Global Health News
Is It Right To Train Babies To Sleep?
Condensed by L.D. Ramirez (sourced from a BBC News article by Lucy Wallis and Rajeev Gupta)
In the last five years, there has been a big increase in the number of consultants who can train babies to sleep through the night. This may be great for parents, but is it good for the child?
A survey conducted by The Children's Sleep Charity and Netmums reveal that - of 7,500 parents interviewed - more than 50% are jolted awake by their child's cries at least once a night. 35% said they were regularly sleep-deprived and exhausted.
This is the kind of experience that can lead parents to hire a sleep consultant, who can offer services ranging from telephone and online support, to home visits and overnight stays.
Children have much shorter sleep cycles than adults and can wake more than 10 times a night. One of the things that sleep consultants teach parents is helping their child knit these sleep cycles together, resulting in only one feeding session per night.
Katie Palmer, a former nanny and mother-of-three who co-runs Infant Sleep Consultants, admits that "Sleep training is not for everybody. You should never sleep-train a baby under six months old, or if there's an underlying reason that hasn't been addressed - like reflux or colic. Also, the parent needs to be in the right frame of mind and shouldn't feel pressured to do it by friends or family."