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 (150 Responses)
  1. zortilonrel

    I just could not depart your site prior to suggesting that I really enjoyed the standard information a person provide for your visitors? Is going to be back often to check up on new posts


    February 7, 2021 at 22:39 | Report abuse | Reply
  2. AhkdEncox

    canadian pharmacy king canadian pharmaceuticals online cvs pharmacy online

    February 8, 2021 at 05:26 | Report abuse | Reply
  3. NncsZisse

    viagra cialis levitra sample pack low price generic viagra legitimate canadian mail order pharmacies

    February 8, 2021 at 18:13 | Report abuse | Reply
  4. https://europa-road.eu/hu/traktor-szallitas.php

    I haven?¦t checked in here for a while because I thought it was getting boring, but the last few posts are good quality so I guess I?¦ll add you back to my everyday bloglist. You deserve it my friend 🙂


    February 9, 2021 at 03:48 | Report abuse | Reply
  5. https://europa-road.eu/hu/nemzetkozi-szallitmanyozas.php

    I have been exploring for a bit for any high quality articles or weblog posts in this sort of space . Exploring in Yahoo I at last stumbled upon this web site. Reading this info So i?¦m happy to convey that I've a very good uncanny feeling I discovered exactly what I needed. I such a lot indubitably will make sure to don?¦t fail to remember this web site and give it a glance on a constant basis.


    February 9, 2021 at 04:23 | Report abuse | Reply
  6. KvaxMile

    capital solutions payday loan payday loans on philadelphia pike cash advance lake michigan drive

    February 10, 2021 at 11:37 | Report abuse | Reply
  7. FvfcZisse

    buy viagra without prescription viagra free shipping viagra no prescription

    February 10, 2021 at 18:17 | Report abuse | Reply
  8. AbcfTeneseelt

    soft viagra buy generic viagra mastercard can you buy viagra in mexico without perscription

    February 11, 2021 at 14:18 | Report abuse | Reply
  9. JbnvCrulk

    biaya cash advance bca loan cash box reviews dundee payday loans

    February 13, 2021 at 10:25 | Report abuse | Reply
  10. hydroxychloroquine nz

    define hydroxychloroquine hydroxy hydroxycloquin

    February 13, 2021 at 11:13 | Report abuse | Reply
  11. JbbnEncox

    pas d'effet avec le cialis can i take cialis with levitra how long does 10mg of cialis last

    February 13, 2021 at 11:36 | Report abuse | Reply
  12. LabxEncox

    cialis san marino buy cialis online consultation cialis originale quanto costa

    February 14, 2021 at 00:56 | Report abuse | Reply
  13. FqbbEncox

    anz moneyline term loan – new customers casino cash advance debit card multiple payday loans michigan

    February 14, 2021 at 07:49 | Report abuse | Reply
  14. tadalafil gel

    sedafil buy tadalafil us indian tadalafil

    February 16, 2021 at 07:52 | Report abuse | Reply
  15. buy chloroquine online

    chloroquine natural sources aralen price usa chloroquine without prescription

    February 16, 2021 at 10:23 | Report abuse | Reply
  16. AhbzEncox

    payday loans online 250 national payday loan services payday loan in houston tx

    February 16, 2021 at 12:08 | Report abuse | Reply
  17. NbnhZisse

    where to get viagra over the counter http://vigedon.com/ viagra price comparison usa

    February 16, 2021 at 21:15 | Report abuse | Reply
  18. chloroquine phosphate vs plaquenil

    erectile capacity plaquenil mouth sores erectile pill sponsored by doctor oz

    February 17, 2021 at 08:54 | Report abuse | Reply
  19. FbsgZisse

    cialis online without prescription http://llecialisjaw.com/ 20mg generic cialis

    February 18, 2021 at 18:57 | Report abuse | Reply
  20. remote pc assistance

    Some genuinely good content on this website, thank you for contribution. "Careful. We don't want to learn from this." by Bill Watterson.


    February 21, 2021 at 05:48 | Report abuse | Reply
  21. KndnMile

    viagra and heart disease do you need a prescription for viagra viagra 100mg cost

    February 26, 2021 at 15:06 | Report abuse | Reply
  22. ClarkTauts

    z2pnv jlibt f58k

    March 1, 2021 at 02:04 | Report abuse | Reply
  23. NbmoZisse

    purchase cialis online canada brand cialis no prescription cialis payment with paypal

    March 3, 2021 at 09:37 | Report abuse | Reply
  24. Tory Soberanis


    March 6, 2021 at 14:22 | Report abuse | Reply
1 2 3

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.