How Disagreements About Baby’s Bedtime Affect Co-parenting

mom and dad holding sleeping baby

While you and your partner may not be on the same page about everything when it comes to parenting, it’s probably safe to assume you share a common goal: get baby to sleep and help him stay asleep. But a recent study says when it comes to co-parenting trouble, disagreements about baby’s bedtime definitely play a role.

The main source of conflict, according to researchers from Penn State, is when mothers have stronger opinions about how to tend to baby in the middle of the night than fathers.

“Setting limits about how to respond to night wakings is stressful, and if there are discrepancies in how mothers and fathers feel they should respond, that can reduce the quality of that co-parenting relationship,” lead study author Jonathan Reader says. “We found that for mothers in particular, they perceived co-parenting as worse when they had stronger beliefs than the father.”

The 167 mothers and 155 fathers involved in the study responded to prompts about sleep (“My child will feel abandoned if I don’t respond immediately to his/her cries at night”) and prompts about co-parenting (“My…

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