Practical tips are now available to all parents struggling to help figure out how to get their newborn, toddler or young child to sleep through the night thanks to Melissa Burnham, an assistant professor in the College of Health and Human Sciences.
Burnham's book, Sleep Training for Your Child, offers several effective research-based sleep training methods. This valuable resource helps parents:
- deal with a baby's changing sleep schedule
- understand health issues that can impact a baby's sleep
- identify the types of crying and what to do
- handle sleep disturbances such as nightmares
The book is part of the ever popular Idiot's Guide Series.
According to Burnham, babies have to learn rhythms of wakefulness and rest.
"Sleep training can be used to help a baby get to sleep at night and help them learn to sleep through the night," Burnham said. "If parents are considering sleep training, it is very important to take cues from their child while evaluating their parenting philosophy and observing the personality of their child."
Burnham hopes to demystify some common misconceptions surrounding babies' sleep patterns, such as that feeding solid food to a baby will result in a longer sleep time; later bed time equals later rise time; and a lack of a nap during the day will result in sleeping longer during the night.
Burnham also recommends sticking with a sleep training technique for at least one week, as well as evaluating the child's sleep environment such as removing electronics and excess comforters and sheets from the child's sleep environment.
"The research-based sleep training methods addressed in the book are tried and true," Burnham said. "It is a success when parents and babies wake up refreshed and rejuvenated."
Burnham is an assistant professor of early childhood education and child development in the department of Human Development and Family Studies.