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Middle of the Night Cries Trigger Dad










QUESTION:

I love my baby girl. She is 9 months old and she is my everything. My heart melts every time she looks at me and smiles. Her first words were "dada" and she's quick to reach out for me to rescue her. When she goes down for her sleeping time at night she wakes up every morning at the same time around (3am) just crying so loud and it just triggers something in me that makes me so angry. I start thinking negatively and feel like all hope is lost! It just makes me so upset.

Am I wrong for this feeling?




ANSWER:

The only thing out of the ordinary about you is that you reached out for a solution.The norm for most guys is that they will have periods of being angry at their baby. Being woken up at 3am every morning is almost torture.

I see three issues. One is the waking up problem. There are lots of resources online for adjusting your baby's sleep schedule; if mom has been taking the lead on the sleep issue; you might want to trade off, and use your creativity in looking for solutions.

Next is how to handle your feelings which I guess build up in intensity every 3am. Being angry generally precludes a constructive approach to solving the problem. Have yourself and mom take turns responding. There's no shame in using noise-canceling headphones (or regular with the volume up) when it's your turn to care for your baby. And try using them to block out the crying when it's not your turn so you can sleep through the night.

Finally, you need to constructively resolve your own feelings by talking about them and perhaps taking them out on a punching bag or some kind of exercise. This will not be the last time you are angry at your daughter, and by figuring out what works for you now, you will be ready for it when it happens again.

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