As parents I am sure we have all heard it and to be honest I have been guilty of saying it. Yet in actual fact it is a myth, sometimes to not wake the sleeping baby can make their sleep worse. Here is why…..
In the newborn stage our babies need regular feeds usually every 3-4 hours. If a bub misses out on a feed during the day they will wake overnight looking for the feeds they missed. For some babies who may be having trouble gaining weight they must be woken. By waking a newborn to feed we ensure they are getting all the milk and calories they need to grow and develop. Newborns have such small stomachs they can only take so much milk at a time. To read more about newborn sleep check out my blog on awake times for newborns.
Getting the Sleep Debt Right
As babies get a bit older they need to build up sleep debt. Having the correct awake time ensures babies are tired enough to sleep overnight. Getting the right amount of sleep is fine line between being overtired or not enough sleep debt. If our little ones have sleep to long at the wrong time of the day this will also affect their sleep debt. So you can see sometimes out little ones need help sleeping at the right time to help them have better sleep.
As our little ones become toddler we need to help them have the right amount of day sleep. Again if our little ones over sleep they are not tired and they miss out on restorative sleep at night. Or they may have broken night sleep meaning during the night the think it is time to get up and play. Having broken night sleep is not only hard on the parents but it can have huge impact on the toddler. Broken sleep can effect a toddlers mood an behaviour during the day. To read more here to find out why sleep is important.
How to Wake a Sleeping Baby
Now I know waking a sleeping baby sounds hard. But Waking your child can be as easy as opening the blinds letting light in and turning off the white noise. If this isn’t enough to wake your child they me need a gentle rub and quietly talk to them. When wake my little one I walk into her room she looks so peaceful. But if I don’t wake her she doesn’t go to bed until late which means she will still be tired in the morning. This then becomes a cycle and she effects her mood.
Getting your child’s sleep right is a balancing act. Sometimes it means you need to wake your baby to ensure they have their next nap. So to ensure they are having milk often enough. Or to ensure they have great night sleep. Balnce is the key to helping your little one get great sleep.
So if some tells you not to wake your sleeping baby tell them it is actually what is best for them. Not that you need to explain yourself.