Welcoming a brand new baby into your life is, of course, a joyful occasion.
But there’s one thing all new parents know about bringing baby home for the first time: it’s time to say farewell to a good night’s sleep.
For decades – centuries, even – parents have banded together to help each other make it through those (sometimes painful) first few months, sharing their tips and tricks to helping baby sleep through the night.
According to a baby sleep expert, we may have it all wrong.
Speaking to The Sun, Natasha Cross, director of Baby Sleep Matters and a mum of two, there are some common misconceptions we've all been following that may actually hinder, rather than help, a baby sleep.
The first thing she says needs to be eliminated? Each and every sleep aid.
"The first thing I tell parents is to remove all sleep aids," she told The Sun.
"Whether that's a mobile over their cot, rocking them to sleep or driving around the block with the baby strapped in to his or her car seat, it has to go."
According to her company's blog, baby needs to know that "sleep time" is very different from the rest of their days - so anything that can be associated with a normal day out (a car ride, a stroll in the pram) should be avoided.
Cross also wants to eliminate one of the biggest misconceptions about the amount of sleep babies actually need.
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"The biggest myth for babies under 12 months is that having less sleep during the day will make them sleep better or longer at night," she said.
"In actual fact the reverse is true and the more sleep they have in the day the better they will sleep at night."
Cross suggests setting up a "consistent and simple" bedtime routine that can be replicated at in any situation, like on holiday or at a friend or family member's home.
"It doesn't have to be more elaborate than just a quick bath, story and milk," her site reads.
To further differentiate between 'bedtime' and 'play time', Cross suggests parents speak to their little ones in soft or quiet tones so there is a "marked contrast between your interaction with them during the day and the lead up to the big sleep".
Her biggest tip of all? "Consistency is key".
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