When you have a baby, sleep becomes a luxury. The 8 to 10 hours you used to enjoy when the baby was not born now they have turned into a measly 3 or 4 hours every night or even none at all. As a new parent, what you ought to know is that this is a rite of passage. During this time, your family members, friends, neighbors and your pediatrician will line up to offer sympathetic advice meant to help your baby sleep. They will probably tell you that it’s normal for baby girls to cry more than baby boys but is this really true? As a parent, it is important to know the baby sleep myths.
Here are the popular baby sleep myths every parent should know.
Myth #1: Tip toeing around the nursery
New parents are cautioned against chatting loudly on the phone or with a family member when sitting or standing close to the baby’s nursery. The reason for this myth is that the baby will be woken up by the background noise.
What you ought to know is that babies are actually soothed by a little background noise especially if it’s originating from the parents. You may be wondering how a baby is able to differentiate her parents’ voices from that of strangers.
Well, when the baby is in the uterus, he or she does become accustomed to his or her parents’ voice. It is quite common to find modern parents singing or reading to the baby while he or she is still in the womb.
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Myth #2: No need to create a nap schedule for your infant
At the hospital, you had nurses attending to you. They would bring your baby by your bedside where you had the chance to breastfeed him or her before the baby was whisked back to the nursery. Now that you are home, your hands are full with responsibilities. Sleep is a luxury once you are a new parent. You get to sleep when the baby is asleep and you are awake when he or she is awake.
It is a popular myth among certain parents that one should not create a sleep schedule for the baby. What you ought to know is that it’s never too early to do so. Babies do benefit from consistency and scheduling especially during nap and night times. How? It cuts down on crying and crankiness. In addition, it helps to create groundwork for your child when he or she is older.
Myth #3: Addition of rice cereal in the baby’s feeding bottles promotes better sleep
A vast majority of new parents will probably be surprised by this but yes, this myth is out there. You might come across certain parents who will advise you to add a bit of rice cereal into your baby’s bedtime bottle. There are pediatricians who subscribe to this myth too.
The problem is research has shown no evidence that this method works. In addition, many people who subscribe to this myth are yet to explain at what age the baby is supposed to be fed the rice.
As you already know, feeding your baby especially one aged 4 months and below with solid food like rice is not safe. This is because his or her gastrointestinal system is not mature. In addition, the cereal may result in food allergies or discomfort. To avoid this, stick to the old bed time bottle.
Myth #4: Place the baby in bed once he or she falls asleep
As a new parent, it is important to know that there is no right or wrong way for putting your baby to sleep. Despite this, it is quite common to find parents being overly sensitive to every baby arousal. Today, parents can use baby monitors to listen to every whimper or fuss made by the baby.
Did you know that the biggest source of sleep problems for babies is overly sensitive and overly attentive parents? When a baby attains 4 months of age and more, parents should allow the baby to learn self soothing techniques.
For instance, if the baby cries but the diaper is not wet and he or she is not uncomfortable, as a parent, you need to be assured that the baby is ok. Just make a quick check and leave the room. When your baby is not experiencing any discomfort and the diaper is not wet, he or she will fall asleep within no time. You don’t have to rock the baby at night as this makes it difficult for the baby to learn how to sleep on its own.
Myth #5 Keeping your baby up late into the night prevents him from waking up early every morning
As an adult, staying up late into the night while binge watching your favorite TV show or movie will leave you fatigued once morning comes. As a result, you will end up sleeping at the office or at home if you are running a home online business. If you take a cup of Joe, the caffeine will give you an energy boost and keep you awake for most of the day.
For babies, it’s quite different. Keeping your baby up late into the night will make him or her tired. If your baby is tired, he or she will be wired which means, it will be difficult for the baby to sleep. If he or she wakes up early, it will also be difficult for him or her to sleep.
Want your baby to sleep until late in the morning? Put the baby to sleep 30 minutes early.
As a new parent, it is important to ensure that your baby sleeps on his or her back. This is vital for babies aged less than 1 year. Avoid placing your baby on her tummy or side. Doing so may result in the baby rolling onto her belly. This was found to be a major cause of SIDs. Thanks to the above recommendation provided by the American Academy of Pediatrics, the rate of SIDS has fallen by more than 60%.