April 21, 2018

Infant Sleep Issues

There are several popular methods used to help babies learn to put themselves to sleep.  The goal for any parent should be to learn about the various methods and then choose for oneself, what fits for them.  However, what usually happens is that we default to the way we were raised, looking to our parents for advice on what to do with our babies.  Or, we hear from friends about how their baby is sleeping through the night and wonder what we’re doing wrong.  The key is to know what method they are trying and make an educated decision about whether or not that method is right for you.  Whichever method you choose, it’s important to research it’s origins and it’s immediate AND long term effects on children and parents.

The topic of attachment and bonding vs. Babywise or “Ferberizing”, is HUGELY controversial.  I don’t think that I’ve ever seen mothers become so heated about any other topic.  It can be very divisive and hurtful to relationships.  I have friends who disagree with my views, as I with theirs, but we can choose to respect each other as people.  I realize that there are people who choose alternative parenting styles.  And that what may fit for me and my family is not necessary a good fit for another.  I firmly believe that in matters of such importance, one should be willing to look at the information available and make an educated decision.  So, I’ve tried to list varied sides of issues, where applicable.

For a thorough review of infant sleep research see:

Parenting Science

Mother-Baby Behavioral Sleep Laboratory

Zero to Three


Sleep Methods

Dr. Sears is a world renowned pediatrition.  He has a tremendous website that will walk you through how to find a sleeping routine that works for you and your child.  I highly recommend his site if you and your child are having sleep difficulties.

Gary Ezzo created Babywise and Growing Families International.  Although Babywise has become a popular method used for training your baby to sleep through the night, there is extreme controversy surrounding Ezzo and the methods he proposes.  If you are considering using Babywise or Growing Kids God’s Way, PLEASE READ this website, before making your decision.

Click Here to read about the controversy surrounding Ezzo.

Dr. Richard Ferber – Dr. Ferber has been known as the sleeping expert.  Although he once promoted letting your baby “cry it out”, his new book suggests other alternative methods.  And he has also changed his view on co-sleeping.  He was once firmly opposed to it and now has written that it can be a good option for families.  If you plan to read his book, please find a revised one.



The Still Face Experiment

This is called the “still face” video.  It is very interesting and although this is a young child, this video shows the importance of parents being connected and attuned and a great example of a child who becomes “dysregulated”.  Often times we parents assume our child is just fussy or “having a fit”, when what they need is our connection and they just don’t know how to tell us.

Give your kids chewing gum, especially when they are doing homework!

This study is one many that has shown the helpful effects of chewing gum. Of course, I think this should be sugar-free gum. And other research shows the benefit of gum that contains xylitol to strengthen our teeth.

Gum Chewing Study
Xylitol Study

But just the act of chewing gum helps us and our kids to organize our thoughts better.  In this study by Andrew Scholey, in 2008, revealed that “chewing gum was associated with higher alertness, reduced anxiety and stress, and improvement in overall performance on multi-tasking activities.”

So, add gum to your and your child’s tool box!

Early Brain Development

The information available to us parents today is amazing!  And it can be overwhelming.  These are some helpful trusted resources that I recommend if you are interested in learning more about early brain development and what you can do to give your child what he/she needs for optimal brain development.

Zero to Three is a non-profit organization that promotes the healthy development of infants, toddlers and their families.  They provide emperical information to guide you in your child’s development.  And they have an amazing brain development interactive page that is really cool!

New Directions Institute is an amazing resource!  And they are right here in Phoenix, AZ!  They offer FREE seminars that teach what babies need for optimal brain development.

Visit Childtrauma.org if you are interested in learning about the Neurosequential Model developed by Bruce Perry.  And I highly recommend his book “The Boy Who Was Raised As A Dog” and “Born for Love”.

Feeding the Starving Brain, Nutrition for Learning, by Jan Katzen-Luchenta, AMI is a wonderful book offering research on the importance of nutrition on the developing brain.  Her website is also a great resource.

Miss Jackie has wonderful ideas for stimulating brain games for your baby and toddler.

The Secret Life of the Brain A series by PBS showing the development of the human brain.

Life’s Greatest Miracle A series by PBS Nova, exploring human development from ebryo to newborn.

The Brain Connection is a resource created by Scientific Learning Corporation.

Your Developing Baby is a wonderful resource by the American Pregnancy Association showing the in utero development of your child.

Baby Center has very helpful information and also contained detailed information on the developing regions of your baby’s brain.