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daddies, babies, boobs and beds

519 Views 3 Replies 3 Participants Last post by  Piglet68
My 11 mo DS has always been a very in-arms kind of baby. He has also been a frequent waker, between 3-6 times a night. We co-slept exclusively until DS was almost 6 months old, when we got a crib and attempted to transition him into it for part of the night in order to allow us a little time together. We also wanted to get DS more comfortable with father-care and comforting because it was very stressful for both of us for DH to feel like he could not comfort his baby. Up to this point he really could not be put down at all, for sleep or anything else.

Now almost 6 months later the situation is basically the same. DS will occasionally sleep 1 or very rarely 2 hours in the crib but mostly needs to sleep in our bed and will wake if I am not there. So DH and I have very little time alone, and this is really taking a toll on our relationship. He is getting frustrated with our choices. He hears about all the babies in less attachment-oriented families who are sleeping all night and have been for months. Despite incredible patience and effort on his part, he is still not able to comfort DS when he wakes at night. DS will cry to the point of hysterics if he knows I am in the house and not in bed with him.

This makes DH feel isolated and helpless and makes him wonder whether we're using the boob for comfort in a way that isn't good, and whether DS is too attached to me in general. He is a very involved and sensitive daddy and I know it is very painful for him to feel like he can't stop DS from crying. I bear most of the brunt of the sleeping situation and am OK with it (DH takes DS in the AM so I get a little nap.) But the evenings are really tough. I miss my husband, and I know his missing me and feeling like he can't comfort his son is making him feel intolerant and impatient for change.

I am wondering whether anyone has any suggestions for gentle ways we might encourage our son to take comfort from his father, and to be able to sleep by himself for a little while, whether it's in his bed (crib), ours, or anywhere else that might work. If your personal philosophies dictate that a year is too young to encourage any separation, please, please, don't give me a hard time about it. I care deeply about providing a secure attachment for my son but i don't care more about any philosophy than I do about creating a home where everyone feels like their needs are being met (with love.) Thanks.
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My dd was the same way. Sorry but I do not have advice other than follow your heart. It is a hard time for the daddies of boob obsessed babies. When I think back to those days I thought I was patient then and now my 2.5 year old dd has thought me what real patience is! My dh and I had fun getting our together time on the couch, guest bed, floor or....woo hooo use your imagination! My husband actually was more stressed bc of the lack of sex. (he never told me that I noticed a direct corraltion) So I had to make a conscience effort to remember that. I could slide out of the bed like a snake and crawl out the door so quiet then I'm like lets go babe!!
I would tell my dh-and myself that her first years are so special and go so fast these days will be a distant memory in no time. They will pass I swear. Babies rely on the boob a lot so it is normal to feel the way you are...I felt the very same way. I even got to nap in the morning a bit. My husband told me about all the other babies that slept all night etc. Well hate to toot my own horn but I think my little girl is so secure with herself and her environment because of our attachment. To of been there each of those times for her when she was so little was difficult for both of us but I followed my heart and intuition and you should too. Your child is so lucky to have a loving mama like you so give yourself a hug. It is hard for the dads but they will have their fun and now it is his time to support you and that will strenghten the attachment for everyone.

One you pump so dh cab feed baby?
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Actually i was sort of manic about pumping early on and now have a massive supply of frozen breast milk (and am having to sadly chuck some now that it's too old.) DS is sort of eh on the whole bottle situation, when I'm out in the day he'll take an ounce or so but that's usually it. At night he will very occasionally be soothed by drinking milk or even water- he does fine with my mom and MIL when he's stayed over there and they give him bottles in the night. But here in our house it's generally mommy or misery.
Well, this probably isn't going to be much help but...

I'm not so much a "one year is too young" person, as a "go at your own kid's pace" person. If that is acheivable at one year, then go for it. But you said you wanted gentle approaches, and the thing is, gentle only works if the child is, in some way, developmentally ready for it. Otherwise, you are not going to be able to achieve this "separation" without some trauma on his part. It's up to you to decide how much trauma you're willing to deal with. How much can you expect from him, a baby, compared to you and your husband, grown adults.

I can tell you that my DH and I have dealt with months without sex (that postpartum period), and nights on end when we didn't get any time alone (he'd go to bed early b/c he had to work early; I'd be up late with DD, then he'd be up early while we slept in). It was tough at times but we worked through it b/c we had the ability and DD didn't. Our marriage is stronger and better for it.

I understand how tough it can be for your DH. Mine went through the same stage of "maybe the boob thing was a bad idea". But it's not an issue anymore b/c DD is past that.

I will say that it helped a great deal when DH became the SAHP. I'm guessing your son spends more time with you than with your DH. Plus it's perfectly natural for babies to want their mamas: mamas are the natural caregivers and that is what babies have evolved to want first.

I know this sounds so pat, but from the mother of a girl who will be TWO next month, man I can tell you that this will pass SOOOOO fast, and before you know it, it will be over with. I can also tell you from someone who waited until DD was showing signs of readiness, that nightweaning can be really rewarding and satisfying when done at the right time, b/c it just goes so much more smoothly.

I sympathize, I really do, but just try to remind yourself and DH that a few more months, or even a year, is such a drop in the bucket in the lifetime of a marriage. Consider it a challenge to work through as a couple.
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