Hapa Baby and Daddy Time – Stay up or go to bed?

Hapa Baby loves her daddy. In fact, her first word was “Daddy.” As an infant, she would wail “Daaaadddyyyy!!!” as she stretched her arms out looking for D. I guess, then, it is not surprising that Hapa Baby will follow D everywhere (and me nowhere). When she’s with her father, her little face lights up and I can tell she’s content. Sometimes I can’t help but feel a teeny bit jealous. Just a teeny bit.

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I can’t be too jealous, though, because while I have lots of time with her, D doesn’t. He sometimes gets home late and leaves early. When his mother came to visit earlier this year, she pushed me to change HB’s schedule. “It’s better for her,” she told me,” She needs to sleep earlier.”

When I asked why, there was no answer. Just that “It was better for her.” I responded that until there is a reason for HB to sleep earlier (like preschool), HB will have her own schedule so that she can see her father when he gets home. Although she wasn’t happy with me, my husband was happy. He enjoys having HB up when he gets home so she can run to him as she yells,”Daddy!” He laughs as she runs at him with her arms wide open and a grin on her face. When he gets home, as I prepare dinner, he and HB play together. It’s their father — daughter time — a time that I think is extremely important.

Lately, Hapa Baby has been waking up earlier and going to sleep earlier. It’s been a natural occurrence, and has been her routine. The problem, however, is when D comes home, she’s a sleep. I can see the disappointment in his face that she’s not there to run to him. While it’s more convenient for us that we have our nights free, I feel awful that he gets no time with her.

I’m wondering if I should help her get back to a later schedule so he can see her more. She gets a lot of sleep. If she goes to sleep at 10 instead of 8 she sleeps until 12. If she goes to sleep at 8 she wakes up at 7. I’ve done some research and haven’t found anything that says she has to go to sleep that early. Just that babies need lots of sleep. Can’t she sleep later? She has a schedule, she gets lots of sleep, it’s just later. The most important thing for me is nurturing my husband’s relationship with his daughter. These baby years go by so fast, I don’t want him to miss them.

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