The Importance Of Getting Your Partner Involved

– Written by JoAnna Inks 

parents walking with baby girl - JoAnna Inks Sleep Solutions

One thing that I really love about my job is that I get to work so intimately with so many different people with different personalities.  When you help a family teach their baby sleep skills, you’re coming to them at a time that’s especially vulnerable and emotional.

Almost always, the parents aren’t sleeping and this combined with a baby that doesn’t sleep makes for a difficult situation.

But, I’ll tell you that you get to know people in a hurry when they’re in this state.

No two families are alike.  The differences are almost shocking.

The demographics that define the traditional “nuclear family” have definitely shifted over the years.  I think this shift has caused families to be more varied and interesting.

The one constant, it seems, is that one parent is generally defined as the primary caregiver.

I’ve witnessed some families that split childcare duties 51%-49%, while in some families, one parent does the lion’s share of feeding, bathing, supervision, education, doctor’s visits, and reads them their bedtime stories.  And, I’ve seen everything in between.

Both ways of being and everything in between is totally fine by me!

If two people reach an agreement on what works for their family – AMAZING stuff right there!

But, and you knew there was a but, didn’t you??  Sleep training is HARD.

I mean HARD like one of the hardest things I’ve ever done as a parent hard!

HARD like running a marathon hard!  Nope, not kidding!

You’re going to have a few nights that test your patience, resilience, and determination.  If only one person is doing this, that can be a challenge.

Don’t get me wrong, I’ve had A LOT of moms over the years tell me they were doing this alone because their partner had no idea how much they were struggling and didn’t think they needed this kind of help.  

No offense to amazing dads out there, but I have yet to work with a father that has sleep trained without their partner.

My post today is to the secondary caregivers, whoever that might be in your family.  If you’re feeling a bit left out of the child-rearing process and wishing you had more opportunities to bond with your baby, this is your time!

Right now!

No fancy restaurant, no tropical vacation, no front row tickets are going to solidify you like your partner’s hero quite like taking a lead role in getting your baby to sleep through the night.  

I’m not even exaggerating here, and I happen to know from personal experience 😉

If you’re reading this today, I’d guess that there’s a pretty good chance that you’re feeling the effects of a bit of sleep deprivation, so I don’t need to tell you how serious they are.  Does the thought of months or even years of this seem unbearable? It’s very likely your partner is feeling the exact same way.

Sleep training is challenging!  There’s going to be some doubt, some tears (both yours & baby’s), and a few tough nights!

But, I’ve never ever ever ever had a client tell me they regretted it in the end.

Quite the opposite, they tell me over, and over they wish they’d done this months or even years earlier!

If you AND your partner can get on the same page and support each other through this process, it’s a beautiful thing.

Some of my most special moments with families are those phone calls after baby has slept through the night for the first time and both people are on the phone – crying!  Happy tears of course, but actually crying because everyone finally got some rest! Woohoo!! That’s something to celebrate.

Sleep training definitely requires consistency, and it’s essential to have a plan that both you and your partner are onboard with.  But, there’s room for each of you to have your different style within the framework of the plan.

No hovering over each other, let each other figure out their own approach.  Both parents being confident is so critical to your child’s success. Babies know when we’re not feeling confident!  

What you’re about to do is terrific for your family unit!  Teaching your baby the life long skills of sleep while getting the rest you need and deserve.  AMAZING!

Committing to doing this together makes this endeavor even sweeter!

Hopefully, you’ll discover how to support each other in some tough moments, that you make each other stronger, and you’re amazing when you parent as a team.

You’re taking a problem that has been known to deteriorate relationships, tackling it together, and you should be super proud of that!

My hope for you is that it goes smoothly from the start, but if you need help, I’m always here to support you on your sleep journey.

Two parents creating a united front is a mighty force, but two parents armed with a sleep expert to guide them through this process, well that’s unstoppable!

Have questions about sleep training?  Book a complimentary discovery all with me today!  I’m all ears.

Here’s to a well-rested family,