Healthy Sleep Habits, Happy Child
Dr. Marc Weissbluth
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Family bed or Ferber? Are bedtime problems caused by attachment issues or bad sleep habits--or something else altogether? If a night's rest is a distant memory and you stumble through your days bleary-eyed, you're not alone. A number of books suggest ways to help your little one fall asleep and stay asleep.
On the other end of the spectrum from family-bed advocates are the classic Solve Your Child's Sleep Problems, by Dr. Richard Ferber, and Healthy Sleep Habits, Happy Child, by Dr. Marc Weissbluth. Both books are steeped in research from their authors' respective institutions, the Center for Pediatric Sleep Disorders in Boston and Chicago's Sleep Disorders Center.
In Healthy Sleep Habits, Weissbluth discusses the importance of nap schedules and the need for parents to be tuned in to their children's signals. He suggests using the same methods for teaching good sleep habits to biological and adopted children. For good sleep, he explains, your child should be in bed for the night before she starts looking or acting tired. Earlier bedtimes discourage night waking, thanks to biological sleep rhythms, and uninterrupted sleep promotes good brain development. His best recommendation? Never wake a sleeping baby! Now that's advice any parent can live with.
Reviewed by Joanne Cronrath Bamberger, an attorney, freelance writer, and adoptive mother in Chevy Chase, Maryland.
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