What would this pediatric sleep consultant never suggest a parent do when it comes to their little one’s sleep? Keep reading to find out!
I’m sure you’ve seen the trend on Instagram and TikTok. You know, the one where professionals share 5 things they would never do now that they’re experts in their fields? (I thought this one by a “professional mother” was pretty funny! 🤣)
In all honesty, I have learned quite a bit in my 3 years as a sleep coach, so I thought I’d share my top 5 with you today!
While the American Academy of Pediatrics recommends that parents sleep in the same room as their infant, the organization strongly advises against co-sleeping (bedsharing).
Why? Because it’s dangerous.
According to an 8 year study of risk factors for SIDS (Sudden Infant Death Syndrome) a total of 49 percent of infants who died from SIDS were found while bed-sharing with an adult.
Bottom line? As a pediatric sleep consultant, I would never co-sleep.
Instead, remember the ABCs of safe sleep. Babies under a year of age should sleep:
- On their backs
- And in an empty crib (or bassinet, pack ‘n’ play, etc.)
#4: Put Your Infant to Bed in a Bright Room
A dark room signals to our brains that it’s time for rest. So, if you put your infant down for a nap in a bright room, it will likely take them much longer to fall asleep, and they probably won’t sleep for as long as they would in a pitch-black room.
What should you do instead? Purchase blackout shades or curtains (I like these) to ensure your little one’s sleep space is as dark as possible–even during the day.
#3: Skip White Noise
Have you ever tried to fall asleep in a noisy room? Or have you ever been startled awake by a settling house or a car door slamming outside your window?
Ambient noise can ruin a sound sleep, and this is especially true for our little ones.
A white noise machine such as this one will drown out the noise and allow your little one to sleep through the everyday sounds outside her room.
Related Blog Post: Will My Child Always Need a White Noise Machine?
#2: Put Cereal in a Bottle To Help with Sleep
A lot of parents routinely put cereal in their babies’ bottles to promote sleep.
But if you know me, you know I make my sleep recommendations based on science and medicine, which is why I can’t recommend mixing cereal with your baby’s bedtime bottle.
In fact, there are more negative than positive outcomes associated with this practice; the AAP cites that cereal in bottles can lead to constipation and excessive weight gain and is considered a choking hazard.
What can you do instead? Start by creating a solid routine for your baby. You can learn more here.
#1: Leave A Child to Cry Indefinitely
I think a lot of parents believe that pediatric sleep consultants stand by the “cry it out” method. And while I can’t speak for every sleep coach, know that I never recommend this approach.
Yes, there will likely be tears and lots of protesting when you introduce a new sleep routine to your little one, but I’lll never insist you ignore your little one’s cries indefinitely. Sleep training doesn’t have to mean “cry it out!”
After 3 years as a pediatric sleep consultant, I’ve learned a lot! To recap, here are 5 things I’ll never recommend:
- Putting your little one down to sleep in a bright room
- Skipping white noise
- Putting cereal in a bottle to promote sleep
- Leaving your little one to cry indefinitely
I’ll also never recommend you sleep-train alone! So if you’re finally ready to get the sleep you (and your baby!) need, reach out! I can’t wait to chat with you about my sleep packages.