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November 14, 2009


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I always get up before the kids, actually, being the only morning person in the family. This suits me fine. I hope all my kids always like to sleep in, because I've really come to enjoy the morning before everyone else gets up.

As for night waking: My 3yo is recently night-weaned, and for that reason (also because I'm pg and need sleep) my husband is on 100% of night-waking duty, so that she won't think nursing is an option. But before they're weaned, I do most of the nighttime getting up, it just seems to work better that way. The bigger kids (6 and 9) have to go to sleep in their own room, but if they wake in the middle of the night they are allowed to crawl into our bed -- quietly.

In this house there's only one parent, no waiting.

It depends. In the middle of the night it's usually me, but in the mornings usually K. Unless he spent most of the night working, in which case I do it. The boys are starting to sleep in, though (bad parents who go to their friends' houses or have friends come over and then let the kids go to bed at 11 pm or later). And that feels heavenly!

Oh, and when the boys are sick and nights are rough, we take turns...

My 2 yo is still nursing (mostly just morning and night) and so if i'm home, which i almost always am, i put him to bed and do all night wakings (we're trying to just snuggle and not nurse in the middle of the night). He also will only get up with me in the morning. If my husband tries, my son just screams and I eventually decide it isn't worth it. If my husband tries to comfort him during the middle of the night our son just starts saying "no daddy" louder and louder.

When we have a baby and there's night nursing to be done, I get up at night and Peter gets up in the morning. Eventually, when we decide to night wean, then Peter gets up at night, too. When the older kids wake in the night (which rarely happens) I get up with them then. When there are a lot of wake ups at night, or the wake ups last a long time we take turns.

I'm looking forward to having the baby sleep past 5:30 in the morning so Peter can sleep a bit more, too. But in any case he does much better without sleep than I do.

I do, when it's the case that both of us are asleep: I wake easily and go back to sleep easily, and don't mind the wakings (unlike bedtime). Simon does not fall back asleep and gets very frustrated with the babies. It evens out somewhat when he's working into the wee hours and some one wakes up then, and he takes the mornings more than I do. Oh, and night weaning of course means he doesn't sleep much for a week. I'm not entirely happy with this, since it sets a pattern that is difficult to change when I'm sick/pregnant/fed up - but it really is relatively easy for me and very difficult for him. Wow, and now I'm feeling very defensive. It's not equal or fair, and it's not what I imagined when I was 18; but it works for us usually in that it keeps all of us the least resentful possible of each other.

We split it! Currently I'm taking all nighttime wake-ups with Blaise who is still co-sleeping and night-nursing. He has a fair number of long nighttime wake-ups where he's up for an hour or two (which his sister never did at this age and oh, man, I hate being up for that long in the middle of the night) and with the rare exception, I'm responsible for all of those. But the trade-off is that when the morning call comes at 7 or 6 or even 5:30am, Bryan gets out of bed every single time and lets me sleep until at least 8. (The 3-yr-old very reliably sleeps from around 8:30pm to around 8am.)

When we night-weaned Camilla at 20 months and Bryan took over the nighttime wake-ups, I started getting up with her in the morning and letting him sleep in, and I'll do the same whenever we night-wean Blaise.

I'm so interested to see everyone else's answers to this question!

Right now I'm doing the night wake-ups and the hubby is taking the morning. He's a sweety so he generally lets me sleep in on Saturdays, and he'll sometimes nap on Sunday afternoons to catch up.

It goes back and forth every few months since that's about how often sleeping patterns change around our house with 4 kids 4 and under.

Teddy is about to turn 10 months old, but his father has handled both the night feedings/ periods of wakefulness AND the initial morning wake up. He's a star!

Teddy's tongue tie (the release was not successful) has meant that I have been expressing milk since he was tiny, and I'd get up several times in the night. Dave and I would pass like ships in the night -- me getting up to express, Dave to feed. Around the time I was able to start going for 6 or 8 hours at night (thank you, oversupply), Teddy began sleeping really long stretches, too. Now, we are both usually sleeping long stretches.

Teddy gets up at around 7 am, right when Dave gets up for work. He'll head to the shower around 7:30, which is when I take over for the day. He does the bedtime routine and does the lion's share of child care on the weekends (since he misses Teddy while at work during the week). The system will certainly shift with other kids, but it is working out well for both of us so far!

If it's evening and we're both still awake, it's whoever's less busy. Between 12 and 2, I'm often still awake but he's asleep, so that's all me. Between 2 and 6, I'm the lighter sleeper and I usually hear the fussing kid (mine are both weaned, ages 5 and 3) and deal with them. He gets up around 6 and I only reluctantly get up before 7:30. He's completely in charge of getting our kindergartner out of bed and ready for school and they carpool to school/work, leaving around 7:45. If the three year old gets up before they leave, he'll usually feed him and maybe help him find a way to entertain himself until I drag myself out of bed around 7:30. I'd rather deal with multiple night wakings than have to get up before sunrise and stay up.

I always get up in the night, because I have mother's ear for kid's noises in the night hours, while my husband sleeps like he's been shot with a blow-dart. (Funny story - once our middle boy, who was about eight at the time, crawled in bed with us in the middle of the night after a bad dream. After an hour or so of him sleeping there, I nudged him and said, "honey, it's time for you to go sleep in your own bed." On the other side of the bed, my husband stirred and said very sadly, "but...this IS my bed.")
But in the morning my husband, who is the shiny happiest lark of a person, always gets up with the kids. And I sprawl all over our bed and doze, completely thrilled with my whole life.
I do like sleeping in.

Me, me, me, always, for everything, me. Any bitterness you may detect in this answer is most likely a coincidence, or maybe just a bad habit. Reading the above responses makes me sad, too. Everyone ELSE seems to have helpful spouses. I am so sleep deprived right now, I could cry.

Renee, you are not alone! I do it all, too-- bedtime, night wakings, morning duty. Now, to be honest, I have only one child so far. But I wanted to speak up because it is very likely that this current arrangement is going to keep on just as it is even with future babies. In fact, it's only going to get worse! Right now my husband works full-time AND drives 45 minutes everyday to go to school full-time. After he graduates, the next step will most likely be officer candidate school with the Navy or the Marines. All too soon, we will see him even less than we already do.

I will say this much though-- as a brand new mother I was very glad to discover that although my husband is completely oblivious to the baby's cries at any volume, he DID wake up once I began to (quietly!) cry out of desperation and exhaustion one night. But then it is quite possible that my guardian angel poked him or something that time.

I do all the night wakings for the nursing baby. Except on the rare occasions that the baby is having a very hard time going back to sleep and I get stressed to the point of crying. Then I can hand off the baby to be rocked to sleep while I curl up and thank God I have such an awesome husband.

With the older girls it's usually my husband but sometimes it's me since I'm a much lighter sleeper. Sometimes I poke him until he wakes up but sometimes I just get up myself.

But he usually does the mornings as I am not a morning person and he doesn't mind. He's usually up getting ready for work. Sometimes I do get up in the mornings if he's already in the shower or if he's running late.

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