“”If moms are the only ones handling nighttime feedings, dads may need to wake up too””
Those middle of the night wake ups were the worst. The constant crying, the inability to soothe the baby back to sleep, scrambling to zip those pajamas all while the baby was shrieking, then several more minutes of breastfeeding and burping… it was getting too much.
Sleep deprivation during the newborn months, already the challenge that it is, brought out the worst in momsduring nighttime feedings. It was the time of the day (or night) when a woman least enjoyed being a mom.Husband should shouldered half of that burden.
When both partners out on maternity and paternity leave, the decision for him to wake up at nights was a no-brainier. After all, we’d both be home the next day doing nearly the same tasks.
In this case both of them get tired and it become hard for both partners to fulfill the night shift of baby care.
Middle of the night wake ups are unique to each family. With work the next day, dads have work tasks that are more difficult to manage when sleep-deprived. Meanwhile, moms are home with the baby, with no time-specific duties or even people to interact with (heck, they wouldn’t even need to get dressed).
Moms can’t do it all by themselfes. Physical exhaustion aside, sleep deprivation are huge challenge. Having husband’s support and a sense of teamwork didwondersfor moms morale.
Its become easy when life partner become a team for their baby.
Doing night duty alone can feel so isolating that every bit of support helps.
So that teamwork is more important to take care of your baby.
Staying home with the baby is hard:
It’s easy for stay-at-home parents to feel unappreciated because they were “just at home.”
One of the biggest reasons your husband doesn’t help with baby at night is because he works. He needs to be at work by a certain time while mom stays home with the baby (and could potentially rest at home).Still, I’m betting there are tons of parents who agree that caring for babies can be harder than paid work. It’s no joke when they say parenting can be one of the most difficult and stressful responsibilities. Parenting—even if unpaid—is still a job.
For dad to be able to sleep through the night signals that his job is more important than mom’s. In some cases, this is true—you’d want your pilot or surgeon to function on a full night of sleep.
Dads are more involved with child care:
Dads are more likely to be involved in the baby’s care when he participates in nighttime duties. They knows that the baby prefers the pacifier, or that they needs a special kind of swaddle to fall asleep.It’s nice to have an equal “co-worker” who can brainstorm how to soothe a fussy baby in the middle of the night, or pull his weight with washing baby bottles and pump parts. Moms don’t feel like thehave to delegate instructions because dads know just as much about what the baby needs.
When it doesn’t always work
With all the benefits of dads waking up for middle of the night feedings, moms feel less resentful and isolated. But is there ever a time when dads don’t need to wake up at nights?
Each family is different, from their schedules to their preferences. Maybe mom can function much better with five hours of sleep than dad (who needs a full eight), or dad’s job is too challenging for him to be sleep deprived (like the pilot or surgeon we mentioned earlier).
Other moms also feel no need nor resentment should dad help with the baby at night or not. “I have to get up anyway—why wake my husband if he doesn’t have to?” is a common reasonmoms don’t mind when their husbands never wake up with the baby.
Some families also have a clear understanding and sharing of night feed duties. Dad focuses on bringing in income while mom is the main caregiver.
And finally, other couples customize and learned how to share night feeds. Many parents take turns—mom does the feedings one night while dad does the next. Some take shifts—dad handles the 9pm to 3am shift, while mom does the 3am to 9am shift.
Sharing night feed duties doesn’t always have to be both parents waking up each time the baby cries.
How to get dad to help with the baby at night:
Feeling tired and resentful because your husbanddoesn’t helps with the baby at night? Here are a few ways to manage.
Find a good opportunity where you and your partner are both calm and in a good mood. Then discuss your feelings and needs, focusing on how you feel without attacking him or his character.
Be explicit with what you need
Once you’ve addressed your feelings, be clear about what it is you want from your partner. Give a few ideas, then see if he has any, but don’t leave it up to him to guess what you need.
Find a schedule that works for both of you:
Dads can help beyond waking up every time the baby cries, too. You can take turns getting up or take shifts.
Come up with alternative ways to help:
If your partner simply can’t wake up, find other ways he canhelp.He can take over bath times and handle meals so you get a break.
If you’re exhausted while your partner sleeps through the night, or you wonder how to get dad to help with baby at night, consider a change in strategy.
No one should feel under-appreciated or harbor resentment. Both should feel like they’re part of a team, whether they wake up for feedings, go to work, or stay home with the baby.