Are You Sabotaging Your Baby’s Sleep?
A bit harsh, I know. But there is more to it then the bold statement.
When new parents were asked to share what items were on their baby registry, the most common items included a crib, a car seat, swaddle blankets, bottles, diapers, and a baby monitor. With my first, I did a lot of research around nearly every item that I put on my registry and baby monitors were my most researched item, hands down.
They are wonderful little inventions that have evolved a great deal over the years. In fact, did you know that the first monitor was created in 1937 by Eugene MacDonald, the president of Zenith, after a baby kidnapping? The monitor was called, The Zenith Radio Nurse. A truly tragic story that led to the beginning of baby monitors.
Over the years, they have become quite sophisticated and nearly every household in America has some form of one. They provide a sense of safety for parents and caregivers when they are not in the room with their baby. There is nothing wrong with adding additional safety features when it comes to your child.
However, have you become too attached to your monitor?
Just for a minute, consider what I am about to share with you and if you have ever done the same thing.
You put your baby down for their nap and leave the room. Once outside the room, you turn on the monitor so that the sound is turned up loud enough to hear and maybe even the camera is turned on. After 30 minutes, you hear your little one start to make some noises, so without thinking twice, you rush into their room and find that they are waking up. So, you pick them up, change a diaper and bring them out to the common area of your house. Darn! That was a short nap.
What would happen if you did not respond to your baby immediately upon hearing them stir? Would they start crying, would they fully wake up and require your attention? That is a possibility. But it’s also a very real possibility that if you leave them for a few minutes before attending to them, they may fall back to sleep and continue their nap for another 30-45 minutes…or longer!
We have become too responsive to our baby monitors and are quite possibly interfering with our baby’s natural waking at the end of a sleep cycle and if we just wait a few more minutes, they may go back to sleep on their own.
Now, I am not saying that you should ignore the calls of your child for any extended period of time, only to wait a few minutes (or longer) to see if they put themselves back to sleep. If you give them the space to fall back to sleep on their own, you may just end up with a longer nap and more time to yourself. And this doesn’t just apply to naptime, this works with nighttime sleep too!
So, before you immediately respond to your baby, pause for a few minutes and see what happens.