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More than 4 million babies are born each year in the United States and the U.S. Census Bureau estimates 361,000 babies are born each day all over the world. While each baby and family situation is different, the need for good sleep for babies and toddlers remains important for all. Studies on baby sleep indicate that during the first year of life, babies will, on average, sleep from 10 to 18 hours a day. The Baby Sleep Site® receives over 500,000 visitors per month from over 200 countries (as of December 2014 and growing), which tells us many parents of babies and toddlers are looking for information to help their child sleep better.
Babies, toddlers and their parents who aren’t sleeping enough are out there–and most likely, they’re in your practice, presenting on a regular basis, asking your advice. How do you handle their questions? How do you decide what advice to give sleep-deprived parents? What about moms of multiples? Is mom at greater risk for postpartum depression if she isn’t sleeping?
The Baby Sleep Site® believes in the importance of good sleep for all children, while at the same time recognizing that each child and family situation is different. We seek to provide comprehensive sleep solutions to all families while stressing safe sleep practices and healthy sleep guidelines.
Baby Sleep Facts
Studies relate that:
- If left untreated, bedtime problems and night wakings can result in impairments in behavior, emotion regulation, and academic performance (Meltzer, 2010).
- Infant sleep patterns and maternal fatigue are strongly associated with a new onset of depressive symptoms in the postpartum period (Dennis & Ross, 2005).
- Bedtime problems and night wakings are common in young children, affecting up to 30% of infants, toddlers, and preschoolers (Goodlin-Jones, Burnham, Gaylor, & Anders, 2001; Lozoff, Wolf, & Davis, 1985; Mindell, Kuhn, Lewin, Meltzer, Sadeh, & Owens, 2006)
- When left untreated, bedtime problems and night wakings in young children do not spontaneously resolve (Jenni, Fuhrer, Iglowstein, Molinari, & Largo, 2005; Kataria, Swanson, & Trevathan, 1987; Lam, Hiscock, & Wake, 2003; Zuckerman, Stevenson, & Bailey, 1987).
In the early weeks, a newborn’s sleep cycles are often irregular as they continue to develop their sleep-wake cycles. By three to six months, babies usually have developed more regular sleep- awake cycles. However, this does not mean that the baby is sleeping through the night or has mastered the ability to fall asleep on his own. The National Sleep Foundation indicates approximately 70 to 80% of babies will be sleeping through the night by 9 months of age. Sleeping through the night, however, is typically defined as 5 or more hours of sleep without waking, which still leaves parents bleary-eyed while caring for their young. The remaining 800,000-1,200,000 can not even get a guaranteed 5 hours. In addition, aside from babies being able to sleep through the night within the first 9 months or a year, parents may still struggle with naps, early wakings and other sleep associations that lead to disrupted sleep or less than adequate sleep for themselves and for their children.
How You Can Help Your Patients
This page is intended as a resource for Health Care Providers to find baby and toddler sleep information, which may be helpful to the families you work with. Below are links with patient-friendly information that may be provided to your patients, FREE of charge. This patient information was created foremost with safety in mind, and in agreement with the safe sleep recommendations of the American Academy of Pediatrics.
- Federal Trade Commission Fair Information Practice
- California Online Privacy Protection Act
- Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act
- Privacy Alliance
- Controlling the Assault of Non-Solicited Pornography and Marketing Act
Baby Sleep Safety
The Baby Sleep Site® is committed to safe sleep practices and to helping parents understand the concepts of safe sleep habits for their children. As part of this effort, The Baby Sleep Site® refers to following resources for the latest information and research related to safe sleep for babies and toddlers:
- American Academy of Pediatrics: Healthy Children Baby Sleep Resources
- American Academy of Pediatrics: A Parent’s Guide to Safe Sleep (PDF)
- American Academy of Pediatrics: A Child Care Provider’s Guide to Safe Sleep (PDF)
- National Sleep Foundation: Sleep, Infants and Parents
- National Institute of Child Health & Human Development: Back to Sleep Public Education Campaign
FREE Resources and Tools for Your Practice
Below are PDF handouts which can be printed out and given to parents and families.
- Guide for Parents of 0-6 Month Old Babies (Download Link (PDF)) – This handout provides a great overview of how sleep changes in the first 6 months of a baby’s life. It also provides two sample daytime schedules parents can use for reference.
- 10 Tips for Safe Baby Sleep (Download Link (PDF)) – (Compiled from the American Academy of Pediatrics)
- 4 Month Sleep Regression (Download Link (PDF)) – As baby’s sleep becomes more developed and organized around the 4 month mark, some babies who were previously sleeping well will begin waking more and napping less. This is often a source of confusion for many parents. Our article on the 4 month sleep regression is one of our most-read articles.
- The 8, 9, 10 Month Sleep Regression (Download Link (PDF)) – It is also very common for babies to also experience another sleep regression at around the 8, 9 or 10 month mark. You can also refer parents to this article on line: 8, 9, 10 Month Sleep Regression.
- 20 Baby Sleep Myths (Download Link (PDF)) – In our experience, there are many myths or areas where parent intuition is not always true. This handout will help put those myths to bed.
- Baby and Toddler Bedtime By Age Chart (Download Link (PDF)) – This is easily one of the most popular pieces of content on our site! Parents have told us that they love having this chart to help them select age-appropriate bedtimes as their children grow.
- A Guide to Getting Started with The Baby Sleep Site®– We strive to offer a wide range of resources, products and services for parents and families who need additional information or help with their child’s sleep. This guide is meant to help new visitors navigate and learn about all that The Baby Sleep Site™ offers.
The Baby Sleep Site® Personalized Sleep Consultation Services
Our personalized sleep consultation services are available by email or phone. With an e-mail sleep consultation package, we offer a Personalized Sleep Plan™ which is tailored specifically to each family’s sleep issues and situation. Our Personalized Sleep Plan™ also takes into account the unique needs of the child and family along with the child’s personality and temperament. Often, our families find our services to be a source of encouragement and support. Ultimately, it is truly our goal to help families and babies sleep better and we offer a generous refund policy for families who do not find the information provided to be helpful for them (Refund Policy Terms). We also offer parents the ability to download a sample copy of a Personalized Sleep Plan™ as a way for them to better understand how comprehensive our sleep plans are and as a way for them to determine if our services might be for them.
For more information about our Personalized Sleep Consultation Services work, you can read the Sleep Desk FAQ.
Read Parent Stories and Testimonials from some of the families we have worked with who were happy with our services. You can also read some of our more in-depth and personal Family Features stories here and here.
Also, be sure to read our “About” page for more information about The Baby Sleep Site® Sleep Consultants and their wide range of professional skills and experience.
We encourage you to contact us at any time if you have any questions about our resources or services or if you have any suggestions for information that we can add to this page. We also welcome you to contact us if you have additional questions about baby or toddler sleep issues, or how The Baby Sleep Site® team can help your patients.
We also invite you to request our special brochures, created specifically for healthcare providers like you! These come with general sleep tips for babies age newborn – 6 months, and are perfect resources for parents with young babies who need sleep guidance. Simply e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org, include the name of your practice, the name of a contact within your office, and your mailing address, and we will ship a set of brochures straight to your office door!
It is our goal to make this a useful resource for Health Care Providers and the families you work with.
You can contact us
By email: contact [at] babysleepsite [dot] com
By phone: 888-599-1665
By US Mail:
7385 N. State Route 3 #127
Westerville, OH 43082