This week, our sleep expert, Leslie Black, weighs in on the big ‘soother debate’. I loved reading this post and I am sure you will find it to be very useful information as well!
Short and sweet… here’s Leslie!
Soothers and Sleep
Many parents ask me whether or not using a soother is a good idea. There are times when soothers are great and other times where soothers are not so helpful.
Sleep is a time where soothers are not ideal. Although soothers can help a baby fall asleep quite easily, they actually interrupt sleep in the long run. Once a baby falls into a deep sleep, the soother will fall out, eventually waking the baby up because the feeling of sucking is gone. When this happens, the baby will cry out for help getting the soother back, so that he or she can fall back asleep. For many babies, this may start happening a few times a night, but over time, it can become something that happens hourly! So, while soothers can be a great help at bedtime, they really don’t help throughout the night as parents are left exhausted after waking all night to put the soother back into their baby’s mouth.
As babies get older, many will eventually be able to find the soother on their own, which parents love because they no longer have to get up all night. However, your baby still has to wake up several times a night to find the soother and put it back in his or her mouth. So, while it seems like the baby sleeps all night, they actually do not. Although the waking is brief and quiet, the baby actually loses consolidated sleep as he or she must become fully awake to find the soother. Whereas a baby who sleeps without a soother, will seamlessly move from one sleep cycle to the next without ever fully waking up, so ultimately will be more well-rested in the morning. As well, soothers often result in short naps (about 30-45 min), which can also lead to a baby feeling over tired.
Soothers can be so useful for calming a baby during a long car ride or keeping your baby happy while you have dinner in a restaurant, so if that makes your baby happy, there is no need to stop. It is just best that soothers are not associated with sleep as, over time, they actually create more work.
**Have some sleep questions you need answers to?**
Leslie is offering a special discount to North Shore Mama fans of 20% off of a full consultation and 10% off of a newborn consultation. Let Leslie know that North Shore Mama (that’s me ) sent you and enjoy the gift of sleep!
To connect with Leslie, you can find her on Facebook and on Twitter. Make sure you also check out her website to sign up for your FREE “Five Steps To Getting Your Baby To Sleep Through The Night” report!