When that little devil goes to sleep after maxing you out, you have to make sure that he or she snoozes as long as possible. After all, you really deserve that me-time after having spent endless hours of baby-and-me-time!
Besides, you don’t want your baby to wake up cranky either. However, to ensure your little one gets some sweet sleep, as well as you get the time you need for yourself, you have to avoid these common bedtime mistakes.
Here are the ones you may be making but which you need to put an end to right now!
1. Letting The Baby Monitor Rule
Which basically means being a slave to your baby’s cries in the middle of the night. Once your baby is past the age of 3 months, they will start having undisturbed sleep for longer hours. And if you want them to learn to sleep on their own, you will have to stop barging into your toddler’s room every time they cry.
That way, they’ll never learn to soothe themselves and sleep on their own! Of course, you can make an exception when your child is sick. But otherwise, try to turn down that monitor so that you don’t get alarmed by every small whimper. Also, wait 5 minutes before rushing in, in case your baby cries. Keep extending the check-in time every day.
2. Prolonging Nightly Feeding Sessions
If your child has reached 6 months and is healthy with the right weight, you don’t need to continue with nighttime feeding sessions. And that is even if your baby cries. You see your child will most probably cry out of habit than out of real hunger. This is their learned behavior talking. So, instead of getting them out of bed for a feeding session, allow your child to fall back to sleep on their own.
3. Rocking Your Child Back To Sleep
Even the rinse and repeat technique of sleep training your child does not recommend letting your baby sleep in your arms. Do that, and your baby will become entirely dependent on the comfort of your arms to doze off! What you need to do is put your baby back in the crib once they stop crying and before they sleep. Moreover, if your child falls asleep while bottle feeding, wake them up gently before you lay them down in their bed. This will help your child learn the art of self-soothing.
4. Making Them Sleep With A Bottle
Putting your child to sleep with a bottle in their mouth won’t do much to disrupt their sleep, but it can harm their health. The formula from the bottle can accumulate in your child’s mouth, which can cause dental problems such as tooth decay and discoloration. Moreover, bottled milk can even increase your baby’s chances of getting ear infections.
5. Creating Confusion Regarding Days And Nights
You may keep the curtains drawn in your child’s room during the day to make sure they nap well, but that has an adverse effect too! By keeping your baby’s room dark, you are preventing them from understanding the differences between day and night, as all they see is darkness. This can mess up their circadian rhythm. To prevent that from happening, expose your child’s room (along with your child!) to natural light as much as possible, even during nap time. Also, don’t leave the night light on in your baby’s room at night since it can confuse them, as they’re still learning.
Once you start avoiding these mistakes, not only will your baby’s sleep quality improve but they’ll also learn how to sleep on their own. What this means for you is that you can finally have those 8 hours of undisturbed sleep.