Father angry at nursing 15 .5 almost 16 mo for not being able to put him to sleep-at me for nursing baby to sleep - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 3 Old 03-16-2011, 11:05 PM - Thread Starter
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My son's father is angry at both our nearly 16 mo toddler son -and me-for him not being able to put him to sleep.

I am pg w/ number two, and 12 weeks today, so unplanned/surprise # 2 will be here in Sep.

Son is slowly weaning himself, he nurses at night and naps (he naps once a day; the father was really pushing to knock out the second nap).




When #1 -son was a infant, a week old, the father threw fits at being woken up;slamming doors, yelling at us and huffing and puffing, and making the situation already bad truly unbearable. So, I have taken over sleeping duties-all of them-since then. Our son co-sleeps with me,and his father .

On account of that-and i never prevented the father from helping w/ night duties, baby seems better with me putting him to sleep/nursing him to sleep.


His father blames me and -like tonight-gets angry with the baby/toddler when he cries, which of course, makes it impossible for him to put him to sleep.He blames me for nursing him, and seems resentful and always talks about " we should have done this earlier" -like ti can be changed now!!!


Due to his fathers behavior, he slept in the other room from us for a while in his own bed so *his* sleep would not be disturbed while I stayed up all night doing night duties so father could go to work ( I bring in a small income from my savings, so ...) . Eventually, he moved back into our main bedroom


I bought lo a pacifier, got him a sleep giraffe and a turtle ( our night light went out). And I nurse lo in a rocking office chair in a dark room listening to white noise. Father comes in to take over repeatedly, he puts him down. Then, when baby cries, I can hear baby freaking out cause his father is getting impatient-after only a few minutes!!!


So, father sulks off, gets angry , ruins an otherwise good day yet again, (and I know he is blaming me for "not doing it sooner/).And goes to sleep downstairs.


When the new baby comes, honestly, yes it will be stressful.But the real thing I fear now is not the stress of two babies, but the hostility of the father!!! I can't TAKE IT anymore!!!


What can I do , what can we do, to get our toddler to sleep with his father?


this has become a very serious ; please advise, any non-CIO would help



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#2 of 3 Old 03-17-2011, 12:24 AM
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Your DS's behavior is completely normal. My DH was able to put our DD to sleep for naps when I wasn't home, but he was very calm with her. When she was about a year I had to stay with a family member in the hospital over night and he was even able to get her to go to sleep then. Of course we had expressed breast milk in the refrigerator and DH was calm and relaxed. Part of the reason your DH can't parent your DS to sleep is he isn't calm and comforting. The anger and hostility, not the breastfeeding, is probably causing most of the problem. Babies and toddlers can feel when we aren't calm. The parent's calm heart rate, respiration and nervous system help the baby calm down their own. Anger is probably just scary. The book Science of Parenting by Margot Sunderland goes into the biochemical and neurological details of how it works. The book is about how our parenting effects our childs neurological development. But it's a good resource on understanding development and behavior. Your DH doesn't seem to have an understanding of normal development. So he's having unrealistic expectations and getting frustrated.  Also, are you guys finding any couple time? When my DH and I don't have any alone time, we both tend to get annoyed with each other more easily. Does your DH do other things with your DS? At that age I was usually the get DD to sleep parent. Hey, the fastest way is nursing to sleep. Then I could roll out of the family bed for some time with DH is the living room. My DH would take over with DD right when he came home from work, mostly playing with her and would sometimes give her a bath. Our DD, at 5, still gets excited when her daddy gets home. There's so much your DH can do with your DS, even if he can't get him to sleep. And getting the baby to sleep isn't really the most fun thing you can do with a toddler. Playing is really important for development and bonding too.


On another note, have you thought of counseling? I couldn't put up with anger issues in an spouse, some people can. I just couldn't function. I don't even deal well with mild disrespect. 

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#3 of 3 Old 03-20-2011, 10:31 PM
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Well, I doubt anything will work without parental patience, but this is what we did in a similar situation.  My 2 are 22 months apart, and #2 was a surprise as well.  We spent the later part of the pregnancy gently transitioning the toddler to his own bed with daddy putting him down.  First, I nursed him, and the three of us lay together until he fell asleep, singing songs upon request (but not actually nursing all the way to sleep).  Then I would start out there, and leave, and daddy would stay laying with him, singing songs, etc... until he fell asleep.  Then we moved nursing to the first step in the bedtime routine, which is taken over by daddy after that.  As time progressed, daddy no longer needed to actually lay down with him, or sing.  Now daddy can take him, sit next to his bed and hold his hand, and he happily falls asleep fairly quickly (he's 2 now), while I tend the 2 month old.  


This took patience from everyone, though.  I don't think it matters a bit that you "didn't do it earlier".  I found it got easier as my son got older to make a change (he could understand and tolerate more), and I'd also done all the nighttime stuff when he was an infant (just seemed to make sense, as the one with the milk).  But it does matter if you have the right attitude to do it now.  It doesn't sound like your husband has the right mental framework at the moment to work on a difficult change.  Mostly he's the one who's going to have to be patient and work to find a sleep routine that works for him to put the kid down.  There's not much you can do to help.

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