My wife and I have been having some problems ever since we had our baby boy.

He's currently 7 months old, and he's never been an easy sleeper. So every time he resists sleep my wife will get angry and start yelling at him. The yelling is not that bad, she just raises her voice and speak/yell louder, also her face expression is very "dark."

However, I don't agree with this yelling as I think he's too young to be yelled at. I'm not saying it's wrong to be angry at him, just that he's not old enough to understand the yelling anyway.

We are always at odds about this and keep having fights again and again and again. One thing is that her fuse was not this short before she became a mom.

My question is is this something normal for new moms and I just have to get used to it? I feel sad whenever we have a fight and it's becoming a regular thing that's very unhealthy.

  • 1
    Get her this book. May 9 '16 at 16:04
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    DO NOT GET USED TO IT. It is understandable to get frustrated, but that anger is going to mess up the child. Children are sponges, and learn behaviors like anger from the parents. When she is about to get angry, she needs to walk away. Let you take over. Anything. I speak from experience. Do not let the child endure that.
    – Jeff.Clark
    Jun 30 '16 at 18:35

It's understandable. Lack of sleep can make anyone cranky and 7-months of poor sleep is enough to try anyone's last nerve. Equally, she could be struggling to cope and might need some help, possibly even medication.

We can't immediately tell if she has a problem and diagnosis by internet is rarely effective... but you are the best-placed person to know your wife and she seems to be getting angry enough to make you concerned it would be a good idea to try to give her some help.

First off, it's very likely your wife needs a regular break. Make sure she gets some 'me' time, if she has a hobby then try to encourage her to sign up to a club or regular meeting which does not revolve around children. Even if it's not at bedtime it's amazing how a bit of time out can really help recharge the batteries. Make sure you're doing your fair-share of things around the house too... I can't stress that enough and do it without being prompted.

It sounds a bit 'hippy' but at that age they're the perfect age to travel around forward-facing in a sling (I miss being able to use my traditional cloth sling, others are available!) Pop them in it and go for a walk to the park or the shops - 7-month-old's love to get out into the world and see what's going on from a daddy's eye-view and you can talk about the things that are going on. We used to love going out and you'd be amazed at the responses you get.

Second, it's worth investigating if your wife might have post-natal depression...

The main symptoms include:

  • a persistent feeling of sadness and low mood
  • loss of interest in the world around you and no longer enjoying things that used to give you pleasure
  • lack of energy and feeling tired all the time
  • trouble sleeping at night and feeling sleepy during the day
  • feeling that you're unable to look after your baby
  • problems concentrating and making decisions
  • loss of appetite or an increased appetite (comfort eating)
  • feeling agitated, irritable or very apathetic (you "can't be bothered")
  • feelings of guilt, hopelessness and self-blame
  • difficulty bonding with your baby with a feeling of indifference and no sense of enjoyment in his or her company
  • frightening thoughts – for example, about hurting your baby; these can be scary, but they're very rarely acted upon
  • thinking about suicide and self-harm

source: postnatal depression symptoms (nhs.uk)

... certainly the level of anger toward your child has been enough to make you uncomfortable, so it's worth looking out for other signs and seeking help if necessary. Postnatal depression is very common and is absolutely not an indication of failure, and there will be plenty of local resources and support groups who can help you.

Your question and profile don't indicate your location but if you want to share it then we as a community may be able to point you in the right direction.

Also see:-


From experience : it can happen. there is probably a mix of tiredness (especially if it happens at nights) and hormonal effects at play.
Yelling at a baby is pointless until... I can't remember but 1 year old, at the very least, I think. And yelling at anyone so they get to sleep is pointless anyway, quite the contrary, in fact.

As I'm away from home from 6:00 to 20:00, my wife has to manage our girl all day long, so I help by doing the evening (she does the nights also). When our girl begin to cry/yell, I get to another room, or my wife moves, so she can calm herself. Even during the day, when things get too intense, she moves to another room for a couple of minutes.
At night time we take special care not to stimulate our kid too much.


It doesn't sound abnormal. Kids are incredibly frustrating at every age. One of the gut punches is the 1-2 of a child acting out while simultaneously depriving you and your spouse of sleep. I think the most important thing is that as long as you don't think abuse is taking place (it doesn't sound like it), just talk to your wife so that she doesn't feel excessively guilty about not being able to get the baby to sleep, or about her own frustrated reactions. It's all to easy for a parent to put negative emotions into a feedback loop.

Take turns or breaks if you can, with one parent sleeping away from the baby 2-3 nights in a row. Talk to your pediatrician about it, too. They may have some good suggestions for getting everyone to sleep.

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