Getting your infant to sleep for long stretches is a source of anxiety for many parents because a restless newborn can make long days and even longer nights. When dealing with a troubled sleeper, it is not uncommon to resort to “whatever it takes” to get your baby to sleep. The main issue with this approach is that you can inadvertently create a bad habit for your little one. Today, we are discussing some bad newborn sleep habits and why you should avoid them.
It’s no secret that babies love motion as a means of soothing and rocking or swinging motions can often help a baby fall asleep. There is nothing inherently wrong with occasionally using motion to help calm your baby or to get them started to sleep. This tool becomes one of our bad newborn sleep habits when your baby needs motion not only to go to sleep but to stay asleep. This habit often results from allowing baby to nap in the swing while it is on or rocking them every time you need to put them to sleep. You may be able to see how this puts you or your newborn care specialist at a disadvantage in getting baby to sleep and stay asleep.
Pacifiers can be used as a means of calming baby down when they are fussy but should never be used as a means of delaying feeding. Gentle sucking is very soothing for babies and is part of the reason why babies can often be found asleep at the breast during or after a feed. When using a pacifier as a calming tool, it is important to remember to take the pacifier away after baby falls asleep in order to avoid this one. As one of our bad newborn sleep habits, the issue here is having to replace the pacifier throughout the night whenever baby spits it out.
Feeding to sleep
This one is the trickiest to avoid of our bad newborn sleep habits because feeding is such a normal and regular part of your baby’s routine. However, generally problems arrive when your baby needs to feed in order to fall asleep. The breast is supposed to be a source of both comfort and nourishment for baby so it is only natural that they can easily fall into the habit of needing this specific comfort to fall asleep. Unfortunately, as they get older, if they continue to rely on feeding to help them fall asleep, you will likely run into meltdowns or other issues at bedtime unless baby has the opportunity to feed. This can be particularly troublesome for exclusively breastfed babies.
Having trouble with one of the bad newborn sleep habits featured in today’s blog? Contact Hush Hush Little Baby today to set up a consultation and let us help you establish some better sleep habits to replace them.