Myth: Put your baby down for a nap as soon as he shows signs of being tired; a yawn or an eye rub for example.
Truth: Your baby might be ready to sleep right away…or you might have to rock him for 45 minutes while he gnaws on his soother like it’s a cigar and intermittently swipes at your face.
Myth: sleep begets sleep, in other words, if your baby has a nice long 2 hour nap, he will have a nice deep sleep that night.
Truth: Remember that 2 hour nap fondly as you rock your baby at warp speed in the glider at 3am…
Myth: a bit of rice cereal in the evening will fill him up and help him have a nice long sleep without needing to nurse.
Truth: no it won’t. That is all.
Myth: developing a good bedtime routine will signal to your child that it’s bedtime. Try warm bath, songs, reading a book.
Truth: your baby is humouring you. He knows what’s coming and is preparing for a long night of battling sleep. Bath makes no difference other than they smell a bit nicer when they are clinging to your shoulder at midnight wailing like a banchee. You can try reading to them, but in my experience they just get frustrated when you don’t let them eat the book. Why title a book Each Peach Pear Plum if it’s not edible?!
Myth: having a solid routine will offer stability, so that they know what to expect and will be comfortable with bedtime.
Truth: except when they are teething. Or reaching a developmental mile stone. Or going through a growth spurt. Or separation anxiety. Or when a western wind is blowing.
Myth: make sure you take time for yourself to recharge.
Truth: because when you get back from the spa you will have a baby who might never forgive you for leaving, and will express his displeasure with at least one sleepless night.
Myth: you will forget all the bad stuff about infants, only remember the snuggles and tiny fingers and toes, and inevitably pop out another.
Truth: if I go through this again it’s not because I’ve forgotten the lack of sleep and never-ending days, it’s because I’m a glutton for punishment and I might have joined a masochist cult or something.
Love you babies!