As new parents, it’s natural to have questions and concerns about your baby’s sleep habits. Unfortunately, there are many myths about baby sleep that can cause confusion and even lead to harmful practices.
Here are some common myths about baby sleep and the truth behind them:
Babies should sleep through the night
Many parents believe that their baby should be able to sleep for long stretches of time, usually around 8-12 hours, by a certain age. However, it’s important to remember that every baby is different and it’s completely normal for infants to wake up during the night to feed or for other reasons. In fact, newborn babies may wake up every few hours to feed, and it can take several months for them to develop a more consistent sleep pattern.
Babies should sleep on their stomach
For many years, parents were told to place their babies on their stomach to sleep to reduce the risk of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS). However, research has shown that the risk of SIDS is significantly reduced when babies are placed on their backs to sleep. In fact, the American Academy of Pediatrics recommends that babies be placed on their backs to sleep until they are at least 1 year old.
Crying it out is a good way to teach a baby to sleep
The “cry it out” method involves allowing a baby to cry for extended periods of time until they fall asleep on their own. While this may work for some babies, it can be stressful and potentially harmful for others. Research has shown that prolonged crying can release stress hormones in babies, which can have negative effects on their physical and emotional development. Instead of letting your baby cry it out, it’s important to respond to their needs and try to find a solution that works for both you and your baby.
Swaddling helps babies sleep
Swaddling, or wrapping a baby in a blanket, can be helpful for some babies as it can provide a sense of security and comfort. However, it’s important to make sure that the baby is not swaddled too tightly, as this can increase the risk of overheating and SIDS. It’s also important to stop swaddling as soon as the baby shows signs of being able to roll over, as swaddling can increase the risk of SIDS in babies who are able to roll.
Baby sleep training is necessary
Some parents may feel pressure to “sleep train” their baby, or teach them to sleep through the night on their own. While there are a variety of sleep training methods available, it’s important to remember that every baby is different and what works for one may not work for another. It’s also important to consider your baby’s age, temperament, and individual needs when deciding whether or not to sleep train.
It’s important to remember that every baby is different and there is no one-size-fits-all approach to sleep. It’s important to pay attention to your baby’s individual. You also need to be patient as they develop their own sleep patterns. Don’t be afraid to seek the advice of a healthcare professional if you have concerns about your baby’s sleep habits.