what is dad's job in the middle of the night if working? — The Bump
Dads & Dads-to-be

what is dad's job in the middle of the night if working?

mobile: what is dad's job in the middle of the night if working?

I was wondering if I can get some dad's opinion on this.

 My husband and I are expecting our first in about 5 weeks. He initially plans to take about a week off of work and then he will take another week off of work once when the baby is about 6 or 7 weeks old and I will be exhausted by then and want the help since the hype of the baby will have died down. 

 When my husband is off of work I know in the middle of the night I'll be doing the feeding (as I am breastfeeding) and then he can change the diapers. 

 What I want to know is what do most dads do for middle of the night when they have to work? Are most wives letting you sleep so you can work or do you still have some duties. 


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Re: what is dad's job in the middle of the night if working?

  • It depends on the family. I usually sleep and my wife feeds him (which I cannot do anyway) BUT if he is having an unruly night my wife will wake me up and say..."he's your son...."

    Last night was one of those nights, we were up from 2:50 until 4:10, my kid just didn't want to sleep. No crying or anything, he was just up. 

    I also have to note, my wife is back at work so no one gets time off if the kid needs some attention after feeding. We are both fair game depending on the length of time.

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  • I am not at that point yet (we are expecting in May), but knowing my wife, I imagine she will try to let me sleep as much as possible.  Lucky for her I already sleep less than she does so my natural hours will help out with some of it.

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  • My wife breast-fed and was on leave for the first three months, so she mostly got up with him. Sometimes if she was exhausted she would wake me up to change him.
    -My son was born in April 2012. He pretty much rules.
  • With our first, she was unemployed until he was 4 months old (previous job fired her for "job performance", but it was most likely because in her manager's department, the majority of women that took maternity leave never came back... which she fully intended to do)... so that might skew my answer a bit.

    She was kind enough to let me sleep most nights.  She was pumping/breastfeeding, so unless we were giving him a pumped bottle, there wasn't a great deal for me to do and she preferred having the option to take an afternoon nap with me watching him and potentially feeding him then with me more rested.  That being said, I took the night duty on at least one of my 2 nights off per week to let her get at least one night, often 2, of straight sleep.

    This time, we are in the same boat, so far she's taken the night shifts and she takes an afternoon nap while I watch him (and our first is usually taking his nap when she goes too).  I don't go back to work until Sunday, so no idea how that'll work until then... we are only on night 3 at home so far.

  • RIght after he was born I was home for two weeks.  My wife would go to sleep around 8pm, and I would stay up with him until 1am, give him one last feeding in that time, and put him in his bassinet in our room while he was dead asleep. Getting those 4 hour blocks of sleep really helped her out, and I did not mind staying up with him late, because I would sleep through the next two feedings.

    When I returned to work I would take over for her when I got home to give her some time to do whatever she wanted to. But since I was back to work, the boy was pretty much her responsibility from 11pm on.  Weekends I would really take the lead when it came to him, as we were already feeding him BM bottles by then. She did not return to work until he was 3 months old.

    He has a sleep schedule now, but lately with the teething he has been waking up around 4am.  My wife gets up with him at that point during the week, because he is all about mommy when he wants to be consoled.  During the weekend, when this happens, She will get up initially, and when I wake up around 8am I will take over and she will go to sleep.

    It really is all about what works for your family.  I cannot nap...never have been able to.  So when the sun is up, I am awake.  My wife can nap, so she has no problem waking up early and going back to sleep mid morning. We adjust our "take care of the baby" time based on that reality.


  • Me and my wifey have a good system in place. I leave for work at 5:30am and generally get home around 5-ish. Once I get home, get my boots off and take a shower. I take our son. She will then go for a bike ride, go read, relax, cook dinner... generally just get the stuff she wanted to get done all day.

    After we finish eating we do what we can as a family and around 9-10pm I pass out and she takes our son.. she brings him to bed anywhere from 1-4am and they both sleep till 1-2pm. 

     On the weekends my son wakes up early with me (around 7:30am) and we play games watch the amazing world of gumball (DVR). I try to let her sleep in as much as possible and when she wakes up we go outside and spend the day together.

    Our son is only 6 months so it will continue to change. As long as you guys communicate well with each other, have faith in each other no amount of hectic schedules will keep you from being happy. 

  • It depends, when our son was really young, it was my wife who got up to take care of him because of breast feeding.  He ended up sleeping through the night most of the time so we didn't have to worry about it as much.  Now when he wakes up in the middle of the night we bring him to bed so he will continue to sleep.
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  • Woman's point of view in 3...2...1.

    My SO never took off of work and I only took 6 weeks Mat leave, then went back to work. LO is just now starting to really STTN except for a 30 minute block. Since I work only 24-30 hours a week I let him sleep if he wants. But in the beginning we have always both gotten up and tended to LO. SO is a champ in that respect. Do what works for your family and don't try to play Supermom. If you need help or rest, say so.

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