Ask Dad About Sleep….
I do have to admit the majority of time, when working with family to help improve their child or children’s sleep, I am speaking with mothers. This does not mean that dad is less interested or supportive, it is often due to the fact that mothers are often home more to speak with and are put the learn to sleep methods into practice more.
When working with families I really encourage the support from fathers as much as possible. Sometime we (as mothers or wives) miss understand their reluctance to help out with bed time, ‘because they don’t want too’. I believe for the majority of cases this is misinterpreted and a father’s reluctance to be present at bed time is more their lack of confidence then there lack of desire to help out.
Bed time can be such a lovely bonding opportunity for families. I believe dads should be involved as much as possible with bed time to gain parenting confidence, as well create everlasting memories and bonding with their child.
That last sleepy cuddle, song time, story time or loving conversation with your child before they go to bed day or night can be so beneficial for parents and children.
You are not just putting your child to bed; but by taking the time to complete their bed time routine, you are helping to create a happy confident sleeper for life.
Often mothers are so well connected with their child, that we know their little bedtime ques and what they like at bedtime. By getting dads to be apart of bedtime as much as possible, will help them to gain vital parenting confidence and a deeper understanding of their child.
And No…..they will not do everything exactly the same way you do mum, but as long as it is similar, they will learn their own way.
To help understand this a little more, from a fathers perspective, my wonderful Husband (Matthew) has been kind enough to answer some question about sleep…
Did you have any thought on children sleep before having children?
Answer: No I didn't have any idea of children sleep before having them. But once you have a few weeks of sleepless nights you soon wish you had some sort of idea.
How did those ideas and expectation on children sleep change after having children?
Answer: I think the first child is always the hardest because both parents have no real idea what to expect, but soon you realise a good routine goes a long way to happiness.
Do you think you both have a different approach's to sleep with your children.
Answer: From my point of view and coming from a father that has always worked away it was hard to adjust to a routine involved around what the children needed and not what I wanted to do, but once myself and Che got on the same page and we started seeing results and it helped me understand a lot.
Do you think it is important and beneficial for fathers to be involved with their child's/en's sleep and bed time routine?
Answer: I 100% think it’s important once both parents are on the same page of the sleep training and doing the same things it helps with consistency and get the best results.
What age do you think is the most challenging to put to bed?
Answer: I reckon around 12 months as they are just starting to find their personality and can be a challenge. Thank god for high sided cots. Or even when you transition from the cot to the bed that's a hard time also.
Question 6. What is your biggest tip or advise for fathers in regards to being involved in teaching their child to sleep and/or bed time?
Answer: Be on the same page as your partner and be supportive even when its shit and doesn't seem to be working.
Question 7. What advice would you give to families who are struggling with their children sleep?
Answer: Do something about it and be supportive of your wife. Sleep deprivation is the cause of most evils when it comes to children.
Do you have a preferred age to put to sleep and why?
Answer: Best age is 7, she goes straight to sleep.
Question 9. Do you do anything different at bed time to Mum (Che Ruddell)?
Answer: No, It’s the same as what Che does maybe be a little later.
What are your thoughts on sleep training/coaching, would you recommend it?
Answer: Yes I would I wish we had known about this years earlier.
I would have to agree with all my husband’s answer. Communication as a couple and creating a united and supportive team will help your child feel more secure and sleep happy.
Obviously if you are having sleep issues with your child and need extra support then I am here to help!
As well as all this great bonding and positive parenting time father are able to have at bed time, father’s involvement at bed time is also beneficial for mum’s.
Mums get a break from the bed time routine and are able to share the load. It also means that we are able to have time out as a mother and have some “mum time”. This might be a warm shower in peace or a night out with friends. But either way, let’s be honest, kids are exhausting and that extra support especially at bed time is often the little brake we need to recharge our batterys.
As mentioned, I do encourage you to have that conversation with you husband or partner about sleep and work towards getting dad more involved if needed.
Dads are amazing and play a special role in our children’s lives, this also includes bed time!
For any extra support with your children’s sleep please feel free check out my website for more information.