Dads Need to Wake Up in the Middle of the Night With Baby, Too!

baby cryingThere's a debate going on on CafeMom right now. When it comes to the question: Should Dad get up in the middle of the night with baby? moms are divided into two camps. Some of you think, "Hell yeah, Dad should get up in the middle of the night! He created this little one, too!" While the other half of you think, "Um, no. Why?" Since I'm a mom -- and waking up in the middle of the night is still fresh in my mind! -- I thought I'd weigh in on the issue. Let the debating begin!


Basically, I feel like it depends on your situation. (Seems like a nice diplomatic answer, doesn't it? But hear me out!) In my case, my husband had a two-week paternity leave, and during that time, he'd usually get up, change the baby, pour me a water, and I'd nurse our daughter in the living room while he went back to sleep. (I'd usually watch TV while nursing, and there wasn't one in our room.) Was that "getting up in the middle of the night"? Yeah, sure. But it wasn't "staying up in the middle of the night." Big difference. I'm sure he would have stayed up with me if I asked him to, but, I felt like: "What's the point? I'm the only one who can feed the baby, and there's no sense in both of us being tired." When he went back to work, though, typically, I got up, changed the baby, fed her, etc. It was just easier. When we introduced formula, Dad got up a few times with the baby, but again, I felt like it was just easier if I did it. (There was usually a question asked, lights turned on in the room, something -- and my husband wakes up insanely early for work.)

So, I guess this was a really long-winded way of saying that, in my case, I was the only one to wake up, but I definitely don't think that's how it should be done. Not for a second. That's what worked for my family, my situation.

Even though I work, I full-well understand that being a SAHM doesn't mean you have it easy. Not at all. Having a baby is exhausting whether you're at home all day or out in an office. So I certainly don't think that just because a mom doesn't work, and her husband does, she should be the only one to wake up in the middle of the night. It's not that cut and dried. That said, though, every family is unique, and what works for one won't necessarily work for another. Who knows what will go on with my husband and me when we eventually have another baby? Might be drastically different from what went on this time. But flexibility -- and planning -- is key.

When my daughter was still waking up at night (knockwoodknockwoodknockwood), before going to sleep, my husband and I would plan exactly how the night was going to go. So there was never any "Who's getting up? What's going on?" at 3:00 in the morning. We always knew precisely what was going to happen, so when it was time, things ran much more smoothly. And I definitely think that's a good idea for every family.

Who wakes up/woke up in your house?

Image via bbaunach/Flickr

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