When we all have our first baby, there is so much advice passed around that can be confusing, conflicting and overwhelming. And so I want to take the time to talk to you about some of the top sleep "tips" you have probably been told and tell you why they are myths and what you should do instead.
SLEEP MYTH #1 Putting your child down later at night will result in them sleeping in later.
This is not always true.
If you keep your child up later then what they can handle for awake time, you're pushing your little one into the overtired zone, which causes them to reach their second wind and their body starts producing the hormone cortisol. This hormone works against sleep and when there are high levels of cortisol in your little one's body, it's going to be harder for them to sleep and stay asleep even into the morning hours.
This is why if your child goes too bed late, they will not sleep in. So strive for an early bedtime and keep it an age appropriate awake time before bed.
SLEEP MYTH #2
Never wake a sleeping baby.
You all have heard the saying "never say never" - well this is one of those times.
There are time you definitely need to wake your sleeping baby, even newborns. If daytime sleep is going to cut into night time sleep. If a nap is going too long. If they are sleeping in too late and it's going to mess up their naps. So many reasons.
I get it...none of us like to do it but it's worth it when it costs you sleep later.
I've written up a separate blog post on this topic and if this is something you'd like to learn more about...check it out! "Should I Wake my Sleeping Baby"
SLEEP MYTH #3
I love holding my baby or toddler while they sleep. If I sleep train, I won't be able to do that anymore.
This rarely happens.
I just held my 20 month old for a nap last week because he wasn't feeling well. I soaked in the snuggles because I never get time to do that anymore. The following day he went back to sleeping in his crib just fine.
You can still hold your little one while they sleep, but you just need to be careful you aren't consistently doing it because that's when they start to become dependent on you.
SLEEP MYTH #4
Night time waking means they need you.
Nope. This is not always the case.
Yes there are times your baby or toddler will need you in the night, but if your baby or toddler is waking every single night, multiple times a night and will not fall asleep without you being in the room, or being held, this is because they need you to help them to fall asleep.
Limit the unnecessary night wakings so you can all be well rested and be there for the times that they really need you in the night.
SLEEP MYTH #5
Sleep training = CIO (Cry-it-out)
So many times I see mom's say they don't want to sleep train because they don't want their little one to CIO.
There are many ways to sleep train without having to do the CIO route. I've helped MANY moms choose other methods and ones that we have even tweaked to make appealing to them so that they can sleep train with the amount of crying they are comfortable with.
I've never once had to use a CIO method and I hope I never have to suggest that to any Mom as I'm not sure I'd be comfortable doing that with my own kids. So if you've completely said "No way" to sleep training because you don't want to do CIO, please take some time to re-think it and know that there are other options.
And when you're ready, I'm here for you to support you in anyway that you need it.
Would you like to learn more about your little one's sleep? If so, come join us in my Facebook Group "Baby & Toddler Sleep Support for Tired Moms" where you'll gain tips and support from me and many other moms!