In a new study on infant sleep patterns, it seems the old advice to get your baby on a schedule is being thrown out with the bath water.
Instead, researchers found that parents that forced a routine, when the baby was not responding positively, actually hurt their chances of getting a good night's rest.
Not surprisingly, parents who were emotionally receptive to their baby's cues had babies who slept better. But what was surprising was the debunking of the bedtime routine.
Past studies touted the benefits of a good period of time spent on bedtime prep. For us that means: bath, book, bed with plenty of chatting and cuddling sprinkled throughout. But the article published in the Journal of Family Psychology says prolonged time spent in close proximity has nothing to do with how well your baby will sleep through the night.
Rather than forcing an activity, respond to your child's needs and connect emotionally. Pay attention to whether or not they want to engage in an activity or need a verbal or physical response from you.
When parents provide reassurance through emotional communication, Teti and his colleagues believe that it lets children know they are in a safe environment.
Which leads to a calm child, and a better sleeper.
Will you change the way you get your baby to sleep after reading this?
Image via Orions Twilight/CafeMom