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They Say: Dad Really Doesn't Hear the Crying

angry-coupleHow often has this little scenario played itself out at your house: baby cries, mom shoots out of bed to see what’s wrong, and dad slumbers away happily? And then mom comes back to bed and seethes?

A new study found that maybe he’s not being a slacker after all. A British manufacturer of cold and cough medicines commissioned a survey of what’s most likely to wake up men and women. For women, a baby’s cry is the most likely thing to jolt her out of a sound sleep — interestingly, even if she is not a mother herself. For men, it’s a car alarm.

In my house it’s my husband that jolts awake for the night calls. I sleep like the dead, and he’s a light sleeper — although now that the kids are older and I am not waking up to nurse every three hours, I jolt awake at the same time he does because a cry usually means trouble. However, the rest of the women’s list sounds about right: a dripping tap, rowdiness outside, snoring, a buzzing fly, drilling or workmen outside, sirens, a car alarm, howling wind, and noise from a drain. For men, the remaining sleep-disturbers in order are howling wind, a buzzing fly, snoring, noise from drains, crickets, emergency sirens, a clock ticking, drilling or workmen, and a dripping tap.

Who does night duty most often in your house? And what tends to be your wakeup triggers? If you’re in a same-sex partnership, do you find you both wake up at same things?

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