Dad offers to take over nighttime parenting, am I nuts for saying no? - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 10 Old 09-15-2010, 11:31 PM - Thread Starter
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Since her birth, I have been the one doing all the nighttime parenting for DD (now 15 months). At 13 months, she was still waking 4-5 times a night to nurse. Then I got pregnant and decided I had to nightwean and move DD to her own bed (a futon mattress on her bedroom floor). It took a few weeks and a few tears, but now she goes until 5pm without nursing. Great! But she still wakes 4-5 times. Not so great. Now I have to get out of my own bed, climb into hers, then go back to my own once she's asleep. It's more work than before, but I've stuck with it because I have to believe it's the only way I might get her to sleep through the night before the new baby arrives.

Now that DD doesn't expect to nurse every time she wakes, DH has been able to help with the nighttime parenting. After a few nights he said he would be willing to sleep with DD throughout the night (essentially taking over ALL the nighttime parenting!), but that he can't handle the up and down anymore.

I must be crazy, because I didn't immediately jump his bones in gratitude. I'm starved for sleep, yet I can't give up the hope that this tortured odyssey will eventually lead to paradise. I'm afraid that if DH starts sleeping with her regularly, he'll undo any progress I've made. There's also the timing to consider. DH is a farmer, and while he can afford to be generous now, he'll need his full sleep again next spring. My due date, meanwhile, is April 5. On the other hand, I am beginning to doubt my ability to control a process that might just need to run its course. So what do I do now? Do I stick to my guns and hope DD starts sleeping longer stretches, or do I just accept DH's offer and enjoy my 8 hours until the new baby arrives?
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#2 of 10 Old 09-15-2010, 11:49 PM
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I say let him try for awhile---first of all my DD sleep much more soundly for my DH than for me and secondly, after the babe is born, most likely your husband will have to help with it anyway, so it might be beneficial to get on that routine now.

Mama to P. born at home 10/09, and W. born in the hospital 2/13

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#3 of 10 Old 09-16-2010, 12:24 AM
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I say take him up on it. You deserve some rest, and he has time to parent right now. Maybe he will come out the other end with a closer relationship to your DD and a great appreciation for what youve been doing for the past 15 months. Plus, as many times as you'll get up to pee at night, its not like youll be oblivious to whats going on

Holly and David partners.gif

Adaline love.gif (3/20/10), and Charlie brokenheart.gif (1/26/12- 4/10/12) and our identical  rainbow1284.gif  twins Callie and Wendy (01/04/13)

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#4 of 10 Old 09-16-2010, 12:50 AM
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I think it would be nice to get some good rest, you need it. If he can help right now, why not take it? If you're not sleeping enough right now, with another LO it will probably get harder to feel well rested...
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#5 of 10 Old 09-16-2010, 02:34 AM
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Take him up on it. When I first read the "headline", I feared he would do what my DH did: offer to take over nighttime parenting--then when the baby woke, he just stayed in bed, letting her CIO until I got up and nursed. He claims she was STTN when I was deployed. Considering that she stopped when I got home, I have to wonder...was she STTN or did he tune out her cries?
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#6 of 10 Old 09-16-2010, 09:17 AM
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i think you should go for it.
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#7 of 10 Old 09-16-2010, 09:38 AM
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I would not have him sleep with her full time for a couple of reasons (a step away from your goal of independent sleep and for us mom/dad sleeping together is very important). But I would have him respond full time for a while. Chances are she'll decide that sleep is more important than not seeing her mommy And also have him respond minimally. Sitting next to her and patting her back. Verbally soothing her, etc. Basically weaning her from him at night. GL!

DS (6.06), DD (10.08), DD (05.11).

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#8 of 10 Old 09-16-2010, 09:59 AM
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I don't think it is unreasonable for a 13 month old to need someone to sleep with them at night. Meeting her needs at night will not undo any of what you are working toward. She will feel more secure in her parents and you will not need to do this all of her life. In our house, we do whatever works to get the maximum amount of sleep for all family members. Sometimes this means co-sleeping longer. Once my dh slept in another room while I "slept" (used very loosely, lol) between my newborn and 21 month old. One had to touch my hair to go back to sleep and the other had to have the breast. It was temporary, it worked and now my two dds cosleep in their own room. Occasionally the youngest comes to our bed in the middle of the night, but it is becoming less frequent.
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#9 of 10 Old 09-16-2010, 10:18 AM
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Originally Posted by TanyaS View Post
I don't think it is unreasonable for a 13 month old to need someone to sleep with them at night.
ITA with this btw. And have my 2 year old in bed with us and a 4 year old who sometimes comes in. Just sometimes other needs trump this (like a pregnant mom who doesn't sleep well with the child there, or whatever).

Back to the OP - I weaned my son when I was pregnant but he continued to sleep with us full time until the very end of my pregnancy. Once I weaned him (day and night) he slept like a lot next to me. I'm sort of assuming that cosleeping just stopped working for you. But maybe that's not true and you can revisit that.

DS (6.06), DD (10.08), DD (05.11).

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#10 of 10 Old 09-16-2010, 10:48 AM
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My DH took over the nighttime parenting when DD was, uh, 3. If I could do it all over again, I would LEAP at the chance to have him do it at 13 months. I went through years of sleep deprivation that took another couple of years to heal. I am the sort of sleeper that can't fall back asleep once I've been woken up, plus I would stay awake all night trying not to move (I toss and turn normally) so I wouldn't wake the baby. So, that was me.

DD and DH still bedshare (DD just turned 5). For OUR family, that works. I don't have any particular need to bedshare with DH, he snores and I toss and turn. Even before kids we never did husband-wife stuff at night in bed anyway. I know other couples feel differently, but he and I don't care about sharing sleep. DH easily falls back to sleep (within seconds, really) if DD wakes him up for any reason. She likes his snoring (is comforted by it). I sleep soundly and toss and turn all I want. It works for us.

For another story, a family we know coslept all in one bed with their first son. They planned to continue when their second son was born, but she felt like she just wasn't getting the sleep she needed with everyone piled in. So her DH took their DS1 and slept in another room while she slept with the baby. As far as I know, that happened for a year and everyone was happy. I believe the DS1 is now in his own bed (completely his choice, they were really into not pushing that - though possibly that bed is in the same room as everyone else, not sure) and they cosleep with each other and DS2 now.

Homeschooling mama to 6 year old DD.

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