Dr. Weissbluth and Sleep Training
Dr. Marc Weissbluth, a sleep disorders specialist at Children's Memorial Hospital in Chicago and the author of Healthy Sleep Habits, Happy Child, believes that establishing healthy sleep habits in infants is critical to a child's long-term overall health. Dr. Weissbluth insists that parents need to establish consistent naps and early bedtimes to avoid the baby becoming overtired. In that state, he maintains, it's more difficult for the child to fall asleep. He warns against keeping a baby up late in order to accommodate a parent's schedule. The price, he cautions, is a sleep-deprived child.
When the baby is very young, Weissbluth advocates putting her to sleep after two hours of wakefulness, and doing whatever it takes to achieve this (rocking, singing, etc.). Your baby may cry in protest. Allow the crying to continue from five to twenty minutes, then pick her up and try again. From four to twelve months, Weissbluth recommends your baby take two naps a day (never in the car or stroller) and then enforcing an early bedtime. If the baby cries at bedtime, says Weissbluth, do not go in her nursery at all, because “down is down.”