We’ve come a long way since the days when Mom was expected to handle all the child-related responsibilities in the family, but there still seems to be an assumption in a lot of families I work with that she’s supposed to handle bedtime, as well as any nighttime wake-ups. Today, I’m talking about why having both parents dividing the nighttime responsibilities can be a benefit for everyone in the family, including baby!Rather read than watch? Click here.
I have had many a dad tell me that they feel pretty helpless and a bit powerless. It’s not a great feeling. I mean, you’re a parent too. You have equal responsibility in raising this child. It feels really bad to not be able to help or not be able to put your child to bed at night or not to be able to let your wife go out for an evening because you’re going to be so nervous and worried that you can’t get this baby to sleep and she’s not going to have a good time because she’s going to be checking in with you every five minutes to make sure you’re okay. It just leads to a really bad situation for everybody.
I’m going to share some good news with you today, that when the clients that I work with start the Sleep Sense program, I get dads back in the game. They’re going to be as involved as they possibly can because it often goes better with dad. This is really good news. It’s been really interesting to watch the couples that I’ve worked with over the years, that dads step in and blossom into this really great dad who’s super onboard and doing really well with getting this baby to sleep. It’s very important to get the partner involved.
Now, the baby often has a bit of a different reaction to the father or the caregiver that’s not the primary caregiver, especially if nursing is the prop association. They’ll be a little alarmed or concerned when they see dad walk into the room instead of mom, like, “Uh oh, you’re not the right person. Please send mom in.” They may protest a little loudly at first because it’s not the person they were expecting, but the good news is that that de-escalates really quickly. Baby understands that there’s not a nursing option from dad and therefore they settle in and go back to sleep much quicker than if mom were to come in.
They know the option is there with mom so they tend to try a little harder and longer because of that fact. Getting your partner involved, super helpful. Now, I want to be fair. I know there’s lots of single parents out there. I don’t want to make you feel left out or neglected in any way. I’ve worked with many a single parent who has had huge success with the program and had to do it singlehandedly. If that’s the case though, I would encourage you to find some sort of support system. Maybe you hired a sleep consultant or you’ve got a good friend that can come over and stay with you a day or two or you’ve got your mom onboard or your sister that can come in and just help support you through this and cheer you on basically. It can be a little bit of a lonely road that first night or two as you’re trying to get your baby sleeping better. Definitely get support.
Now, one thing to keep in mind though, if you’re the mom and you’ve been doing all the work, it sounds nice to let dad take over, doesn’t it, but it’s not always that easy because it means you’re going to have to give up some of the control, right? For some moms that’s really tough. I’ve had to send moms to the coffee shop around the corner because she won’t stay out of his business when it’s his turn. She’s standing at the door and whispering instructions and giving him trouble for not doing it right. If you’re going to let your partner step in and help you then you have to let them figure out their way. It might not be exactly your way, but that’s okay. They need to figure this out. They need to see that they’re capable, that they have success around this. That’s going to give them the motivation to continue on with this.
Get that partner involved and get your sleep plan in place and start having a good night’s sleep very soon. Thanks for watching. Sleep well.
If your baby, infant or toddler is having trouble sleeping through the night, help is just a click away! The Sleep Sense Program has helped over 57,00 parents to get their kids sleeping 11-12 hours through the night AND taking long, restful naps during the day. If you’re ready to get started today – I’m looking forward to helping you!
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