One of the great things about parenting is that, due to the fact that so many people have raised kids of their own, there is an endless amount of information available about it.
Which is also one of the worst thing about it.
Whether you ask for it or not, people are always happy to share their extensive knowledge about parenting, and that advice can be a great help, but it can also be terribly misleading and, sometimes, just plain wrong.
Today, I’m going to discuss some of the more popular myths about your baby’s sleep, as well as the reasons people tend to believe them, and what the facts say when it comes to getting your baby sleeping through the night.
Today I am going to do some myth busting. Number one myth around sleep, especially when we’re talking about children, is that if you pull, or minimize, or prevent daytime sleep, then a child will then sleep better in the night. Now let’s talk a little bit about why that might be suggested in the first place. The thought would be that if they’re so tired from lack of daytime sleep that they’ll fall asleep in complete exhaustion at bedtime and sleep through the night.
I can see how that makes some sense. I can see it. But I’m here to bust that myth, because I know, after 14 years in this business, that the opposite is true, that the more you restrict, or prevent, or pull daytime sleep, the worse nighttime sleep gets. And the reason for that is overtiredness.
So really overtiredness for all of us is problematic. If you’ve ever had a few days where you’ve really run yourself ragged, and you’ve had deadlines, or whatever the case may be, when you start to feel overtired, you’ll notice that you feel a bit jittery. It’s almost like you drank too much caffeine too close to bed. It feels like you’re kind of wired. It’s harder to relax, it’s harder to get to sleep, and then when the sleep does arrive, it’s very fragmented, so you’ll have lots of wake-ups throughout the night, and you’ll most likely wake up even earlier than you need to. That’s the problem with overtiredness.
So let’s just times that by 10 when we’re talking about children. They get overtired easily, if their sleep needs are not being met throughout the day and through the night. And overtiredness for a child usually turns into hyperactivity. That’s an important thing to keep an eye on. If you’ve got a child who’s racing around like a little spinning top, laughing, being silly, crying the next second, it’s almost, kinda looks a little manic, right, they get into this mode where they’re just like, nothing’s satisfying them, but yet they’re being like cute and hilarious at the same time.
That’s usually a sign that you’ve pushed this child, or this child has pushed themselves into overtiredness. And now imagine trying to take this spinning top and ask them to sleep now, please. It’s very challenging. It’s very difficult for a child who has become overtired to fall asleep in a timely manner. Makes sense. So, sleep begets sleep. It absolutely does, I will argue that ’til I am blue in the face, because I know that it’s true.
So you really want to, if you’ve got a child who’s not sleeping well through the night, chances are high that they are also not sleeping well during the day. The two usually go hand in hand. So you’re going to have to look at your daytime sleep situation, and first of all ask, is your child falling asleep independently, because that’s the golden rule to a child sleeping well, is that they’re falling asleep independently, and then making sure that they’re getting good quality sleep, age appropriate sleep, and if you want a clear outline of what that looks like check out my blog or pick up a copy of the Sleep Sense program, I’ve got charts in there that outline the ages and the needs of each age group as far as sleep goes.
And once you get your child sleeping well, big picture, both daytime and night, you’ll find that they just, they’re well rested, they’re happy, they’re content. I mean there’s so many wonderful qualities to having a child who sleeps well. It’s really worth the effort.
Thanks so much for watching today. Sleep well.
If your baby, infant or toddler is having trouble sleeping through the night, help is just a click away! The Sleep Sense Program has helped over 57,00 parents to get their kids sleeping 11-12 hours through the night AND taking long, restful naps during the day. If you’re ready to get started today – I’m looking forward to helping you!