The 4 early childhood sleep myths and how to avoid them

Since I have started on this journey to becoming a Sleep Consultant, I have come across hundreds of myths that are associated with early childhood sleep. Part of me can totally understand these misconceptions because before I experienced sleep coaching both as a parent with a sleepless child and as a qualified expert, I too shared many of these myths. Today I share with you the 4 most common myths I come across on a daily basis and I want to take the time today to clear some of these up.

You have to leave your child to cry to help them to learn to sleep

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It is a common myth that in order to help your child to learn to fall asleep on their own, you can only achieve this by leaving them to cry themselves to sleep. Whilst this may have been the approach of sleep coaching 10 years ago, this certainly is not the case today. I believe that this perception comes from traditional sleep techniques founded by traditional (aka “old school”) experts such as Gina Ford. Some parents and their children find this approach helps their child to learn to sleep, but it is not for everyone. In fact, most of my parents choose a gentle method which involves no leaving to cry whatsoever. Hear from Amy, who shares how one of my gentle sleep coaching methods helped her daughter to sleep through the night and how this changed the whole family life. Watch here.

You have to wait until your child is older to help them learn to sleep

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As sleep coaching is often misunderstood and associated with leaving your child to cry, most parents feel the best thing they can do is to help their children to learn to sleep once they are “big enough” to. However, now that you are clear that you do not need to leave your child to be in distress, you will be pleased to know that there are plenty of strategies that you can use as soon as your baby is born. I recommend setting solid sleep foundations right from the beginning, so that your baby is in the best position to enjoy good quality sleep as they get older. Of course, this does not mean your newborn will be sleeping through the night but it does mean that you have a plan in place to promote good sleep for your baby (and you) from the off. This is exactly the reason I shall be creating a personalised sleep plan for our baby no 2 before she arrives. Discover my 6 Core Steps to Sleep Success and put them in place right now.

On this cheat sheet, I explain how to avoid the most common mistakes made when you are making changes to improve your child’s sleep. Download it for free and use it before you get started.

 

Cheat Sheet Freebie

The Five Rookie Sleep Coaching Mistakes

(And how to avoid them)

FREE DOWNLOAD
 

My baby must be hungry which is why he/she is waking through the night

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There appears to be a scary common myth which I often hear both in a professional and personal capacity. That is “my baby is waking so that means they are hungry, so I am either going to fill them with extra milk or going to start them on early solids”. Or, “I’m breastfeeding, so I am going to switch to formula to help him sleep”. Whilst hunger can be a reason that your child is waking, it is not always the only reason, there can be 100 other reasons. Overloading your child with milk and introducing solids early, has been scientifically linked to causing other health issues such as digestive upset and constipation both of which have a negative impact on sleep quality. To find out further evidence on how early weaning can cause further health challenges for your baby including for allergy babies, take a look at this research-based article.

Putting your child to bed later means they will wake up later

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If only it were that easy. Early rising is one of the most common challenges for parents of young children and actually one of the trickiest to resolve. But don’t worry there are strategies you can put in place to resolve it. Naturally, as an adult it is easy to assume if you put your child to bed later this encourages them to have a lie in. I mean it works for some adults, so why won’t it work for children. Sadly, this is not the case for young children and in fact, it can have totally the opposite effect. For example, you may find if your child is waking at 4-5am, and you try a later bedtime that they still wake at the same time or earlier, plus they are now even more overtired the following day. For young children, sleep really does breed sleep, so the better quality daytime sleep your child is having, the better night time sleep they experience. Here are my four free tips on how to combat early rising. Watch here.

There are my four most common early childhood sleep myths and how to avoid them. If you are struggling with your sleepless child, whether it be frequent night wake ups, early rising or just plain exhaustion, I’d love to hear from you, feel free to add your story in the comments below and I will get right back to you.

On this cheat sheet, I explain how to avoid the most common mistakes made when you are making changes to improve your child’s sleep. Download it for free and use it before you get started.

 

Cheat Sheet Freebie

The Five Rookie Sleep Coaching Mistakes

(And how to avoid them)

FREE DOWNLOAD