There is no shortage of beliefs and practices surrounding sleep training infants. However, not all of them are effective. Some are based on myths and superstitions that can deal long-term damage to a baby’s overall well-being, so be careful. When learning how to sleep train your baby, make sure you don’t fall for such sleep training misconceptions.
4 Common Sleep Training Myths
How you help your infant to sleep has a significant impact on his life. Studies show that sleep training practices contribute to the development of your baby’s immune system and cognitive faculties. They can also affect your little one’s long-term emotional state, social behavior, and moral capacities.
Don’t let ignorance derail your child’s overall well-being. Make sure your sleep training methods are free of these misconceptions:
- There’s no harm in isolating a baby for sleep.
Infants have no concept of object permanence. For them, everything that is out of their sight for even an instant does not exist.
This is why most babies are distressed when they are left alone, as the isolation triggers a fight or flight reaction. Since they cannot move and seek comfort by themselves, their stress levels tend to skyrocket. Frequent isolation can wreak havoc on a baby’s long-term psychological state.
- It’s fine to let babies cry themselves to sleep.
This is one of the biggest don’ts that you’ll encounter when learning how to sleep train your baby. Letting infants cry themselves to sleep puts their long-term psychological well-being at risk. The extended distress and neglect they experience can impair their cognitive development. This can make them more vulnerable to experiencing anxiety, depression, and other mental conditions.
- Babies don’t need comfort and supervision through the night.
Infants don’t know how to regulate themselves. They learn how to manage themselves based on the care and contact they receive from adults. Thus, limiting touch and comfort at night can disrupt their adjustment processes. In turn, this can undermine or slow down the development of their ability to self-regulate.
A baby that suddenly goes silent after extended crying is not a good sign. Infants learn to suppress signs of their needs when adults consistently ignore them. The effects of neglect can ripple throughout their life and keep them from developing healthy social motivations and self-awareness.
When developing a plan on how to sleep train a baby, make sure you have several comfort-based solutions for incessant crying.
- Keep babies awake during the day so they can sleep better at night.
This belief is more accurate for children. Infants function through shorter bursts of energy compared to children, which means they need to rest and recover multiple times a day. In fact, trying to induce sleep in your little ones by delaying their bedtime actually has the opposite effect.
Studies show that babies become hyperactive when they’re sleep-deprived. This results in low quality sleep for both you and your child.
Improve Your Little One’s Sleep Routine
Cut out sleep training methods that capitalize on these misconceptions from your sleep plan. Talk to sleep specialists for children to learn effective strategies. Sleep training a toddler ensures proper growth and development for your little one by giving him a great start with consistent, quality sleep!