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4 Baby Sleep Myths

baby sleep mythsBaby sleep is a complicated issue. During your first months of parenthood, it could be the single largest obstacle in your life. You may look to your pediatrician for answers, query your friends and family, poke at Google and even hire a certified child sleep consultant. Unfortunately, you’re bound to find some common misinformation. Here are some baby sleep myths you’re sure to come across.

1. You need to be quiet around a sleeping baby.

It’s true that babies tend to be lighter sleepers than adults, but there’s no need to whisper in your own home in fear that your child will wake up. When your baby was in the womb, she was exposed to lots of noises and sounds, from the outside world and even inside your body. (Imagine what a hungry tummy sounds like on the inside!).

Many of these noises are actually soothing to your child at this point. Some babies even resist sleeping in pure silence. You might be tempted to use a white noise machine. These devices are fine, just be careful your child doesn’t become too accustomed to the machine (or to silence). It’s best your child becomes used to typical house noises.

2. Adding rice cereal to your baby’s bottle will help her sleep longer.

At some point, someone will suggest this to you and it will seem odd right away. Nevertheless, this myth has persisted. The supposed logic is that your baby won’t wake up and cry out at night because she won’t be hungry. It seems like it could be true, but there’s no evidence to support this claim. Babies who eat rice cereal before bed don’t sleep any longer.

Furthermore, feeding rice cereal to a baby under four months old isn’t safe. Their gastrointestinal systems haven’t developed enough to process it.

3. Start sleep training right away.

Parents would do well to accept their child’s erratic sleep schedule during the early months. It’s easier to adjust our schedules than force to the baby on to a schedule at this point. A circadian rhythm develops over time and takes effect near the third or fourth month. Forcing your baby to stay awake just so she’ll sleep when you prefer can have serious developmental effects.

4. You must respond to your baby right away at night.

Well-intentioned parents often rush into the nursery at the slightest whimper over the baby monitor. If your baby makes some sleep noises, or even wakes up a bit and gurgles for a few minutes, don’t charge into the room and slather on the attention. Give your child a few minutes to put herself back to sleep. If you don’t give her the opportunity to learn how to self-soothe, she surely never will.

safe sleep solutionWritten by Joanna von Yurt, Co-Founder and CEO of Swanling Innovations Inc.

Joanna von Yurt is the mother of three intelligent, sensitive, and compassionate girls (who all want to be mommies when they grow up). She is first AND foremost a mom! Professionally, however, she is an accountant, controller and serial entrepreneur.

Joanna has a degree in Psychology from Harvard University with an emphasis in child psychology. She worked as an infant caregiver for 12 years and interned as a Child Life Specialist, family/social therapist, and assisted in clinical studies involving children’s personality and social psychology.

Joanna has a lifelong passion for childcare and child safety. She enjoys sharing her experiences with other parents about sleep routines, attachment parenting, safe sleep guidelines, and children’s natural sleep patterns. Her company, Swanling Innovations, is committed to producing modern, safe and innovative products that meet the expectations of discerning parents. The Slumber Sleeper™ is a 4-in 1 safe sleep solution (mattress protector, flat sheet, fitted sheet and sleep sack all in one) designed to help keep your baby safe, warm and centered.

Joanna always says that a well-rested child and well-rested parents add up to a happy family!

Visit www.swanling.com for more information.

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