Sleep Myths Busted
The only way to teach your baby to self-settling is CIO.
This is a common one and many people believe self-settling and cry it out are synonymous.
But teaching your child to self-settle doesn’t have to involve cry it out, especially if you are not comfortable with this.
You can work on putting your baby into bed drowsy but awake in the first 12 weeks, this can sometimes lead to a baby naturally developing those self-settling skills, especially with a good sleep environment, a steady nap routine and lots of positive sleep associations.
Or if you get to 4-6 month and want to try some sleep training and cry it out isn’t for you; there are lots of gentle options where you can stay and support your baby both physically and emotionally as they learn to self-settle.
Babies need formula to sleep through the night.
Believing that babies need formula to sleep better is a myth which has been around since the 1940’s-1950’s when advertising meant infant formula gained immense popularity.
The reality is that we have just as many breastfeeding babies on our books who sleep through the night as we do formula fed. The majority of night sleep issues in older babies are due to sleep associations as opposed to how they are fed.
Put your baby to bed later so they sleep later.
If your baby or toddler is waking early in the morning, chances are you are desperate for a solution!
Unlike us adults who love to sleep in when we have a late night, babies and toddlers tend to wake earlier the more over tired they are. So moving their bed time will probably give you an even earlier start to the day!
Instead try a much earlier bed time, even 30 minutes earlier than usual. Consider investing in some black out blinds, and a sleep trainer clock if you have a toddler.
Sleep your baby in the light so they know the difference between day and night.
Your baby’s circadian rhythm doesn’t fully develop until 3-4 months; the circadian rhythm is the system which lets us humans know what time of day it is. It is true that newborn babies don’t understand the difference between day and night, to help them learn and help the circadian rhythm develop just exposing your baby to natural lighting when they are awake during the day, and keep the lights lot when you are feeding at night.
You will find trying to settle your baby for a nap in the light becomes increasingly more difficult as the week’s tick over.
This is because the light interferes with their sleep hormones needed to fall asleep, and can be very distracting! Try a dark sleep space for naps and night sleep.
Never let your baby fall asleep at the breast, they will develop a feed to sleep association.
Often in the late evening your baby will be so drowsy from their long day, they will be fighting the urge to fall asleep as they take their last feed.
Their body temperature is dropping; their melatonin levels are rising and the drive to sleep is massive! So, when you throw in some skin on skin as you breastfeed your baby, chances are they fall asleep feeding.
This will not result in a feed to sleep association, I promise you! For a sleep association to take root, you need to settle your baby that way virtually every time they go to sleep. Relax and enjoy your snuggly sleepy evening feed.
Your baby hates their swaddle; this is why they fight it.
Lots of babies cry and fight you when you try to swaddle them for a nap. It can appear that they don’t want to be wrapped up, but then you probably notice they sleep worse without it, you can’t win!
They don’t hate their swaddle; they are probably just a smidgen over tired at the time.
Try swaddling your baby sooner in the settling process, and make sure you then pick them up to settle before popping them into bed to sleep. This will help build a positive association between the swaddle and cuddles with you, meaning less tears in the long run!
Emma is the owner and founder of Baby Sleep Consultant, she is a certified infant and child sleep consultant, Happiest Baby on the block educator, has a Bachelor of Science, and Diploma in Education.
Emma is a mother to 3 children, and loves writing when she isn't working with tired clients and cheering on her team helping thousands of mums just like you.
Our Baby Sleep Program helps tired parents TO DEVELOP HEALTHY SLEEP HABITS BY FOCUSING ON NAPS, SETTLING AND NIGHT SLEEP.
- Empowered: Feel empowered as a Mum as you learn to understand your growing baby's needs and cues.
- Simple effective settling: Gentle, proven self settling, evidence based techniques.
- Content happy baby and parents: Better sleep creates content babies & happy parents.
- Freedom: Predictable routines and longer nights creates freedom. Solve your sleep problems for more freedom.
- Work with your babies circadian rhythm: Work with your babies biological clock for faster easier results.
- Awesome naps & nights: You'll create consistent naps and nights with our support.
Try our online sleep program, complete with FREE email support.
My baby has reflux can you help?
When your baby has reflux, feeds can be difficult and your baby can be in a lot of pain both during and after feeds. This pain can cause feeding aversions and failure to thrive. This is why true GERD (Gastroesophageal reflux disease) needs to be treated by a doctor. Once your baby's doctor is satisfied your baby is feeding well, and you have the right medication or formula then we can start a sleep plan and you will be successful.
My baby has colic will this help?
Colic is defined as 3 or more hours of crying per day in infants. Crying subsides in the second second trimester. If you are still experiencing colic symptoms speak to your baby's doctor about whether this could be reflux, an allergy, or over tiredness. We can help you work on better sleep with this program at the same time as your doctor investigates the pain and crying.
What if the program isn't working?
We have a dedicated help line to ensure your success. Just email our team via the details in your program and a certified, experienced and friendly sleep consultant is ready to stare you in the right direction to ensure your success!
My baby was born early, can you help?
Sleep is neurological so we always work off your babies neurological age, that is their corrected age. When you look at our sleep programs purchase the program that your babies corrected age fits into.
What if I have questions or need more help?
Our sleep programs come with private email support. You don’t have to post in any public forums or groups, just email the exclusive helpline that our team of certified sleep consultants look after and we’ll answer all your questions and help you on your way.
Can this program help with my babies night sleep?
Yes, all our online sleep programs contain night sleep plans. We will teach you how to move from multiple night feeds to 2 or 1 or none (depending on what is age appropriate and appropriate for your baby.) Don’t worry we will show you to figure this out too. If your baby is unsettled at night but not feeding, our plans will help you with consolidate night sleep and self settling when age appropriate.
My baby is cat napping can you help?
Cat napping is a very normal physiological stage that your baby goes through. At this stage (3-8 months old), cat napping can start to be a long term issue and compound into over tiredness and affect night sleep and your babies happiness. Good news, this is a great age to work on re-settling, self settling and better longer naps!
I have 3 children, can this work with my family?
I totally understand how busy life is with 2, 3 or more children! Even if you need a flexible schedule we can still work on settling regular naps (some on the go!), and better evenings and night. Flick our consultants any specific questions about your family's schedule of activities and we can help you work out what is possible nap wise.
I don't want a fixed routine, can you still help?
Yes. A fixed routine is one option, regular naps and regular awake times is another. Both are valid and you are welcome to do what works for your family. We understand you are all different and what works best for one family won't be best for another.
I'm formula feeding, can you still help?
Yes we have specific advice for formula feeding parents, and we support your decision to feed any way you choose. We even have a special video series on formula feeding and everything you need to know. Just ask our consultants about this extra if you need it.
I'm exclusively breastfeeding, can I follow your plans?
Yes! While breastfeeding babies need to feed frequently they still need quality sleep day and night. We have specific advice for breastfeeding mums and an exclusive discount on Julia Daleys breastfeeding course if you need extra help.
I'm bed sharing, can your program help me stop?
Yes. We often fall into bed sharing, we call this reactive bed sharing. Or we have simply changed our mind, and moving on from bed sharing we need some support. Our programs and consults will guide you through gentle sleep methods, which are more appropriate for most bed sharing babies who are moving towards independent sleep in the cot.
I'm feeding to sleep, can you help me stop?
Yes. Feeding to sleep is a common sleep association and one that works well for lots of newborns. Often we need to move on from feeding to sleep when it starts to cause short naps, or prolonged settling or frequent night wake ups as baby looks for their association to go back to sleep over and over again at night. We can teach you how to teach your baby to self settle and move on from feeding to sleep when the time is right.
I'm rocking to sleep, is their a solution?
Yes. These are common sleep associations, we refer to this as assisting to sleep. Let us show you ways you can develop independent sleep and settling strategies with our online sleep program, or one on one consult.
Is this program based on Cry It Out?
No. Cry it out is the common name for a sleep training method where you put baby down and don’t respond or check until they are fast asleep. There is no CIO involved in this program as we feel this should be only done under proper supervision. Instead we have included all our very gentle approaches and more mainstream techniques for you to choose from.
Is this based on Science or Art?
Both! As a scientist I (Emma) have spent over 8 years researching the science of sleep. I have educated and certified over 500 consultants around the world as sleep consultants, and have worked with thousands of clients. I love the scientific explanations of why we see the sleep patterns we see, and this science helps us to shape plans and solutions that we know will work. But there's an element of art to getting a baby to sleep, understanding the right combination of things that will work best, and this is where your instinct comes in.
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