When our first child was a few weeks old I read Babywise and we began to establish a sleep routine for our son. I tell people all the time that Babywise is hard but worth it. I truly don't know how I would have been able to implement Babywise techniques in our home without my husbands complete support. Here are some of the ways that dads' support is essential to the success of Babywise:
1. Understanding "the why": Sleep training is a lot of long term goals. What you do today helps to prepare your baby for better sleep tomorrow and in the future. Understanding that big picture is so important. Days are long and it can feel like it's taking forever to get to the golden age of sleeping through the night (or the four hour schedule or the one nap a day...or any other sleep milestone). Having a supportive spouse remind you of the big picture helps to make it through when times are tough. His encouragement will give you a boost when needed (and pick up a milkshake for you on the way home as a bonus!).
2. Providing a Break: Teething. 45 minute intruder. 4 month sleep regression. Wonder Weeks. There are stages where you need to physically get out of the house. Sit on the porch. Go for a drive. Stroll the aisles at Target. Mommy has to keep her sanity and Daddy earns some mega brownie points when he takes over so Mommy can have her "me time." Having a husband who KNOWS the schedule, the routine, how to swaddle, etc makes it easier for that mommy break time. You can leave and not stress over details because you know he has it handled (of course my kids have always slept better for Daddy anyway!) and you are able to better relax during that time away knowing that your baby is sticking to their routine!
3. Sharing Duties: My husband is a swaddle PRO. He's also ammmmazing at "shhh patting" and can burp like no one's business. Sharing in the duties of parenting helps me to not feel resentment or loneliness. You're a team and in this together! By having a supportive spouse you don't have to hesitate to ask for help or to establish shared responsibilities. Finding a groove where you both have the opportunity to contribute means you get to vent the frustrations together and also celebrate the victories together too!
4. Respecting the Schedule: Consistent routine is everything when it comes to Babywise! It can be difficult to "revolve your life" around the baby's routine (which I highly recommend doing the first year!) and it's SO crucial to have a husband who is in agreement about the importance of that schedule. Planning things around nap time and early bed time is tricky and I can't fathom trying to do that while also having to battle my husband about it. People think I'm joking when I say that my husband is actually the more "hardcore" one when it comes to the schedules of our kids but it's true! He appreciates our kids sleep because he sees the benefits of it so he does what it takes to make sure they get the sleep they need!
5. Silencing the Haters: I find that I worry about hurting feelings a lot more than my husband does. When people start in on the anti-Babywise comments he is a PRO at stepping in and handling the situation. If you choose to do Babywise with your baby, especially your first, then you WILL hear comments. A lot of times it's not meant in a rude way, just in a "but we wanna hold the baby" type way. People don't always understand the reasons behind a solid sleep routine and it can be frustrating (and discouraging) to hear comments about how you have chosen to parent your child. In the long term (again, that big picture goal) they WILL see the benefits but in the moment it's a huge blessing to have a husband who will stand up for the schedule and your family! (You can read more about when family doesn't support Babywise here!)
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