There is a lot of information out there about newborn sleep and what is expected and what is not when it comes to our little ones when they first join us in this amazing world. I am going to be here over the next week to help break apart five of the top newborn myths that I have run into as a sleep consultant. I am sure you have heard at least one or two of these or possibly followed some of them at one point or another. As always I am not here to condemn or make you feel bad, but just to help bring some truths to light about the information that is out there, some sadly perpetrated by other sleep coaches.
Leave Your Newborn to Cry; They will Learn to Self-Settle.
The first sleep myth that we will be covering is one of the most feared myths by any mom when it comes to sleep coaching. The dreaded abbreviations CIO (Cry it Out) can be seen across the internet, in Facebook groups, in mommy forums, or just about anywhere you look for any type of sleep help.
The truth of the matter is a baby cannot learn to self-soothe, before they reach four months old. They may learn to self-settle and not need your assistance, but they cannot learn to self-sooth when they are upset and their sympathetic nervous system is getting turned on.
After four months a baby can learn to self-settle, by sucking on their fingers, touching their lovie, or rubbing their face in their sheets, but this is only after their parasympathetic nervous system system has switched on and can then help your little one calm down.
It is better to start your little one with healthy sleep habits, tear-free. So even when they reach four to six months of age you don’t have to let them CIO. You can slowly and gently work them through self-soothing. As always small amounts of grizzling and mantra cries are different to full blown crying and screaming, as these are okay to ignore if your parental style allows. One of the main things that I help teach is how to tell the differences between the many types of cries that your little ones may display.
Over the next week we will be hitting the other four sleep myths about newborn sleep. Check back with us.