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3 Baby Sleep Myths Put to Rest

3 Baby Sleep Myths Put to Rest

Everyone has advice about what to do or what not to do to help your baby sleep. But which advice should you take as gospel and which as just gossipHere, Circle of Moms members take on three common beliefs about baby sleep and put them to rest.

1. Cereal in the bottle will make your baby sleep longer.

Moms say this is a myth, and experts agree:

Veronica H. points out that this advice is “old information” and worries that moms who follow it are endangering their babies.

She's in the majority: the consensus among moms is that adding cereal to your baby's bottle not only carries risks for choking and childhood obesity, but also doesn’t even help him sleep. Circle of Moms member Rosie P.'s experience bears this out: she tried adding cereal to all three of her children's bottles and found that “it really didn't help one way or another.”

The American Academy of Pediatrics's advice concurs with moms' experiences: cereal in the bottle of a young baby can cause choking, increase the risk of developing food allergies in babies under four months, and can actually make sleep more difficult. That’s because it can cause digestive issues that make for painful tummies.


2. A later bedtime means your baby will sleep later in the morning.

Moms say this is a myth, and experts agree:

While many Circle of Moms members wish it were otherwise, it seems that no matter what time you put those babies to bed, they wake up at around the same time every day! As mom Paula says of her son, who is now eight, “It doesn't matter if he goes to bed at 8 p.m. or midnight; like clockwork he is up at the crack of dawn.”

Serafine K. attributes this phenomenon in her infant son to his “internal clock” and figures if he’s going to be up at 7:30 a.m. no matter what, there’s no point in having him stay up later.

According to Zero to Three, the National Center for Infants, Toddlers and Families, the earlier you put your baby to bed, the better he’ll sleep. Ignoring your baby’s signals that he's sleepy and keeping him up later can cause him to become over tired, a state from which it is hard to wind down.

3. Never wake a sleeping baby.

Moms want this to be true, but it's a myth:

Many Circle of Moms members feel that if your baby is sleeping for hours at a stretch, don’t wake him up! As Lydia R. puts it, “As long as they are healthy and happy, why upset them?” Other moms, including Karen H., caution that there are sound “medical reasons” to wake a sleeping baby, and What to Expect’s Heidi Murkoff explains what these are.

Murkoff says that making sure your newborn wakes to feed is “critical for his health." This may mean waking your breastfed newborn after three hours or your bottle-fed newborn after four hours in order to make sure he's gaining weight at a healthy pace.

Don’t despair though: once your baby is past the newborn stage, as long as he is of a healthy weight and doesn't have any other health issues, it’s pretty safe to let him sleep until he wakes up on his own to be fed.

Image Source: Lisa Rosario Photography via Flickr/Creative Commons

The views expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily represent the views of, and should not be attributed to, POPSUGAR.

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RobinGiesen RobinGiesen 3 years
I hate to say it, but all 3 of my children had cereal put in their milk. And as soon as we started doing that, they began "sleeping through the night" almost immediately. We only did it for the last bottle of the day, for a couple of weeks. At the end of a couple of weeks, we began to "feed" it to them out of a bowl. I believe that the formula just wasn't substantial enough for them anymore and that they needed something a little more satisfying in their tummies. My children are all adults now, and not a single ONE of them is obese, nor do they have any kind of food allergies. But that is what worked for us. You will have to find something that works for you.
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