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What are Sleep Props and How are They Disturbing My Baby’s Sleep?
When it comes to sleep, more often than not, we need something to help us, like a pillow, bolster, or blanket. That is called a sleep prop, something that someone depends on to fall asleep. It can be anything at all, and not necessarily an item, such as white noise in the background or an action like rocking a baby.
A sleep prop is neither good nor bad, and especially when it comes to babies, it is more about whether or not it is helpful. Getting a baby to sleep can be very difficult, with certain times more so than others, and a sleep prop can come in handy. So, come explore the world of sleep props with me, a baby sleep specialist in Singapore.
Signs That a Sleep Prop is Not Helping Your Baby
Now, every baby is different, so they react differently to different sleep props. And how we as parents interact with them can make an impact as well.
There are many things that can be used as a sleep prop for a baby, but they may not actually work. We may think that a particular one is helping our babies sleep when actually they could do without it.
So, if your baby is displaying the following signs, it is a possibility that their sleep props are not suitable for them.
- Wakes up multiple times through the night
- Cranky during the day
- Does not fall asleep easily
- Naps are short
- No routine in their daytime schedule
How Sleep Props Can Help But Also Harm
As we have cleared up, sleep props are not inherently bad or good. It is a matter of whether or not they are helpful to a baby when it is time for bed.
Here, I have listed some common sleep props that can go either way, or are both at the same time.
A pacifier is a very common item that is used for babies during sleep. It is a source of comfort for them and helps them drift off to sleep. However, for some babies, it only works when the pacifier is in their mouths. So, if the pacifier pops out in the middle of their sleep, they will wake up.
2. Rocking baby to sleep
Rocking your little one to sleep allows him/her to nod off in the comfort of his/her parent’s embrace. It’s warm, it’s snuggly, it’s great. But they can grow dependent on that feeling if it is done too often. When that happens, it will take longer and more effort to get your baby to sleep more independently.
3. Nursing baby to sleep
Nursing your baby to sleep has a similar effect as a mix of having a pacifier and being rocked. Of course, it is no problem if this is done on occasion. But if done too often, or every day, your baby will get used to it, become too dependent on it, and will find it difficult to fall asleep without being nursed.
Location can be a sleep prop too. Some babies are placed in a cot, in a bassinet, or sometimes in a swing when it is time for a nap or sleep. In places like a swing, it can be overstimulating for a baby. If it works, however, great. But do avoid doing it too often or you might have a baby needing it every so often.
Helpful Sleep Props
Sleep props often become unhelpful if it does not allow a baby to sleep more independently. Ideally, they are items, actions, or an environment that keeps a baby sleeping soundly and restfully. So, here are some positive sleep props that do not require an adult to get up multiple times a night to turn it on or pop it back into the baby’s mouth.
- White noise machine – creates neutral background sounds
- Dark environment – helps to block out light
- Swaddle / Sleep sack – regulates baby’s temperature and acts as a cue for naptime/bedtime
- Newborn sleep family plan packages – a baby sleep specialist can help to figure out what works and what does not
We may have differentiated between helpful and unhelpful sleep props. However, ultimately, it depends on your baby and the environment. If something already works for your baby and you, just continue with it. There is no need to change anything. Do not fix what isn’t broken.
But, if you have a baby who has a hard time falling or staying asleep, and you have exhausted all means, perhaps it is time to take a look at newborn sleep family plan packages. It is not just for newborns, as you can get infant sleep family plan packages or toddler sleep family plan packages, whichever that fits your needs.
And you can get all that here at Sleepy Bubba. For more information, you can contact me for a FREE 15 minute discovery call. Say goodbye to restless nights for your baby and you.