How to be a Happy Nighttime Parent

When it comes to nighttime parenting, there is a four letter word that comes to mind. No, not the one you might think of when you stub your toe as you make your way across the dark bedroom floor en route to taking care of your precious little guy for the fourth time of the night. Rather, the word I mean is REST. One of the most important factors in successfully parenting a baby is rest. As in, the baby isn’t the only one who needs it, and life will be better for you and the baby if you make sure to get plenty of it.

But that’s easier said than done, right? Especially in today’s hectic world where parents often have to put in a full day of work besides taking care of the baby. And while baby sleeps most of the day, she seldom sleeps for more than three or four hours at a time, at least at first. It doesn’t take long before you realize your entire life revolves around her sleep schedule. And yet, you have other things that have to be done, too.

Your baby needs happy nighttime parents, and life will be better for you, too, if you’re able to keep a positive outlook on the whole thing. But very few are able to do that while exhausted. And since most babies can’t sleep through the night until they’re at least four months old, your best bet is to embrace the fact that you’re going to be up at night and be proactive about getting your rest while you can.

What’s good for the goose is good for the gander, here. Both parents should try to get as much rest as they can during the day. Take a nap. Even if you can’t, lie down for a while. Take turns taking care of baby’s needs. Take turns caring for baby during the daytime, so he will be used to both of you trying to comfort him when nighttime comes. Not only will this help you both get a little rest, but it will help baby to forge those bonds with both of you that he needs.