The Gentle-to-Sleep Approach - Interview with Dr. William Sears


Here's something that works, especially for a breastfed baby: Mom moves out for a couple of nights and sleeps in another room, and baby sleeps next to Daddy. Dad may not like this, but this is much different than letting a baby cry alone in a dark room by herself. What it does teach babies is that they can actually go through the night without breastfeeding.

Teething is a problem that seems to cause night wakings. Any advice?

Teething can be very painful. Before baby goes to bed, give him a proper dose of acetaminophen to lower the pain. Repeat that every four hours if he wakes up.

I think these night wakings are sometimes easier for parents to deal with, because they can see some long-term benefits. Being there for their babies when they're in pain, early on when trust is being built, provides a foundation of trust. The child's memories of his parent's love and availability [during those nighttime wakings] last a lifetime.

A woman from our Parent Soup community posed a question about her twins: One of the twins is very needy and sleeps with her and her husband. She feels guilty about letting the other twin sleep alone in a crib. Is this common? Should she feel guilty?

My answer to her is, no. Don't feel guilty. You have two different children with two different nighttime needs. Each comes wired with a certain level of need. If one twin has a high need for touch and nighttime security, and will fuss if you don't sleep with him, do it.... Sometimes, though, if you have a really laid-back baby, who is not so high-maintenance, you may have to initiate more daytime interaction.

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