13 myths about childhood sleep

Many parents have had some doubts about what is right, and what is not , in reference to the way our children sleep . There are myths about babies’ sleep that need to be knocked down and explained what the reality is. The latest issue of The Family Watch Medical Psychosocial Health Network has been produced by dr. Diego García-Borreguero Díaz-Varela, director of the Madrid Dream Research Institute and dra. Milagros Merino Andreu, from the Pediatric Sleep Disorders Unit of the La Paz University Hospital in Madrid .

These are, according to these experts, the different myths and realities that surround the baby’s dream:

Myth 1: Newborns don’t need a sleep schedule. Fact: All children, including newborns, benefit from a regular schedule at night and at nap time.

Myth 2: Babies never sleep through the night without waking up. Fact: Like adults, children can wake up multiple times throughout the night. Either because of the shots, or because they feel bad at specific moments. But from six months a baby can get to sleep continuously without waking up.

Myth 3: Some children never sleep well. Fact: If you have difficulties getting the child to have a continuous and / or restful sleep, it will be necessary to consult your pediatrician so that the necessary measures can be established. But a priori, all children can get a good night’s sleep.

Myth 4: Some children don’t need to nap. Reality: It is true. Children naturally need fewer naps as they get older.

Myth 5: Children who don’t nap sleep more hours at night. Reality. That’s not true. Many children who are too tired often have a harder time falling asleep at night.

Myth 6: If the child goes to bed late, he will fall asleep earlier and sleep better. Reality: Not necessarily true. It is advisable to put the children to bed at a reasonable time, long before the parents do, and if signs of drowsiness (yawning, irritability) are detected, it is necessary to advance the bedtime about 20-30 minutes.

Myth 7: It is convenient to let the child fall asleep on a rocking chair. Fact: Cradling the baby for a few minutes can calm him if he is restless, but it is better not to get used to it.

Myth 8: The child should not fall asleep in the arms of the parents. Reality: However, it is convenient that, from 6 weeks of age, they learn to fall asleep by themselves in the crib.

Myth 9: Babies sleep through the night if given solid food before 4-6 months of age. Reality: Babies have a very immature digestive system and food must be administered sequentially, assessing their tolerance according to the pediatrician’s nutritional indications.

Myth 10: If the night feeding (the one for dinner) includes milk and / or cereals, the child will sleep better. Fact: This measure must be considered carefully. That is, if a large amount is administered, it will be counterproductive, but if the correct amount is administered, due to its age and weight, it will be beneficial for the facilitating effects of milk sleep, since they contain phenylalanine, precursor of serotonin. (which helps sleep), and the carbohydrates in cereals, which block a substance that keeps us awake, hypocretin.

Myth 11: Siblings should not sleep together because one can wake the other or prevent the other from falling asleep. Fact: This is not necessarily true. If siblings have the same discipline to sleep, there should be no problem in sleeping together.

Myth 12: Letting your child watch TV for a while before bed can help him relax. Reality: You must be careful with this custom since it is recommended that it be done in a very reasonable way, in a short time and no later than 21 hours. And above all, with content appropriate to the age of the minor.

Myth 13: Giving them a glass of warm milk with honey helps children sleep. Fact: This statement is true, since milk and honey have relaxing effects on the child and can help him fall asleep.


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