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July 05, 2009


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Why do you many of you put up with such lazy husbands? How can you accept that they simply refuse to do their part of the parenting? I mean, why is 'no' an answer?

My husband used to get up at night to change diapers when necessary, he also took care of the kids at night when we weaned them - and later, it was usually him who got up, too, because he was in the habit.

My 23 month old is to the point where he's wanting to nurse ALL NIGHT LONG, so night weaning it is. My husband wouldn't even consider helping with the night weaning. So I have to cuddle the poor child to my chest, tantalizing him with what he can't have. :-(

My favorite part is when we're lying there in the dark, listening to the screaming and tantruming (because Baby refuses to be comforted by cuddling) and Hubby complains about the lack of sleep. Try nursing all night for years on end, buddy! (I have nursed at night for 7 out of the last 8 years. I got a break in between kids #2 and #3.)

You are AWESOME to put your foot down on this one! It WILL work and I can't WAIT to read the fabulous posts of relief when you finally get to sleep 7 hours straight...

As for the husband whinery, what still works for me is to look at him with this mock sympathy stare and say: "I SOOOOOOOOOOO know how hard it can be. Doesn't it particularly suck when [enter whatever detail most suits the situation: when Margot wakes up 4 times in ONE HOUR? Or when you finally just nod off to sleep and she wakes up AGAIN? or when you can't actually fall asleep because you know she'll be waking up in the next hour? etc., etc.]" It pisses him off, but it also gets the point across so efficiently.

While The Comedian has officially weaned herself now, we did night weaning first. It was hard and took me a few weeks but the sleep is so worth it.

I say this and it sounds like I'm so well rested but now we are having a bitch of a time teething and I was up pacing with her from 12-2 a.m. this morning.

When my husband tells me how tired he is tonight and how he wants to go to bed at 7:30 I may have to sucker punch him. What is up with them having such a hard time dealing?!

Don't stress. Aren't you glad you have this place to vent? I agree with Nic- you have to train yourself more than them.

My heart goes out to you. My husband never got up at night with our child either. But we've only had one. When he was seven months I finally said enough. I need sleep. Then I read your stories and think "God I'm such a wimp". I don't know how you have done it for 5 years!! You are my absolute hero.

OMG I know. Really. I love it when my husband yells for help with a poopy diaper. Uh? Who do I yell for when I am changing the other 90% of poopy diapers? Learn to do it yourself, mofo!

My blood pressure rose, reading that line, too. Men make babies too! Step up, boys! God.

@Olivia- actually, when Hubby and I were splitting work and child care (we each worked halftime for a month, and were home with the baby for the other half), we had a rule that the person who was staying home the next day got to get more sleep. We both have office jobs with sympathetic coworkers who would understand if we were grumpy because of lack of sleep. The baby, well, she didn't really care how well we'd slept. I have never bought the "if Mom stays home, nighttime is part of her job," except for people whose partners have jobs that are actually more demanding than an infant.

Good luck with the nightweaning, Kristin. We got down to one feeding per night at about 10 months, and that (or the coincidental improvement in sleep that happened at that time) was a big improvement.

Night weaning will be soo worth it--good luck!

I have no advice whatsoever. My husband and I struck a deal as soon as we found out I was pregnant that he's responsible for the first three weeks of diapers and two nights a week of nighttime feedings (pumped or formula or whatever).

Yeah. We'll see how long it lasts. I predict: NOT LONG AT ALL.

I know this is JMO but if Daddy has a job and Mommy stays at home then I think thats in the job description to handle all the nightime BS. I also never ever rocked my babies to sleep... ok I'm sure once or twice because its just precious, but from the beginning I put them down awake and made them self-soothe. I agree though that every fam has to find what works for them, I just cannot imagine not sleeping for SO long!!

Also, I worked at an office during 1st son's babyhood... so he reverse cycled, and REFUSED to have anything to do with my husband during the night, so pumping bottles wasn't an option for middle of the night. This time, I work from home office... and nurse on demand.

Yeah, hubs complained a LOT about how tired he was last time. He still does, but I just ignore him. I often make him get up once a night to change a diaper too!

I totally think it's the kid, not the parent. Our first son... if he so much as twitched, I went ahead and got up, because he was going to be UP. And he nursed every 2 hours day-and-night for the first 7 months of his life. He was 18 months when he started sleeping through the night. Second son... same environment, same parents... is a noisy sleeper so I wait for him to make a specific noise... and he only does that twice a night. And he's 2 months old. The second time is often around the time I have to get up to get ready for work anyway, so it's like once a night for me. Instead of 4 times... it's AWESOME! Just 2 different kids.

@wendy - To be completely fair, my husband does an equal if not greater amount with the kids and around the house, so I can't completely trash him for not getting up at night.

And he's really the only one who does the bulk of the cleaning around these parts (save the cooking, dishes sometimes, and laundry).

He's always willing to do it. I just honestly think he gets easily frustrated.

My husband was like that in terms of not ever wanting to help and giving me a hard time about it the few times he did. We're divorced now. Yes, there was more to it, but his behavior just showed me how little he cared about our family and our marriage. You and your commenters in the same boat deserve better treatment from your spouses who are supposed to love, honor and cherish you (and their children).

((sympathy)) I totally hear you on that last part. My kids weren't breastfed for long, but even now - with a bottle - it's like pulling teeth to get some real help!

I hear ya, sista-friend. Good luck! May the force be with us all (except not our husbands, they don't need to get off any easier than they already do when it comes to baby rearing).

My husband is a general lousy baby helper so I totally feel your pain. Even though my son is on formula right now guess who is the only one that gets up for those middle of the night feedings? Guess who wants to murder her husband when he whines about feeling tired because the baby crying woke him up? I would so get off if I did kill him.

Oh girl, I can soooo sympathize. Even though my baby's a pretty good sleeper my husband is a LOUSY middle of the night helper. Our "night" feeding is at 11 pm but who gets to go to bed at 9? Husband, that's who. Last night for the first time EVER I said "I'm done. You put him to sleep. Milk's in the fridge." At 1 am husband ran into the bedroom with a screaming baby and said "I can't, you feed him". And guess who slept the rest of the night with the baby tucked under her arm because being farther than 2 feet from the boob started the screaming? And guess who got up at 6 am for the morning feeding? THEN GUESS WHO SLEPT UNTIL 10 AM???

Sorry, I'm just a little bitter today. Looks like I have another year+ of wall-staring in the dark.

I'm an AF spouse and I have a 5 month old daughter I'm breastfeeding. I can't pump so all feedings are on me. Hubby works 14-16 hr. overnight shifts so if she is up at night I have to deal with her and then I take care of her all day b/c he has to get his sleep. He flat out said no co-sleeping from the moment I got pregnant so ever since she was born it has been up and down all night walking from one room to the next no matter how many times she got up. I forced myself to not feed her unless it had been 2 hrs or more since she last ate. Otherwise I just gave her a pacifier and stood beside the crib soothing her til she went back to sleep. I was mean and after she hit 3 months old I wouldn't pick her up b/c I didn't want her to get used to being rocked to sleep. Thankfully, these days she generally only eats 2 or 3 times a night and I can't wait for cereal and food next month. Here's hoping for only one night feeding! I sympathize with you exhaustion as well as the frustrations associated with being a military spouse.

You never once woke him up to change a diaper or get a baby while you laid in bed?

My husband is very familiar with the leg kick and knows what it means. Just cause I got the boobs, doesn't mean he got off free of anything.

I don't envy your position at all. My first child slept through the night almost from the beginning. Mother Nature was a mean bitch and gave us a 2nd child who is just now sleeping through at age 2.5. I get migraines when I don't get enough sleep, so these last 2 years have just been a freakin party - even with meds. But I'll give credit where it's due. My husband does help out around here in addition to his outside the home job and lets me retreat to the bedroom on weekends when I need it. Of course he also knows helping me out like that ensures he gets to sleep like a normal person at night.

Buahahaha...My son is two and somehow my husband has managed to sleep through the night screaming almost the whole time, and the night-waking-i'm-hungry-for-pancakes-and-let's-watch-a-movie. Then, last week I was gone for an entire week and he was home with our son, alone, then with our son and his other son, alone...and our son had a fever. Let's just say when I got home, he had washed ALL of the dishes (not just the three that fit in the drying rack and left the rest for me) and I got a foot rub. Damn it if he didn't learn to appreciate being sound asleep from 3 a.m. to 6 a.m. every day.

You can read a hundred books and hear "advice" from thousands of mothers and I think that it all boils down to what works for you and your child. I know that CIO is a touchy subject for many people, but I DO feel that some of our babies' sleep issues are enabled by us. After I weaned from breast feeding, I used to jump up and give my daughter a bottle (what seemed like) a hundred times a night. Finally, I just stopped. Cold turkey. It took less than a week and she was sleeping through the night. I think the longest she cried was about 15 minutes, which of course feels like 15 hours to a mom. Understanding that babies can cry out in the middle of the night and not actually be awake (sleep cycles are around 2-4 hours long) helped me out. I think consistency (and timing to avoid developmental "phases") is more important than what method you choose. And that means both parents have to be on the same page.

I sure can't help with the huz advice. My husband wanted to help, but I can be a control freak AND he can sleep through the crying when my eyes pop open at the quietest peep!

Four kids, two breastfed, the twins bottle fed formula (for my sanity) and my husband not once, ever, helped with any night feedings or other nighttime duties like staying up all night with a sick child. I hear ya. I sympathize.

And it is kinda hard to wean the baby from the boob at night when the boob is in the room while mom's telling baby no.

He needs to wait for the twitch.

If she's popping back awake the moment he lays her down, she's not deeply asleep. My oldest did this to me ALL the time, until I figured it out.

Once a baby is deeply asleep she'll start to twitch, like a puppy who's dreaming of chasing a cat. I usually wait for the third twitch before I try to lay the kid down.

It's so hard, when you're tired and aching for your bed, but I'll bet that if he rocks her all the way to the third twitch, she'll stay asleep. And, by getting her all the way to sleep the first time, he'll avoid having to get her all the way to sleep the second, third, and fourth times, which are inevitably harder (because she's been startled out of light sleep and her adrenaline is pumping and she's cranked up and doesn't want to sleep anymore the second, third, and fourth times).

In the long run, waiting will actually take less time. Promise.

Congratulations on not murdering your husband with your bare hands (or boobs, I'm sure they could have done it too) when he mentioned needing more sleep during the day. Seriously, MY blood pressure rose just reading that line.

I was almost bummed that M night weaned so easily. A. got off relatively easy, until the sleep training. That was so we could quit co-sleeping and I could get some rest. Then he realize how lucky he was that I breastfed and co-slept.

Good luck.

I'll be interested to read about how you get on with the sleep training, as I'm thinking of doing it myself soon. My two years of not sleeping pales in comparison to your five, but I've had enough. I'd quite like to feel half-alive and have a logical thought again... occasionally.

haa haa... the husbands can be such selfish d-bags sometimes. But my DH never got out of nighttime pareniting even while breastfeeding. Our deal was that he had to go get the baby and bring him to me, and then take him back when we were done. I admit that much of the time I'd just end up cosleeping the rest of the night, but I can't sleep with a baby half-tucked under my arm with his new teeth resting on my sore nipple, so the husband snored away while I laid there feeling like I was shackled to the bed (and of course, writing blog posts in my head about how I may end up on the evening news for smothering said husband in his sleep.)

But when it came to the night weaning, that was ALL on him because I knew if I went within a hundred yards of the baby's room, he'd smell the breasts all over me and scream until I gave him some. With DH handling it, there wasn't too much crying - and even if there was then HE got to be the one who was kept awake. HA HA! Take THAT! The way I see it, ain't no reason his daddy can't handle him - Mama's been doin' it for a year! Suck it up, yo!

oh gosh, this was a tough one for me to read because i am such a softy when it comes to this stuff. i've spoken with tons of people about sleep training, and weaning, etc... and maybe it's just because jackson had such a hard time in the beginning, but i almost have to re-train myself or un-train myself rather to be a little more of a hard ass when it comes to this.

hope you can find what works for you to get some rest.

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