Good Night, Sleep Tight: Avoiding common baby sleep mistakes
Getting baby to sleep is one of the great triumphs of early parenthood. But are you making bedtime harder on yourself - and your little one - by making these common mistakes?
Skipping naptime. The logic goes like this: No nap during the day = baby is more tired at night = bedtime will be a breeze because she'll be exhausted. Turns out that's faulty logic. Babies need lots of sleep, some of it during the daytime. A better-rested baby is a happier baby and a happier baby will have an easier time going to sleep at night.
Staying up too late. It's the same line of reasoning that leads parents to forego naptimes: Thinking that staying up later will equate to a very tired baby who will fall asleep with ease. But babies don't work that way; the more tired they get, the more difficult it is for them to settle down. Waiting too late will result in an overtired baby who gets even less sleep - a recipe for bedtime disaster.
Giving in too soon. If you're trying sleep training, you have to really be willing to stick with it, even when "crying it out" seems to be going on for a while. Commit for at least a week or you'll risk making things even worse. The second and third nights might be worse than the first, with baby crying louder and longer. But if you relent and help her get to sleep, what she's learned is that she needs to cry for a longer time to get your attention.