Is your little one sleeping poorly? Heard a lot about baby’s sleep but unsure what is fact and what is myth? Let us bust the 5 most common sleep myths once and for all!
1. Teaching your child how to sleep independently means letting your baby cry it out.
First of all, your child cries to communicate with you. To expect no crying at all is humanly impossible. When you embark on sleep training, you do not have to use the Cry It Out method if you are not comfortable. Teaching your little one how to sleep independently doesn’t mean you need to let your child cry it out and cry endlessly!
Cry it out basically means you will be leaving your baby to cry to sleep without any form of reassurance.That being said, you need to understand that crying is the way our child communicates with us and it isn’t something bad.
Instead of being upset that our child is crying, we ought to pay attention to their cries and learn how to respond accordingly.Your child may cry when overtired as that is the way your baby unwinds and flushes out excess cortisol before sleeping. Some kids also prefer to cry for 5 to 15 mins even after they have learnt how to sleep independently! Hence, if your little one cries before sleeping, it’s not because we are being heartless and not attending to them, it’s just us allowing them to destress!A study conducted by Murdoch Children’s Research Institute also found that there are no adverse side effects in using sleep training strategies on 225 6-year old children’s emotional and mental wellbeing.Hence, teach your child how to sleep well and independently so that he/she can get all the benefits of quality sleep every single day and night!
2. You should not allow your baby to nap during the day so that he/she can sleep better at night.
This is definitely a myth! A child that doesn’t nap or take short naps during the day will become very overtired. When your baby is overtired, he/she will fight the fatigue by producing more stimulating energy. This results in a hyper alert state, preventing easy entry into sleep or staying asleep. As there is higher level of cortisol in your child’s body, your baby is also going to have frequent night wakings and early morning wakings
.Sleep promotes sleep. So do make sure your little one naps well during the day too!
3. Your child will outgrow poor sleeping habits.
Have you been told that your little one will eventually outgrow his/her poor sleeping habits?
The biggest question is: When will that be??
Unfortunately, studies have documented that sleep issues during infancy can persist till the child is 3 years old. Some may even be older!
Rather than struggling and hoping that our little one will outgrow the sleep issues, get some help from a trusted and experienced sleep coach to guide you on how to get better sleep for you and your family!
4. It is too early to start fostering healthy sleep habits for your child and you should wait.
It’s normal to be concerned that it is too early to start letting your baby learn how to sleep independently. After all, your little one is still so young.
However, just like how your baby learns to feed and breathe and adjust to life outside of your womb, your child needs your guidance as well when it comes to sleeping. You can do that by establishing an age-appropriate routine and providing more opportunities for your baby to sleep without your assistance.
5. It’s not possible for breastfed babies to sleep through the night since breastmilk is not as filling.
It’s a huge misconception that breastfed babies cannot sleep through the night! Breastmilk at night actually:
- Has higher fat contents and leptin, a hormone that suppresses appetite
- Has 10 times the amount of melatonin, a sleepy hormone that promotes sleep, than during the day (Qin et al., 2019)
Hence, your little one on breastmilk is less likely to be hungry and ought to be sleepier at night.
If your breastfed baby has frequent night wakings, and you have just fed your baby not too long ago, it is most likely due to sleep associations. This results in your child being unable to sleep independently and connect sleep cycles without assistance.
Our founder Zoe, Sleep Supernanny has exclusively breastfed her no. 3 and no. 4 and they both could still sleep through the night from 3-4 months old onwards.We hope these tips helped you gain more clarity about your child’s sleep!
Look if you are still struggling with your little one’s sleep and need more help, please do not hesitate to book a FREE-no-obligation 20-minutes discovery call with us today! You will be glad you did!!