I am a social worker and parent in Australia concerned about the western practice of a method called 'controlled crying' that is used on infants to get them to sleep. This blog talks about the use of this method and other parenting methods. Search all the information on this site to be better informed about the practice of controlled crying. For any comments or questions, my email is

Saturday, July 01, 2006

How Babies Sleep

Many child psychologists and psychiatrists disagree on how babies sleep. A lot of professionals believe an infant has a 'sleep problem' at even a few weeks of age. Some even expect a baby to be 'sleeping through' the night by age 12 weeks and others believe they should be able to 'sleep through' by 6 months. According to some, it is more realistic to expect your baby to sleep through when they are ready developmentally, which is more likely to be around 2 - 4 years of age.

Infant Sleep Facts Every Parent Should Know
by Dr Sears

Babies don't sleep as deeply as you do. Not only do babies take longer to go to sleep and have more frequent vulnerable periods for nightwaking; they have twice as much active, or lighter, sleep as adults. At first glance, this hardly seems fair to parents tired from daylong baby care. Yet, if you consider the developmental principle that babies sleep the way they do -- or don't -- for a vital reason, it may be easier for you to understand your baby's nighttime needs and develop a nighttime parenting style that helps rather than harms your baby's natural sleep rhythms. Here's where I'm at odds with modern sleep trainers who advise a variety of gadgets and techniques designed to help baby sleep more deeply through the night -- for a price, and perhaps at a risk.
Nightwaking has survival benefits. In the first few months, babies' needs are the highest, but their ability to communicate their needs is the lowest. Suppose a baby slept deeply most of the night. Some basic needs would go unfulfilled. Tiny babies have tiny tummies, and mother's milk is digested very rapidly. If a baby's stimulus for hunger could not easily arouse her, this would not be good for baby's survival. If baby's nose was stuffed and she could not breathe, or was cold and needed warmth, and her sleep state was so deep that she could not communicate her needs, her survival would be jeopardized.

For more go to this link… it’s a fantastic article:

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