Baby Sleep Management
Written on 7 November 2017
Although the journey through new parenthood holds many surprises, you probably expected to deal with sleep deprivation. However, many common beliefs about babies' night-time habits are actually wrong. Here are some of the most common myths about baby sleep:
Myth 1: You need to be extra quiet when your baby is sleeping.
It's true that babies tend to sleep a bit lighter during naptime than at night, but tiptoeing while he slumbers may not be necessary. While in the womb, your baby experienced all sorts of noises, and many of those sounds can be just as soothing to him now. The more a baby gets used to typical house noises, the better he will likely be at sleeping through them.
Myth 2: Adding cereal to your baby's bottle will help her stay asleep.
Several studies have proven that filling your baby's belly with a bit of cereal before bedtime won't help you avoid night feedings. It is never recommended to ever put cereal in a bottle -- or introducing your baby to solid foods until around 6 months, when she should be getting all the nutrition she needs from breast milk or formula. What's more, this practice could put your baby at risk for excess weight gain.
Myth 3: If you make your baby's bedtime later, he'll wake up later.
Unfortunately, it's not easy to change his internal clock; some babies are just naturally early risers. While a new-born’s sleep routine is still in flux, an older baby's body is often already on a set sleep schedule -- so putting him to bed later is unlikely to get him to sleep until a more acceptable hour. More likely, doing so will have the opposite effect and ultimately cause him to lose out on sleep time. To pinpoint when he gets tired, track your baby's sleepy cues, such as eye-rubbing and yawning.
Myth 4: Snoring in babies is nothing to worry about.
It may seem cute if your little one snores (studies show that about 15 to 25 percent of all infants do), but noisy breathing could signal a potentially serious medical condition. It's possible that your child has an underlying sleep disorder, such as obstructive sleep apnea which is when a baby has brief pauses in breathing that may cause her to snore or make unusual noises. This disrupted breathing can cause her to lose out on sleep, which could lead to developmental problems later on.
Myth 5: Crying it out is bad for your baby.
As parents, we want to respond to our baby's cries. That's why sleep-training methods in which a baby is left alone to cry may seem unbearable. But can you teach your baby to sleep through the night without any crying at all? Probably not, if you try to change his sleep habits, he will be mad and likely start to cry. The good news is that whatever sleep-training method feels most comfortable for you is just fine to try.
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