June 9th, 2012
10:06 AM ET

Sleeping babies and kids make happy parents

Editor's note:  Pediatrician and bst-selling author Dr. Harvey Karp has been giving parents advice on how their children can be the "happiest babies and toddlers on the block," by providing tips on how to help them sleep better and how to better communicate with young children.  He joins Dr. Sanjay Gupta on "Sanjay Gupta, MD" at 4:30 p.m. ET on Saturday and 7:30 a.m. ET Sunday, with more advice on how to help children sleep better.

According to a recent BabyCenter survey of 1,000 moms, exhaustion is their No. 1 complaint!

In fact, 29% of new moms can't remember the last time they slept 8 hours. And the problem doesn't just last a few months. One in three kids continues to fight sleep or wake up in the black of night... most nights.

Extreme fatigue is corrosive to the happiness of this time of life. Tired parents feel demoralized, angry, forgetful - and their health suffers too!

Exhaustion is a main trigger for postpartum depression (which affects 10 to 15% of moms and many dads). It also leads to breastfeeding failure, child abuse, unsafe sleep practices and car accidents. Poor sleep even changes your metabolism and makes moms and dads gain weight (even when you reduce your calories)!

Parents are desperate for help.  Yet, too many of the sleep books on the shelves promote some tired old sleep myths and misinformation, including:                    

Babies need to sleep in a quiet room... wrong!
Never rock your baby to sleep... wrong!
Rice cereal promotes an infant's sleep... wrong!

In my new book, "The Happiest Baby Guide to Great Sleep: Birth to 5 Years," I correct many of these misconceptions and offer parents and doctors a totally new understanding of the sleep needs of young children.

For example:

* Babies CAN be taught to sleep longer from the first weeks of life by using swaddling + a rumbly white noise, for all naps and nights.

* Letting your baby fall asleep in your arms is one of the sweetest joys of having a baby, but you should always wake your baby up - for 5 to 10 seconds - when you place him in bed.

It's a  useful technique that I call "wake and sleep." The truth is that babies can be allowed to fall asleep in your arms, but when placed into be they should be jostled a bit or have the soles of their feet slightly scratched to rouse them. They don't usually cry much because they have a tummy full of warm milk and they're snuggly swaddled and have white noise playing.

So most babies just briefly look around for 5 to 10 seconds and then relax into slumber and that's what you want to see! 

Your little one is learning the basic skill of self-soothing without any holding, rocking,suckling. (Those sleep cues are very hard to wean later, but sound is very easy to wean! So it's a great sleep cue for infants to help them fall back asleep in the dark of night.)

* Pick the best type of white noise. Some sounds boost sleep and others actually make it hard to sleep! Pick sounds that are rough, rumbly and low-pitched (not hissy and high-pitched, like radio static, waves or babbling brooks)

* Use white noise for all children...all sleep.... all year! It can even help your infant sleep through teething pains.

* To reduce your toddlers bedtime resistance, think of the bedtime routine starting after breakfast.

Here are just a few of the many things you can do to reduce sleep-time struggles: Get him out for exercise and fresh air (even in bad weather); avoid stimulants (cola, ice tea, dark chocolate); practice boosting confidence and cooperation during the day (using "The Happiest Toddler" DVD tips like "gossiping", "playing the boob" and "patience stretching"); dim the lights and turn on some soft white noise about 1 hour before bedtime.

All of these cue his brain that bedtime is near.

You can read many more tips about sleep in my book, and as a Father's Day treat I invite you all to join me on June 21 at 7:30 p.m. (local time), when I give a “Parent’s Night Out” lecture about babies, toddlers and sleep - simulcast in 600 movie theaters across America. 

For more information and to find the movie theater nearest you, go to http://www.happiestbaby.com.

soundoff (304 Responses)
  1. EncoxAni

    canadian pharmacy tadalafil stater bros super rx pharmacy 24 7 pharmacy online

    June 3, 2021 at 09:55 | Report abuse | Reply
  2. MileSwa

    best place to get cialis without pesricption cheapest generic cialis toronto buy cialis

    June 4, 2021 at 00:17 | Report abuse | Reply
  3. ZisseVed

    cialis viagra mail order uk discrete billing price of cialis 20 mg how to make cialis at home

    June 4, 2021 at 10:25 | Report abuse | Reply
  4. EncoxDev

    Super Avana codeine online pharmacy metcare rx pharmacy

    June 4, 2021 at 10:46 | Report abuse | Reply
  5. EncoxDev

    vipps certified canadian pharmacy online pet pharmacy usa walgreens pharmacy store number

    June 4, 2021 at 13:32 | Report abuse | Reply
  6. Brianna Geasley

    This was awesome! I would like you to clean up all this spam though


    June 5, 2021 at 09:45 | Report abuse | Reply
  7. Willette Heffler

    This was awesome! I would like you to clean up all this spam though


    June 7, 2021 at 05:31 | Report abuse | Reply
  8. CrulkAsd

    gdzie kupic cialis [url=https://cialisjla.com/ ]cialis generic[/url] cialis for sell

    June 7, 2021 at 09:46 | Report abuse | Reply
  9. EncoxGtv

    california pharmacy gold pharmacy online online pharmacy jobs

    June 7, 2021 at 16:26 | Report abuse | Reply
  10. MileSwa

    cialis where can i buy how can i get cialis fast cialis online

    June 8, 2021 at 01:15 | Report abuse | Reply
  11. EncoxHtf

    cialis 20 mg cuanto dura el efecto cialis half life cialis daily price

    June 8, 2021 at 06:42 | Report abuse | Reply
  12. Zisseloh

    how to buy cialis in sydney cialisonline product team cialis getting ready to market

    June 8, 2021 at 07:59 | Report abuse | Reply
  13. Zisseloh

    is cialis covered by medicaid prescription for cialis purchase how to buy cialis in canada

    June 8, 2021 at 23:26 | Report abuse | Reply
  14. ZisseVed

    is cialis generic now does cialis lower blood pressure express scripts prior auth form for cialis

    June 9, 2021 at 00:26 | Report abuse | Reply
  15. EncoxHtf

    cialis buy online usa can i buy cialis at cvs cialis 40 mg online

    June 9, 2021 at 03:06 | Report abuse | Reply
  16. EncoxAni

    medication costs mexican online pharmacy reviews northwest canada pharmacy

    June 9, 2021 at 09:03 | Report abuse | Reply
  17. EncoxAni

    pharmacy technician online certification course canada drugs wichita ks canadian pharmacy saxenda

    June 10, 2021 at 00:20 | Report abuse | Reply
  18. Grant Coins

    This was great! I would like you to clean up all this spam though


    June 10, 2021 at 05:12 | Report abuse | Reply
  19. CrulkAsd

    cialis brand orginal cialis cialis soft tabs 20mg

    June 12, 2021 at 20:19 | Report abuse | Reply
  20. Elvera Menzer

    Have you ever heard of second life (sl for short). It is basically a online game where you can do anything you want. Second life is literally my second life (pun intended lol). If you want to see more you can see these second life authors and blogs


    June 12, 2021 at 22:25 | Report abuse | Reply
  21. MileSwa

    cialis soft tabs mexico cialis buy cialis online

    June 12, 2021 at 23:17 | Report abuse | Reply
  22. EncoxDev

    prescription drugs in canada pharmacy rx one coupon custom rx pharmacy

    June 13, 2021 at 00:06 | Report abuse | Reply
  23. ZisseVed

    generic cialis 5mg cialis without perscripiton online cialis generic

    June 13, 2021 at 02:18 | Report abuse | Reply
  24. EncoxDev

    canadian pharmacy percocet quick rx pharmacy affordable pharmacy

    June 13, 2021 at 02:51 | Report abuse | Reply
  25. Lauran Waller

    I don't know about you all but I love airplanes. I had a friend in highschool that loved airplanes, so here are some airplane related stuff I don't know about you guys but I love airplanes. I had a friend in highschool that loved airplanes, so here are some airplane related stuff https://www.airlinereporter.com/2010/05/behind-the-scenes-how-they-got-the-787-dreamliner-and-boeing-40c-pictures/


    June 14, 2021 at 00:36 | Report abuse | Reply
  26. www.pharmaceptica.com

    tadalafil powder suppliers https://pharmaceptica.com/

    June 17, 2021 at 07:05 | Report abuse | Reply
  27. Learn More Here

    I keep listening to the news update speak about getting free online grant applications so I have been looking around for the best site to get one. Could you advise me please, where could i acquire some?


    June 18, 2021 at 06:09 | Report abuse | Reply
  28. www.pharmaceptica.com

    chloroquinne https://pharmaceptica.com/

    June 18, 2021 at 14:02 | Report abuse | Reply
1 2 3 4 5 6

Post a comment


CNN welcomes a lively and courteous discussion as long as you follow the Rules of Conduct set forth in our Terms of Service. Comments are not pre-screened before they post. You agree that anything you post may be used, along with your name and profile picture, in accordance with our Privacy Policy and the license you have granted pursuant to our Terms of Service.

About this blog

Get a behind-the-scenes look at the latest stories from CNN Chief Medical Correspondent, Dr. Sanjay Gupta, Senior Medical Correspondent Elizabeth Cohen and the CNN Medical Unit producers. They'll share news and views on health and medical trends - info that will help you take better care of yourself and the people you love.