Celebrity Parents

LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA - NOVEMBER 23: Actor Wilmer Valderrama attends the opening night fan event f...
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Wilmer Valderrama On How Sleep Training His Daughter Helped Him Be A Better Partner

“The baby is our priority, but you are mine.”

The club of parents who truly understand the absolute hell of infant-related sleep deprivation is large and ever-growing. Apparently, we veterans can welcome actor Wilmer Valderrama (That ‘70s Show, NCIS, and most recently as the voice of Mirabel’s dad in Encanto) and his fiancée, model Amanda Pacheco, to that club. The pair appeared with their almost-1-year-old daughter Nakano on the January/February cover of Parents, where they talked about their unexpected romance and how sleep training has better enabled them to “stay connected” in the first year.

Initially, Valderrama tells Parents, he “didn’t think [he] had the heart” for sleep training (“it made me feel bad.), but found that it ultimately felt empowering. “It allows you to focus on your partner. When you have a baby who sleeps through the night, it’s a lot easier to stay connected.”

"The baby is our priority,” he says to Pacheco, “but you are mine."

We’ll give all the moms a moment to collectively swoon over that one. And yet! Valderrama delivers some A+ dad-and-partnering throughout the cover story, like when he talks about how he made sure there was as equitable a division of labor as possible when it came to those newborn sleepless nights.

"The first few nights we were like, 'We can do this!'" Valderrama tells Parents. "But by the sixth day, that sleep deprivation gets tough." With Pacheco on breastfeeding duty, it might have been easy for a non-breastfeeding partner to wash their hands of night-time wake-ups with a cut-and-dry “Welp! I’m not lactating so I guess I’m off the hook.”

But not Valderrama. "If you're not doing anything, you're not doing enough,” he says definitively. “There are a million things to be done while your partner is nursing,” he continues. “Get the baby, change the baby, burp the baby, track the feeding, and keep the mommy hydrated, fed, and rested."

Yeah, we’ll go ahead and give you all a moment to cheer in agreement for that, too. Take all the time you need.