Time is precious for everyone, especially for new parents. Trying to help your newborn get enough rest, while combatting your own intense sleep deprivation, can drive anyone batty. That's why it's smart to know the myths about getting baby to sleep that are BS, so you don't waste your time on things that don't work.
When you're up till the wee hours of the morning with a crying infant, the questions come at you fast. Do you hold and rock your fussy baby back to sleep, or does that count as spoiling the little one? Is it cruel to have your baby sleep alone in a dark room? Is it OK to give them a cocktail of rice cereal and formula to prevent those late-night hungry cries? Desperate times call for desperate measures, or something like that.
Because you don't have a lot of time for trial and error, it's crucial to stick with the sleep tips that do work. This can save you and your baby a tremendous amount of lost sleep. Sure, there will still be some long nights ahead with your infant — that much is guaranteed. But you can follow this advice to make those nights suck a little less and help your baby rest easy.
Myth #1: Put Cereal In Baby's Milk
This advice was given to my friend when she was struggling to get her 3 month old on a more stable sleep schedule. Although her advice-givers only meant well, this is not a great idea. According to the website for Parenting, adding cereal to an infant's formula is not advised under most circumstances, as it could cause your baby to overeat. In most cases, regular formula or breastmilk is best until your baby is ready to take on solid foods.
Myth #2: Never Wake A Sleeping Baby
You may be reluctant to wake a sleeping baby, given the monumental amount of effort it can take to make shut-eye happen. That said, it's important to wake your baby under certain circumstances, like nap transitions or differentiating day from night, according to the Baby Sleep Site.
Myth #3: Make Sure The Room Is Silent
Sure, giving your little one a relatively quiet space in which to sleep is thoughtful. According to the website for Dr. Sears, however, most babies can learn to sleep despite a normal amount of household noise. Even the rambunctious play of older siblings can eventually be tuned out (at least most of the time).
Myth #4: Keep The Light On
Sometimes it feels mean to leave a tiny baby alone in a dark room. But if anything, the dark might remind your baby of the womb's comfort, as noted by Little Ones. Chances are, newborns aren't naturally afraid of the dark.
Myth #5: Start Sleep Schedules ASAP
In many ways, there's just no way to control newborn behavior. According to WebMD, newborn sleep patterns are pretty erratic, given the fact that infants don't yet have a circadian rhythm. In general, sleep training can wait a few weeks.
Myth #6: Don't Rock Your Baby To Sleep
Sometimes it's best to use whatever tools are at your disposal. According to HuffPo, rocking your baby to sleep is an innate behavior that's often effective for calming fussy babies.
Myth #7: Skip The Bedtime Routines
Even though sleep training might be a few months out, bedtime routines are a good idea from the start. According to Baby Center, consistency at bedtime is always a smart move. Plus, who doesn't enjoy a little pampering ritual before bed?
Myth #8: Baby Will Nap On The Go
This might be the case, but it's always wise to prepare for other options. As noted on Good Night Sleep Site, not all babies are great at adapting to a lifestyle on the move. Sometimes you might put off other plans so your baby can nap comfortably at home.