thread: Many Behaviors Labeled as “Infant Sleep Problems” are actually normal.

  1. #1
    BellyBelly Professional Support Panel

    May 2007
    Warrnambool Vic

    Many Behaviors Labeled as “Infant Sleep Problems” are actually normal.

    New White Paper from Praeclarus Press Finds That Many Behaviors Labeled as “Infant Sleep Problems” Are Actually Normal Patterns of Infant and Child Sleep

    New White Paper from Praeclarus Press Finds That Many Behaviors Labeled as “Infant Sleep Problems” Are Actually Normal Patterns of Infant and Child Sleep
    Many new parents worry that their babies have “sleep problems” if they wake frequently, fall asleep while breastfeeding, stay up late, or only sleep while being held. A new white paper from Praeclarus Press finds that many of the behaviors labeled as problems are actually normal, which can reassure new parents.

    U.S. culture has beliefs that about where babies should sleep. Unfortunately, babies have not read the manual.
    Many infant sleep behaviors that experts label as "sleep problems" are actually normal and developmentally appropriate.
    Amarillo, Texas (PRWEB) August 25, 2013

    Most new parents complain about lack of sleep. Many are also concerned that their babies have a “sleep problem,” and that what they are experiencing is not “normal.” So they search books, ask friends and family--or even their doctor--what they should do about their child’s problematic sleep patterns. And they worry about it—a lot.
    Part of this epidemic of parental angst about children’s sleep is that we live in a culture in which parents are repeatedly told that they need to worry about their child’s sleep, that there will be dire consequences if their child does not get enough sleep. Another problem is that most new parents, having had little experience with children prior to having their own, have little awareness about what truly is “normal” when it comes to infant sleep.

    Simply being made aware of normal sleep patterns can help alleviate the stress and anxiety parents feel, leading to happier times for the entire family.

    A working group of mother-baby sleep experts have addressed some of the most common concerns that new parents have about infant and toddler sleep in their new white paper published by Praeclarus Press, “Is Your Baby’s Sleep a Problem? Or Is It Just Normal?” This paper addresses questions such as:

    “My baby wakes every hour, all day and night to feed.”
    “My child was sleeping through the night and suddenly it’s stopped.”

    The authors describe why frequent night wakings actually protect babies against SIDS and that long stretches of sleep brought on by formula feeding are physiologically abnormal, and can increase babies’ risk of SIDS.

    The paper also addresses patterns of infant and toddler sleep, and questions parents have, such as:
    “My child won’t go to sleep before 10 p.m.”
    “My child sleeps less than the recommended numbers.”

    The authors describe research worldwide that indicates that these patterns are quite normal in other parts of the world, and do not seem to lead to the problems predicted by Western sleep experts.

    Finally, the authors describe normal sleep behaviors that are not harmful to babies, but that worry many parents (and “sleep experts”), such as:
    “My child is still sleeping in our bed.”
    “My child only goes to sleep breastfeeding.”
    “My child only goes to sleep while outside/walking/on me.”

    The authors hope to reassure parents that what appears to be problematic infant sleep patterns that require “fixing” are actually quite normal and developmentally appropriate. Their goal is for parents to have a better understanding of the broad array of behaviors that constitute “normal” when it comes to children’s sleep, and that if the behavior is not a problem for the family, it’s most likely not a problem for the child. They recommend that parents, instead of following a particular expert’s advice, understand what is needed to keep babies safe when they sleep, build the sleep environment around these safe behaviors, and do what works best for their family.

    This white paper is available for download at Praeclarus Press. Praeclarus Press is a small press owned by Kathleen Kendall-Tackett, dedicated to women’s health. It is located in Amarillo, Texas, USA.

    The mother-baby sleep working group includes Tracy Cassels, Sarah Ockwell-Smith, Wendy Middlemiss, Darcia Narvaez, Helen Stevens, James McKenna, and Kathleen Kendall-Tackett.
    Last edited by onthefly; August 27th, 2013 at 09:58 AM.

  2. #2
    BellyBelly Member

    Dec 2005

    Where was this 7 years ago when I was struggling with my first baby's sleeping habits!!! :-)

  3. #3
    BellyBelly Member

    Feb 2010
    on a big patch of paradise.

    This is so great, I know some people that really need to read this.

  4. #4
    BellyBelly Member

    Jul 2008
    summer street

    Yes, the problem is in fact the adults who don't have support to cope. When I had my dd, my mum was relieved that 'babies are still carrying on like they always have' lol.

  5. #5
    BellyBelly Member

    Oct 2007
    Middle Victoria

    Or the 'support' that mum's have are telling them that the behaviour is abnormal or babies should be doing x,y,z. This is both from some family and friend support as well as the multitude of books and 'experts' out there.

  6. #6
    BellyBelly Member

    Jul 2009

    Love this !!

  7. #7
    BellyBelly Member

    Oct 2006
    Adelaide, SA

    Awesome post Barb!

  8. #8
    BellyBelly Member

    Nov 2008
    Perth, WA

    Very reassuring

  9. #9
    BellyBelly Life Subscriber

    Jun 2008
    In snuggle land

    I find this part of the paper interesting:

    Interestingly, the most common situations involve touch, sound, or movement--three things that are abundant for the infant while in the womb. Recall that human babies are born at least nine months early compared to other animals because of head size (if they got any bigger they could not get through the birth canal; see Trevathan, 2011), so for at least nine months their bodies expect an “external womb.”
    i've read about the 4th trimester, with the reasoning being that human babies are born probably 3 months early. Not 9 months early. However, I suppose if we look at human development versus other mammal development, this makes some sense. A horse's gestation is 11 months, but the foal can walk at birth. A human baby is much more helpless for much longer.

    I'm not sure about the reasoning, but it helps manage expectations better, thinking that baby won't suddenly stop needing an external womb at 3 months, but that it may extend to 9 months.

  10. #10
    BellyBelly Member

    Aug 2006

    Thanks for posting this. There are a number of points they made that worried me with my first child. I hope that I can be more relaxed with our second child when it comes to sleep!