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Myths About Sleep Training Babies

7 Huge Misconceptions About Sleep Training, According to Experts

4. The more rigid you are with sleep training, the better.

Keep it consistent, but don't be too rigid," advises Dr. Naidoo. "Whether you're using CIO or another method, it's important to stick with a consistent bedtime and keep a steady sleep routine within reason." 

And while it's true that babies crave consistency, it's imperative that parents value their infant's cues more than anything else. 

"The issue of development comes into play based on the age of the child. When you think about CIO, it's like crate-training a puppy — it's super rigid. But sleep-training a child is very different than crate-training a dog because the child's neurodevelopment comes into play. Children have different biological needs." 

5. Sleep training only matters for the first year.

A common pitfall for parents when it comes to getting their kid to sleep through the night? Not taking it seriously past the first year.

"Parents are rigid, rigid, rigid, during the baby's first year of life, and then the child hits 2 years old and then parents say, 'Whatever, I'm exhausted now. My kid is 2.' They just get lost in the mix," said Dr. Naidoo. "But in reality, it should be a journey for the child." 

She also asked parents to look at sleep through a different lens: as a part of a child's hygiene. "Intervening in your kid's sleep habits is just as important as making sure they brush their teeth or showering when they're older . . . sleeping tendencies can ultimately translate from childhood to adulthood."

For parents with little ones in tow, getting a good night's sleep may seem like a luxury they'll never ever get to experience again. And while it's true that new moms and dads will no doubt have many a sleepless night, sleep-training your little one might factor in as to just how many you're in for. But before you consider sleep-training your children by letting them cry it out (CIO), it's important to do your research — and that includes debunking a few myths.

Dr. Smita Naidoo, a child and adolescent psychiatrist based in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada, and an author of The Quest For Rest, suggests that parents start by becoming familiar with the acronym C.A.G.E. — which stands for consistency, adaptability, going with the flow, and expectations — when diving into the hotly debated topic of sleep training.

"All of these sleep methods are a bit different, but at the end of the day they're pretty concrete and rigid," said Dr. Naidoo. "So one of the things we advocate for as pediatric psychiatrists is using the acronym C.A.G.E. It doesn't matter what kind of sleep-training philosophy you use, these elements are what's going to matter the most."

Here are some myths to be aware of before embarking on your sleep training journey, according to experts.

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