Much is written and talked about on baby sleep, some of which is more fiction than fact! These myths can be misleading to mum as she tries to get her baby to sleep better:
MYTH - Babies sleep best in a quiet, still crib
Too often new mums are warned by “experts” not to let their baby fall asleep in their arms. They’re told horror stories about babies who were “spoiled” by being nursed and rocked to sleep.
But remember, before birth your baby was always lulled to sleep by the comforting sensations of your womb. The constant soft cuddling, strong whooshy sound and gentle jiggling, all worked together to turn on your baby’s amazing “calming reflex.”
Then, baby’s born, comes home, and is placed in a…flat, still crib! You’ve got to admit, after nine months of your womb’s constant soothing stimulation suddenly being surrounded by all that stillness must be quite odd. In fact, it’s just about as sensory depriving as putting an adult in a quiet dark closet!
TRUTH - It makes sense to think that for the first few months, your new baby will still need lots of rhythmic soothing. That’s why I encourage you not to worry when your baby falls asleep in your arms. In fact, enjoy it! It is one of the sweetest, most wonderful experiences of parenting.
MYTH - Newborns should be independent and sleep on their own
Of course, we all want out babies to fall asleep easily and on their own…especially when they’re awakened, in the middle of the night, by some tummy gas or a ringing telephone. But, that kind of ability will take months to develop.
TRUTH – It will take many months for your baby to transition from the womb (where she was cuddled and shushed 24/7) to sleeping all night on her own. Independence will come, but it will take some time.
Actually, having your young baby sleep in another room is an inconvenience – and may even be a danger – during the first months. It’s an inconvenience to have to stumble out of your warm bed every time your hungry baby is crying in the other room. And, studies show that babies who sleep in their parents’ room are less likely to suffer SIDS or cot death.
MYTH – You should only put a baby to sleep once they clearly become tired
TRUTH – Amazingly, this one’s not true either. By the time your baby is blinking, yawning and has a glassy eyed, vacant stare you’ve already missed the boat. Overtired babies tend to be more whiny and actually have a harder time falling asleep and staying asleep.
MYTH - Diapers make no difference to babies sleep
TRUTH - Even though it will take more than a diaper to ensure baby sleeps well, the use of a high absorbency diaper offers superior skin protection – through absorption qualities – is a good start, as baby is less likely to wake at the night as a result of skin irritation.
MYTH - Babies sleep longer when they’re kept up a little later
It makes sense to think that keeping baby awake a little longer will increase sleep, but that is almost never the case.
TRUTH – Babies who are put to sleep 30 minutes or so before obvious fatigue occurs (usually after 2-3 hours of wakefulness) usually fall asleep faster, sleep longer and stay happier during the day!
It may seem counterintuitive, but the rule is: Sleep begets sleep.
MYTH - A baby’s bedtime routine starts when they’re put down to sleep
Babies seem to fall asleep so easily many parents don’t even bother giving them a little bedtime routine yet, like many adults; excited babies tend to fight against sleep.
TRUTH - Our homes are pretty busy at night, filled with lights, loud sounds (talking/music/TV) and lots of activity! But going from tickle-time to sweet dreams, from noise and light to quiet darkness - in just a few minutes – can be just too jolting. Most infants do best with a 30-60 minute period of dim lights, soft sound and calm play before going to bed. That lets them wind down and gently relax into sweet sleep.
Much is written and talked about on baby sleep, some of which is more fiction than fact, therefore, Pampers® along with Sister Lillian and Dr Harvey Karp, have developed an easy to follow sleep routine designed to bust popular sleep myths and set the record straight on some common baby sleep myths which exist.
Visit www.Pampers.co.za for more.