Sleep Training Myths Undone
What’s stopping you from teaching your baby how to sleep, Mama?
Many times we have hidden false beliefs in our minds that prevent us from reaching the outcomes we so badly want.
Here are the 5 most common false beliefs about sleep training that I hear from parents.
Have you fallen prey to any of these myths? Let me know in the comments below!
1. My baby is waking up at night because he is hungry.
Listen. Babies need to eat, there’s no question about that. Newborns need to eat around the clock, as often as every 3 hours. At some point, after the newborn stage has passed, babies don’t need to eat at night. Speak with your pediatrician to determine the right age for your child to stop night feeds, and then STOP. THEM. One of the most compelling reasons a baby will continue to wake up in middle of the night is because Mom brings (the equivalent of) a hanger steak and grilled sweet potatoes every night! Who wouldn’t wake up for a mouthwatering meal in bed?!
If your pediatrician gives you the go-ahead to stop night feedings, you can take that as a sure sign that your baby isn’t waking up from hunger, they’re waking up from habit.
2. Only hard-hearted parents let their baby cry when sleep training.
Sleep training isn’t for everyone, and that’s ok. Everyone gets to parent their babies in the way that they see fit. Most babies need to be coached to change their sleep habits and in 95 percent of cases, there will be some tears involved. I’ve seen from personal experience that the “no tears” sleep training methods simply don’t work as well. They drag the process out, making it more difficult for the parents and the baby. Oh – and the name “no tears” is a misnomer. Perhaps it should be called “fewer tears” because you can’t stop a baby from crying.
When lack of sleep is negatively affecting both the baby and the family, the best thing a parent can do is to facilitate change in her child’s poor sleep habits, even if that results in some short-term protest.
3. Sleep training takes a long time.
Not with my method! 7 days or your money back. Most parents see a significant improvement by the 3rd or 4th night and are sleeping again at the end of the week.
4. My baby will be traumatized if there is crying involved.
You’re not the only one concerned about this. The American Academy of Pediatrics has conducted studies to track the long-term effects of sleep training. They measured the effects that sleep training has on stress levels, secure attachment to parents, and of course, emotional and behavioral problems. According to the authors of the study, “behavioral interventions appear to improve sleep without detrimental effects on the child or family.” You can check out the study here.
5. I can’t sleep train my baby when he’s teething
This is a big one. Parents blame everything on teething. Just listen out for it the next time you speak to another mom.
She’s fussy lately… she must be teething. He was up all night last night… I think he’s teething. She’s totally off schedule this week. She has a cold, plus there’s always teething.
Studies suggest that teething pain doesn’t even present itself in all babies! When parents say their baby is teething, they may be right, but it’s usually a guess. Even when teething pain does manifest itself, it’s only there for 3 days before the tooth erupts and 4 days after. Teething may cause discomfort, but that’s not what’s stopping your baby from sleeping. It’s the poor sleep habits that are stopping him.
Babies begin teething as early as 3 months old and don’t get their complete set of teeth until 3 years old! If you let teething get in the way of teaching your baby how to sleep, prepare for sleepless nights until your baby starts preschool. Seriously.
My goal is to help as many exhausted mothers and babies as I possibly can. Please join me in this mission by sharing this article with a tired mama in your life who can use the help!