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  • It is amazing how many very reasonable sounding ideas…are totally wrong. I covered 6 common myths in another article, but there are so many crazy, wrong ideas around out there that I had to cover a few more. Myth 7: Some babies need their arms out for sleep Nope. Does your baby resist swaddling: Many parents assume that a baby who resists having her arms straightened wants her arms “free.” (We certainly wouldn’t want to be tightly swaddled. But, then again we wouldn’t want to live in a uterus for 9 months, either…and yet babies love it in there.) Wrapping imitates the cuddly confines of the womb and prevents startles that can wake your little one up. So, even if she struggles against arms-down swaddling, you will see she settles pretty fast when you add some other S’s (like sucking, white noise and motion). Myth 8: Babies should sleep in their own rooms. No. There’s no rush to have your baby “become independent.” In fact, putting your baby in another room is super- inconvenient for nighttime care and feeding. Plus, room sharing reduces your baby’s risk of SIDS. Myth 9: By six months most babies sleep through the night. Actually, this one is wrong on two counts. First, even by 6 months 50% of infants still wake once a night…and babies who bed share do it even more often. Second, no baby ever sleeps through the night! (And, neither do older kids or adults.) We all wake - slightly - when we enter the light sleep part of our sleep cycle (2-3 times a night). If the room is the same as when we fell asleep (our pillow didn’t fall, we don’t smell smoke, etc.) we dive back into slumber and don’t remember waking. Likewise, once your baby learns to self-soothe she’ll be able to fall back to sleep, without assistance…unless, of course, she’s hungry or uncomfortable. Myth 10: Babies must adapt to the family, not the family to the baby. This one is just silly. Having a baby is a huge change for a family, so of course we all have to make big adjustments. Think of it this way, one of your top goals is to build your baby’s confidence and trust. In fact, during the first 9 months, building that sense of security is much more important than pushing her to be more independent. Myth 11: Keeping babies awake during the day makes them sleep more at night. Nope. Keeping a tired baby awake usually boomerangs…leaving him miserable, overtired and fighting sleep! On the other hand, babies given lots of sleep throughout the day are more resilient and balanced. They fall asleep faster and easier, as long as they’re put to bed before they get bleary eyed and exhausted. Myth 12: Swaddling is bad for nursing. Quite the opposite. Swaddling will keep your baby from bringing her hands to the mouth (an early signal of hunger). But, in the middle of the night, you don’t want to respond to early feeding cues. Within thirty minutes, her hunger will increase and she’ll send you later hunger cues, like fussing and crying. In fact, by waiting she’ll get a bit hungrier and take a bigger, fuller feed.

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