Sleeping children up to 3 years of life: the role of the father

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Difficulty falling asleep and frequent nocturnal awakenings. These are the main problems parents face with a small child. «In the first years of life it is difficult for the child to find a suitable one sleep-wake rhythm - explains the child psychologist Serena Costa - and this is why the rest of a child is physiologically different from that of adults". For this reason, the disorders described above are to be considered normal unless they are repeated over time, jeopardizing the family balance: "A more tired mother and father become more nervous, fueling couple conflicts". But the health of the child is also at risk, because the quality of sleep is very important for its neuro-physiological development.

In this article

  • How can dad help
  • When the children grow up 
  • If mom is against it 

How can dad help

In this scenario, the Pope definitely covers a very important role: if you take care of the baby's sleep, it will also help mom rest, encouraging a peaceful family atmosphere and creating a positive attachment with the child. And if this happens, the baby will be calmer even in sleep.

And then there is also a question of diversity: «Already in the very first months of life, the father can intervene by putting the blanket on him or even just holding him in his arms before going to sleep: it is a training for the diversity of stimuli that can calm the little one and favor him in the regularization of sleep». If he also gets used to the cuddles of his father, he will no longer need only his mother to be able to sleep.

«The more the father intervenes and supports the various stages of falling asleep, the more sleep disturbances are prevented» specifies the expert.

Mothers, for their part, must let their mates free to interact (and also to make mistakes). "They often think they are more inclined to look after their children, but in this way they risk excluding their partners, a factor that will penalize both fathers and children".


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When the children grow up

Another important function of fathers in relation to the sleep of their children is that of "separation". Often, in fact, it is the father who insists on letting the children sleep in their bedroom when the time comes. "Not sleeping with your parents is important, because it stimulates the child's autonomy. And also because it preserves the intimacy of the couple»Explains Serena Costa. This, of course, does not mean that it is always forbidden: «It may happen that the couple choose to let their child sleep in the bed. The important thing is that it is a temporary choice and above all shared with one's partner ".

If mom is against it

A problem could arise if the mother is not ready to accept this separation. "In this case it is important that the father activates a communication channel with her. It is essential to talk to her and find a common decision together ".

Read also: "Dad's cuddles": tips to help fathers express emotions

Questions and answers

How can the father help the mother in the first months of the baby? 

The father, by taking care of the baby's sleep, will also help the mother to rest, favoring the creation of a positive attachment with the baby.

Is it right to let the baby sleep in the bed? 

It would be better not. For a baby, not sleeping with their parents is important, because it stimulates the child's autonomy. And also because it preserves the intimacy of the couple.

  • sleep
  • 1-2 children years
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