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Mothers and fathers told: Consistency is key to getting babies to sleep

Author James Dunsford
Submitted 27-06-2008

After long nights spent trying to rock a baby back to sleep, many new parents wonder if they will ever be able to get their infant to settle down with ease.

Thankfully, help is at hand. Dana Obleman, author of ‘The Sleep Sense Program – Proven Strategies For Teaching Your Child to Sleep Through the Night’ has offered some of her pearls of wisdom to the ContraCosta Times to help mothers and fathers get a full nights’ rest.

Her main premise is that parents should think of sleep as a continuous 24-hour cycle, so that whatever happens at each stage of the day has a direct impact on the next day.

For instance, babies who are allowed to fall asleep while feeding are more likely to require this when they wake during the night, while proper daytime naps will ensure a better evening sleep.

Ms Obleman stressed that "consistency is the key. Bedtime and naptime should be non-negotiable".

Experts are divided on the issue of co-sleeping, also known as ‘the family bed’. The American Academy of Pediatrics also advises against the practice, arguing that there is a risk if suffocating or crushing the baby, while academic studies have shown that babies sleep better next to their parents.
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