When you have a new baby, you can pretty much expect to give up sleep for a while. But once that magical moment happens when she finally sleeps through the night and you can catch a few Zs of your own, you'd give just about anything not to have to go back to waking up in the middle of the night again. But unfortunately, sleep regression is real and you may need help from dear old dad to get through it. If you're struggling with your baby's sleep issues, there are ways dads can and should help with sleep regression.
According to the Baby Sleep Site, sleep regression is a period of time when a once normally sleeping baby begins to wake up for no apparent reason. While every baby is different, these regressions typically happen at four months, eight months, 11 months, and 18 months, and usually coincide with developmental milestones. Fortunately, these regressions are temporary and generally last anywhere from a few days to a week.
Even if you have the most supportive partner, he may be completely clueless when it comes to dealing with your baby's sleep issues. But you can help him share the load by allowing him to help you manage your baby's nighttime neediness. Giving him a part of the bedtime routine, allowing him to take turns tending to baby's cries, and leaning on him for support are a few things dads can do to help you stay sane until things get back to normal. But when you have a baby, is anything ever really normal? Here are a few ways dads can — and should — help you deal with this tough bedtime phase.
1. He Can Help Establish A Bedtime Routine
As What to Expect suggested, establishing a nighttime routine can help baby through periods of sleep regression. Dad can help by taking over part of the process. Allow him to be in charge of bath or story time to give yourself a chance to recharge.
2. He Can Encourage Self-Soothing
It can be tough to listen to your baby cry during the night, even if you know that everything is ok. As The Today Show mentioned, your partner can help you deal with your baby's night waking by encouraging you to allow the baby to soothe himself back to sleep.
3. He Can Take A Turn
If you decide to go to your baby when she wakes during the night, your partner can help out by switching off with you to tend to her cries, as The Today Show recommended. This can help eliminate baby's need to nurse or have mom rock her back to sleep.
4. Keep Things On Schedule
According to the Precious Little Sleep site, sleep regressions are temporary and things will get back normal if you keep baby on a sleep schedule. Let Dad help out by being the official keeper of the schedule. If you're bogged down with diapers and nursing, let him keep track of naps and bedtime, when possible — even if it means he has to be the bad guy sometimes.
5. He Can Be Your Support
Dealing with a baby who doesn't seem to want to sleep can be a test of even the most patient mom. If your baby is going through a period of sleep regression, you are going to need your partner more than ever to encourage you and keep you sane.