Becoming a parent is challenging. If you’ve recently become a parent of a newborn baby, then you not only have to face the challenges of parenting, but you also have to learn baby basics, like helping them sleep. There are a lot of mistakes new parents make when trying to help their baby sleep, and we’re here to teach you what they are so you can avoid making them. Keep reading to learn about four common baby sleep mistakes new parents make and how to avoid them.
1. Skipping a Bedtime Routine
One of the biggest mistakes new parents make when they bring a newborn home is skipping a bedtime routine. It doesn’t feel necessary in the beginning since they’re already sleeping so much during the day and waking up for feedings during the night. But a bedtime routine is necessary because it helps your baby learn the difference between night and day, which contributes to them sleeping through the night as they get older. Build a bedtime routine as soon as you’re home and keep it up throughout their childhood.
2. Responding to Every Noise
While parenting experts disagree on whether you should sleep train your baby, most agree that you don’t need to respond to every little noise your baby makes. While loud cries should elicit a response, you can wait to see what happens from a few whimpers or murmurs. Sometimes your baby may be making noises in their sleep, and you rushing to pick them up could disturb their sleep cycle. However, as you get to know your baby, you’ll learn what their sounds mean and how you should respond.
3. Keeping Them Up Late
A lot of new parents make the mistake of thinking that if they keep their baby up late, they’ll sleep later in the day. The baby wakes up through the night anyways, so a later bedtime shouldn’t matter. The problem is that late bedtimes are bad for your baby. If you put them to bed too late, they’ll be too exhausted to comfortably settle down to rest. Instead, put baby to sleep when you notice them yawning and rubbing their eyes.
4. Letting Them Sleep on the Go
As a new parent, you’re busy. You’re probably relieved when your newborn falls asleep in their car seat or stroller while you’re out running errands. Unfortunately, on-the-go sleep isn’t the same as crib sleep, and can hold potential dangers. They could hit their head on seat buckles or develop flat head syndrome. It’s best to keep naptime and their sleep location consistent so that you can promote good sleep during the day and transition into a good bedtime routine for good sleep at night.
Skipping a bedtime routine, responding to every noise, keeping your baby up late, and letting them sleep on the go are four common baby sleep mistakes new parents make. Learning about these mistakes and how to avoid them is just one part of the parenting learning curve. If you’ve avoided these mistakes but still notice your baby is struggling to sleep at night, consider a newborn sleeping bag. Sleeping bags, especially those made with natural fabrics like merino wool, can help regulate your baby’s temperature throughout the night, which promotes good sleep.