10 Mɪsᴛᴀᴋᴇs Parents Make That Are Ruining Their Baby’s Sʟᴇᴇᴘ
Good sʟᴇᴇᴘ is critical for your baby’s developing brain, and not enough sʟᴇᴇᴘ can lead to language and reading problems and ADHD (ᴀᴛᴛᴇɴᴛɪᴏɴ ᴅᴇFɪᴄɪᴛ ʜʏᴘᴇʀᴀᴄᴛɪᴠɪᴛʏ ᴅɪsᴏʀᴅᴇʀ). Some parents like to take their babies to sʟᴇᴇᴘ in their beds, hoping to make the parent-child bond stronger. Not only is it confusing for the child, but it can also be ᴅᴀɴɢᴇʀᴏᴜs for them! And that’s not the only thing you shouldn’t do if you want your child’s sʟᴇᴇᴘ to be healthy.
1.Not entertaining your baby enough during waking hours
Children are the same as us — the busier we are during the day, the more ᴇxʜᴀᴜsᴛᴇᴅ we are and the easier it is for us to fall asʟᴇᴇᴘ. So try to engage your baby in as many activities as possible. Talk and sing to them, sᴛʀᴇᴛᴄʜ ᴛʜᴇɪʀ ᴍᴜsᴄʟᴇs , or go outside and let them enjoy a beautiful day — all of that will make your baby more ᴛɪʀᴇᴅ and ready to go to sʟᴇᴇᴘ.
2. Not having a bedtime routine
Establishing a bedtime routine is essential for your baby. It can help them feel calm and fall asʟᴇᴇᴘ more quickly. And it’s important to stick to a certain schedule, so that the baby can learn when it’s time to go to bed. They’ll eventually get used to going to sʟᴇᴇᴘ at the same time and they’ll be expecting it, so falling asʟᴇᴇᴘ will become a lot easier and faster.
3.Not recognizing the signs
Sometimes parents wait too long before they put their children down for a nap. For example, they wait until they start crying. However, there are many other signs that show that your baby is ᴛɪʀᴇᴅ and needs a nap. If they’re Fʀᴏᴡɴɪɴɢ, ᴄʟᴇɴᴄʜɪɴɢ ᴛʜᴇɪʀ Fɪsᴛs, ʟᴏᴏᴋɪɴɢ ᴀᴡᴀʏ Fʀᴏᴍ ʏᴏᴜ, ᴀɴᴅ sᴛᴀʀɪɴɢ ɪɴᴛᴏ sᴘᴀᴄᴇ, ᴏʀ ʀᴜʙʙɪɴɢ their eyes and ears, that can mean that it’s time for them to go to sʟᴇᴇᴘ.
4. Putting your baby to sʟᴇᴇᴘ in a well-lit room
Some parents think that when their baby takes a nap during daytime, they should be put in a light room so that they learn to ᴅɪsᴛɪɴɢᴜɪsʜ ʙᴇᴛᴡᴇᴇɴ day and night. However, this is a myth. Darkness, on the other hand, has a ᴄᴀʟᴍɪɴɢ ᴇffᴇᴄᴛ on babies, and it ᴘʀᴏᴍᴏᴛᴇs ᴛʜᴇ ᴘʀᴏᴅᴜᴄᴛɪᴏɴ ᴏF ᴍᴇʟᴀᴛᴏɴɪɴ — ᴀ ʜᴏʀᴍᴏɴᴇ that helps to regulate sʟᴇᴇᴘ.
5. Switching from a crib to a bed too early
Whether your baby has outgrown their crib, or you have a newborn on the way — don’t rush to move your child to a bed. Most children move from a crib to a bed between 18 months and 3 and a half years. And if you move them too early, it can be ᴄᴏɴfᴜsɪɴɢ ᴀɴᴅ ᴜɴᴄᴏᴍfᴏʀᴛᴀʙʟᴇ for them. Or you might just find them wandering around the house in the middle of the night, since they are used to the boundaries of a crib, and they can’t control themselves without them.
If your toddler starts climbing out of the crib, you should consider moving them to a bed. Also, if you are potty training your child, moving them would make sense so that they can learn to go to the toilet by themselves.
6.Not letting your baby learn to sᴇʟF-sᴏᴏᴛʜᴇ
Certain routines, like ʀᴏᴄᴋɪɴɢ ᴏʀ ᴍᴀssᴀɢɪɴɢ, can help your baby relax and understand that it’s time to go to sʟᴇᴇᴘ. But sometimes it’s better to skip them and let your child try to sᴇʟF-sᴏᴏᴛʜᴇ, so that they can learn to fall asʟᴇᴇᴘ without your help. That is also why you shouldn`t respond to every little sound your toddler makes when they sʟᴇᴇᴘ.
First, those sounds don’t necessarily mean that your child is awake and needs you. They could just be going through the different stages of sʟᴇᴇᴘ, and you coming to check on them might wake them up. Second, a study has found that children whose parents waited longer to respond to their awakenings were more likely to be sᴇʟF-sᴏᴏᴛʜᴇrs.
7.Blocking out ᴛʜᴇ ɴᴏɪsᴇ
It is not ideal to try to remove all the ɴᴏɪsʏ ᴅɪsᴛʀᴀᴄᴛɪᴏɴs. If your baby learns to sʟᴇᴇᴘ in complete silence, they might have difficulty falling asʟᴇᴇᴘ later, when there’s no way to block out every possible source of ɴᴏɪse. Sometimes it is even recommended for you to use white noise machines that can help your baby fall asʟᴇᴇᴘ easier, but they should be used with caution.
8. Letting your baby take naps that are too long
It is normal for newborns to sʟᴇᴇᴘ for 13 to 15 hours a day. However, when your toddler gets older, they shouldn’t take naps that are longer than 3 hours in total, per day. Too much sʟᴇᴇᴘ during the day creates an unhealthy bedtime schedule. And your baby might have trouble falling asʟᴇᴇᴘ quickly and sʟᴇᴇᴘing through the entire night.
9. Keeping your baby awake too long
You might think that keeping your child awake longer will make them more ᴛɪʀᴇᴅ and they will fall asʟᴇᴇᴘ faster and stay in bed longer. However, it can actually mess up their sʟᴇᴇᴘing schedule and make their ɴᴀᴘs sʜᴏʀᴛᴇʀ. And while short naps are normal for newborns, older children should take longer naps. So if they are short, it might be because your child is constantly ᴏᴠᴇʀᴛɪʀᴇᴅ.
10. Sharing a bed
Some parents choose to co-sʟᴇᴇᴘ with their children in a bed. However, you will be sending mixed messages to your child about where they sʟᴇᴇᴘ. And that can result in them having difficulty falling asʟᴇᴇᴘ in a crib and without you lying close to them. In addition, bed-sharing can actually ɪɴᴄʀᴇᴀsᴇ ᴛʜᴇ ʀɪsᴋ ᴏꜰ SIDS (sᴜᴅᴅᴇɴ ɪɴꜰᴀɴᴛ ᴅᴇᴀᴛʜ sʏɴᴅʀᴏᴍᴇ) and other sʟᴇᴇᴘ-related ᴅᴇᴀᴛʜs.