Wondering what works and what’s just another old wives’ tale when it comes to your baby’s sleep? We tell you how true are the top five baby sleep myths.
Myth 1: Big Babies Sleep Better.
There is no scientific study comparing the sleep duration of bigger babies compared to smaller babies. However, the possibility of larger babies taking in more milk when feeding could possibly minimise the likelihood of them waking up due to hunger.
Myth 2: All Babies Should Sleep Through The Night By 4 Months Old.
While 4 months is often the time that a baby may be physically able to sleep through the night, but many babies would still need a night feed until around 6 months. This depends on many factors including your baby’s personality and your parenting style. While sleeping through the night does not necessarily mean your child will not wake up in the middle of the night, it just means he or she has learnt to go back to sleep without parental intervention.
Myth 3: Babies That Sleep Later, Wake Up Later
Keeping your little one awake longer than he or she needs can have the opposite effect. When babies stay up late, their stress hormones kick in and they enter a hyperalert state, making it harder for them to fall asleep and can lead to an unsound sleep throughout the night.
Myth 4: Babies With A Habit Of Sleeping In Your Arms Will Not Learn To Sleep Alone.
There’s much truth to this myth. Being cuddled after a heavy meal helps a baby to relax and drift off to sleep in a confident and secure environment. But if a baby gets used to the association of falling asleep with being held or feeding, he or she will usually want to repeat the scenario each time, making it harder for them to get used to the idea of sleeping on their own.
Myth 5: Adding Cereal or Milk Formula helps your baby sleep better.
No matter what your mother-in-law insists, there is no scientific evidence to prove this. In fact, the American Academy of Pediatrics discourages feeding babies solid foods before four months of age due to their immature digestive systems and their lack of oral-motor skills. Additionally, breastfeeding has several benefits to both baby and mother.