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.
Q: What is the Weissbluth Method?
A: The brain is the only organ in the body that requires sleep. Parents are responsible to make sure this need is met. Think of healthy sleep like healthy food in the sense that there is good quality food and junk food. Just as parents don’t look at just the number of calories consumed, parents should not look at just the number of minutes or hours asleep.
Healthy Sleep for Children is composed of five main elements:
These five elements interact with each other so parents need to be mindful of all five.
Respecting your babies need for healthy sleep is a core principle. In practice:
At any age, sleeping in synchrony with circadian sleep rhythms produces better quality sleep. Use your child’s natural sleep rhythm as an aid to help your child sleep well.
Q: How should a new parent be preparing for their baby?
A: Coparenting is the manner in which parents work together to raise their children. Within the context of specific family circumstances, to achieve healthy sleep, focus on teamwork. High positive coparenting quality elements include:
When positive coparent quality is high, parents’ ability to deal with bedtime issues and nighttime awakenings is greater. This emphasizes the importance of communication and concordance in nighttime parenting practices.
Q: What are the signs of baby fatigue?
A: Drowsy signs are the early warning system, signaling that you need to start the soothing process to sleep. Then, sweet sleep is almost guaranteed. Fatigue signs occur when you were too late and finding sleep might be tough.
Moving into the Sleep Zone. Moving away from alert, calm and relaxed.
These behaviors are most noticeable when the child is in a quiet and relaxed environment, for example, when being read to. They might be less apparent in a stimulating environment such as a busy mall or when he is in front of a television or screen-based media device. Or they might not be noticed because you are distracted by looking at a screen or on a phone call.
Try to begin soothing before you notice changes in the eyes.
Entering Overtired Zone. Becoming overtired. Moving toward irritable and tense.
The most common mistake made by parents is mistaking fatigue signs, which come late, with drowsy signs which appear early and signal the rising of the sleep wave.
(To be continued.)