Attention Parents: Do You Make These 6 Baby Sleep Mistakes?

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As parents, you want the best for your baby. Parenthood is a fulfilling and exciting experience especially for first time parents. But sometimes it’s inevitable that you also make mistakes–particularly when it comes to making your baby sleep soundly. Are you making these common baby sleep mistakes?

1. Keeping Your Baby awake during daytime

Take note that typical newborns are unexpectedly awake at night. Unfortunately, this “playtime” usually takes place between 1:00 am to 4:00 a.m when no common parents are interested in playing (and TV sections are restricted into infomercials). It’s a generally held myth that keeping your baby awake throughout daytime would resolve things. (like the “tire him out so he sleeps better” theory). This is obviously untrue. Keeping babies awake throughout daytime would merely make the baby even more tired and may potentially aggravate your night problem.

Solution: Time will fix it. When your baby is up during night time, then keep the lights low and activities to a minimum. This means no loud, bouncy and blinking toys. Usually, babies would naturally sort out this night-day sleep reversal if they reach 6 weeks of age.

2. Moving from a crib into a bed too soon

Let’s say that your child turns 2. So you decided to celebrate in a big way by finally purchasing that really cute toddler bed you saw at the mall. However, right after you make that ultimate switch, your baby begins to wake up during the wee hours of the morning.

What is the reason behind this?  Before age of 3 most children are not yet ready to leave their familiar cribs behind.

Solution:  The best thing to do is to wait until your child is prepared for a bigger bed. When your child is getting close to reaching 3 years of age, it may be time to move him to a larger bed. “May” is the keyword here. If your pre-school child finds it difficult staying in bed at that age, then you could also give it more leeway and time.

But it is not working out, then there is nothing wrong with going back to the crib; your child in time, would be able to manage a bed for big kids. Or may even ask for one.

3. Ignoring your baby’s sleeping hints

Babies and toddlers out there send out cues when they’re already getting tired and need to go to sleep, Kim West says, who is the author of The Sleep Lady’s Good Night, Sleep Tight. Some of these hints involve yawning, whining, fussing, eye rubbing and slowed activity.

So be observant of your baby during the day and eventually, you’ll notice some patterns developing around when he or she already needs to take a nap and sleep at night. If you still can’t notice those cues, West recommends moving into a dimly lit and quiet bedroom, and involving in a tender activity if you think sleeping time is coming—you may just see those indications beginning to manifest.

4. Putting your baby to sleep wherever you are

Naps in the high chair, in the stroller or in the car seat never provide your little one with the quality sleep that he needs. West explains, “Motion sleep keeps the brain in a light sleep, so the child isn’t falling into a deep, restful slumber.”

Solution: In order for our child to build up good sleeping habits, your baby must have a familiar sleep zone—a space wherein he or she goes to sleep in bedtime as well as during naps at the same time everyday. You could try this rule in case of important appointments and events—yet you should try to remain consistent most of the time. In between naps, you can run errands.

5. Giving up too soon

Giving up too soon. As parents you need to be more patient and it’s never too late to change bad sleeping habits. It’s not realistic to expect instant results when you want to change a habit you have generated for months or even years with your child.

Solution: You need to dedicate at least 2-3 weeks to sleep coaching in order to notice considerable changes in naps and night sleeps. With significant time and effort (and sacrifices) on your part, your little one—and the rest of the household would soon be sleeping peacefully all though the night.

6. Establishing sleep crutches

Sleep crutches include rocking, singing, swinging, rubbing her back, nursing etc. According to Kim West, as your baby gets past 3 or 4 months, these merely simple habits can become sleep crutches; while these are not negative behaviours, but then, these can become a problem in the long run—when they are so strongly associated in child’s mind with slumber that he or she can’t drift off without those.

Solution: The trick here is to put your baby to bed drowsy, yet awake—(ideally beginning between 6-8 weeks for healthy and full-term babies) so that he/she will learn to self-soothe and get him/herself back to sleep automatically every time he or she wakes up.

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