Working with new parents has shown me that no two families are the same. Especially today when the definition of the ‘nuclear family’ has changed so much. Some households have just a single parent, other family members, and others are the traditional two-parent households. All of these work for raising a child but pose different challenges.
As someone who co-parents with their partner, you can appreciate how helpful it is to have two parents in the process. Raising a child, especially as an infant, is exhausting and challenging. It never hurts to have help.
The way that parents function as caregivers varies from household to household. There are some parents that split their responsibilities 50-50 and others that lay more parenting responsibilities on one partner than the other. Whatever this looks like in your house is perfectly fine.
In every case, there is always one parent that I would define as the primary caregiver. This parent tends to handle more of the responsibilities or delegates tasks to their partner. It’s never really an even split.
Parenting is difficult, and no matter how you choose to split responsibilities, finding the right groove for your situation is key. While in most situations it can be fine to have one parent take on more responsibilities than the other, sleep training an infant is much easier with two parents involved.
Sleep training with your new baby is arguably one of the most challenging parts of being a new parent. This is increasingly challenging if only one parent is involved. Sleep training inevitably leads to sleep deprivation for the parent involved as they wake constantly throughout the night. This is a true test of patience and determination.
Having both parents involved can make a world of difference. This can result in a few more minutes or even hours of rest for each parent. Unlike in a situation where one parent has to get up every time, this approach balances out the burden.
That’s why I urge secondary caregivers to get involved in the process. This could have additional advantages for the secondary caregiver as well. Maybe as the secondary caregiver, you work during the day and only see your baby at night. While the primary caregiver may seem to have more of a chance to bond with the baby throughout the day, this is the perfect opportunity for the second parent to get involved and bond with their child.
For your partner’s sake and your baby’s, involving yourself in the sleep training process is crucial to the happiness and wellbeing of the household. Volunteering to help with the process will make you a hero in the eyes of your partner. This will strengthen your relationship and lessen the burden of sleep training for both of you.
Parenting, with two parents, should be a team effort. This sleep training process is the perfect opportunity to share responsibilities and tackle the problem more efficiently and in less time. Sleep deprivation is uncomfortable, frustrating, and has a major impact on your day-to-day life. If you don’t train your baby to sleep through the night, you can be looking at months or even years of living like this.
Sleep training will be especially exhausting. By trading off who gets up throughout the night, the process will be just a little bit easier. Sharing the burden of sleep deprivation will strengthen your relationship with your partner as you lessen their burden.
As the primary caregiver, it can be challenging to allow your partner to take over parts of the training process. You likely spend more time taking care of the baby and have a vested interest in sleep training properly.
Allowing your partner to help, as nice as it will be for you to get more rest, can be challenging. But you have to trust them. Trust that you both are very capable of handling the sleep training process and appreciate the solidity of your relationship.
Having two parents in the household makes a world of difference. Imagine being a single parent and having no choice but to sleep train your baby alone. That would be incredibly challenging; it’s not impossible, but certainly not easy. Why would you challenge yourself to tackle this alone if you can depend on your partner for help? Going through this difficult process together will only strengthen your relationship.
So, how do you begin the process? Sit down with your partner and have a discussion about sleep training. Cover how you will approach it and what you both can expect from the process. Then, think about how nice it will be to sleep through the night again.
Your strong partnership alone should be enough to set you on the right path to effective sleep training, but if you need help you can always call me for guidance. Here at Adele Thompson Sleep Consulting, I offer sleep consultation for tired moms and dads. Contact me today, and let’s get started on a journey to more sleep at night and happier days.