Posted by Fitz

There are a million sleep experts out there, and a million schools of thought on how to best get your child on a regular, healthy sleep schedule.  I read a lot about sleeping when we first brought home The Bean, and this is the book that worked best for us: Healthy Sleep Habits, Healthy Child.

The book’s author, Dr. Marc Weissbluth, emphasizes the importance of the whole family – not just the baby – getting enoug rest for a happy and productive day.  He says that, often, families don’t get enough sleep and walk around cranky and overtired because of it.  While Weissbluth offers many, many solutions for particular sleep issues like early rising, lack of naps, and nightwaking, his most common piece of advice is this: put your kid to bed earlier to give them a better sleep and a chance of rising even later the next morning.

We have put this theory to use several times now – normally during important developmental periods and growth spurts –  and it always seems to do the trick.  Without realizing it, we were shortchanging The Bean on her precious sleep – the good news is that we’ve always been able to correct it with a few early bedtimes (say, 6:00 p.m.).  Once The Bean was back to her normal self and sleeping well, we were able to gradually push her bedtime to a more reasonable hour, confident in the fact that she was caught up on all of the sleep she missed. 

There are techniques, like letting the baby cry for up to an hour, which we chose to skip for a method that made us more comfortable.  You’ll need to find the method that works best for your family, but I bet you’ll find some good advice here. 

Sweet dreams!