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Parenting Issues Message Board


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Well, first, thank you everyone that posted. I appreciate all the thoughts/support/advice.

Second, I think we've worked out some compromises. I don't think the core issue was that I wasn't waking up (though I'm sure my wife was getting a little resentful in and of itself). I think the core issue was that my wife was feeling she had too much of DD duty and was feeling overwhelmed. I agree I wasn't doing as much as I could be when I was home, but that was mainly because I was trying to do the chores around the house. Kinda had become a cicken/egg argument... she couldn't do any of the bigger chores because I wasn't offering to take of the baby while she did, and I wasn't offering to take more care of the baby because I was trying to get chores done. Anyway, we solved that with 'nights of primary responsibility'. Basically, every other night, each of us is the one that is responsible for keeping up with the baby (play time, watching her, feeding her, bathing her, putting her to bed). The other one is free and clear. Can help if they want, but can also do work around the house, or, if it's all done, do whatever else they might like.

As for why my 14month old isn't sleeping through the night, this requires some more background information. She actually was up until about 6 weeks ago. Then i started remodeling her bedroom, so she's been sleeping in her Pack&Go in our room. Not the most comfortable spot to sleep for 12 hours, so that's why she wakes up periodically. We're pretty confident that once her room is done and she can go back to her crib, this longer-term but temporary problem will solve itself.

The 5 hour comment wasn't the sleep I was currently receiving. What I meant to say was that was the only way I could see to solve the problem... stay awake through the first 2 wake-ups. With that setting the going-to-sleep time, and work setting my wake up time, that resulted in about 5 hours of sleep.

BUT, I tried something revolutionary. My wife and I actually sat down and discussed the entire problem from both sides. I actually bought some of that sticky back poster paper you use at work training for capturing ideas and we papered the dining room. And as I said earlier, the core issue is my wife would like more time with me taking care of the baby and she either doing work on the house or, when that's done, things she enjoys. Only fair, and as long as I have an agreement on the help with the housework coming before fun-time, I agree completely.

As for the original question, how to actually wake up, we're trying a 3 prong approach.

1) On my nights, I move the Pack&Go over to my side of the bed.
2) No more lights or televsion on in the bedroom after 10PM (so the tending parent can sleep). If it's not your night and you want to watch late TV, downstairs you go.
3) I have my wife wake me up every time my daughter wakes up. On my nights, that means I go tend to her, on her nights, I can fall right back asleep. The idea is to get me in the habit of waking up. Once I'm in the habit, we can drop this, as I will be waking up on my nights.

And, last (sorry for being so verbal), I found an interesting article that actually explains a lot about why men and women are different. The closest model to primitive human behavior out there is the baboon troop. And similarly, females focus on the needs and safety of their particular offspring. Males work in shifts, and when it's their turn, they focus on any and all perceived threats to the group at large.

This actually explains a very annoying fact to my wife. When my daughter cries, I sleep right through it, but I think that's because she's already in the room. When my wife or one of the dogs enter the room, I wake up immediately, even if the baby isn't crying. It was this behavior that had my wife convinced I was faking 'sleeping through it', because it appeared to her that the moment she appeared, I pretended to wake up and say "oh, but you're already here". It wasn't until I showed her the article that she understood I have different wake up triggers (and I stopped feeling like such a heel).

Anway, we appear to be on the road to Wellville. Thanks again for everyone's insights.





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