Oh, those lovely 4 a.m. wake-up calls via a baby scream. In the first few months, if you're breastfeeding, it's mom's turn to rise and shine every single time.
Once you've introduced a bottle via pumped milk or otherwise, the non-breastfeeding parent can offer some nighttime relief, but does the relief-soother always step up to the plate? Even later in the game when the baby is sleeping through the night, the occasional night awakenings that don't require food can still result in a game of "not it" between two exhausted parents.
A comment on a post about equally shared parenting on Motherlode reminded me that not all parents are created equal. As a woman complained she'd like for the parenting to be equal, but when the baby cries for mom instead of dad, well, what's a mom to do?
We set up a routine in our house once our baby was past those early stages of infancy. We're both full-time working parents so napping when the baby napped during the day was not an option for either of us. Since my husband is an early riser and I have the ability to go back to sleep after a 3 a.m. feeding, any crying post-5 a.m. was his shift, pre-5 a.m. was mine. Before the boy was even able to say "mama" or "dada," he knew he was getting one or the other, and hasn't voiced a preference.
Of course now that the awakenings are few and far between, or simply of the "It's before 6 a.m. and that's ridiculous!" variety, we do play the "not it" game. I'll admit my husband loses that one more often than I do. God bless him.
Who's most likely to lose that game in your house?