The Importance of Dad’s Support with Babywise
Our children’s generation is so blessed as it’s a generation where dads are more hands-on than ever before.
Whereas our father’s may not have changed diapers, dads today handle night duty, diaper duty, bath duty and so much more.
Even though I’m a stay at home mom, my husband walks in the door each night and immediately jumps into his role as a father.
Our kids are growing up with both parents pouring into their lives each day!
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 husband’s complete support.
I am so thankful to be a Babywise Mom and have my husband as a Babywise Dad!
The Importance of Dad’s Support with Babywise
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 the 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!).
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!
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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.
If your baby is bottle-fed I highly recommend having Daddy give as many bottles as possible. Our fourth baby was bottle-fed and my husband LOVED that he was able to bond with him during feeding time and I loved that while he fed the baby I was able to spend quality time with my older kids too!
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!
Respecting the Schedule
A consistent routine is everything when it comes to Babywise! It can be difficult to “revolve your life” around the baby’s routine 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 bedtime 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!
Ready to Get Started with Sleep Training? Here are top posts to help:
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!)
How to Encourage Your Husband to be a Babywise Dad
Did you read all the above reasons why having a “Babywise Dad” is so important but then feel discouraged because your husband has no interest in schedules and figuring out that perfect desired wake time? Here are some tips to getting your husband on board with sleep training.
Explain the Benefits
My husband was VERY hesitant to jump on board with sleep training our first baby because it seemed like a lot of work for an unknown reward. Would revolving ALL that time around a baby’s sleep schedule really pay off?
Share with him stories of those you know who have seen success. Look at the long term benefits. As you read the book, write out some key selling points to help your husband see the way it will benefit him.
We are all naturally selfish creatures. Sure, we want what’s best for our kids…but if what’s best for them is also best for us? SIGN US UP! Right?
So that early bedtime for baby? It also means more quality time for the two of you together. My husband LOVES that our kids all nap so soundly each day. Perfect time to chill on the couch and catch up on sports watching!
Having kids who sleep well? Means a mommy who sleeps well. And a well rested mommy is more likely to be in a good mood…and be in the mood too!
Yes, share the ways in which sleep training will benefit your child…but also share the ways it’ll benefit HIM.
Create a Team
Husbands WANT to contribute. I remember when I gave birth that my husband felt so helpless that I was in that pain and he couldn’t do anything about it.
Then comes breastfeeding and again, he was helpless. I struggled to nurse and he really couldn’t do anything to help make it easier for me.
Babywise and sleep training give husbands an opportunity to be truly hands-on and involved! Finally! Something they CAN contribute too. A goal they CAN help us achieve!
A new baby can be hard on a marriage but having that “team” element and working together for the common goal of SLEEP is a great way to bond together.
Rather than climbing back into bed after a middle of the night wake-up and feeling bitter seeing your husband sound asleep you both can high five each other when the baby finally sleeps all night! You can compare “war stories” when you’ve both traded off dealing with the wake-ups.
Ask for Specific Help
As a wife it can feel frustrating at times that we have to spell things out for our husbands. Why doesn’t he just see the dirty dishes in the sink and KNOW to put them in the dishwasher? Why do I have to ASK him to do it? Can’t he see it just needs to be DONE and DO IT?
Most likely even if your husband is super supportive of Babywise he probably won’t read the book (mine def never did) so you have to remember that he doesn’t know what needs to be done when and how it needs to happen.
Babies are also constantly changing and he will need to be given a refresher on the ever changing schedule and routine as you trouble shoot day to day issues that arise.
It’s important to have patience with him and to ask specifically for what you’d like for him to help with. If he’s awesome at the swaddle, let that be his “thing.” Praise him heavily for that task, thank him frequently, brag on him to others about it…basically boost that ego and he will be ALL about helping more and more.
Bath time has been a thing my husband has done since our kids were babies. It becomes something he enjoys as a way to bond with the kids, especially when I’m nursing. Find things he enjoys doing and will do well that can help free you up and give you a break. And as he does it well he will enjoy doing it more and more and will become more inclined to want to jump into other hands on rolls in the sleep training process as well.
When asking for help be sure to compliment and then do the asking! “Babe, the baby always sleeps best when YOU swaddle him and it’d be so helpful to me if you could handle swaddle duty.”
Find areas your husband excels in and praise those areas. Let him know how much it means to you to have that help and let him know how that help benefits the sleep progress! He’ll be singing sleep training praises in no time 😉
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Allow For His Input
Motherhood is such an intense bond and is one we tend to feel very protective of. Especially when it comes to sleep training.
We read the books. We read the blogs. We do the guess and check. We hear the baby cries. We deal with every feeding.
We become experts in our babies and therefore it’s natural that we feel like we know best!
But your husband? He knows his baby too! He wants to be part of the process, even if he may not seem like it at first.
Include him in the journey. Ask for his input and advice and what he thinks.
Let him make some of the decisions too and let him have the freedom to do things his way. Bite your tongue before jumping in to “correct him.”
The differences you have are strengths. Maybe his way of doing something will be the magical “trick” that gets your baby sleeping more soundly. Trust his gut just as you trust your own!
As much pride as I take in being a “Babywise Mom” my husband also takes in being a “Babywise Dad.” We both highly value sleep and have seen the benefits of babywise with all of our children.
We have also seen many ways that the On Becoming Baby Wise benefits our marriage and entire family unit.
I remember my early days with learning about Baby Wise and my overwhelmed feelings and concerns and confusion. I remember my husband not understanding WHY I wanted to sleep train our baby.
It took time for him to see the big picture and it took showing him examples of how infant sleep training worked for other moms for it all to click for him and for him to jump on board.
It took time for our hard work to pay off and for us to see results from the sleep training efforts but once they did my husband felt just as passionately about Babywise for our kids as I did. It’s really been a great way we’ve gotten closer and has given us the freedom of time to spend together in building our marriage bond – while our kids sleep soundly!
Well-rested kids make for happy kids…and happy, well-rested parents too. And what dad wouldn’t want to sign up for that?