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Getting Your Child to Sleep

  
  At our child's nine month doctor visit, my wife mentioned to our pediatrician that our child wasn't sleeping well, waking up several times during the night. The pediatrician recommended Dr. Richard Ferber's popular book, Solve your Child's Sleep Problems, which provides a method for getting children to sleep through the night in their crib. Ferber's method is to let the child cry for progressively longer intervals so that he/she will eventually learn to go to sleep on his/her own. We tried this method on our child, and after about ten days, it was mildly successful--he tended to only fuss for a few seconds when he woke up and then would go right back to sleep, although he was often up for an extended time around 4am. But his mood during the day was significantly altered. He was much more insecure and clingy. My wife was not satisfied with the result, so she went to the library and did more research on infant sleeping and came across Good Nights, by Dr. Jay Gordon and Ms. Maria Goodavage, which recommends sleeping with your baby, or "family bedding." The big scare for most people who contemplate family bedding seems to be that they'll roll over on their child and suffocate him/her, but statistics show that family bedding is actually less dangerous than having the baby sleep alone in a crib (according to the book). You can read the book for more details on the many positive attributes of family bedding. My wife, child, and I are now total converts. Our child still doesn't always sleep through the night, but he tends to only wake up once, and more importantly, his mood during the day is now dramatically improved to where he is happy and confident. We highly recommend reading Good Nights, and we wish our pediatrician had been more open minded than to recommend only Ferber's book.

Update (3-3-2007): Here's an article from the NY Times on sharing a bed with your children.

 

This page last modified
Sunday, 04-Mar-2007 16:22:17 PST