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More infant sleep information

Posted by Sandra on February 26, 2008

Some blurbs from it (not the whole article, it’s a must read, it’s very informative!!):


1. Don’t ignore your children’s cries. After all, they may be sick, in danger, or in pain. Babies and young children are emotional rather than rational creatures. They can’t comprehend why their cries for help are being ignored. Even with the best of intentions, ignoring children leads them to feel abandoned. The result will be insecure, unhappy children. You cannot “spoil” children by responding to their cries. “Spoiled” children are those who don’t know what to expect from their parents. They are often alternately punished or praised for the same activity at different times.

Expecting babies or young children to “self-soothe” is unreasonable. Responding to children’s cries, comforting them, and trying to help them overcome whatever it is that is bothering them is not only effective, it is the only proper way to help them fall asleep.

2. Don’t let children “cry it out”. Many best-selling childcare books actually instruct parents to let children cry themselves to sleep, suggesting that this will teach children how to “self-soothe”. Wiser parents and doctors find this an unacceptable and self-defeating practice.

3. Don’t expect your infant to sleep through the night. Any sort of “training” to make babies sleep through the night is unnatural and possibly dangerous.

10. Don’t “train” your child to sleep by regulating feeding times. When in good health, a baby will signal when he or she needs to feed. Feeding should never be governed by a time schedule. The idea, currently promoted by some childcare book authors, that babies can be “trained” to “sleep through the night” by restricting, regulating, and managing feeding is unrealistic and cruel. When an infant wants to feed, it is because his or her body requires nourishment. Depriving an infant of nourishment when he or she needs it is, frankly speaking, abusive. Even the American Academy of Pediatrics is very worried by the rise of so-called “parent-directed” feeding schemes as alleged methods of “training” infants and children to sleep through the night.


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