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How to Decide Who Takes Care of Baby

Rock, Paper, Scissors! Who Takes Care of Baby?


It's 3 a.m., the baby's crying and both mom and dad feign sleep in order to avoid getting out of bed. Or there's a stench coming from the infant's bottom and neither mom nor dad admits they smell it. Like marriage, parenting involves a significant amount of compromise and deciding whose turn it is to change the diaper or go out with their friends can lead to bickering and blowouts.

While some couples set up a written schedule based on their work hours, others take a more creative approach to determining whose turn it is for various tasks. Among our favorites are:

  • Reversible pillowcases like the Who's On Duty ones which let a spouse know that you are “off-duty” for any middle of the night tasks without ever having to open your eyes or mouth.
  • A Wheel of Responsibility that allows parents to spin the dial to determine who will handle the next task.
  • For years Rock, Paper, Scissors has been used to decide who will handle a situation.
  • The age-old coin toss is not a bad way to go in the middle of the night.
  • The name game — If tot can talk and calls out for one parent in particular, then they go.
  • In the wee hours of the morn, many parents wouldn't put it past themselves to use a bit of bribery to get their spouse up. A promise of breakfast in bed, an afternoon of an empty home or even a little massage may just do the trick.

How did you determine whose turn it was to care for baby in your home?
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