Healthy Sleep Habits, Happy Child
157
Parent Beware (2 of 3)
November 13, 2023

Found in age groups

Healthy Sleep Habits, Happy Child

5th Edition: 
A Step-by-Step Program for a Good Night's Sleep

Buy now

Healthy Sleep Habits, Happy Child

5th Edition: 
Chapter 1 (only 16 pages!) outlines everything you need to know about your child's sleep.

Buy now

Introduction

A Healthy Child Needs a Healthy Brain, A Healthy Brain Needs Healthy Sleep

If you have not already done so, please read Blog Posts 1 through 5 that describe how sleep is important and beneficial. I will post specific information for parents and children based on my book, “Healthy Sleep Habits, Happy Child.” Please do not be put off by my book’s length. This is a reference book. Read only the topic of interest to you.

Blog 157Parent Beware (2 of 3)

Child and Baby Sleep Advice for new Parents

Blog Posts 15, based on the United States of America Department of the Army Field Manual: Holistic Healing and Fitness, describe what really matters for your child’s sleep. If sleep is an important enough topic for national defense than surely sleep should be considered a serious topic for parenting!

Inexperience, for first-time parents, naturally creates some anxiety about how to best raise your child. Every imaginable opinion is available online to support widely divergent points of view. Many sites create false hopes to get you to buy their product and services. Their marketing preys on your anxiety. Some sleep-deprived parents become desperate. Even though some widely once-popular products and programs have been shown to be useless or dangerous, some of these products and programs are still available!

Caveat emptor (Let the Buyer Beware) is a well-known phrase, but parents also need to beware of false claims regarding rearing children. Myths (Blog Posts 36 and 37), fads (Blog Post 143), and fake news (146 and 147) are a sad part of the history of parenting. Here is a brief cautionary history to give you some perspective on fake promises.

  • Feingold Diet (1973)

From Wikipedia:

Benjamin F. Feingold was a pediatric allergist from California, who proposed in 1973 that salicylates, artificial colors, and artificial flavors cause hyperactivity in children. To treat or prevent hyperactivity, Feingold suggested a diet that was free of salicylates, artificial colors, artificial flavors, BHA, and BHT. Scientific research found no good evidence that it was effective. Although the diet had a certain popular appeal, a 1983 meta-analysis found research on it to be of poor quality, and that overall there was no good evidence that it was effective in fulfilling its claims. In general, as of 2013 there is no evidence to support broad claims that food coloring causes food intolerance and ADHD-like behavior in children.

  • Recordings of Womb Sounds Calm Your Baby (1974)

The long-playing vinyl record ‘Lullaby from the Womb’ was sold in 1974. It was promoted as “A unique listening environment for the newborn baby-designed to calm and soothe through the actually recorded sounds of a mother’s body”. My first son had had colic (Blog Post 43) but my second son did not. My third on son was born in 1975 and I bought this record to see if it worked. Unlike the results of the physician who claimed 100% soothing success, it did not calm my son’s crying. He published his research in the ‘Japanese Journal for Midwife’ in 1979 and no research paper since then has cited his work to support the results.

  • Baby Einstein (1996)

From Wikipedia:

The Baby Einstein Company was founded in 1996 by former teacher and stay-at-home mom Julie Aigner-Clark. The concept and popularity of Baby Einstein expanded as a Disney property. The success of Baby Einstein was estimated to be nearly $400 million based on revenues.

Controversy: Language development. A 2010 study published in Psychological Science demonstrated that children who viewed the videos regularly for one month, with or without their parents, “showed no greater understanding of words from the program than kids who never saw it”. On the other hand, children who were taught by their parents improved the most; researchers speculated that this was probably because children learn best “through meaningful gestures and interactive communication with parents”. In response to these new findings, Disney offered refunds to parents whose children did not see improvement’

(To be continued)

Comments

  1. Hi Dr. Weissbluth. Just reading your book now – feeling so desperate! My daughter is almost 10 months old. We never had a firm schedule- (which I now regret)- We have a routine but my husband and I both work very demanding jobs- to the point we grocery shop at night.

    My daughter was sleeping through the night at 4-5 months- rarely there would be a middle of the night feed. However, we always did a dream feed around 10PM after a 8:00- 9:00 bedtime.

    6 months – 7:30- 8PM Bedtime: Now waking up again at 2-3AM needing a feed after a 10:30PM dreamfeed. If we don’t feed her she refuses to go back to sleep and cries till she’s gagging and wide awake. Nap: We also lost the third day nap and the remaining became inconsistent lengths. Continues into month 7 when we added the black out shades, white noise. The naps lengthen but times remain inconsistent. I feel like it impossible to get her down around the same time everyday to make a schedule.

    8-9 months – 7:30 Bedtime: We are now standing banging head on our metal crib getting bruised at nap and night- no longer putting ourselves to sleep. Still doing 10:30 dreamfeed and still waking up at 2-3AM. Also, because of head banging we did the Montessori floor bed which worked for a bit except now we have to lay next to her to fall asleep which can take up to 50 minutes each night and nap as she crawls around and exhausts herself but rubbing in her face in mattress. It doesn’t even seem worth it because some of the naps last less than 50 minutes. All the days seem different. She can sleep for 30 minutes in the morning- or 1.5 hours.

    I recently tried the 6:30 recommended bedtime. We sometimes still wake up like clockwork for 10:30 dreamfeed but go right back to bed as usual. If she doesn’t wake by herself, we wake her. Waking up to eat again 4AM.

    Will I ever sleep again?

    The pediatrician says keep 6:30 bedtime, try to move dreamfeed to 11PM to try to sleep through till 6AM to lose night bottle. She says put her in a safer crib and use modified Cry It Out Method. She is eating 4oz 5 times a day (20oz (I always offer her 5 but she only drinks 4)) and 3 solid meals. Pediatrician says she should be having 28 and she is compensating at night. I don’t know how to get her to drink more during the day. Tried the cereal at night and didn’t work.

    HELP!

    1. What time to you and your husband walk into your home from work M-F. Do either of you work on week-ends?
      Describe her usual 24 hour sleep schedule and care-taking arrangements M-F and separately for week-ends.
      What do you think caused her current sleep problems?
      Please read the Chapter on Sleep Solutions and tell me which one you wish to use and then I will be able to give you some individualized advice.

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