If you ask mom what she wants most 10 out of 10 will tell you sleep! Being a mom is rewarding but oh so exhausting. If you need help getting your littles to sleep we have good news and a giveaway. Enter wo win a sleep consultation package from sleep expert Sasha Croswell to help you and your kids have sweet dreams.
I can clearly remember, like most mothers, I’m sure, the very moment I gave birth to my first child. I was absolutely buried in feelings of love and gratitude.
And then, about ten to fifteen seconds later, I was equally buried in advice, suggestions, and information. Whether you’re a new mom or a pro who is simply struggling with bedtime, let me dispel some of the more popular myths I’ve seen in parenting forums, heard from Mom groups or had angrily shouted in all caps on my Facebook page.
Sleeping too much during the day will keep baby up at night – FALSE
- Newborns especially need a ton of sleep. In fact, up until about 6 months, I don’t recommend that your little one be awake for more than about 2 ½ hours at a time. What keeps babies awake at night, more than anything else, is overtiredness. A baby who has gotten a decent amount of sleep during the day is far less likely to miss the sleep window.
TRUE: There are variations depending on baby’s age and the length of their naps, but up to that 6 month mark, it’s really not uncommon for baby to be sleeping around 5 hours a day outside of nighttime sleep, so if your little one is still within those guidelines, let them snooze.
Sleeping is a natural development that can’t be taught – FALSE
- Sleeping is natural, absolutely. Everybody wakes up and falls back to sleep multiple times a night, regardless of their age. So no, you can’t teach a child to be sleepy.
TRUE: What can be taught, however, is the ability to fall back to sleep independently.
Babies will naturally dictate their own sleep schedule – FALSE
- The idea that infant physiology is so flawlessly, naturally programmed to regulate a baby’s schedule is, to be blunt, laughable. Nothing against Mother Nature, but she doesn’t provide us with a ready-to-run baby like she does with say, the blue wildebeest. (Seriously? Walking six minutes after birth? Outrunning predators within a day? Our babies are cuter, but clearly not as prepared for battle straight out of the womb.)
TRUE: Our babies need extensive care and help in their development, and their sleep cycles are unbelievably erratic if left unregulated. If they miss their natural sleep cycle by as little as a half hour, their cortisol production can increase which causes a surge in energy, and things quickly spiral out of control.
Sleep training is stressful for the baby and affect parent-child attachment – FALSE
TRUE: According to a 2016 American Academy of Pediatrics study conducted by eight of their top researchers, behavioral intervention (A.K.A Sleep Training) “provide(s) significant sleep benefits above control, yet convey(s) no adverse stress responses or long-term effects on parent-child attachment or child emotions and behavior.”
There are plenty more myths and misconceptions surrounding babies and their sleep habits, but if you want more information about the benefits of sleep, I’m willing to talk about it to the point of obnoxiousness. I’m a certified pediatric sleep coach. I’ve gone through rigorous training via the Sleep Sense program and I’ve been helping babies (& parents) sleep ever since. I don’t use gimmicks or tricks to teach your child to sleep, only practices based on sleep sense and evidence-based research. You can follow along and reach out to me on Ingstagram @overthemoonsleepconsulting
About Sasha Croswell
Sasha Croswell is an Elementary Teaching Coach and contributing writer to Little Guide Detroit. She also writes for her own mom-centered blog, Family Bean. Sasha lives in Bloomfield with her husband Matt and son Charlie. They love exploring the city of Detroit or they’re content spending their days outside walking around the city, running around a park or enjoying a cold cocktail on a patio.