By: Michelle Donaghy, Pediatric Sleep Consultant – Certified Gentle Sleep Coach
Myth #6 - every time my baby wakes overnight, s/he must be hungry. FALSE! Babies during the first 2 months are more likely waking from hunger, but older babies who wake frequently (every 1-2 hours), may not be waking from hunger. Ask yourself whether your baby can be soothed in other ways first. Also, ask yourself whether your baby is going to sleep from an awake state at bedtime (without being nursed or rocked).
Sleep myth #7 - If your child wakes before 6:00 am, put him/her to bed later. FALSE! Often, putting your child to bed later makes them rise earlier.
SLEEP MYTH #8: If you keep your child up all day, they will sleep better at night - FALSE!! As Dr. Marc Weissbluth explains in his book Healthy Sleep Habits, Happy Child, sleep breeds sleep. Children who nap well during the day at the right times actually fall asleep more easily and sleep better at night. Children who
are over-tired are more likely to have difficulty falling asleep and staying asleep at night. So, if your child is having difficulties at bedtime, consider whether s/he needs MORE sleep during the day!
SLEEP MYTH #9: TV before bed helps calm them down/get them sleepy. FALSE. According to the National Sleep Foundation, researchers caution that use of electronic devices within one hour of bedtime are harmful to the sleep-onset process because the artificial light can suppress our body’s natural release of melatonin, the hormone that helps signal our body to fall asleep.
Sleep myth #10: My toddler won’t nap – s/he just doesn’t need it! - False! Many toddlers go through phases when they resist napping, or skip naps some days of the week. Most toddlers need a nap until they are at least 3 ½ years old. Consistency in enforcing nap time, ensuring that your toddler knows how to put
himself/herself to sleep, and making sure you are putting your toddler down for his/her nap at the RIGHT time can help ensure successful nap practices.
Sleep myth #11: Gifted children don’t need as much sleep as other children. FALSE! It is true that many gifted children have difficulty shutting down and getting enough sleep, but the studies actually show that children who get more sleep during their toddler years (and beyond) do better in school – they have higher
grades and better math and language skills.
Sleep myth #12: My toddler doesn’t seem sleepy or tired, so s/he must be well-rested. FACT: Children are different from adults, and may even seem energetic or hyper when they are over-tired. Many children who are over-tired exhibit attention and behavior problems, or may simply be difficult or cranky in the
Look for my next blog post where we will talk more about Healthy Sleep Habits for your Children and I will answer more of your questions. If you have a question you would like me to answer please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org
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