Men vs. Women

First up — sleeping men can’t hear a baby cry, but sleeping women can. I know, I know — pick your jaws up off the floor, because that is so shocking! 😉 What about you — who hears the baby first in your household?

Researchers believe it is women’s maternal instincts — whether they have children or not — that kick in when they hear any young child cry that wakes them up.

Meanwhile, men are more likely to jump up at the ring of car alarms, a buzzing fly or howling wind. Men can also go right back to sleep after having been woken up much faster than women.

I remember once or perhaps twice that my husband heard the baby and/or got up to get the baby first. However, I’m pretty sure that it was because he happened to be already awake. Possibly it was because I was sick or otherwise exhausted and sleeping soundly. While this may sound like whining, it’s not — he works, I stay home, so I think it’s just a normal and equitable “division of labor,” especially since… I could take a nap during the day… I was breastfeeding so had to feed the baby anyway… and I could operate on much less sleep during the day at home than he could at work (and particularly driving). In fact, we’ve changed “who sleeps on which side of the bed” with great frequency — it’s always just automatically been that I sleep on the side nearest the baby/children/crib/door. When we go to a hotel, or stay at someone’s house, or rearrange the bedroom furniture, I get “whichever side is closest to the door,” regardless if that’s the right or left side of the bed.

Speaking of which — sort of off-topic, but I’ve always wondered…

Secondly, from the Journal of the International Association of the Study of Pain [who knew that there was such a thing?!]: Women get accustomed to pain, and men don’t.

Strikingly, females reported more pain than males at the outset of the first exposure to pain, but then experienced less pain and annoyance than males as a painful stimulus was sustained and with repeated stimulation… Notably only females demonstrate adaptation and habituation that allow them to experience less pain over time.


3 Responses

  1. Come on. You have to ask? Me. Unless I have my ear plugs in and even then I will sometimes hear the baby or an older child crying before the dh.

  2. My husband is an extremely sound sleeper in all cases. I’ve even seen the man fall asleep standing up in a nosy crowd (no, not narcolepic, he just doesn’t have much of a sense of ‘boy, I”m tired, I should go to sleep now instead of watching a movie so I only get 4 hours tonight’. He’ll usually sleep through the baby crying as he’s lying INBETWEEN US IN BED! He can be all but impossible to wake. Me? Even if its the first sleep I’ve had in days, I’ll still wake up to the sound of his breathing pausing (sleep apnea on his back or when his head lulls backwards) or changing (nightmare, active dream, or him waking).

  3. Well, two weeks into the experience, I’m far and away the one who hears her first, but I’m just now starting to grow out of the phase where I am jumping up to check on every tiny noise. Last night, I was sleeping very soundly after a long day of her being very very fussy ( so I think I didn’t want to hear her), and he had to wake me for her 3am feeding.

    However, when it comes to sides of the bed, he always sleeps on the side closest to the door, for protection, I guess. 🙂

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