Comparing one baby's sleep routine to another's

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Comparing one baby's sleep routine to another's

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To be able to answer a question as to how one baby differs from another, we have no empirical evidence or no studies that would actually permit us to give you a sufficient answer for that. Because sleep, like so many other things, is integrated into the entire developmental scheme of your particular baby. Your particular baby’s feeding needs, your baby’s growth rate, your baby’s temperament in so far as what it fears, its need and desire to be close to you, to touch you, to hear you, etc. ¬– these are all individualized psychological and/or genetic factors that are really hard to predict, even from one member of the family to another. So, I think the best thing you can do is perhaps not to have really clear expectations that your experiences with one child aren’t necessarily going to be the same as another. And/or whether it’s fair or legitimate or even useful to make comparisons between your baby and another baby. It could be that the very processes that require at this age for your child to be continuously waking up and to be quite energetic demand on you might be the very characteristics that later in life prove to be extremely advantageous. That is to say that it has a stronger gender identity or requires less attention when it’s under stress. Or maybe that baby is more resilient having experienced all this affirmation and positive re-enforcement as an infant.

View James McKenna, PhD's video on Comparing one baby's sleep routine to another's...

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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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