Parenting is daunting for the first-time parent. With all of the advice from family, friends, the internet, books, and tv, there’s an overwhelming amount of information to sort through. You have to wonder what’s true and what’s just a myth.
As a new mom, you’re busy. It doesn’t matter if this is your first child or your fifth, parenting is a full-time job even if you have a full-time job. That being said, you’re probably eager to learn the ins and outs of parenting as soon as possible to make your life just a little bit easier.
Learning how to raise your baby will come with time and practice, but it helps to know what advice you’ve heard that’s just not true.
One of the most frustrating parts of being the parent of a baby is finding a way to convince them to sleep through the night. Night after night negotiating bedtime will leave you and your spouse exhausted. Sleep is important for you and your child. Without enough of it you both can suffer.
This impacts your ability to function at your job or even as a parent the next day. Luckily, there are ways to make convincing your child to sleep at night a little bit easier.
If you ask around, you are bound to hear a lot of different ideas. These could come from friends and family or experts, but either way, there are a few myths associated with getting your child to sleep that you are bound to hear.
Here are five common myths about sleep and your baby that you should ignore.
1.Too much sleep during the day is bad
Some people claim that allowing your child to sleep throughout the day will negatively affect their ability to sleep at night. While excessive sleeping may cause your baby to be a little more awake at night, that’s very rare.
Newborns need a lot of sleep. They need more sleep than you would probably expect or imagine to be possible. For the first six months of their life, it’s not recommended to keep your child awake for more than 2- 2 1/2 hours at a time. For newborns, the time is even shorter. They should only be awake for 45 minutes to an hour at a time.
Babies need a lot of sleep. In fact, one of the main reasons that babies are awake at night is because they are overtired. Counterintuitively, overtiredness actually disrupts their natural sleep cycle and makes the process of falling asleep much more difficult.
2. Sleeping cannot be taught
The basic ability to sleep is natural, but you can and should teach your baby to fall asleep independently. It’s not practical to have your baby rely on you or another crutch each time they need to sleep. Teaching your baby to fall asleep on their own is crucial to better development.
3. Babies dictate their own sleep schedule
Babies have very erratic sleep schedules. For all of the sleep they need, there are biological barriers that make sleeping challenging. Missing their natural sleep cycle by even a half hour can result in cortisol production that increases their energy. This energy, paired with overtiredness, can lead to a very unhappy baby. Babies do not help finding their optimal sleep schedule.
4. Sleep training is stressful for babies
The idea that sleep training is stressful for a baby is simply untrue. There’s also a myth that sleep training can adversely affect the baby’s relationship with their parent. This is also untrue.
The American Academy of Pediatrics conducted a study on sleep training that found that sleep training “provides significant sleep benefits above control, yet conveys no adverse stress responses or long-term effects on parent-child attachment or child emotions and behavior.”
5. Babies are not supposed to sleep through the night
Babies need guidance to learn to sleep through the night. Left to their own devices, they wouldn’t know when they should or shouldn’t sleep. Very similarly to how they cannot yet feed themselves or care for themselves without training and help, they need to be taught when they should sleep.
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These are not the only myths associated with babies and sleep, but these are some of the most important for you to be aware of. The more you can learn about your baby and sleep training, the better raising your baby will be. A well-rested baby and even parents help all aspects of development and growth.