Healthy Sleep Habits, Happy Child
What a Parent Can Do
Healthy Sleep Habits, Happy Child

Healthy Sleep Habits, Happy Child

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

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Healthy Sleep Habits, Happy Child

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

The new 5th edition of Healthy Sleep Habits, Happy Child published in 2021 begins with a 16-page Step-By -Step Guide that is easy to read. It gives you all the core information you need on ‘How to Prevent Sleep Problems’ (3 steps), ‘How to Help Your Child Sleep Through the Night’ (3 steps). And ‘How to Treat Sleep Problems’ (4 steps). The book is a reference book, so you do not read it cover-to-cover. Instead, like a cookbook, please read only the section of interest to you.
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Do I harm my child if I let him cry at night to learn self-soothing?

  • Studies show that children are not harmed (Blog Posts 24, 67 and 71) when extinction or graduated extinction is used. Blog Post 25 and 181. Parents’ Reports 1 and 4.


  • Focus on the marriage. Blog Posts 116 and 117. Expect enhanced sexual well-being in new parent couples. Blog Post 134.
  • It is never too late or too early to help your child sleep better. Blog Posts 102107.
  • Try to avoid consecutive days of short sleep. Blog Post 84, 85, 86.
  • Shorten the interval of preceding wakefulness if crying occurs when you try to put your child down to sleep. Blog Post 83.
  • Recovery from sleep loss may take longer than expected. Blog Post 79 and 80. Parents’ Reports 4.
  • Consider bed-sharing to be unsafe and interfering with sleeping through the night.  Blog post 52 and 82.
  • Avoid parental presence at bedtime and practice reasonable consistency. Blog Post 77 , 78 and 90. Parents’ Reports 7. 
  • Solve sleep problems to promote mental and psychosocial health. Blog posts 75 and 76
  • Be optimistic. (Blog Post 66).
  • Be sensitive to your cultural values and customs that impact your child’s sleep. (Blog Posts 14, 64, 65, 88, 101, 111).
  • Practice sleep banking when anticipating a period of reduced sleep. (Blog Post 63).
  • Avoid Caffein Blog Post 114 
  • Glance at summary of Weissbluth Method. (Blog Posts 58 and 59). Review baby sleep advice from mothers: (Blog Posts 6061, and 62).
  • Provide opportunities for naps. Blog Posts 535455, and 56. Parents’ Reports 3.
  • Start early to help your child sleep well and your child will sleep through the night at an early age. Blog Posts 16, 51, 4952 , 57, 67, 99, 100, 108, 115
  • The earlier you start to help your child develop healthy sleep, the better. (Blog Posts 16 and 57).
  • Become sensitive to your child’s temperament. (Blog Post 46). Mold an easier temperament for your child by helping your child sleep better. Blog Posts 47, 48 and 92. Begin to help your child sleep well as early as possible. (Blog Posts 4957, 67 and 115).
  • Seek professional help if your child is not sleeping well and you suspect parental anxiety or depression might be present. (Blog Posts 39404142, 45, 98 and 120).
  • Accept the fact that your friends and relatives may not be aware of why a healthy brain depends on healthy sleep. (Blog Posts 38, 72 and 73)
  • Ignore myths such as sleep regressions or that teething or growth spurts disrupt sleep or that late bedtimes are fine because your young child is an “owl”. (Blog Posts 3637, 70, 90A, 143, 146 and 147),
  • No television or digital electronic devices in child’s bedroom (Blog Post 21 and 22). No screen use before bedtime and during bedtime routine. Blog Post 96.
  • Some babies sleep better than other babies. Develop coping strategies to reduce stress if your baby has extreme fussiness or crying.  About 20% of babies  with colic might be encouraged to develop self-soothing skills at 2 to 4 months of age. (Blog Posts 2043, 44 and 97). Parents’ Reports 6, 9 and 10.
  • ‘No Cry’ sleep solutions (‘Fading’ and ‘Check and Console’) may solve sleep problems. (Blog Post 19)
  • Communicate with each other and coordinate nighttime parenting practices. Consider delaying your response to nondistress sounds your baby makes at night by 5-10 seconds, especially after 3 months of age.  (Blog Post 18).
  • Be emotionally available at bedtime.  (Blog Posts 17, 57 71).
  • Encourage self-soothing; the earlier the better.  Consider leaving the room after putting your child down to sleep.  Encourage partner to help care for the baby daytime and nighttime. (Blog Posts 16, 4852, 57 and 77). Parents’ Reports 10.
  • Plan for healthy sleep by focusing on sleep quality, not just sleep quantity. Provide opportunities for naps based on drowsy signs. (Blog Post 15, 5356, 95 and 110) Parents’ Reports 3.
  • Make a sleep plan that you are comfortable with; be flexible and tolerant.  It may be difficult to begin or choose a sleep solution (Blog Posts 14, 23, 26, 57 and 95).  A Community Sleep Consultant may be helpful (Blog Post 27)
  • Become more aware of the difference between how you feel when well-rested versus mildly sleepy. (Blog Post 13, 84, 86). 
  • Try to maintain a regular sleep schedule. (Blog Post 12).
  • Try to not respond immediately to every quiet sound your baby makes at night. (Blog Post 11). Parents’ Reports 5
  • Practice soothing to sleep and consistent bedtime routines, every night, if possible. (Blog Post 10, 87, 89 and 90).
  • Focus on timing: The time when drowsy signs (Blog Post 9) begin to appear is the time when to begin your soothing to sleep (Blog Posts 28-35, 115X).
  • Respect your child’s natural sleep rhythms. (Blog Posts 8, 94, 112
  • Encourage an early or earlier bedtime (even a slightly earlier bedtime may produce better sleep. Blog Post 6, 93 and 109 especially at 6 weeks. (Blog Post 7, 68, 69, 70, 74, 81 and 91)) Parents’ Reports 2.
  • Recognize that a healthy brain requires healthy sleep.  Protect Brain Development with Healthy Sleep. (Blog Posts 123453850, 51, 72, 73 , 75 , 76 , 99, 100, 121123, 193, 195, 198, 199, and 200). 

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Months 3-4
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