5 Myths of what will help your baby sleep through the night
How many people have told you THE secret for getting your baby to sleep through the night? You may have gotten tips from your friends, family, stranger and the internet. Most of those things don't work. So I'm going to tell you what won't help your baby sleep through the night and why.
Myth # 1-Solid Foods
Giving your baby solid foods at a very young age will not help your baby sleep through the night. It may even have the opposite effect as her digestive system isn't ready for solid foods. She may even get gas and bloating which will disturb her sleep. Babies older than 3-6 months don't wake up in the middle of the night because they're hungry.
Babies wake up at night because they become conditioned to do so. Keep in mind that all babies wake up in the night as adults do. If they know how to put themselves back to sleep then you don't even know when they wake up.
Weight seems to determine when babies are able to sleep through the night without eating. Some studies show that once a baby reaches 12 pounds, then they're ready to sleep through the night. Other studies suggest that once a baby doubles his birth weight then he's ready to sleep all night.
Myth #2-Later Bedtime
It seems to make sense that putting your baby to bed later will make her more likely to sleep through the night. Yet, the opposite is usually true. When your baby stays up too late, she gets overtired which makes it even harder to fall asleep and stay asleep. A bedtime between 6 and 8pm is best to prevent overtiredness.
Myth #3-Sleeping less during the day
When I asked my pediatrician about my son's sleep issues, he recommended keeping him up during the day. Again, this doesn't work. Depriving your baby of sleep during the day will make her overtired. Being overtired makes it even harder for her to sleep well at night. Daytime sleep is independent of nighttime sleep. So don't try to keep your little one from napping during the day.
Myth #4-Growing out of it
Most babies don't grow out of sleep problems. 90% of babies with sleep problems at age 1 will still have those sleep problems 3 years later (if parents do nothing about it). So why deprive yourself and your baby of sleep all those years when you can do something about it now?
Myth #5-Short-term solutions like driving, walking, vibrating crib mechanisms, swings, constant noises
All these "magic bullets" may get your baby to sleep at first. But, they won't keep your baby asleep until she learns how to go to sleep on her own. Motion sleep past 3 months old keeps your baby from having restorative sleep.
While I'm a believer of white noise like a sound machine or a fan, they won't keep your baby asleep on their own. And you don't want your baby to depend on rocking, swinging, vibrating, loud shushing, etc to go to sleep. Then she will need that prop again every time she wakes in the middle of the night.
So, you say, "how do I get my baby to sleep through the night? Let your baby learn how to fall asleep on her own!
if you're struggling with your baby waking up during the night, I can help. As a gentle sleep coach, I provide customized plans customized for you and your baby. I will give you an easy-to-follow approach to teach your baby healthy sleep habits.
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