Million Dollar Question!!!
This week I wanted to focus on something that a lot of parents struggle with. As much as I talk about sleep props not always being the best, there are some props that I actually am an advocate for. So this blog is my point of view on props and what’s a keeper, what’s not a keeper and my reason behind my opinions. So lets dive in….
The pacifier I have feelings of love and… not so much love for this one. If your baby takes a pacifier consider yourself lucky. Some babies (such as mine) never do take a pacifier. I feel like it would have made our life just a little more peaceful and quiet. Especially during the night. Not only does it help soothe your child in times of need, such as immunizations and illness but studies show it actually decreases the risk of SIDS. A pacifier can also be a great little sleep prop up until the age of 18 months. Typically 18 months is when it’s time to say goodbye.
The only reason I can say that I am not a fan of the pacifier is when it can start to affect your little ones sleep. Once your child becomes very dependant on that pacifier it’s usually time to start the process of saying goodbye to it. Some ways to know it’s time to send the pacifier away is:
* baby is waking multiple times a night for you to reinsert it.
* baby is wanting it all day everyday.
* short sleep due to not being able to transition between sleep cycles without the help of a pacifier.
However if your wanting to keep the pacifier, there are ways to do this and help your little one along the way to break the dependency. A few example of these would be:
* giving your baby lot’s of tummy time to practice being able to reach their pacifier themselves.
* putting a few pacifiers around the inside of your babies crib to help them be able to reach for one.
* they have glow in the dark pacifiers that will make it easier for them to find one if needed.
These are just a few tips but more options are available. I also specialize in saying goodbye to the pacifier all together and have some great fun ways to help your toddler say goodbye.
Blankies, Lovies and Stuffies!
I am not going to lie. Our daughter from a very young age was introduced to her beloved Lovey. Three years later and it is still her most loved comfort prop she has. As a sleep consultant I do believe that props can defiantly hinder your child’s sleep, but I do also believe these can be a blessing in disguise.
When I do a consultation with a family, one of my main questions is what do they use for a comfort while in the crib or bed. This is because I feel if they have something to hold onto on their own, (not mom or dad) they then have a better chance at being able to self soothe. With our daughter, when we were sleep training we could lay her down, pass the lovey to her and she would rub it all over her face. It would distract her from the fact mom and dad are no longer in her room.
To this day she still sleeps with her lovey every night as well as holds onto it if she’s not feeling good, she’s sad or even mad. My only advice to this is if it something that they find the most comfort with try and get a few of them. Just as you would a pacifiers in the crib. I was lucky enough that the lovies our daughter loves went on clearance. I grabbed all three that were left and knowing now from experience, I am so glad I did. We keep one at daycare, one in her bed and one put away for emergency use only!
Every parent hopes that their baby will take a bottle. Once again we were not lucky in this department and after trying numerous different bottles it was time to give up. What I love about bottles is not only it gives mommy some freedom but it also gives the other parent a chance to feed their baby. Which can be such amazing bonding time. Not that there are not other ways to bond with your child, however there is something about feeding your baby and looking into their little eyes looking at you that makes it so special.
Now that I made bottle feeding sound glorious and I’m sorry for all you parents out there that their babies did not take a bottle….I feel your pain, however the bottle does have some downfalls. Babies and toddlers can become very dependant on bottles and sometimes parents let their little ones fall asleep with one. This can become a no no sleep prop such as nursing or rocking to sleep. If your child is falling asleep to the comfort of a bottle every night and through the night, chances are they are going to want that exact same sleep prop to fall asleep every time they have a night waking.
They can also have troubles transitioning to the next sleep cycle without that prop. Which could mean you’ll be up every 30-40 minutes. Not only would this lead for a terrible sleep for the whole household but also could lead to many issues such as tooth decay and believe it or not, ear infections. Therefore the idea of bottles are wonderful and can be amazing for so many different reasons however not using them for exactly what they are intended for can lead to hard to break habits and health issues.
As much as I would love to say use whatever you can to get your little one to sleep I do believe that some of these can cause havoc. Understanding what is considered a healthy sleep prop and when it’s time to set them free might just turn your little ones sleep issues around. If you have any concerns or questions regarding your little ones sleep habits I would love to hear from you. Not only does it help me understand what you are going through but I can also work with your family to get things back on track. Every child is unique so what works for one might not work for the other. This is why each consultation I do is fully based on your child’s habits, surroundings and schedules.
Thanks for taking a few minutes to read through my blog and I hope this helps you understand both sides of a sleep prop!