As it's Father’s Day, let’s have a look at some interesting research about dads and their superhero skills when it comes to babies' sleep.
Interestingly, studies have shown that a higher involvement of fathers in babies' care was associated with their child waking less at night. A study on dads and sleep actually showed that, when Dad was given the management of the bedtime routine and night wakings, he generally resolved any problems very successfully.The same studies found that fathers were willing and even enthusiastic about taking over where night-time issues were concerned. Mothers, however, were initially doubtful about their husbands' coping abilities and/or their own ability to step back and allow Dad to get on with it. Hands up all mums who recognise themselves here!
So, why is that dads do so well with bedtime and sleep problems? It has been suggested that because, on average, dads spend less time with baby during the day, they are not as emotionally and psychologically depleted at bedtime and are better able to cope with a fussy child without getting flustered and stressed. Mothers, on the other hand, have spent most of the day with their baby or toddler and tend to get more emotionally involved with any issues at bedtime. If baby wakes, Mum wonders: why, is it something she did? How should she respond? Knowing that how she responds may impact what happens with future night awakenings. Dads tend not to get as caught up in the “why" and “what if", but deal with the problem at hand without worrying.
The lesson here? Let Dad help! Sometimes we don't give them enough credit. Happy Fathers Day!