Parenthood is a beautiful journey filled with countless joys, but it also comes with its fair share of challenges—especially when it comes to sharing night time duties with a baby.

Sleep deprivation can take a toll on both parents, impacting their physical and mental well-being.

And if you happen to be in a two-parent home, with one parent working outside of the home, it is JUST as important that the stay-at-home parent is meeting their body’s sleep needs, as the other parent who is leaving the home.

Sleep deprivation is a contributing factor to many health issues, including Post Partum Depression. It impacts your physical, cognitive and mental health-all things we want to be as healthy as possible when taking care of another human being.

I have had many clients confess dangerous situations that occurred due to their sheer exhaustion from being the sole night caregiver . This can stem from many situation, but usually it’s due to the belief that their parenting duties didn’t require as much  sleep as their partner’s.

Everyone NEEDS sleep. You, your partner, and your child.

I know this can be challenging with a little one that is waking for feeds, but with effective planning and communication, sharing night time duties can become more manageable.

Whether you’re breastfeeding, bottle-feeding, or juggling work schedules, here’s a comprehensive guide to help you navigate through those sleepless nights:

1. Breastfeeding vs. Bottle Feeding:

Sometimes I hear moms tell me that they are the only ones to get up at night since they are breastfeeding. However, this doesn’t mean that they need to be the sole caregiver all night.

  • Breastfeeding: If your baby is nursing, consider establishing a feeding routine that works for both parents. After four months of age, a baby’s feeding routine may start to settle out two feeds-the first in the early night (11pm-1pm) and a second one in the wee hours of the morning ( 3-5am).
    Moms can pump breast milk so that dads can take over some feedings during the night. This allows moms to get much-needed rest while ensuring that the baby’s feeding needs are met. If baby will not take a bottle, the non-breastfeeding parent can take over for diaper changes and settling back to sleep, after the feed is done.
  • Bottle Feeding: If your baby can take a bottle, both parents can take turns feeding the baby during the night. This allows for a more equitable distribution of night time duties.

2. Work Schedules:

  • Both Parents Working: If both parents work outside the home, it’s essential to find a balance that ensures both parents get enough rest to perform well at work. Consider splitting night time duties evenly, taking turns caring for the baby throughout the night.
  • One Parent Working: If only one parent is working outside the home, depending on work schedule, they may find it suitable to take on early night duties (supper, bath, bedtime and early night wakings.
    Another option is to take on  early morning duties (early morning feed, morning wake up and breakfast).  However, it’s still important to ensure that both parents get adequate rest to avoid burnout.

Want more sleep tips for your newborn? Check out the FREE Sleep Survival Pack here.

3. Managing Other Kids and Toddlers:

  • Establish a Routine: Create a bedtime routine that works for the entire family, ensuring older children also get enough rest. Toddlers and preschoolers still need a relatively early bedtime ( 6-7:30pm), so if it works for your family, you may want to do a family wind down, or have each parent divide and conquer. I encourage parents to switch caregiving roles with each child to help them get used to different wind down routines.
  • Incorporate Older Siblings: If you have other kids or toddlers, involve them in the process of caring for the baby while they are still awake. Older siblings can help with tasks like fetching diapers or soothing the baby, easing the burden on parents.

4. Consideration for Parental Occupations:

  • Safety-Critical Jobs: If one or both parents have jobs that require solid sleep for safety reasons, prioritize rest and consider alternative arrangements such as hiring a night nurse or enlisting the help of family members.
  • Flexible Work Arrangements: Explore flexible work arrangements or temporary adjustments to schedules to accommodate the demands of caring for a newborn.

5. Sharing Night Time Duties By Splitting:

  • Divide and Conquer:  One parent can take the lead in caring for the baby from 6pm to midnight, allowing the other parent to rest or attend to other responsibilities. Switch roles for the second half of the night, ensuring that both parents get a chance to sleep uninterrupted.
  •  Split Week: Another option for families may be for one partner to take over night duties every other night, or from Monday to Thursday, then switching with their partner for Friday to Sunday.

6. Sleeping Arrangements:

  • Consider Separate Rooms: If one parent is a light sleeper or has a different sleep schedule, consider sleeping in separate rooms temporarily. This can help minimize disruptions and ensure that each parent gets the rest they need.
  • This is also recommended if you are taking shifts during the night.


Sharing night time duties with a baby requires patience, communication, and teamwork.

By working together and finding a routine that works for your family, you can ensure that both parents get the rest they need while providing the best care for your little one.

Remember to prioritize self-care and seek support from friends, family, or professionals if needed. Baby Sleep 101 is ready to help you! Book your consultation here.

Eventually, as your baby grows, those sleepless nights will become a distant memory, replaced by cherished moments and sweet dreams.