Sleep in Children

Helen Rose, MD
2009

Sleep is one of the biggest challenges for parents – you are not alone in your frustration!  There is no one right answer, but I have found that the following tips sever parents well.

General advice:

Babies:

Toddlers:

Children:

 

If all else fails, choose a book that fits your philosophy, and stick with it.  Books on this list usually work, but a parent must feel comfortable with the methods.  It often helps to start a book immediately after a disruption in routine, like a trip to Granny’s etc.

 

Books I recommend:

The American Academy of Pediatrics, Your Baby’s First Year : Well written, not flashy, but very helpful and positive.  Gives tips on numerous topics, including sleep.  Would recommend that all parents buy.

Healthy Sleep Habits, Happy Child by Marc Weissbluth  Agrees with crying it out, but gives excellent tips on getting your baby on a schedule that minimizes crying.  Watch out, makes you feel guilty if you work or have ever let your child sleep in a carseat or swing.  Broken down by age, which is nice.

Solve Your Child’s Sleep Problems by Richard Ferber, M.D. Kinder, gentler, more time-consuming cry-it-out method.  Also felt to be very effective.  Broken down by type of sleep problem.

Raising Your Spirited Child by Mary Sheedy Kurcinka General behavior book, with sleep tips specific to your intense, sensitive, perceptive, persistent, and/or energetic child.  Not as in depth on sleep, but nice if your child is on the difficult side (it’s also written from a positive perspective and can help you see how terrific your child is even is he is hard to control and live with!  We all need reminders like that.)

The Baby Sleep Book: The complete Guide to a Good Night’s Rest for the Whole Family by William, Martha, Robert, and James Sears.  Must agree with attachment parenting.  A no-cry solution that is right for some families.  Many other books available by the Sears family.  Highly regarded in the realm of attachment parenting.