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New Mom Getting Angry Becasue Baby Won’t Nap During the Day


My partner and I have a three-and-a-half-month-old baby girl. We are both in our late 30s and this is our first child. She is by and large a very good baby: sleeps most of the evening most nights, however she has issues sleeping through the day. My partner seems to get very frustrated with the baby if she doesn’t go to sleep during the day when I am at work. My partner will get very angry with our little girl and I worry that this just makes the problem worse as my partner is very used to being able to control everything around her, but now all of a sudden she has a baby that won’t listen to reason. I’m a pretty patient guy and I understand that she is just a baby and can’t be controlled.

It is really affecting our relationship and I worry that it will badly affect our child. I’ve tried to point it out to her, offer her alternatives, but I end up getting my head bitten off. How do I help my partner chill out and stop getting so angry?


This is a tough one with no magic bullets. You have taken a rational approach, but it isn’t working. It is a big deal for the reasons you describe, plus this can’t be making your partner feel good as a mom. Make sure she is not showing other signs of postpartum depression.

At 3.5 months, your partner is past the shock of sleep deprivation and the stress of learning to be a mom, and is now dealing with the reality of being a stay-at-home mom. It can be isolating, boring, and all consuming to care for an infant, and perhaps the only break she gets is when your baby is asleep. She may have wanted to stay home with the baby, but the reality of the day-to-day isn't what she was expecting and it's tough to make sense of those conflicting emotions. Society says she's supposed to be so grateful and happy as new mom, but that just isn't how it is.

Here are some suggestions:

  • Reach deep for a new level of understanding and concern for how she is coping with motherhood. Your patience will come in handy.
  • Find a time to talk with her about how being a mom is working out for her. Just get her to talk honestly about what is on her mind.
  • Ask her “what would make your life better?” Ask her what she thinks her alternatives might be. This is when to suggest ideas; some moms feel better with a flexible, part time job. Does she have a support group or other new moms to talk to? Suggest getting a babysitter once a week during the day so she can get a break to do whatever she wants to do.
  • To deal with her anger at your baby: Check out this BabyCenter forum with moms who get angry at their babies for a better understanding and ideas.
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