5 baby sleep myths you can ignore

March 23, 2017
  • To help him sleep better at night, don’t let him nap for more than three hours at a time during the day.
    1 / 5 To help him sleep better at night, don’t let him nap for more than three hours at a time during the day.

    The fact “The duration of daytime naps generally doesn’t affect night-time sleep,” reveals Dr Mahesh Babu Ramamurthy, senior consultant in the Division of Paediatric Pulmonary, Sleep and Critical Care at National University Hospital.

    If your baby has problems sleeping at night, work on timing his naps so that he doesn’t sleep past 6pm.

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  • A nap in a car seat or stroller doesn’t count.
    2 / 5 A nap in a car seat or stroller doesn’t count.

    The fact All sleep counts, according to Tammy Fontana, a sleep consultant who runs Baby Sleep Fairy.

    “A nap is a nap,” Dr Chng Seo Yi, a paediatrician at SBCC Baby and Child Clinic agrees. “If Baby can stay asleep in a car seat or stroller, it definitely counts towards the total sleep time.”

    The only difference lies in the quality, Tammy points out, as on-the-go sleep isn’t as restorative for your baby.

    Related: Going out with baby: 7 common problems and solutions

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  • If your baby is crying and can’t get to sleep, help by rocking him.
    3 / 5 If your baby is crying and can’t get to sleep, help by rocking him.

    The fact The experts agree that rocking can become an unhealthy sleep association. “All babies should be taught to fall asleep independently on their own, without the need for a parent to carry or rock,” Dr Chng points out. 

    She suggests a crying baby be carried and soothed. But once the little one is comfortable, gently put him in the cot while he’s sleepy but still awake, so he can learn to fall asleep independently.

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  • Don’t let your baby play and laugh too much in the day; it can lead to night awakenings.
    4 / 5 Don’t let your baby play and laugh too much in the day; it can lead to night awakenings.

    The fact Stress factors, such as adjusting to a new infant care centre, are the more likely causes, according to Dr Mahesh.

    In fact, playtime during the day is encouraged, as exercise during this period has been shown to promote sleep at night, Dr Chng shares. “But the two hours prior to bedtime should be a restful period, with minimal horseplay and stimulatory activities like television.”

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  • Your six-month-old wakes up more frequently because he’s going through a growth spurt.
    5 / 5 Your six-month-old wakes up more frequently because he’s going through a growth spurt.

    The fact “Most babies at this age should be able to sleep through the night from midnight to 6am without waking,” explains Dr Chng.

    If your cutie isn’t, Tammy suggests it’s not so much due to growth spurt. Rather, it’s because any unhealthy sleep habits that were cultivated would have set in by now.

    This can mean he wakes up for milk, not because he is hungry, but because he’s already accustomed to being fed before going back to sleep.

    (Photos: 123RF.com)

    Related: How to stop baby night feeding 

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