Do you and DH disagree on parenting? — The Bump
Babies: 0 - 3 Months

Do you and DH disagree on parenting?

I am dealing with postpartum depression really bad so I have finally broke down and called my doctor, I refuse to take anti-depressents (long story short...they make me violently ill).  My doctor has prescribed me Ambien (a sleeping pill), and told me to have DH take over some night time feedings so I can get some rest.  Well that is fine and he would gladly do it, EXECPT we have completely different ways of parenting.  I feed the baby, burp her, hold her for a little while and put her in the bed.  She may cry a little and it may take a few times but I am adamant that she sleep in bed (this is a safety thing for me).  My Dh idea is to feed her then hold her all night long or let her sleep on the couch, which is not safe in my opinion.  I understand he does what is easy for her stay asleep but then when she gets me and I don't do what he does then I get her screaming for a few nights until she gets back in the routine.  I have tried several times to explain why she needs to sleep in her bed, and it is like he does not care.  So here I am miserable crying ALL THE FLIPPING time and I give up and call my doctor because everyone is on my case and I can't even take the meds.  BTW.....both me and DH work full time so I can't sleep when she sleeps, and I tried to take a nap yesterday and I was woken up  so I can't even get a flipping break on the weekends!  Does anyone DH not agree with them or does what you specially ask them not to do.  Oh yeah, and my in-laws were in town this past weekend and rocked her all weekend long, and I don't rock, so now we are having that issue too!

Re: Do you and DH disagree on parenting?

  • Here's my recommendation:

    "DH, I've noticed that DD really seems to need some kind of going-to-bed/sleep routine that she can count on.  It seems to me that she goes to sleep a little easier when she knows that this is what she's supposed to be doing.  Can we discuss what kind of routine would work well for her, something that we can both stick to?" 

    Then, take his observations, and your observations, and mesh them into something that both of you can agree on.  Look for solutions to specific problems.  For example, if she wakes up when she's being placed in her crib and seems to have trouble going back to sleep, see if a pacifier or white-noise machine would sooth her back to sleep.

  • DH and I have similar parenting styles so far, but we do differ on how we do/handle certain things. And as long as DS isn't in any danger, we let the other one do their thing.  Sometimes I wake up and they are on the couch sleeping together, and it doesn't mess with anything, routine-wise. DS knows that his crib is his crib, and sleeps in there 90% of the time.  I have to respect my husband and his ability to make decisions as a parent, and micro-managing that is only going to limit that.
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  • Invest in a Rock n Play. It's safe for her to sleep in, and it is SO SO SO much easier to get the baby comfortable and sleeping in that than in a crib in those early months. 




  • Since you posted on this board, I assume your LO is still quite young.  

    In our household, we use any method possible to make sure DS gets to sleep and stays asleep.  Right now, there is no "right way, wrong way" because DS is so small and can't form "bad" sleep habits yet.   

    You're on the right track in preparing your DD's sleep habits for when she is older, but you seem to be having a rough go of things right now and you don't need this added stress as well. Like a PP said, you will need to sit down with your DH, talk things through and be prepared to make a few compromises, EVENTUALLY.  

    My DH and I are totally prepared to sleep train when DS is older, so I've bought Ferber's book so we can both read it and be on the same page when it's time.  We will probably make a few adjustments to fit our needs as well.

    FWIW, here is some perspective for you - Your DH wants to interact and be with your DD by snuggling her and sleeping with her in his arms.  That's AWESOME considering that there are dad's out there who don't do much (I read the posting about this on this board this morning).  You need to take care of yourself right now, so you need to let go of some things for the time being and just focus on yourself and let your DH help with your DD, even if it's not exactly the way you would do it.  Hope you feel better soon!! 

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  • Have you considered therapy for your ppd? I have ppd as well, but i take Zoloft to help. Dh and I haven't had any disagreements yet on how to parent, I am sure we will in time. Compromise will be key. 
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  • We had our one month Dr's appt today, DH came with me. She discussed sleeping habits and suggested we start a routine, and have DS in his crib around 7:30. She said bath, feed, what ever routine we decide and put him in his crib awake. Because he is so young now is the time to start practicing these habits before he forms bad ones, or develops fears about being alone in there. She also said before you go to bed to wake him and give him another bottle. Maybe if DH heard advice from someone other than you he would take it more seriously? I know my DH is going to help me tonight when he cries and I want to go save him! I'm a wuss and would spoil the crap out of this kid :) but it's in his best interest.
  • Hi,

    First off--totally normal to disagree with your husband about dif things.   Since men tend to be more logical and will usually listen to experts.... bring him some literature about sleeping written from a credible source.  It has more weight sometimes.  If he doesn't listen to experts and continues to do stupid stuff (like having a baby sleep on a couch...stupid) then you really need to get on his case about it.
    Also...I know many people would disagree with me but sleeping pills, anti-anxiety pills and the like...just make you more depressed....if you cannot sleep, try having a bowl of cereal before bed.  I'm telling you, it works better than any sleeping pill because complex carbs and certain properties of milk produce seratonin....

    Hope this is of some help!

  • I'd tell my DH that if he chose to interrupt her sleeping habit, then the next time she screams - he can handle her then too! LOL

    My husband and I disagree all the time.  He has a 9 year old daughter (my SD) who is absolutely spoiled to death and it irritates me because she is a big baby!  I've already talked to him about the ways I would like for us to raise our son.  We will see (not soon enough) on how he actually handles it.  Most men do what is easiest for them!!! LOL

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  • You need to let go and allow that your husband will find his own way of parenting that works.  You cannot expect that he will step up and do all the daddy stuff if you are constantly telling him how he's supposed to do it.  It is OK and even GREAT that you will each have your own way.

    I get it, it's hard when you think your way works better.  I think my way of putting DD to bed works way better than my DHs but it doesn't matter.  His way takes nearly twice (sometimes 3X as long) but he's doing not me so I butt out.  You should to.  You'll both be happier.

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  • Who puts her to sleep most often? If you do then explain that if he wants to put her to sleep like that then he will have to put her to sleep from now on. Doing it all the time may change his outlook on it. If he does it very rarely then you should probably just let him take care of her how he sees fit. If you make him feel like he is going to get criticized when he takes care of her then you might end up killing his confidence making him not want to do it anymore. 
    You could also try working out a routine that you both feel comfortable with 
  • Have you talked to your doctor about St. John's wart or perhaps Sam-e?  I've heard these are used in europe quite extensively for depression.  You may not have a reaction to them.  Other than that, I feel for you girl.  I had PPD on top of my regular bipolar and I was a mess for around 4 weeks till we got my medication straight.

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  • It sounds like you are trying to micro manage and that is EXTREMELY stressful as well as annoying to those you are micro managing.


    Yes, we have different ways of parenting, that's normal to have. You have two people from different backgrounds and childhoods coming together to raise a child and there are usually different ideas on parenting.


    Most men get HOW to parent from their fathers. And also, most men seem to think that they just KNOW how to parent whereas women are more about talking to others and reading up on parenting skills so that we can be prepared.


    Honestly, your baby sounds quite young and they aren't going to get into a bad sleeping habit right now--my daughter slept with me, slept in her crib, slept on the couch, slept in her rocker and she's 2 and a half now and sleeps ONLY in her crib, it was never an issue.


    Maybe the crib isn't very comfortable and so your baby doesn't like sleeping on it or it could be something else to do with it if your baby is sleeping so well on your husband and on the couch.


    Also, why don't you rock?


    It sounds to me like you want your husband to raise the child how YOU want her to be raised instead of finding a compromise.


    Honestly, children LOVE to be rocked, it is soothing to them and helps them calm down and sleep and maybe you should consider doing it instead of saying "I don't rock".

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  • "Do you and DH disagree on parenting?"

     We do all the time. (We have been parents 13 years now.) 

    Our trick: compromise.

     I also learn to let my husband develop his own style of parenting.

     Letting her sleep on the couch is not safe. But I see nothing wrong with your husband holding her until she is sound asleep.  I don't suggest co-sleeping because you are taking sleeping pills.


    Newborns are still getting adapted to life outside of the womb. She might be comforted by anything that reminds her of her time in the womb.

    I think you can hold off on the sleep-training for a few months. The whole parenting experience is a weaning process. 


    Ideas to help calm a newborn down:

     The 5-s of the Happiest Baby on the Block

    • Swaddling: Tight swaddling provides the continuous touching and support your baby is used to experiencing within the womb.
    • Side/stomach position: The infant is placed on their left side to assist in digestion, or on their stomach to provide reassuring support. ?But never use the stomach position for putting your baby to sleep,? cautions Karp. Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS) is linked to stomach-down sleep positions. When a baby is in a stomach down position do not leave them even for a moment.
    • Shushing sounds: These imitate the continual whooshing sound made by the blood flowing through arteries near the womb.
    • Swinging: Newborns are used to the swinging motions within their mother?s womb, so entering the gravity driven world of the outside is like a sailor adapting to land after nine months at sea. ?It?s disorienting and unnatural,? says Karp. Rocking, car rides, and other swinging movements all can help.
    • Sucking: ?Sucking has its effects deep within the nervous system,? notes Karp, ?and triggers the calming reflex and releases natural chemicals within the brain.?



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