Busting the BS About Baby Sleep

Clearly these scaremongering dicks have never been stuck at home all day so their baby can sleep while their own brains turn into scrambled eggs.

If your baby sleeps in a pram, a sling or your arms, the rocking motion while he is sleeping is actually great for his tiny brain: movement helps develop his vestibular apparatus, a series of canals inside the inner ear that, as fluid moves over them (with movement), send out messages to the nervous system. This helps with the development of speech and language, balance and sensory integration (making sense of all the sensations of sound, movement, taste, smell and visual stimuli). So ditch the guilt and worry, pop your baby in a carrier, get up and go!

You should never rock your baby to sleep.

Try telling this to mothers with actual babies – we do whatever we need to get babies to sleep, the cuddle police can go to hell! We have been rocking babies to sleep for generations, so there just might be something in it (or in us) that’s pretty innate, don’t you think? Hell, I’ve even been known to rock the supermarket trolley when I’ve heard somebody else’s baby crying.

Also see “junk sleep” above. As your baby grows, if rocking becomes unsustainable (or your baby gets too heavy), you can “wean” her from being rocked to sleep by offering more movement when she is awake and introduce gentle music as a relaxation cue, then gradually rock less. Later, you can simply reduce the volume of the music if it’s driving you balmy.

You must never breastfeed your baby to sleep.

Imagine, being all snuggled up to your partner, then, just as you are dozing off, being poked and told, “Move over to your own side of the bed, we are creating ‘bad habits'”? It’s completely natural for your baby to snuggle up and snooze on the boob – there are some amazing chemicals in that mama milk that will knock your baby out quicker than a dose of brandy on the dummy (don’t ever listen to Grandma though, if she suggests this). So why would you wake a sleepy baby and risk tears (yours and your baby’s) just because somebody without boobs has told you this BS?

And, just in case you are worried about “bad habits”, take heart: your baby may love to snuggle up to a warm breast when he’s 18 – but it won’t be yours!

Originally published HERE.

Pinky McKay is an International Board Certified Lactation Consultant, mum of five and best-selling author of  ‘Sleeping Like a Baby’ – and Parenting by Heart. See Pinky’s books HERE (they are available as audio books too). You can download the first chapter FREE here

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