What Can I Do To Have My Husband Wake Up At Night And Help Me With The Baby? Can I Pour Cold...
Water On His Face?
There is little one can do when one parent is not as interested in helping with a child. Did your husband really want a baby or did you think he would adjust once it came? Good luck.
Sure, you CAN pour cold water on his face. Not a good idea, though. Chances are YOU are the one that really wanted the baby or refused to get an abortion. (For every guy that wants to be a daddy, there are ten that don't, really.)
So, YOU deal with it at night. Pouring cold water on him will result in an even better chance that you will be sleeping alone, after you two split up.
Whether your husband wanted the child or not, if you did not rape him or trick him to get pregnant he needs to take responsibilty. However, it is possible that you may have 'trained' for a lack of a better word, your husband to be non reactive. If at first you took on all the responsibility and refused or even shutdown his help when it came to the baby then he may not want to jump back into the baby help area. If your husband is typically not fond of children or babies or uncomfetable with them, then his turn to shine with the little one may be when the child is older. If it is just his personality, to be lazy, then your kinda stuck with it....You can't change someone, only suggest a change. Also does he work alot? He may be just as exhasted as you! You really need to ask him calmly why he doesnt help and how much you would appreciate it if he did. Doesnt mean it will work though!
Many couples with newborns work out an arrangement dividing the night between the two of them, so one parent deals with the baby if it wakes up before a certain point and the other deals with him/her for the second part of the night. Or you can alternate nights of responsibility.
If you are breastfeeding, this becomes a little more difficult, but you can pump milk so Dad can bottle-feed, or have Dad bring the baby in and change him/her if necessary so you can at least stay semi-asleep while you're feeding him/her.
Pouring cold water on him is a really good way to make Dad resent both you and the baby, so I don't advise it, but Dad needs to recognize that depriving you, and only you, of sleep, is a really good way to make YOU resent both HIM and the baby, so the two of you definitely need to work out an acceptable compromise if you don't want to join the 80+% of married couples who report decreased marital satisfaction in the year after the birth of a baby.
Many of the answers here are talking about him not being interested in helping you with the baby. If that is the case then it is doubtful that you can get his help in the middle of the night. However, there are times when that isn't the case.
My husband was delighted when our baby boy was born. He loved Marcus (and still does three and a half years later). However, he slept through the baby. In the early weeks I was desperate for help and exhausted. I remember yelling at him one night because he wouldn't help. As I got louder and angrier he woke up surprised because he didn't realize that there was anything wrong. We have now had two babies and he still doesn't wake up to either of the children. However, we have gotten to the point where he helps me when needed (sometimes he does it in his sleep).
You can't wake him up in a way that is rude or violent because it won't get you what you need. Instead it will make things worse and it could cause other relationship issues.
The first thing that you need to do is talk. You want to try and do it when you aren't too exhausted (if that time exists). You should try to stay calm and not get angry. Tell him how you feel, what you need from him to get help with the baby, and then discuss with him solutions to the problem.
We currently have a seven month old. She is now getting to the point where most nights she sleeps through the night. On those nights that she doesn't I get up and get her, get the bottle, and change her (usually while Peter starts feeding her). He finishes feeding her while I go back to bed and then he takes her and puts her back down. It still has both of us getting up, but I don't feel as exhausted or as responsible because he is helping too.
While it certainly isn't easy and it can be frustrating, you can find a solution as long as both of you are willing to work together.
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