Baby Won’t Sleep for Mom but Will for Dad

There’s no greater feeling than holding that precious baby you carried for nine months in your arms. The smiles, the cuddles, and the lazy snoozes make for the best memories a mother can have with her baby. But what if baby won’t sleep for mom but will for dad? How can that happen, it’s so unfair!

Let’s face it, you suffered for nine months to bring that baby to life, only for him to choose Dad as the preferred parent! It’s heartbreaking for some women and believe it or not, it is a lot more common than most think.

Don’t worry, though. Hope isn’t lost. There are many surprises in the newborn stage, and going for one parent over the other is one of them. In this post, we’ll tell you why this happens, and how you can normalize things again.

Baby Won’t Sleep for Mom but Will for Dad

Why Do Babies Sometimes Sleep for Dad but Not for Mom?

Let’s begin by understanding the “why:”

1. The Baby Is More Familiar With Dad

Babies often develop strong bonds with one parent more quickly due to various factors. It’s not uncommon for a baby to be more familiar and comfortable with their Dad, particularly if he spends significant time with them during their awake hours.

This familiarity can extend to the sleep schedule, making it easier for Dad to soothe the baby to sleep. Building a family dynamic where both parents are involved in bedtime routines can help bridge any gaps in sleep preferences and ensure sweet dreams for everyone.

2. The Baby Associates Mom Time With Food and Nursery

Babies are incredibly perceptive, and they quickly form associations with specific activities and environments.

If Mom is often the one providing feedings and spending time in the nursery, the baby might associate these places with getting nourishment and attention.

As a result, they could resist sleep in these spaces, anticipating more interaction. Dad, being associated with different activities, may not evoke the same expectations, making it easier for the baby to fall asleep in his arms or on his watch.

3. Babies Have Expectations!

Believe it or not, babies have their own set of expectations when it comes to sleep. If they’re used to a certain parent as their baby carrier, they might resist anything different, even if it means nodding off.

Dad’s approach to sleep, often dissimilar to Mom’s, can break these expectations and create a fresh, open-minded atmosphere for slumber.

By understanding and working around these tiny preferences, both parents can contribute to peaceful nights and more harmonious sleep cycles for the whole family.

4. Dad Has a More Calming Personality

Each parent brings their unique qualities to parenting, and sometimes, a baby’s preferences align more with one parent’s demeanor.

Dads may exhibit a calming presence that can lull babies into a peaceful state, especially during night wakings when the Mom is too tired to get up from bed.

Further, babies might respond better to Dad’s soothing techniques, which can lead to more relaxed bedtime routines and easier transitions into sleep cycles.

Baby Won’t Sleep for Mom but Will for Dad

5. The Baby Is Too Excited With Mom to Fall Asleep

Babies are sensitive to the energy around them, and sometimes, the presence of Mom can be too stimulating for bedtime.

Excitement might build as they associate her with playtime and interaction. This heightened state can make it challenging for them to transition into sleep.

On the other hand, Dad’s soothing demeanor and different approach can create a calming environment that eases the baby into slumber. Recognizing these dynamics helps both parents contribute to a peaceful sleep routine that benefits the whole family.

6. Dad Bottle-Feeds the Baby

One way Dad establishes a strong bond with the baby is through bottle-feeding, especially if that’s done multiple times per night (again when the poor Mom is too tired).

This nurturing experience not only provides nourishment but also creates a special connection. During these moments, the baby associates Dad with comfort and closeness.

This positive association can extend to sleep, where the baby feels at ease drifting off in Dad’s arms. This unique father-baby interaction contributes to a sense of security that aids in a smoother transition to sleep.

7. Dad Spends More Time With the Baby

Investing quality time with the baby pays is one of the common culprits leading to (I love Daddy more), especially during the early months of age.

When Dad dedicates more hours to bonding, the baby becomes accustomed to his presence and soothing techniques. This familiarity carries over to sleep, making it easier for the baby to find comfort and relaxation in Dad’s care.

How to Make the Baby Sleep With Mom Again?

Now that we know the why, it’s time to know how to set things right:

1. Bed Time Duty Should Only Be Mom’s

To reintroduce Mom as a preferred sleep partner, consider having her take on the bedtime routine exclusively for a period.

This helps the baby reassociate her with calming pre-sleep activities. By consistently engaging in the winding-down process, such as feeding, soothing, and reading, Mom can establish a renewed sleep association.

Eventually, the baby will become accustomed to Mom’s comforting presence during bedtime, allowing her to reclaim her role in the sleep routine and restore those cherished bonding Moments.

Baby Won’t Sleep for Mom but Will for Dad

2. Mom Can Try and Wear Dad’s Shirt

A creative way to rekindle the baby’s association with Mom’s comfort is by incorporating Dad’s scent. Mom can try wearing one of Dad’s shirts for a day, allowing it to absorb his natural scent.

When it’s time for sleep, having the baby snuggle with this shirt can provide a sense of familiarity and security.

This unique sensory experience can help reestablish a bond with Mom during sleep, making bedtime routines more enjoyable for both the baby and Mom.

3. Spend More Time With the Baby

Building stronger connections takes time and effort, but it’s worth it for peaceful sleep routines. Mom can actively engage in playtime, reading, and other bonding activities during the day.

This extended interaction helps the baby associate Mom with Moments of joy and comfort. As the connection deepens, the baby’s readiness to sleep at night in Mom’s care can improve.

By nurturing this relationship through shared experiences, bedtime can become a cherished time of closeness and tranquility once again.

4. Use a White Noise Machine

Introducing white noise into the sleep routine can help create a soothing environment. The gentle hum can mask any unfamiliar noises and provide a consistent auditory backdrop that the baby associates with relaxation.

Mom can use this machine during her bedtime routine, helping the baby feel at ease and secure. Over time, the calming effect of the white noise can encourage the baby to find comfort in Mom’s presence and regain those peaceful nights of slumber.

The Verdict: why baby won’t sleep for mom but will for dad?

Babies can sometimes pick Dad over Mom when it comes to sleep time, but that doesn’t have to continue. Winning your baby’s heart from your beloved husband once again could be challenging, but it’s not impossible.

Be patient, try the methods we mentioned above, and Dad will be dethroned soon!

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