Tuesday, 05/25/2010, we had the opportunity to participate in a talk by Dr. Marc Weissbluth, MD. at 92Y on the Upper East Side of Manhattan. He’s the acclaimed author of ‘Healthy Sleep Habits, Happy Child’ (and ”Healthy Sleep Habits, Happy Twins’).
There were many great takeaways from that session that are completely aligned with our philosophy that we would love to share with you. Some of them have already been mentioned in previous posts in our blog, so click on the links for further information.
- Children need to have their sleep needs fullfilled in order to guarantee an appropriate neuro development (development of the brain).
- Crankiness and moodiness during the afternoon (between 4pm and 6pm) are great signs of overtiredness.
- You can help your baby develop healthy sleep habits from day 1.
- An early bedtime in place is essential.
- Put your baby down, drowsy but awake.
- Children thrive on schedules.
- Develop and practice appropriate sleep routines.
- Eeach family is different, and therefore your sleep training strategy should be customized to your family circumstances.
- When sleep takes place is more important that the duration of that particular sleep period.
We encourage you to follow these principles when implementing your baby’s sleep training plan.
Dr. Weissbluth is a big defensor of cry it out (CIO) or extinction on method for sleep training, that basically involves putting your baby down to sleep (drowsy but awake), and let him soothe himself to sleep. Parents do not go back to check on the baby even if he is crying. He does mention other sleep training methods, such as ‘check & console’ or ‘graduated extinction’; but he certainly believes that CIO is the only effective method of all.
We, Smooth Parenting, do not believe CIO is the way to go in most circumstances; so that’s where we part ways with Dr. Weissbluth. We do, though, value extremelly his insights and research on child development and his wonderful research on sleep, memory, child development, circadian rhythms and brain development; and for that, we will continue to consider him a reference.