Having a newborn baby around the house is a very fun and exciting time. However, it is also extremely exhausting. Newborns are awake at all hours of the night, needing to be fed or have their diaper changed, or even simply because they want to be cuddled. This is the ideal time for parents to support each other by helping one another. For years, the responsibility of raising a child was solely on the women.
Thanks to the women’s rights movement, this has changed drastically in the last 100 years. Dads have been left out of a lot of great experiences that come with staying up late with a baby. Society has changed and, as in more recent years, dads have been able and encouraged to be more involved with all things related to the baby.
Fathers can now be a stay at home parent and, also, be involved in feeding and nurturing their tiny little baby. These experiences are not easy to find.
Whether it be that dads don’t often express themselves as much as moms do on public forums or social media. Or, it could be that some dads still aren’t waking up during the night and the responsibility of this daunting tasks rests solely on the mother. Whatever the situation is, these 15 dads share their excitement, and surprising, experiences in getting up with their babies for night time feedings.
15 Special Bonding Time With Baby
This very sweet story brings a tear to my eye.
This dad realized a few weeks after his daughter was born that his wife was exhausted. She was becoming frustrated and snapped at him. So he started getting up at night with the baby. Surprisingly, he found himself enjoying waking up at night and having that special bonding time with his daughter. He eventually took over the night shift entirely. He loved watching the late night shows and being able to keep up with current events.
This dad decided to take on fatherhood and enjoy every part of it. Even the rough parts, like taking care of a tired baby in the middle of the night. While doing this, he gave his wife the much-needed rest she deserved. If you ask me, this dad deserves a gold star.
14 Stressful Colic Late Nights
This dad’s story is kind of sad.
His baby boy had colic, really bad, and would scream at all hours of the night for the first 4 to 5 months of his life. This father worked a full-time job and his wife worked evenings part-time and into the early morning. And so, for those hours, dealing with his screaming baby was entirely up to him.
The baby was mainly breastfed and would take a bottle of pumped milk but he didn’t like it as much. He would become really grumpy when he would finish his bottle. This dad found that if he rocked his baby he would fall asleep. But not just any rocking. He would have to strap his baby into his car seat and swing the car seat until he fell asleep. The dad said that his back would be killing him after this, ended up loving being with his son and finding the best ways to take care of him.
13 Taking Baby For A Drive
This dad had five kids and he worked two jobs to help support his family. His wife was a stay-at-home mom and was overworked and exhausted. On long nights, when the kids and babies just wouldn’t go back to sleep, he would help by getting up and taking care of the youngest ones. He had his own way of getting the babies back to sleep. While his wife would check on them and make sure they were all good, and give them a bottle; he would take them on long night drives to sooth them. Every time, one by one, the babies would fall asleep. He said this worked like a charm and he loved being able to help his wife out.
This dad is great! I can’t imagine how hard it must have been to have 5 kids. And then, on top of that, have to work 2 jobs and still have the energy and the kindness to see that his wife was in need and help her get some rest.
12 Scheduled Sleeping
One dad said that he would take turns with his wife. He would wake up at 5 am every day, and be with his baby until he had to go to work. His wife was a stay-at-home mom and he felt as though she still deserved help in the night, even though he had to go to work at 8 am on weekdays. He was surprised that more dads didn’t stay up and help with nighttime feedings.
He also said that their sex life was better after he started helping her more. Two well-rested people are better people in all aspects of life, which is why it’s so important for both parents to take turns and find out what works best for them. A good dad helps take care of his baby. He will do everything that he can and make sure his wife isn't wiped out from having to do everything, even if she is a stay-at-home mom.
11 The Sometimes Dad
One dad said that he works a full-time job and doesn’t have the energy to help his wife during the week. But, every now and then, he would take the baby during the day for an hour or two and would let his wife nap. He very rarely helps at night. And will help, with a fight, if the baby is sick or something serious is going on.
This one seems a little unfair to me. At one point he is trying to help his wife, but it seems like he’s just coasting by. I would imagine too that not helping very often would make it more difficult to know what to do when he actually did decide to help. So, honestly, it would be easier for this dad if he would help out more often. Maybe offering to put the baby to bed or offering to wake up with the baby on a day he has off.
10 Single Dad
Being a single parent is extremely difficult. Being a parent with a partner is hard enough, but not having help makes it even more difficult. As a single dad, it is solely your responsibility to raise a little human or humans. All the overnight feedings rest solely on you.
This dad from today.com had a sad story. He first became a single dad when his daughter was about a month old and her mom left. He says that he gets so overwhelmed at times; at night he will sometimes weep while holding his little girl hoping that he is good enough for her.
This one just breaks my heart. This dad had to figure out how to take care of his daughter on his own. He seems to be doing better now and has even defended his ex-girlfriend by saying she likely left due to postpartum depression. If you ask me, this is one great guy.
9 Baby Is Exclusively Breastfeed
One dad said that his wife exclusively breastfed. Because of this, there was really nothing he could do if he woke up to take care of the baby. He said it was nice to not have to wake up since he worked long hours in construction and his wife was a stay-at-home mom. Ultimately, he thought she could take naps throughout the day with the baby. He felt like he was left out of some of the bonding time because he was never able to bottle feed his daughter. This dad's paternity leave was only three days, two of them he spent in labor with his wife, meaning that he had only one day with his newborn daughter. He felt like a lack of paternity leave made him unprepared and like he didn’t know how to properly care for his baby.
8 The Insomniac
This dad had a little bit of a special situation. His wife was an insomniac, which means, she would sleep very little and be able to function fairly well throughout the day. He didn’t really need to get up with the baby, as his wife was usually always up. This dad worked a full-time job and his wife was a stay-at-home mom. Whenever he had a day off from work, he would try and wake up with the baby in the morning, so that his wife could get as much sleep as possible. He tried to be as supportive as he could in this situation.
This is kind of bittersweet. This dad really wants to help, but there is really no way to help her if she can’t sleep anyways. Why should both parents be exhausted? This way, he can be fully rested and ready to take over if ever she needed it.
7 Unhelpful Dads
Unfortunately, I found many stories of dads who felt like it wasn’t their job or responsibility to wake up and take care of their baby. Several mothers have said that their child's father had never woken up to take care of the baby. There is only one way you could interpret this. These dads are selfish misogynists. There is literally no reason a dad couldn’t help in some way, at some point. One dad may work several jobs but his wife still deserves a break or some kind help. You have to find what works best for your family if dad works so much. If he has one day off, or even during the weekends, he should offer to wake up with the baby or put the baby to sleep. Better yet, at the very least, he should give the mom a break for a nap, make supper or run the kids a bath when he is off work.
6 Dads With Twins
One dad’s story from fatherly.com is different than any other story on this list because this dad has twins. Both he and his wife were always exhausted from their twins were both up every couple hours needing to be fed or changed. They decided to hire a night nanny. She would stay up with the twins the entire night. She took care of all the feedings and diaper changes. This dad said that he found that because the nanny wasn’t exhausted like he and his wife, she was able to sleep train their twins better than they were able to. He and his wife were able to function and not walk around like sleep-deprived zombies. He said that because they had twins, people felt like they needed a night nanny. However, many outsiders thought a night nanny was a way for the parents to live a luxurious life.
I’m not sure if anyone would agree with this dad. I was raised in a lower-middle-class family and there would have been no way to pay for a night nanny. My parents took care of all their kids by themselves. I have several other family members who had twins and they did it all by themselves. So, if it's not a luxury to have someone parent your children at night, then what is?
5 One Night A Week
This dad decided that he would help his wife out one night a week. He works full time all week long, and his wife is a stay-at-home mom. On the weekends, he would get up with the baby all night, for his once a week overnight baby experience. He enjoys his one night with his baby, it allows him to have special time with his son and give his wife a break at the same time.
One night a week may not seem like much but to a very tired mom especially a mom with a newborn; one night of uninterrupted sleep is the best thing you could have given her. I remember having a newborn and thinking if I could just get one solid night’s sleep I would feel a million times better.
4 Taking Shifts Parents
This dad says that he and his wife take shifts. He is a night owl and loves to stay up late; his wife is a morning person and lives by the motto the early bird gets the worm. This may work well for the baby also, she may get used to seeing dad before bed and mom in the morning. This will likely bring more joy to both parents and baby as they are all getting the sleep they need.
This is very smart; use your strengths when it comes to parenting. If you’re a night owl stay up with the baby as need be and then let your partner take over in the early morning hours. I always find that when I don’t get enough sleep, after being up with the baby, I’m much grumpier and not as good of a mom. So sleep is very vital and this way seems to work great for this family.
3 My Wife Is A Stay At Home Mom
This one is kind of heartbreaking. This dad says that since he works and provides for the family financially, that his wife should be able to handle things at home on her own. This dad is missing out on some very fun important events in his child’s life simply because he doesn’t think it’s his job. Now I could understand if he just felt like he needed sleep during his work week, but he doesn’t even help on nights when he doesn’t work or weekends! Sounds to me like this dad missed something along his journey to fatherhood. Now he will never get to experience picking up a crying newborn and finding out what’s wrong, fixing the problem whether it is directed to hunger or a dirty diaper. Then, being able to see the final result of your beautiful baby content and happy. And, above all, comes the satisfying feeling of putting your baby to sleep.
2 Sharing The Burden
One dad from whattoexcept.com says that he shared the responsibility of waking up with his wife. His wife exclusively breastfed, she took care of all the baby's nutritional needs. While the dad would wake up if the baby ever needed a diaper change or just some extra cuddles and he would take care of it. Finally, they would take turns getting the baby back to sleep.
This one I think is very sweet, having him wake up and be with his wife while she is breastfeeding. I’m sure that she appreciated the support. I know some nights, especially right after my baby was born and my hormones were insane, I would wake up and breastfeed my baby. I would be completely exhausted and would start bawling because I could see my husband sleeping soundly and that was literally all I wanted.
1 Cuddle To Sleep
One dad says that he wanted to help his wife but wasn’t sure how he could. She would nurse their baby and then she would put him back to sleep. So, he decided that he would wake up with her and let her nurse the baby. Once she was done, he would cuddle up with his baby and soothe him until he fell asleep and put him in his crib, this way his wife could go back to sleep.
This seems very sweet, but as a parent, I wonder how long this lasted. It would be exhausting to both parents to be waking up at the same time and doing the same thing. I would think
The best way to support each other would be by taking turns. Maybe I’m wrong, maybe this is what works for them. However, to me, it wouldn’t really matter who puts the baby back to sleep, seeing as though I'm already awake.
Sources: Fatherly.com, Whattoexpect.com, Sleepjunkies.com, SleepingShouldBeEasy.com, Parenting.com, BabyCenter.com, Today.com