Tips for Dads: Child Sleep Regressions

Tips for Dads: Child Sleep Regressions


Sleep training a child goes something like this… You begin with a few nights of restlessness constantly up and down tending to your child, followed by a night or two falling asleep on the floor next to the crib or bed, and all of this usually resulting in everyone moving into your bed anyway. You’ve fought the fight – and lost!

But then after countless nights of keeping up, you FINALLY see a breakthrough with your child sleeping (mostly peacefully) through consecutive nights. Just when you think you’re in the clear…

Sleep regression hits. Back to square one. Parents crying.

We’ve all been there, and we’ve learned a lot about how to handle it. Here are a few tips from our dads:


*Understanding Sleep Regressions:

Before diving into the strategies for handling sleep regressions, we need to understand what they are and why they occur. Sleep regressions typically occur at various stages of a child’s development, often around major milestones such as teething, growth spurts, or cognitive leaps. This may disrupt your child’s sleep patterns, leading to the exhausting extravaganza of sleeplessness.


Communicate with Your Partner:

During times of sleep regression, fathers must communicate openly with their partners. Share your observations about your child’s sleep patterns. Discuss strategies for managing the regression, and offer each other support and encouragement. Remember that you’re in this together, and working as a team can help alleviate some of the stress associated with sleep disruptions.

Maintain Consistency:

Consistency is key! Stick to your established bedtime routine as much as possible, even if it means adjusting it slightly to accommodate your child’s changing needs. Consistent bedtime routines can provide a sense of security and predictability, making it easier for your child to settle down and fall asleep. It can also help you feel like you are in control of an otherwise chaotic time.

Offer Comfort and Reassurance:

During sleep regressions, children may wake more frequently and require extra comfort and reassurance from their parents. You might be exhausted, and possibly even edgy, but as a father you need to be prepared to offer soothing words, gentle cuddles, and a comforting presence. Avoid introducing new sleep crutches or habits that may be difficult to break once the regression passes.

Be Flexible:

While consistency is important, it’s also essential to be flexible and responsive to your child’s needs during sleep regressions. If they are struggling to fall asleep or stay asleep, be prepared to try different approaches or make adjustments to your routine as needed. Trust your instincts as a dad and do what feels right for your child and your family.

Take Care of Yourself:

Managing sleep regressions can be physically and emotionally draining for every member of the house. Remember to prioritize self-care during this time, whether it’s getting enough rest, engaging in enjoyable activities, or seeking support from friends and family. By taking care of yourself, you’ll be better equipped to handle the challenges of parenting during sleep regressions.

Our kids don’t understand what they’re doing to us, so it’s crucial for us to know how to navigate this with them. Remember that it’s is just a season, and your future self wouldn’t trade all of the rest in the world for these days with your child.

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Contributor: Skip Cherryholmes