Caregivers, Mommies, Daddies, adult babies, middles, babyfur, diaperfur, and all other Bigs and littles discuss regression, relationship dynamics, have open group conversation, share experienced advice, and exchange ideas to help one another grow in knowledge.
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I've been dating this guy for a few months, and recently told him about how much I love to be a mommy and how much I'd love it if he was little for me. He'd never been little for me, but when I was mentioning specific parts, he mentioned that he slept with his stuffed animals and still had favorites which I thought was pretty promising. He also loves to draw/ color. When we tried it out, he was a natural! We read books together every night, and he'd ask his stuffies when I'd ask him to make predictions. He slipped easily into little space, and I felt like it worked really well for him. He's been through a lot of awful things in his Big life, so it was nice being able to see him let go and relax. Recently though. he's been little a lot less. Instead of being little right before bed each night, he'll just ask for a 2 minute book as a bedtime story once every other week. I'm not sure how to encourage him to be little, or if he's just doing it for me and isn't too into the idea?
You can always ask him; maybe he has something big on his mind that preoccupies it and makes him less inclined to slip into littlespace? It could even be something that you could help put his mind at ease about?

It also might be a nice idea anyway to bring your second concern out in the open and make sure he's really okay with being little for you. ^^
You can't really make someone become a little who isn't already that type of person. The person may be able to "perform" as an actor in a scene, but it's just a short-term act and not necessarily a fulfilling reflection of their inner self. It can become boring and would be treated more as an occasional "hobby".
So, I wouldn't worry so much about him not genuinely being a little or simply putting on act for you.

Stress can certainly impact someone's littlespace/regression or caregiving. It doesn't really have to be directly related to alter these forms and acts of self-expression, and it doesn't have to be stress that one is even fully aware of as impacting their behaviors.
We're living in some very socially stressful times, where we are not only dealing with a worldwide pandemic (where there is a scary, invisible illness to fear, jobloss, medical care strain, extreme social distancing, an induced fear of interacting with other humans, potentially new financial burdens, etc.) but also rioting and protesting in multiple countries. It's highly likely that your partner has felt extra stress due to these current events (as well as typical stress they regularly deal with), and it's likely that that extra stress does manifest in things like his regular activities, including his capability to find comfort to relax. Stress is something that is difficult to not only recognize but control so many things may be unexpectedly, perhaps even unknowingly, different for many people right now. It's really a great time to explore many different routes to stress-reduction and management, and you can help promote that with your partner by exploring with them.

Since your partner has become aware of your interest in their regression then it may sometimes feel stressful for them in a confusing way. That may seem weird to you but it's also weird for the regressor to process. This isn't a bad thing, but it's something that littles have to face when being seriously partnered. They may have an underlying feeling like they need to regress to be able to make or keep you happy, or feel passively pressured with the notion that you will leave them if they don't "perform" by acting little as frequently as they can. There's a very fine line in a little enjoying having their natural regression appreciated and a little feeling like their regression is a mandatory component of being attractive. Your partner may be working through this and processing the feelings of their regression being a major, important component of their relationship.

How do you know if you're desirable and of-interest beyond your XYZ characteristic? A simple, quick way is to reduce presenting XYZ trait to test your desirability. This doesn't have to be a conscious effort made either, but it's something that most humans carry out when forming close bonds. Your partner may also be carrying out this sort of test, even unknowingly, in effort to solidify their comfort and safety in the relationship. This would make sense for a person to do during a very stressful time since it could result in feelings of security when confirmed that XYZ is not the only deeply compatibility component.

I would suggest that you quietly allow this to be distanced if your partner is choosing to do so. For the most part, let your partner come to you directly about the reduced regression, and focus on other stress-reducing activities you can share. Try to keep your relationship active, fulfilling, and positive by trying out new hobbies, activities, and shared interests without the mention of being involved in Mommying or regression.
In time, you can gently, casually bring up a few questions from time to time like, "I know you haven't really been feeling so little lately, but is it okay with you if I still occasionally refer to you as 'baby', mostly out of habit? I want to respect you, your comfort, and your boundaries so I've been a little nervous when I've accidentally said that. I don't want you to feel like I'm pressure you to perform in some way."

Enjoy what you see as regression from your partner without necessarily speaking out about it. Let them just be while you just enjoy them being. It can be difficult to not point out someone's quirky, little nature so try to develop a mindfulness of language. "I love when you do that! It's so cute!" can be said without tacking on "baby" or other phrasing that may indicate that you're viewing it as regressive.

Allow your partner to be little without pointing it out, and allow them to talk directly about it without you starting the conversation about it. I would suggest that if they mention being a little then you can make positive and direct remarks about it, but also reassure them that your bonds are deeper than just that of a caregiver and little too. Reassure them that you love their regression when it's blatantly obvious, but that you just know they are little too so you're able to see all of the beautiful parts of them, enjoying every part of them. You don't need them to display it to love them.

I think compromising with the occasional bedtime story might be an acceptable way to find your needs to parent met more directly while you are developing your ability to see their sprinkled, daily regression. You may need to work on accepting it as being an occasional activity than something done every night right now, but I think that if you focus more positively on what you do have, versus what you don't have right now, you will find your happy space again. Remind yourself that you love your little for much, much more than just their active regression, that you don't have to have something direct and obvious to enjoy time with them, and that you can find their small regression traits scattered throughout their daily lives for you to cherish.

Speaking from experience, it can help tremendously to accept the fact that your partner is definitely a little, even when they're not actively displaying it, and work to enjoy them with that as more of an underlying factor that something externally presented. It's hard for me to explain, but if you just know that your partner is a little even when they're not actively expressing it then you may find it easier to bond even closer. Work on yourself to find enjoyment in things about them that seemed plain or "normal" before but now seeing them as special, a part of your special little one.

Stay hopeful and keep working together to make yourselves, both individually as well as a coupling, the best versions of yourselves that you can be.

Best of luck!
Thank you so much! You make a lot of good points here about showing him our relationship is more than just that. And I agree with what you said on stress, he's been having lots of tummy aches lately which I'm thinking are most likely a result of his anxiety. His depression is also coming back a bit too. I wish covid would just end already! But in the meantime I'll try and stress all the other things I love about him, and take your idea to wait for him to be little on his own so he doesn't feel forced. I really appreciate all the ideas you've given me!

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