.

Mama, you are being bullied into a "solution" that only works for one of the three people in your family and it's one of the adults. That is just not okay.


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We don't have a lot of intimacy anymore, and that's a big issue, especially since we're TTC again...
That is something you can work on seperately from the who sleeps where isssue.

Personally, I would take a very firm stand on the co-sleeping and end the issue. At the same time, I would make a committment to work on the intimacy issues. Lastly, I would seriously consider if I want to add another child into a family where the Dad is still not grasping whose needs must come first yet.
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#11 of 30 Old 09-29-2009, 02:16 PM
 
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(if he is feeling resentful, that can't be good for all of you!).
His feelings are his to come to terms with. That he is acting on those feelings is another issue altogether. He is making her chose between a good nights sleep and him feeling "left out."
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#12 of 30 Old 09-29-2009, 02:22 PM
 
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Originally Posted by vegemamato View Post
my first thought is that your dh needs to suck it up and accept the fact that you and dd are happy co-sleeping.

My husband, my 19 mos old and I co-sleep on a full.. we're squished but it's managable.. dd wakes 2-3x/night at this point and I can't even wrap my head around moving her around so much every night (and I SAH!)..

are you sure that ttc is the right choice for now? it sounds like there may be a few kinks to work out first (but maybe not?)...



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#13 of 30 Old 09-29-2009, 03:09 PM
 
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for you mama! i'm in a similar position with my DH, he's not really down w/ cosleeping and wants DS out of our bed. i initially considered doing the whole pack-n-play in the room idea, but nixed that when i realized how uncomfortable that thing is, plus what a PITA it would be to go get DS every time he got hungry (which is A LOT because he's reverse-cycling). i gave DH 2 options. 1 - we put DS in his crib (won't fit in our room ) and DH gets him every time he's hungry to bring him to me, or 2 - DH sucks it up. DH is fan of CIO (ugh) so his response was "I won't get him, I'll just let him cry." to which my response was, "you can sleep on the couch." he hasn't complained since!

as for intimacy, do like PPs said and move it out of the bedroom! there are lots of fun places to DTD also, if you're really attached to DTD in your bed, you could always put your LO down for naps elsewhere so the bed is free. DS usually naps in his swing, so our bed is free during naptimes!

One final idea is a partial co-sleeping situation. Your LO can start out the night in her bed and transition to yours after a certain feeding, which would give you and DH a little time to yourselves in bed. It doesn't have to be all or nothing, and I agree that the BEST part of the day is waking up to a smiling baby in your arms

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#14 of 30 Old 09-29-2009, 03:19 PM
 
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I agree with other posters, sounds like your husband is confused about who is the baby in the family.

Tell him he can handle all of the night wakings and feedings from now on if he doesn't want to cosleep. [expressed breastmilk in bottles.]

If his real problem is intimacy, instead of pushing to stop cosleeping, why doesn't he just ask for more intimacy? We cosleep and we go to the couch, floor, pull-out sofa, or twin bed in our son's room to 'be intimate'.
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#15 of 30 Old 09-29-2009, 04:59 PM
 
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nak

We do the following - which has worked out to be a fairly acceptable compromise for us (DH wasn't a big fan of cosleeping at first either, but this works for him):

- When DD goes to sleep for the night, we put her down in the crib in her room, which gives us plenty of "private" time without disturbing her.
- When we're ready to go to sleep, one of us goes into her room and brings her into our room, where we put her down in the cosleeper next to our bed.
- When she wakes at night, I can usually soothe her without getting out of bed. If she needs to nurse, I take her out of the room, nurse her, and bring her back to avoid waking DH (he's a light sleeper and she's a noisy eater).
- Usually at some point in the very early morning hours, she wakes and won't settle unless she's in bed with us. If that's the case, I roll over and pull her out of the cosleeper into bed, where she usually settles down to sleep again. By this point, DH is fast asleep and this doesn't disturb him as much as it would if we tried it earlier in the evening. Also, he can slip out of bed and go to work before we're awake, which leaves us to sleep peacefully until she's ready to wake up. (This is always long before I'm ready to wake up, but I suppose that's life with babies... *sigh*)

This system works out for everybody: she gets attentive parenting at night, DH gets enough sleep so he can function at work, and I get to wake up with a smiling baby next to me.

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#16 of 30 Old 09-29-2009, 05:10 PM
 
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I know you came here looking for advice on co-sleeping and not your marriage but I have to agree with many of the pps.

It doesn't sound like your husband is really thinking about what is best for your baby or you. I wouldn't make a change I didn't feel was best to satisfy an adult who can reason and know better.

I hope you find an answer that works for your whole family.

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#17 of 30 Old 09-29-2009, 05:16 PM
 
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I would suggest that he move into another room where he is more comfortable sleeping, and that you and your baby sleep together, and then that you visit him after the baby falls asleep to be intimate.

I agree that TTC might not be a great idea now. You'll just have another baby in bed for a while.
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#18 of 30 Old 09-29-2009, 07:21 PM
 
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If she needs to nurse, I take her out of the room, nurse her, and bring her back to avoid waking DH (he's a light sleeper and she's a noisy eater).
The OP is able to nurse her daughter in bed without either fully waking. You are proposing that a woman working more hours than her husband at paid work should start not only getting up at night but be wide wake enough to go to another room to not disturb the child's father.

If it works for your family, great. That a mother and babe who are sleeping well are being pressured to start waking up in the middle of the night to placate the child's father is, in my opinion, unkind.
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#19 of 30 Old 09-29-2009, 07:39 PM
 
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I'm in a little different situation than you since I couldn't BF but I told DH he had to start waking up to feed the baby and get her back to sleep. It usually shuts him up since he gets to sleep through the night. We had tried once not cosleeping and taking turns with getting the baby back to sleep and both of us were barely sleeping. Evenutally I just said let's go back to what we were doing and I'll take the baby all night because I get more sleep.

One thing that I think has worked OK for us is that I actually sleep with the baby in its own room. That gives me a place to hang out with DH in the evening/morning for when you want to be more intimate. We're not the types to cuddle in the middle of the night so he isn't missing out on anything really. The baby is starting to develop a preference away from me most of the night so I feel I will be able to sleep with DH once the baby is asleep soon.
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#20 of 30 Old 09-29-2009, 11:19 PM
 
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How would he feel about the baby starting out the night in the pack n play and ending the night in bed with you. We didn't co-sleep full time but most nights we all woke up together. I nursed the baby and then put them down in their own bed. I got up the first time and usually put the baby back in bed after that feeding. By the second feeding of the night I put the baby in bed with us.


We got the time for intimacy, alone time, and just time to connect a couple. But I didn't have to deal with getting up multiple times a night which made me a much happier and more rested wife and mother.

Does your room have the space for both beds and the pack n play? Would some risers make the beds the same height? Would he accept the mattresses on the floor if he got to sleep there with just you for part of the night?

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#21 of 30 Old 09-29-2009, 11:27 PM
 
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I wouldn't do the pack and play-- way too much work on your part. Put DH in the queen and you sleep on the edge of the queen with the baby in the full. You can move around to be near either one. That's how we do it, we have a queen and a side carred crib and it's perfect. Maybe if you side carred a crib he'd like that because it seems like you're getting baby ready for independent sleep by liking the crib.

In terms of being intimate, we just made sure to get a very comfy couch. And our babies were born the same day and I can not imagine being TTC already! Wow, how tiring! I WOH FT also and I'm so drained at the end of the day I can't imagine adding a pregnancy to the mix!
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#22 of 30 Old 09-29-2009, 11:46 PM
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I agree that it is the FAMILY bed, not the nursing couple + dad bed. You have to find a solution that works for all of you.

That said, we had this same discussion about a million times when DS was little. We would get him to sleep in the co-sleeper for a while, and I would be a total wreck because I got absolutely no sleep at all. What it finally came down to is that my DH felt crowded out, and our intimacy wasn't great because I was tired, not because the baby was in the bed. Once DH moved out of the room (there was a whole thread about this a while ago) and everyone was getting better sleep, and we had a bed in another room to DTD, everyone was happier.

I also agree that TTC right now may not be wise...where will the new baby sleep, yk?
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#23 of 30 Old 09-30-2009, 12:46 AM - Thread Starter
 
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I appreciate all the responses & various opinions! I would reply to each of you individually, but there are a lot more replies than I had anticipated!

I suppose I didn't clarify in the beginning that DD is 6 months old (though many of you probably figured that out from my signature). She is a rather large baby : - probably over 20lbs now, so a cosleeper isn't an option anymore. She can't even sleep in the top part of the Pack N Play, so I'd be bending waaaaay over to get her out.

DH did mention awhile ago that he wouldn't mind having her crib in our room (instead of the additional bed), but I was being silly and materialistic not wanting to move it b/c it matches all the other furniture & decor in her room. I don't think it can be side-carred, though, b/c it is a sleigh-style 3-in-1 bed. Maybe we could still find enough pillows and/or a pool noodle to get it snug enough, though? Not sure. Then we could keep her Pack N Play in her separate bedroom.

I agree with all of you in SOME ways. I do think that DH is being somewhat selfish in all of this in not putting his child first, and not considering my need for sleep. However, he truly has been neglected in a lot of ways, and I have been unwaivering/uncompromising and pretty much made every parenting decision on my own so far - mostly because his ideas are what his parents, people at work, etc, tell him, and they are really mainstream ideas that I don't agree with.

If I had let him make all of the decisions from the beginning, he would have formula fed her, let her CIO, gotten her vaxed, used sposies 100% of the time, etc. Somehow I managed to convince him that those were all bad ideas, though he still thinks I should let her cry sometimes (because his parents did it and he "turned out OK" ), and I won't have it.

Anyhow, he just doesn't do any research, and I am the total opposite. However, I do feel that I need to find a way for our sleeping arrangements to benefit all of us (now that she's a bit older), and I'm just not sure what that is yet. If we can't side-car the crib, we can at least have it next to our bed, and maybe I can have *him* sleep on her side so he can change her diaper and then hand her to me to nurse.

RE: intimacy - the biggest issue with that is that I'm almost ALWAYS too freaking tired, even before I was back working out-of-the-house full-time (I was working at home for the last 3 months). Even if I'm really in the mood, I am too dang tired to expell enough energy to enjoy it. I guess that's a whole different issue, though. DD stays up until midnight most nights, so it's not like we have much/if any alone time together when neither of us is at work.

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#24 of 30 Old 09-30-2009, 12:59 AM
 
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I hate some of these post that the only solution for dad is to suck it up. It does not sound respectful to him. I agree he isn't being to respectful to you but at the same time there can be middle ground.

Is his need for intimcy the need to spend time with just you? To reconnect, building your relationship to make it stronger for your child/ren? Maybe it isn't about the s*x at all but emotional attachment that can come with it.

Also you baby is still little. Maybe you need more time to grow and you three grow as a family befor adding number 4.
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#25 of 30 Old 09-30-2009, 01:01 AM
 
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Ugh, I know what you mean about DH "coming up" with childrearing advice from parents,etc., like "I think we need to try CIO!" Mine is the same--no research at all, but he does usually accept what I think is best. He made his peace with cosleeping when I told him that we didn't have to do it, but that meant he would have to do all the getting up at night to soothe the baby.

About intimacy, hang in there! Your little one is still so young and you are still recovering from the birth (I have heard it takes at least 9 mos) so it is natural that you feel exhausted. I remember feeling so dead tired, even as a SAHM, at the end of the evening that I couldn't think about anything else but sleep, but something gradually shifted around 7 mos. or so and I didn't feel so wiped out.

I appreciate wanting to please everyone in the family, but it seems so sad that you should give up the joy of snuggling your baby--it is so short lived, they grow so fast, etc. etc.--I think you might really resent it and DH if you have to give that up.

Good luck!
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#26 of 30 Old 09-30-2009, 01:34 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Thanks again for the replies, ladies!

Funny thing - I mentioned to DH what a PITA the Pack N Play can be, and that "maybe we should bring the crib in there after all" (his suggestion).

He replied, "I knew you were going to want me to do that.. now I'll have to take it apart to get it out of the room.". We have one of those sleigh cribs, and I forgot that it won't fit through a regular doorway once it's put together. Haha.

I responded, "Well, we could always get another drop-side style crib and push it up against our bed. It would be crowded, but not as much as having two beds in there like we do now".

So I said, "Oh, that's right. So, you just want to leave things as is for now?"

Him: "Yeah". Funny how a solution that requires extra effort on his part drove him to change his mind for now.

*sigh* Silly husbands.

I would really love to just buy a King bed, but may not be able to until Dec when I get my big holiday paycheck. We are both tall, plus-sized people, and DD is about 20lbs and 26" herself at only 6mo old (LOL), so we definitely cannot all 3 fit into our Queen.

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#27 of 30 Old 09-30-2009, 09:29 PM
 
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Funny how a solution that requires extra effort on his part drove him to change his mind for now
You getting up a few times a night was a good "compromise" but him exerting a small amount of effort just once changed his mind?

Mama, You are a saint! I'm so glad that you are not going to be losing any sleep.
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#28 of 30 Old 10-01-2009, 09:26 AM
 
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glad you all came to a compromise! I think our DH's sometimes do feel left out because we are devoting so much attention/time to our LO's.. but we need to remember that during the first couple years their needs are so intense, and it won't be like this forever.. soon he will have you all back to himself and the kiddos will be older and won't need you as much and then you will look back and miss all of those sweet snuggly nighttime moments.

Catie belly.gif- Happy wife to Aaron stillheart.gif(01.05), mama to Liambikenew.gif(08.08), and Ian jammin.gif (11.10)! homebirth.jpgnocirc.giffamilybed1.gif and joy.gif due Feb 2013 with blessing #3!

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#29 of 30 Old 10-01-2009, 03:32 PM
 
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I would suggest that he move into another room where he is more comfortable sleeping, and that you and your baby sleep together, and then that you visit him after the baby falls asleep to be intimate..
agreed. it sucks, but it's only temporary... everyone will sleep better...
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#30 of 30 Old 10-13-2009, 07:53 AM
 
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I'm dredging up this thread as I just found it and I just had to respond to the overwhelming sentiment about the dad being "selfish".

we are a lesbian couple and DP is the biomom, so in many ways I can empathize with dads. I really enjoyed co-sleeping at first (and really did not think I would). But I really did begin to miss the intimacy in our relationship. And I'm not even talking about sex, just snuggling together before we fall asleep. It was such a routine to our day to lay in bed and hold each other and talk that I really missed that. As a logical person in my head, I KNOW the babies needs come first... BUT that doesn't mean I don't have my own needs and it doesn't hurt when I am missing out on that intimacy. We have a king size bed, so there was plenty of room, but the baby was always inbetween us and snuggling was out.

Our solution was to move the crib into our bedroom (we had to take the doors off to fit it through the doorways). We did not side car the crib but rather it is just right next to the bed with a small space inbetween for DP to get in and out of bed. Our DS nurses to sleep downstairs and sleeps contently in his crib the first part of the night. When he wakes for his early morning feeding, DP brings him to bed to nurse and there he stays and we both get to wake up with the baby.

It is so hard to balance everyones needs in a new family dynamic. It was really sad to see so many posters just completely dismiss the dads needs. DP and I are still working on the more intimate parts of intimacy. That is something I miss too and I understand that physically and emotionally she isn't ready to go back to our old ways... but it is still hard. Doesn't make me a jerk... I'm not pushing.. but I think it is fair to share my feelings about it all the same.

Hopefully filiadeluna and her DH can continue to work towards a solution that can meet everyones needs.

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