Drawbacks of giving formula at night to get more sleep

Learn about: Drawbacks of giving formula at night to get more sleep from James McKenna, PhD,...
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Drawbacks of giving formula at night to get more sleep

I can certainly understand why mothers might want to give their baby formula to promote more sleep because certainly most moms that have babies, regardless of whether or not they're bed sharing, are to a certain extent sleep deprived. That said, it's important to remember in whose best interest one wants to make those kinds of decisions. I can clearly state that the normal pattern that we learn it's supposed to be normal in our culture that babies are supposed to sleep it's just definitely not what the normative experience is for the human infant, nor is it in the baby's best interest. Rather than the consolidation of sleep, how babies actually sleep is that they wake, they breast feed, and they sleep. They wake, they breast feed, and they sleep. It's a very episodic pattern and babies are not in any sense of the word supposed in an uninterrupted wave through the night. You're actually contributing to the development of a lot of variety of skills by that baby awakening because don't forget not only is it more breast milk that that baby's getting which increases both future health and immediate health, but it's actually interactive and it's engagement and is contributing to cognitive, and social, and intellectual development of that baby as well.

Learn about: Drawbacks of giving formula at night to get more sleep from James McKenna, PhD,...


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James McKenna, PhD

Anthropologist & Author

Professor James J. McKenna is recognized as the world’s leading authority on mother-infant co-sleeping, in relationship to breastfeeding and SIDS. In recognition of his work in 2009 he was admitted as a Fellow into the select body of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, the world's most prestigious scientific society. That same year and in recognition of his extensive work with television, radio, and print media he received from the American Anthropological Association the “2008 Anthropology In The Media Award” one of the top three awards presented to anthropologists by the association in recognition of his distinguished work in educating the public to the importance of anthropological concepts. He received his undergraduate degree in anthropology from the University of California, Berkeley in 1970, his Master's Degree from San Diego State University in 1972, and his PhD in biological anthropology from the University of Oregon, Eugene, in 1975. Professor McKenna has published over 139 refereed scientific articles in diverse medical and anthropological journals on co-sleeping, breastfeeding, evolutionary medicine and SIDS, and both here and abroad he gives over 20 lectures especially to pediatric groups and parents. Here in the United States he remains one of the primary spokesperson to the media on issues pertaining to sleeping arrangements, nighttime breast-feeding and SIDS prevention. He has also published two monographs on SIDS and infant sleep, and co-edited two books:  Evolutionary Medicine and Evolutionary Medicine And Health: New Perspectives. His first trade book for parents was published in 2008 entitled: Sleeping With Your Baby: A Parents Guide To Co-Sleeping, and was recently translated and available in Spanish and Dutch.

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