Prevent Poor Sleep Habits
Please note that this section contains my personal notes from my readings on this topic.
There never was a
Child so lovely but his
Mother was glad to see him asleep.
– RALPH WALDO EMERSON
“Treatment of sleep problems is more difficult than prevention for the simple reason that both the child and the parents are stressed from being overtired. Overtired children are fatigued, and the body’s natural response is to fight the fatigue by producing a stimulating chemical. This response was important for survival, as primitive man had to flee, fight, or continue hunting even when overtired. This “second wind” of stimulating energy causes a hyperalert of sleeping for long periods. That’s hy overtired children appear “wired,” unable to fall asleep easily or stay asleep. But why the crying?
First, severe fatige itself can be painful. Second changing established habits is very disturbing. After the first few months of life children can protect changes in routine by crying; they would rather play with their parents than sleep.
No parent wants her child to cry. The truth is that encouraging healthy sleep habits will prevent a lot of crying in the long run. It is possible that the treatment of unhealthy sleep habits may initially increase crying around sleep times, but subsequently it will eliminate crying altogether. Some treatments will involve no crying.”