Sleep Consultant Explains Why New Moms Should Let Their Partners Sleep Through The Night

She says it's unpopular but helpful advice.

Sleep consultant, mom with baby Sarah Chai / Pexels, TikTok

New parents have a lot of changes to contend with. Having a baby upends whatever routine you’ve grown accustomed to, whether that’s doing chores, eating full meals sitting down at a table, or getting a full night’s sleep.

According to WebMD, newborn babies need 14 to 17 hours of sleep in a 24-hour period, but parents shouldn’t expect long stretches of sleep, since babies eat every 2 to 3 hours.


One of the biggest hurdles for parents to overcome is sleep deprivation, especially for breastfeeding parents, who can expect to have an interrupted sleep schedule for as long as they’re nursing.

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A sleep consultant explained why new moms should let their partners sleep through the night.

Rachael, of heysleepybaby, offers sleep support services to parents. She went on TikTok to give what she called “unpopular advice” for first-time moms.



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“If you’re breastfeeding, your partner should sleep at night,” she stated. “I know this is going to make a lot of people very unhappy.”

Rachael explained that new moms should let their partners sleep through the night. "If your partner is able to function the next day, and they’re not sleep-deprived like you are, they’re going to be able to help a lot more.”

“They’re going to be able to take care of you, take care of the baby, let you nap,” she explained. “Plus, if you’re both exhausted, it’s just a recipe for more bickering.”

The toll becoming a parent takes on relationships is a well-documented fact. Research shows that 9 out of 10 new parents report a decrease in relationship happiness during the first few years of their baby's life.


When Rhona Berens, an Individual & Relationship Coach who works with expecting couples, spoke to YourTango in 2019 about managing relationships after having a baby, she explained that being on the same page about responsibilities can mitigate some of the tensions that arise after having a baby.

"Research suggests that the bigger the gap between a new mom's impression of how much childcare her husband is doing and what she imagined he'd do when she was still pregnant, the greater her relationship dissatisfaction. Unmet expectations often breed resentment, and resentment quickly dovetails into full-blown conflict," Berens explained.

And lived experiences from moms in the comments of  Rachael's TikTok suggests that moms found that agreeing to take charge of those late nights helped with their parenting.

One mom shared, “my partner slept all night, then took her at 7 am to get her ready for the day, and let me sleep alone until 8-8.30 before he went to work.”


“I benefit so much from my partner being awake and alert during the day,” said another mom.

“I agree with the partner sleeping at night!” Explained yet another mom. “I got to take so many day naps because my wife was up.”

Yet not every parent felt like Rachael’s advice would work for them.

“I really disagree with the partner sleeping. Not being alone at night helped my postpartum and it helps baby and non-birthing partner bond,” said one parent.

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However, a 2019 study suggested that couples' relationship suffers if a dad is sleeping more than a mom.

Interestingly, the study, which was published in Monographs of the Society for Research In Child Development, found that mothers who slept more on average reported higher levels of well-being, but fathers who got more sleep reported lower well-being and less closeness with their families.


The study also explored the effects of exercise and found that moms who exercised more than the average amount reported having more conflicts with their partners while fathers who exercised more were less likely to fight with their partners.

Researchers suspect this is due to traditional gender role expectations and the emotions they create.

“Fathers may resist or feel resentful when mothers spend more time than usual on their own needs such as exercise, leaving fathers to pick up more responsibility for childcare — leading to arguments,” study co-author Mark Feinberg, a Penn State University research professor of health and human development, wrote in a statement.


“But, it’s also possible that the extra time spent with the child is stressful for fathers, leading fathers to be more irritable on such days and leading to more arguments with the partner.”

Offering advice, especially around sleep, can help many parents determine their schedules, it’s important to note that sleeping and nursing aren’t one-size-fits-all. What works for one family might not work for another. Parents should be encouraged to try different techniques, take what works, and leave the rest behind.

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Alexandra Blogier is a writer on YourTango's news and entertainment team. She covers celebrity gossip, pop culture analysis and all things to do with the entertainment industry.