Sleep Research on Infants and Young Children

Posted June 2, 2010

"The findings from the related Sleep in America poll of sleep practices of children from birth to age 10 and their caregivers clearly noted that sleep problems are highly prevalent, and that they have a negative impact on children and their families. Education is the key not only to the treatment of existing sleep disturbances, but more importantly, for the prevention of sleep problems and the development of best sleep practices. These education efforts clearly go beyond parents to our educational systems and to health-care practitioners."

Saint Joseph’s University, The Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, USA (Published online October 4, 2004)

In view of the above quote,  I'm very pleased to note that Raymond Parenting has offered Sleep from the Start as a prenatal class for parents since 2002.  Dr. Jodi Mindel wrote this article in 2004, stating that the educational system and health-care practitioners should routinely provide prenatal education to parents in an effort to prevent the family disharmoney created by post-natal sleep deprivation.

That this instruction is still not happening in our public health systems is maddening to me and certainly supports my suspicions that many departments within these health systems have chosen to focus on other agendas. Feeding infants, for example, is micro-managed in some cases to the extreme, without equal emphasis on sleep requirements and instruction for parents on how to enable the learning of sleep skills for their babies and young children.

A resource to which I would like to draw your attention is the Encyclopedia on Early Childhood Development.  You may wish to keep it bookmarked because it can take a few days to acquaint yourself with all the fascinating topics covered. There is a section called 'according to experts', a synthesis, and complete folders on every topic. I certainly do not always agree with the experts and I hope you will keep your own perspective and intimate knowledge of your own child(ren) in your mind as you read. 

I would love to hear from you about any topic you decide to research at this wonderful online site.  Do you agree/disagree?  Did you find it interesting to read the 'expert' opinions?  Did you change your mind on anything?


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New Item In Raymond Parenting Store - Take a Look!

Posted May 2, 2010

Guidelines and Schedule for a 3-6 Month Baby—The Manual Continued…

This sleep/schedule for 3-6 month old babies  will be helpful to parents who have purchased The Manual – Birth to Three Months and are wondering what new adjustments to make to your baby’s schedule to ensure her sleep skills stay in place as she grows.  As well, parents who have not read The Manual will also find this document useful, starting at 3 months of age.

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CBC Ideas - The Hurried Infant

Posted April 25, 2010

I've just finished listening to Part 1 and Part 2 of The Hurried Infant.  I think it's an outstanding program and I urge you to find the time to listen.  Much of the philosophy behind what I've been teaching for over 25 years is based on the type of research this program tells us about.  Turns out it's not just babies who are being hurried -- babies these days have very hurried parents. Listenng to this program just might help you feel more relaxed as a parent, particularly on the subject of choosing the "right" preschool and early reading.

Note: two of the women we listen to in the 2nd half have irritating ways of speaking.  So try to "purposefully ignore" that irritation and still hear what they have to say. 

Here is the CBC Ideas link.

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Stress On Your Marriage from the Blessed Event?

Posted October 26, 2009

Sam and Shelia, both age 30, waited with baited breath for their first baby to be born.  It would be a moment like no other. Nine months of preparation, a top-notch midwife, breathing exercizes and crib sheets to match the curtains! What could go wrong?  And nothing did.  The baby was healthy, grandma came to help and the gifts rolled in. 

By week 4, however, the shine wore off as grandma left and Sam went back to work.  Shelia lost sleep, the baby cried a lot, and when Sam came in the door each night, all she wanted was to hand over the baby and take a bath or a nap.  Initially Sam was OK with that but he noticed that their relationship was slowly changing.  All their conversation was about the baby, the # of wet diapers, sketchy naps and soon the insides and outsides of this baby dominated their relationship.  Sam wanted to take Sheila out for a break but the baby wouldn't take a bottle and grandma was gone.  Sheila often went to bed by 8:30 PM leaving Sam to spend the evening cleaning up.  How could one baby create such chaos?  And what was going wrong with their dream?

It turns out that the birth of the first baby is one of life's great stressors for couples.  The hype, of course, is just the opposite.  So this couple, going through the normal woes of this life-changing event, thought there was something wrong with them.  They began to blame each other and things got worse. 

Luckily for them, help was not far away.  A very good friend told them about The Relationship Resource Ltd.  It seemed odd to them that they might need outside help but they knew they weren't having fun and their parenting expectations were not being met. Their relationship was unravelling -- it was time to seek help.

If any of this sound familiar to you I recommend you take a look at this website.  Amy is a remarkable woman and a highly recommended family therapist. 

Oh, and if your baby isn't born yet, Amy offers prenatal advice for parents-to-be. This may be one of the most important prenatal investments you make.

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