Skip to main content

5 (more) Sleep myths that can effect your lil ones sleep

Sleep Myth #6: Every time my baby wakes overnight, s/he must be hungry - FALSE!

Babies who wake during the first few months are more likely waking from hunger, but older babies (over 4-6 months) who wake frequently (every 1-2 hours), may not be waking from hunger. Ask yourself whether your baby can be soothed in other ways. Also, ask yourself whether your baby is going to sleep from an awake state at bedtime (without being nursed or rocked).  This is the first step to longer stretches at night.  *Discuss with your baby's doctor how many night feeds they need in that 10-12 hour stretch at night.  

Sleep Myth #7:  If your child wakes before 6:00 am, put him/her to bed later - FALSE! 

Often, putting your child to bed later makes them rise earlier.  Review my blog on Early Rising, look at the four causes of early rising to see if you can identify why your child is waking so early in the morning.

Sleep Myth #8:  If you keep your child up all day, they will sleep better at night - FALSE!

Children who nap well during the day, at age appropriate times, actually fall asleep more easily and sleep better at night. Children who are over-tired are more likely to have difficulty falling asleep and staying asleep at night. So, if your child is having sleep difficulties, consider whether s/he is napping at the correct time or needs more day sleep! You may also review my blog on Schedules, Naps and Awake Windows  to check the age appropriate schedule for your child.

Sleep Myth #9:  TV before bed helps calm them down/get them sleepy - FALSE!

According to the National Sleep Foundation, researchers caution that use of any electronic devices within one hour of bedtime are harmful to the sleep-onset process because the artificial light can suppress our body’s natural release of melatonin, the hormone that helps signal our body to fall asleep.  

Sleep Myth #10:  My toddler won’t nap – s/he just doesn't need it! - FALSE!

Many toddlers go through phases when they resist napping, or skip naps some days of the week. Most toddlers need a nap until they are at least 3+ years old. Consistency in enforcing nap time, ensuring that your toddler knows how to put himself/herself to sleep and making sure you are putting your toddler down for his/her nap at the 'right' time can help ensure successful nap practices.  

Sleep Myth #11:  Gifted children don’t need as much sleep as other children - FALSE!

It is true that many gifted children have difficulty shutting down and getting enough sleep, but the studies actually show that children who get more sleep during their toddler years (and beyond) do better in school – they have higher grades and better math and language skills.  

Sleep Myth #12:  My toddler doesn't seem sleepy or tired, so s/he must be well-rested -  FALSE!

Children are different from adults, and may even seem energetic or hyper when they are over-tired. Many children who are over-tired exhibit attention and behavior problems, or may simply be difficult or cranky in the afternoons. Look at these others signs that your toddler may be overtired and if so, try an early bedtime and age appropriate day sleep.  

Other signs of an over-tired toddler - does he/she: 
Always fall asleep in the car?  
Fall asleep shortly after rising in the morning?  
Crash much earlier than their usual bedtime?  

I wish you and your family sweet dreams!

Written by: Michelle Donaghy

This blog is 2 of 2 in a Sleep Myths series, if you wish to view part 1: Sleep Myths 1-5

Photo credit: - photo contest submission 
Photo credit: MSD Baby Sleep Coach - Client photo, published with permission


Popular posts from this blog

Sleep and doTERRA Essential Oils for Children

As some of you may know I love doTERRA essential oils and I recently achieved a huge goal that I set for myself and achieved the rank of Silver. I  fell in love with doTERRA just over 4 years ago when I discovered the powerful ways in which doTERRA essential oils could support my desire to take charge of my family's health in a more natural way.   It was a logical transition to then share my love of doTERRA with my clients. When tired families find me, sleep is usually their number one concern.  When the topic of essential oils and sleep is discussed, I always point out that essential oils can help the body and mind relax but they do not replace a child learning independent sleeping skills.  Most children over the age of 6 months are ready and able to learn the skill of independent sleep. If your new to doTERRA and essential oils maybe you have concerns about the safety of essential oils for children, how to use them and which oils are best for aiding in a most res

Time Change - Fall Back 2018

Summer is officially over and we are in the midst of the fall time change. Sunday, Nov 4th at 2:00 AM clock fall back by one hour. Spring forward...Fall back.... I love fall! Cooler weather, leaves changing colors, holidays around the corner and I get an extra hour of sleep. As a parent, I dread my kids waking up too early and having to adjust their sleep patterns. Do you? If so, here are some options to help you and your family through the transition when we set our clocks backwards one hour on Sunday November 4th. Gradual Approach:  The gradual approach is usually recommended for younger children (3 and under) or those who do not adjust well to rapid changes in their schedules. Start the week before the time change and slowly shift your baby's sleep schedule later.  For example: move bedtime, morning wake up time and nap times later by 10-15 minutes. Keep moving the entire schedule later every few days but ensure your child doesn't get overtired.  By the t

Spring Forward - Top 10 tips for you and your family

     In the US on Sunday, March 14th we “spring forward”! Be sure and turn your clocks forward 1 hour, before bed on Saturday night.  I always think that losing sleep is a bummer, even if it's just 1 hour!   If you have kids this change may help you sleep later.  Here's how - If you/your child(ren) typically wake at 6am, then they will likely wake 7 AM on the new clock ... if 6 AM was their usual wake up time.  If you like this change then YAY!  This is a great fix for an early riser.  See more tips below.   Grown-ups and teens may have difficulty with this change as most go to bed too late as it is and to properly adjust to this time change we should go to bed earlier and on Monday we have to get up an hour earlier too.   Here are 10 tips to help with the transition: 1. Do nothing to fix early rising If you/your child(ren) typically wake at 6am, then they will likely wake 7am.  If you like this change then YAY!  This is a great fix for an early riser. Keep meals, naps, and