Anonymous

So I am a new Dad and my son is almost a month old. I managed to take 6 weeks off to help take care of him with my fiancé. Lately we have been bitter towards each other because I never wake up to help at night by myself. I want to help and hate that I can’t wake up to his cries but if she didn’t hit me awake, an explosion right next to my head wouldn’t wake me. Now I am being yelled at when I get up in the morning and sleeping in a different room because mom is so mad that I never wake up. How do I train my subconscious to hear my baby cry at night and not sleep through it?

  • Liza M.
    Mar 30, 2018

    This hits close to home! My husband is a very sound sleeper and can sleep anywhere anytime. I am so the opposite. Our child is almost 5 months and he never wakes up. This was immensely frustrating-and still can be-because I feel like it's all on me. It took a lor of practice for me to be able to wake him up and remind him it was "his turn." You and your wife are not alone, and no one ever talks about these bazaar quandaries that pop up after a new baby. Just keep communicating and be willing to work until you find a strategy that works for your lifestyle.

  • Hannah
    Mar 30, 2018

    My husband is the same. Our solution was me going to be around 8pm or so after a feeding, then him keeping the baby in another part of the house until the next feed (10ish), and then taking her one last time. The second feed at midnight or 1, I took over. He just didn’t go to bed until 1.

  • Anonymous
    Mar 30, 2018

    First few months are so hard...I feel like most of us are on the edge for one reason or another. It will pass ... And it's nice that you are even looking for feedback here. Talk to her, tell her the reason ... I know I wouldn't want my husband to care for my baby is he is so sleepy. But.... Make up for it during the day. Take over some cooking, cleaning, feeding and allow her to rest during the day.

  • Aleksandra
    Mar 30, 2018

    My husband helps me a lot by taking care of our daughter at the evenings so I can sleep. Sharing shifts helps very much! If ur wife exclusively breast feeding u can offer her time off ( sleeping, getting out of the hose, etc) by asking her to pump and store milk and being able sololy to take care of ur child while u r awake.

  • Cydney
    Mar 30, 2018

    Sorry you're going through this. I really do think that it is just something with a mother's brain being "trained" or just have an innate ability to hear or fell her baby crying and the dad just not being able to. It is kind of hard to describe but I just know many women hear a "phantom cry" sometimes too. It's very frustrating but it's just something that our brain becomes accustomed to keeping an ear out for. Don't be too hard on yourself, you are being helpful! Does the baby wake up and cry at relatively the same time every night ? I don't think you're an anomaly by any means when it comes to not waking up even though you really want to. My husband always wanted to help too and I would tap him hold the monitor next to his head bring the crying baby into the master bedroom with me and he wouldn't budge. May sound kind of weird but we finally thought of something that came across as being "fair" was that we would take shifts in 2-3 hour increments. He could see that I was really struggling with sleep deprivation and knew that if he was "on duty" I would be able to sleep through at least one instance of a night- waking. One of us on our shift would just maybe clean or watch some TV, something to kind of keep us awake... even if it was from 12 a.m. to 2 a.m. And then if the baby didn't cry during that time, that person went to sleep and woke up. That system only ended up having to be in use for about 2 or 3 weeks and it wasn't unbearable during daytime when we went back to work. Something to think about as an option. Good luck!

  • Alyssa
    Mar 30, 2018

    These are great suggestions, we didn’t have this issue because my husband works nights so he tried to stay on his schedule which helped. Two suggestions though: 1: You know you’re a sound sleeper and so does she, so maybe let her sleep in or go to bed early as previously suggested or let her have a nap in a quiet room alone. Usually an infant has a feeding schedule, we were lucky our daughter was every 3 hours like clockwork so it made it easy to set an alarm for one of us. But every child is different. 2: we have an agreement we call “one thing” we usually do it before bed where we tell each other one thing we need from the other the next day- usually small. Most of the time mine was a shower or to go to the store alone, watch a movie or a nap. His was iron a shirt, play a game, go fishing, etc. You both need sleep and time to decompress. Being a parent is a hard job. Find a way to compromise.

  • Haley
    Mar 31, 2018

    My husband is the same way, and always has been a very deep sleeper- we have a 3.5 year old and newborn and I have to admit I find myself feeling like your wife sometimes, but when I’m not hormonal and sleep deprived I am able to reason- he’s not (you’re not) doing it intentionally. Remember she’s going through the same adjustment you are plus crazy hormonal stuff

  • Mandy
    Mar 31, 2018

    My husband was and is the same way. He sleeps through every waking and in the morning asks me how the baby slept. Our LO is a year old now, so we're all more adjusted, sleeping is better, and it doesn't bother me anymore. I agree with someone else, sleep deprivation and hormones make you crazy. Be patient with your fiancé and try to help her get sleep at other times. Just don't do what my husband did. LO was sound asleep. I pumped so he could feed her when she woke up and I went to bed. He watched tv the entire time she slept. When she woke up, he filled her full of milk, gave her a tummy ache, set her in the bassinet next to me where I was sleeping and he crawled into bed and went sound asleep. I was then up for three hours with a cranky, gassy, overfull baby. I laugh now. When it happened, I was an angry mama. He's lucky hormonal sleep deprived me didn't kill him in his sleep!!! Lol! Good luck! Congrats on the baby. This too will pass. 😊

  • antigrav_kids
    Mar 31, 2018

    You might try co-sleeping. The explosion will literally be right by your head :) I think it's awesome that you're concerned. I might also try to ask my partner to shake me awake so I could take turns. If you really want to try the subconscious thing, when I repeat to myself over and over that I'll wake up at a certain time as I fall asleep, I usually do.

  • Elle
    Mar 31, 2018

    So sorry, this sounds like a difficult situation all around. Three suggestions below, hope these are helpful or spawn other helpful ideas. Many doulas offer night nursing services. I'm sure even one night per week could give your partner a much needed break. Being deprived of REM is no joke. Can you take on other tasks during the early day, like doing all the dishes and laubdry to lessen your partner's load? Perhaps you could set your alarm to get up early in the morning and take on those feedings - so your partner can sleep in?

  • Jazmine
    Apr 01, 2018

    Are you a heavy sleeper cause my S/O was just a light sleeper he had to wake me up most nights when he was too tired maybe set an alarm every 2 hrs since that’s when most babies wake up or put the baby monitor next to your side of the bed

  • Stephanie
    Apr 02, 2018

    I feel like its a mother thing. we are just programmed to hear our kids through anything. my husband is the same way. he wakes for nothing, lol. try to talk to her about how your feeling. and make her feel the willingness from you to help, but also help her to understand that it's not something you can control. and your ate both doing your best. ask if you can help in other ways or make her feel that it's ok to wake you and you will take a turn, she can go back to sleep.

  • Zach
    Apr 02, 2018

    Hey - another deep-sleeping dad here. I had a similar experience. I think what helped was being very explicit about this - I said to my wife “if you wake up at all tonight and I don’t, elbow me until I wake up.” Mention it before bed each night as “the plan.” (Then you have to actually get up when she elbows). After a few weeks of that, it becomes clear that you’re willing to do your part, so the resentment dies down. Another thing I do is put a blanket and pillow for me in daughters room so I can crash on the floor if I have to go in at 3am.

  • David
    Apr 09, 2018

    I do the wifey sleeping in thing too. Any morning I don’t have to be right to work, I get up and let her sleep as long as she wants.

  • Nad
    May 15, 2018

    Good luck , I’m a deep sleeper too ( can’t change genetics) . Why our partners gently wake us up to help . And if the spouse is breastfeeding....... why wake up !!!! Bottle feeding ? Love to feed my kid & please do wake me up ( But Gently please ) . If the spouse is a stays at home ( leave me a sleep )

  • dadio
    May 19, 2018

    A large part of this is just science. Men and women actually hear the sounds of crying differently. We also hear the sound of doors opening at night differently. Look it up, it’s fascinating.

  • Matthew
    May 20, 2018

    I had this same problem when my wife gave birth to our first son who is 2 & 1/2 now. I decided to sleep in a different room and took the baby monitor with me so my wife could get some much deserved sleep and I could train my self to be more aware of the cries. Before I laid down I turn the monitor up as loud as it could go. You will also be surprised how different you will sleep knowing that your little one depends on you and only you at night. I woke up that night to him at the first sound I heard him make. This worked great for me, for are relationship, and for my wife to get some rest. We now have a 7 month old and when we brought him home. I would here him before she would. So I would get up with him or nicely ask her to if I need a couple hours of sleep before work at 6am. I would also take both monitors for the boys every weekend and sleep in a different room so she can rest and sleep as long as she want to. I hope this help.

  • Tony
    Sep 15, 2018

    When me and my wife had our first baby she would have to wake me up. Our daughters cry were so tiny I couldn’t wake up she would have to elbow me. Honestly hopefully in time it kicks in. What helped me was to tell myself don’t forget about our baby, right before going to sleep, it helped over time, again this takes time especially if it’s your first. Explain to your fiancé you’re trying your best and to please be patient. I’m hoping things will work out for y’all. Congratulations!

  • Anonymous
    Dec 30, 2018

    We are in the same boat but I feel horrible for getting upset and resenting my husband for not waking to help. It’s not his fault and he gets frustrated because he doesn’t know what to do. I really appreciate that you are really trying and want to help. Letting your wife know that would mean a lot and not getting upset at her for her reaction as everyone mentioned, it’s a rough time being hormonal and sleep deprived. We try the sleeping in different rooms scenario. And he gets up early and let’s me sleep in so that helps but unfortunately I still get frustrated in the middle of the night. I need to work on that.