Your baby needs quality sleep. It is essential to the development of his or her brain! Lack of sleep can lead to language and reading problems or ADHD (attention deficit hyperactivity disorder). According to experts, even if parents like to bring their baby in bed with them in order to strengthen the parent-child bond, this is not a good idea. Not only is it confusing for the child, but it can also be detrimental to its development. But there are other things to avoid if you want your child to sleep well and be healthy.
Here are 10 mistakes not to make when it comes to your baby's sleep:
Mistake # 1: Not establishing a bedtime routine
Setting up a routine for bedtime is essential for a baby. This can help him or her calm down and fall asleep faster. It is important to respect a certain schedule, so that baby can learn when it is time to go to bed. He or she will eventually get used to falling asleep at the same time and expect it every day. So falling asleep will be much easier and faster.
Mistake # 2: Not entertaining baby enough during waking hours
Children are like us; the more busy we are during the day, the more we are exhausted at night and the easier it is for us to fall asleep. So try to involve baby in as many activities as possible. Talk and sing with him or her, stretch their muscles or go out and let them have a good day outside; all this will make baby more tired and ready to fall asleep.
Mistake # 3: Not recognizing the signs
Sometimes parents wait too long before letting their little one take a nap. For example, they wait until they start crying. But many other signs show when your baby is tired and needs a nap. If he or she frowns, shakes their fists, turns away from you and looks in the air or rubs their eyes and ears, it may mean that it's time for them to fall asleep.
Mistake # 4: Not letting baby learn to calm down
Some routines, such as rocking or massaging your baby, can help him or her relax and understand that it's time to fall asleep. Sometimes, however, it is best to ignore them and let your child try to calm themselves so that they can learn to fall asleep without help. This is also why you should not react to all the noises your toddler makes when sleeping.
Because, first, these sounds do not necessarily mean that your baby is awake and needs you. He or she may simply be going through the various stages of sleep and you could wake them up by watching them. Moreover, one study found that children whose parents wait longer to respond to their waking up were more likely to self-manage.
Mistake # 5: Letting baby fall asleep in a well-lit room
Some parents think that when their baby naps during the day, they should be placed in a lighted room to learn to distinguish between day and night. But that's a myth. Darkness, on the other hand, has a calming effect on babies and promotes the production of melatonin, which is a hormone that helps regulate sleep.
Mistake # 6: Changing beds too quickly
Whether your baby is too big or you have a new baby on the way, do not hurry too much to put them in a big bed. Most children move from a cradle to a new bed between 18 months and 3.5 years old. If you change your baby's bed too early, it can be confusing and uncomfortable for them. You could find them wandering in the house in the middle of the night, because they are used to the limits of a cradle and can not control themselves without them.
If your toddler starts to get out of the crib, consider placing them in a bed. In addition, if you are train potty-training your child, it would make sense to move them so they can learn to go to the bathroom alone.
Mistake # 7: Cutting out all noises
It is not ideal to try to suppress all noisy distractions for the baby to sleep. If he or she learns to sleep in complete silence, it may be difficult to fall asleep later, when there will be no way to block all possible sources of noise.
Mistake # 8: Keeping baby awake too long
You might think that keeping your child awake longer will make them more tired so they will fall asleep faster and stay in bed longer. In fact, it can ruin their sleep schedule and shorten their naps. And while short naps are normal for newborns, older children should take longer naps. So, if they are short, it may be because your child is constantly overworked.
Mistake # 9: Co-sleeping
Some parents choose to sleep with their children in bed. However, according to experts, this sends the child conflicting messages about where to sleep. And that can make it hard for them to fall asleep in a crib or whenever you're not lying down with them. In addition, bed sharing may, according to some, increase the risk of SIDS (Sudden Infant Death Syndrome). But the co-sleeping issue is an endless debate...
Mistake#10: Letting baby nap too long
It is quite normal for a newborn baby to sleep 13 to 15 hours a day. However, when the toddler is growing up, he or she should not nap for more than 3 hours in total per day. Too much sleep during the day creates an unhealthy schedule that makes it difficult for a baby to fall asleep quickly and sleep all night long.