It’s one of the toughest decisions parents have to make – when should you wake your sleeping baby? On one hand, you want to get those much-needed tasks done; but on the other, interrupting their sleep is frowned upon. The dilemma can leave parents feeling helpless and unsure of how much of their sleep they’re willing to sacrifice. But what happens if you do decide to go ahead and wake the baby up?
Read further to find out why should you never wake a sleeping baby.
Why Should You Never Wake A Sleeping Baby?
Never wake a sleeping baby is an old parenting adage that suggests parents should not interfere with the sleep of their babies. It means that if your baby falls asleep, you should let them remain in a deep sleep until they naturally wake up on their own. This can be more beneficial for infant development rather than waking them up and trying to get them back to sleep or disrupting their natural sleep cycle.
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Here are a few reasons why you should disturb the sleep of your cutie:
Longer Sleep Sessions Lead To Better Quality Sleep For Babies
Babies need more sleep than adults because they are growing and developing quickly. Getting enough sleep is essential for babies brain development, mood regulation, physical growth, and overall well-being. Allowing your baby to remain asleep until they naturally wake up on their own allows them to get the full amount of uninterrupted sleep necessary for optimal health.
Unnecessary Stimulation Can Disrupt Sleep Schedule
When you wake a sleeping baby, even if it’s to feed them or change their diaper, you are disrupting their natural sleep schedule. This can have an effect on the overall quality of your baby’s sleep and can make it more difficult for them to fall asleep or stay asleep.
Awakening A Tired Baby May Make Them Difficult To Re-Soothe
If you do wake your baby to change a diaper or offer food, they may be so tired baby awake that when you try to put them back down again, they may fight against it and become fussy or cranky. This is because babies’ sleep is important to stay healthy and alert throughout the day. If they become overtired, they may become irritable and difficult to soothe.
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When It Is Ok To Wake A Sleeping Baby?
There are certain situations in which you may need to wake your baby, to keep them on their regular sleep schedule:
To Feed A Newborn
If your baby is a newborn, you may need to feed them every 2-4 hours during the day or night because they have tiny stomachs and cannot go very long without being fed.
For A Key Appointment
If your baby has an important medical appointment, such as a checkup, vaccine shot, or hearing test, then you may need to wake them at the scheduled time for the doctor or nurse to perform the necessary tests and procedures.
In conclusion, never waking a sleeping baby can offer numerous benefits for infant development, but there are also certain situations when you may need to gently awaken your little one. Ultimately, understanding your baby’s sleep needs and respecting their natural sleep cycle is the best way to ensure your baby gets the rest they need.
To Help Sort Out Day/Night Confusion
If your baby is having difficulty distinguishing between day and night, then you may need to wake them up during the day to keep their sleep schedule on track. This can prevent them from becoming overtired and will help them learn what time of day they should be sleeping and when it’s time to be awake.
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To Preserve The Sleep Schedule
If your baby’s naps are running too close together or if they are not getting enough daytime sleep overall, then you may need to wake them up to make sure that they get the restorative sleep necessary for optimal health. However, you should always do this gently and gradually.
Creating the Right Environment for Falling Asleep and Staying Asleep through the Night
Even if you choose not to wake your baby up, there are still ways that you can help them get quality sleep throughout the night. Here are some tips to ensure that your baby gets enough restful sleep:
Establish A Bedtime Routine
Babies thrive on routine and familiarity, so having a consistent bedtime routine is key for helping them fall asleep quickly and stay asleep for longer periods.
This could include bathing them, singing lullabies, reading stories, or whatever calming activities make your baby feel relaxed before bedtime.
Provide Comfort And Safety
Making sure that your baby is comfortable and safe in their sleeping environment can help them sleep more soundly at night.
This could mean ensuring that their room is not too hot or too cold, providing a cool and dark environment for them to sleep in, creating a designated bedtime space for them, and making sure all of the blankets are secure so they won’t become tangled or cover up their face.
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Monitor Naps During The Day
Monitoring how much your baby’s morning nap will help you understand how much sleep they need at night to be well-rested throughout the day. If you notice that they are not getting enough daytime sleep, then you may need to adjust their nighttime sleep accordingly.
Chose Between Bassinet, Crib, Or Co-Sleeping?
It is important to find a sleeping arrangement that is both comfortable and safe for your baby. This could mean using a bassinet, crib, or even co-sleeping with your baby in the same bed. Each of these options has its pros and cons, so it’s best to do research before deciding on one that works best for you and your family.
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Waking up sleeping babies should be done only when necessary and in an appropriate manner. There are certain situations in which it can be beneficial to wake up your baby such as during newborn feedings or when trying to sort out nighttime confusion. However, too much disruption in their sleep schedule can have negative effects on their overall quality of sleep, so it should be done in moderation.
Creating the right environment, establishing a bedtime routine, and monitoring naps during the day can all help your baby sleep better at night. Finally, choosing the right sleeping arrangement for them will ensure that they stay safe and comfortable while they rest.