Will a soother help your baby sleep?

freeimage-5736861-highSoothers are a big topic when it comes to babies and sleep. Sometimes soothers are your best friend. When you are driving and your baby is screaming, a soother will help. When you don’t want everyone staring at you in a restaurant because your baby is crying, a soother will help. There are so many times when a soother will help, including when your baby is trying to fall asleep. The problem with soothers and sleep is that, although a soother will help your baby fall asleep, it will also cause your baby to wake up more frequently during the night and is one of the biggest contributors to short naps.  What happens is that a soother very easily becomes a sleep “prop”. Any time you use a prop to get your baby to sleep, your baby will need that prop each time he wakes in order to get back to sleep.  Many parents report to me that they are up every hour putting the soother back into their baby’s mouth. So, while a soother seems gentle because there is not really any crying involved, it is interrupting your baby’s ability to have consolidated sleep.  This means that your baby is always sleeping in a lighter state and not getting that deep, sound sleep that is restful.  This can lead to a baby that is cranky, fussy and always looking for the soother throughout the day.

If you would like your baby to sleep well throughout the night, avoid using the soother as a means to get him to sleep.  Try some shushing, touch or singing instead if your baby needs help calming.  By breaking, or avoiding, association between the soother and sleep, you will find that your baby sleeps longer and more soundly during the night.

Need help removing your baby’s soother? Contact me at leslie@akissgoodnight.ca to find out more about how I can help.