More and more fathers stay at home with their baby. In Germany, about one-fifth of young fathers take care of the baby for a few months. The social image has changed and fathers are considered to be just as important for the upbringing of the baby as mothers are.
Even fathers who do not have to get up and feed the baby at night often wake up when the baby cries, and may suffer from lack of sleep. It is perfectly normal for a baby to wake up several times during the night and be hungry. The frequency of waking may change every few months, but young fathers might as well start planning strategies against sleep deprivation when a baby comes into their lives.
Fathers, like mothers, are best off trying to sleep when the baby sleeps. It might be a good idea to get some rest during the day, because babies also sleep during the day - not all the time, of course. During the day, just like during the night, infants wake up every few hours and cry because they want their bottle or they want to breastfeed. If before the child was born you considered it unthinkable to sleep during the day, you’ll quickly change your mind after the baby has arrived. As a rule, new parents are always tired and could fall asleep anytime, anywhere.
Set priorities and ensure good sleep hygiene
What can you do to cope with this time in your life? On the one hand it is important to set priorities. At this stage, odd chores, like thoroughly cleaning up the basement, might be less important than treating yourself to a few hours of sleep. Also, make sure the baby is sleeping comfortably and safely in a suitable bed. If a completely exhausted Mom falls asleep on the couch, Dad could help out and take care of the baby, for example by purchasing pajamas or a baby sleeping bag.
It is worth it
Children can be stressful, but it pays to invest in their needs. They love us for it. And at some point in time your tired eyes will see the baby reaching for Dad’s hand for the first time or smile at the loving father for the first time or say "Daddy" for the first time.