I read Ms. Neyer’s post and it was well-written and funny. “Clean when the baby cleans” made me laugh out loud. The post also underscores the frustration, confusion, and anxiety that infant sleep can cause new families. As someone that advises 10-20 families a day in my pediatric practice on sleep as well as do international consultations through Skype/email, I am sensitive to these issues. There is a lot of noise and conflicting advice out in the “parenting” spheres about infant sleep. There are a lot of “sleep experts” giving advice that is not based in the biology of the developing brain, evidence-based research, or even common sense.
In our practice, we sometimes give difficult advice to parents regarding their child’s sleep, however, we are consistent. Because we start talking about sleep the day the child comes home from the hospital, we lay the foundation for healthy sleep. In addition, the regularly scheduled visits allow us to check sleep progress, elicit feedback on strategies, and give anticipatory guidance on evolutions of sleep patterns and common pitfalls to avoid.
A message to Ms. Neyer and all the other sleep deprived parents out there: We are here to help. If you live in Chicago, and don’t believe me, please come to my talk at Northwestern Memorial Prentice Women’s Hospital on Saturday May 4th from 2:30-4PM titled, “Preparing for Great Sleep for You and Your Baby”
If you live outside Chicago, we can help too: please call our office at 312-202-0300
Daniel Weissbluth M.D.,F.A.A.P.
Instructor of Clinical Pediatrics, Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine