As a new mum, you have probably heard a lot of advice about your baby’s sleep.
From well-meaning family members to the latest parenting books, it can be tough to sort out what is true and what is not.
Unfortunately, there are a lot of myths out there about baby sleep that can leave you feeling confused and frustrated.
In this blog post, we will take a closer look at 5 of the most common myths about your baby’s sleep and help you separate fact from fiction.
Whether you are a first-time mom or a seasoned pro, understanding the truth about your baby’s sleep can help you make informed decisions that will benefit both you and your little one. So, let’s get started!
Myth 1: You Have to Let Your Baby Cry It Out
The Cry It Out (CIO) method involves allowing the baby to cry until they fall asleep without any intervention from the parent or caregiver. This method is also sometimes referred to as “extinction” and can be difficult for both the baby and the parent or caregiver.
While some parents have found success with this method, it is important to note that it is not the only option and may not be appropriate for every family.
The Sleep Sense™ Method strikes a balance between your child’s need to sleep and their need to feel secure and comforted.
We encourage parents to offer as much comfort and support as they feel is necessary while their child learn the skills to fall asleep independently.
In fact, you can stay in your baby’s room the whole time, if that makes you feel more comfortable.
It is not the crying that gets a baby sleeping well. The crying is simply your baby’s reaction to the change in their sleep habits, nothing more.
Myth 2: Babies Should Sleep Through the Night By 6 Months
It is important to remember that all babies are different, and some may take longer than others to sleep through the night. In fact, some might not even do it at all!
But there is an important thing you can put in place to make sure that this happens as fast as it possibly can, which is to teach your baby to fall asleep independently at the bedtime, so do not nurse to sleep, bottle feed to sleep, rock to sleep, swaddle to sleep or wear in a baby wearer to sleep.
These are all what we call sleep props. They are an association to sleep that without them makes the whole experience very challenging for your baby.
So, if you have solved that problem then the good news is your baby has a very good chance of just starting to sleep through the night independently when they are ready to end those night-time feeds, when their weight is good enough.
Myth 3: When A Baby Wakes in The Night It Means They Are Hungry
While hunger can certainly be a reason why a baby wakes up at night, it is not always the case.
Babies may wake up for various reasons, such as needing a diaper change, feeling uncomfortable, or needing to be soothed back to sleep.
If your baby is waking up frequently in the night and needs to be fed back to sleep each time, it could be that they have developed a feed-to-sleep association, which means that the baby associates falling asleep with feeding, and may have difficulty falling back asleep without being fed.
Myth 4: Keep Your Baby Awake During the Day So They Will Sleep More at Night
Babies need a certain amount of sleep during the day to feel well-rested, comfortable, and happy.
Keeping your baby awake during the day can lead to a cranky, overtired baby who is more likely to have difficulty falling and staying asleep at night.
Therefore, it is important to stick to a consistent daytime nap routine and ensure that your baby gets enough rest during the day. This will help them feel more refreshed and energised, making it easier for them to fall asleep and stay asleep at night.
Myth 5: If You Put Your Baby to Sleep Later, They Will Wake Up Later
Your baby’s circadian rhythms form a basic “schedule” for their body, causing them to wake up at roughly the same time each day, no matter what time they go to sleep at night.
Babies who are kept up later may become overstimulated and overtired and will have a harder time winding down for sleep. This can result in more frequent night wakings and an earlier wake up time in the morning.
Hope these help you and your baby get better sleep at night! Need more help with your family’s sleep? Book your FREE 20-minute evaluation call today.