Ways The Experts Can Get YOUR Baby Wrong

Being a new parent is overwhelming. Throw in sleep deprivation and it can even make you a little crazy! Between book “experts,” doctors, pediatricians, and even well-intentioned grandparents, there is so much conflicting advice on how to raise your little one. But what happens when a tried and true expert method just doesn’t work for you and your baby? Do you stay the course? Or is it ok to ditch the books and figure out what is right for you and your family?

Expert advice: “Don’t rock your baby to sleep.”

If you pick up any book on baby sleep, 9 times out of 10 the author will suggest not rocking your baby to sleep as this behavior will form a bad habit for years to come. But contrary to popular belief, it won’t ruin your kids for life. Some parents like rocking their babies to sleep. Imagine a working parent who comes home from a long day and all they want to do is spend some quality time with their child. A special time can include singing or rocking before bed. Don’t feel guilty for taking the time you need to spend with your babies while they will let you! We can assure you that your child won’t want you to rock them to sleep when they are ready to leave for college.

Expert advice: “Don’t nurse or feed your baby to sleep.”

It is hard to keep a baby awake if they want to sleep. It happens. Babies fall asleep while eating, especially at night. Is it going to ruin them forever? No. It seems like the “tricks” for keeping a baby up for a feeding: tickling their feet, stripping them down, changing a diaper, just prolongs a late night feeding session. If feeding your baby to sleep works for you, do it!

Expert advice: “Start cutting out night feedings to get your baby to sleep through the night.”

Your baby likes to eat during the night. Most babies do. If it isn’t for the nutrition, it is for the comfort of being lulled back to sleep by their Mom or Dad. If it takes longer to get your baby back to sleep than it would to just feed them, go ahead and feed them! Odds are they will be up in a shorter amount of time anyway because they are hungry.

Expert advice: “Babies sleep better in a cold room.”

Some experts agree that anywhere from 65-68 degrees is a perfect sleeping temperature for babies. But personal preference can vary. Do you like sleep in that cold of a room? Are you uncomfortable if the air conditioning or furnace is blowing on you at night? If so, it may affect your baby too! Play around with the temperature to see if something slightly warmer makes a positive difference.

Expert advice: “Bath time before bed.”

It is conventional wisdom that a bath before bedtime is soothing and relaxing. But if you find that a bath just revs your baby up, try a morning or afternoon bath instead. If your baby is a stinky mess at the end of the night, a thorough wipe down with a washcloth or sponge bath may do the trick!

Expert advice: “Put baby on a nap and sleep schedule as soon as possible.”

Many experts agree that having a baby on a sleep schedule is beneficial. In a perfect world who wouldn’t want their baby to sleep on schedule? But if you find that suggested schedules just aren’t working for your baby, don’t be afraid for them to dictate their own schedule. Some babies just aren’t meant to nap at 3 hour increments and 12 hours a night.

Expert advice: “Swaddle your baby.”

This is a supposed “miracle” technique. They even named a blanket after it! But what if your baby hates it? Conventional experts say to power through and that your baby might not like it, but they need it anyway. Don’t be afraid to ditch the swaddle if you find that it aggravates your baby more than it helps. Experiment with a sleep sack, or just swaddling their bodies and leaving their hands free.

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Each child is born with a unique personality, along with specific preferences that are one-of-a-kind. While books can be helpful, and are a great way to reap information, it’s important to remember that they are not a one-size-fits-all solution. If your baby is showing you that they are not happy, follow their individual cues! Habits may be hard to change down the road, but they are not impossible.

Did you choose to “go against” the advice of experts? We’d love to hear from you in the comment section!

Is your baby close to turning 1 year old? Check out this post on 10 Things to Celebrate: The First Year.

Photo Credits: Kristy T., The Art of Making A Baby , The Memoirs of Megan, Bébé au Lait

 

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Steph

Wife. Mom. Adopted Texan. Expert in mega blocks. Always thinking about her next meal. Always. Steph has two boys and lives in Austin, Texas where she stays at home and enjoys play dates, running around, and wine. Lots of wine. In her “spare time” [ha!], she is the author of the blog The Kat Almanac, where she talks all about the crazy ride that is parenting.

Comments (3)

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    Twyla

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    Too often, people really do get caught up in the expert advice. You are very right — every child is a different, unique human being and we each have our preferences. Great information for new parents and even seasoned parents that are dealing with a child that is nothing like their first! Don’t be afraid to think outside of the box, as it were =)

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    Elizabeth

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    I wanted my baby on a schedule sooo bad, but she just would not do it. Once I realized I wasn’t a horrible parent if she napped and ate at different times every day life was easier. I’m just glad at least she will go to bed at the same time every day.

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    Syl

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    I have gotten all sorts of advice about sleeping for my now 20month old daughter. In her own room, in a crib next to our bed, let her cry, don’t let her cry, rock her, don’t rock her. It made and still makes me terribly uncertain. My girl is not an easy sleeper. On a good night she wakes once. If she can hold my hand or feels my hand on her head she quickly falls back asleep again. But according to the “wise” people she needs to do this on her own and by not letting her figure it out herself I am creating a future neurotic, insecure, depending person. I do not understand why I should love and care for her during the day and stop doing this at night. Have you ever seen any animal mother in nature that kicks her young out at night? Every time I try to follow the expert advice I end up with a terribly upset child and I feel the same. I am learning to stand up for what I think is right for us and do it that way.

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