This post is part of a 26-week writing project, shared with my son at Julian Jotting
I co-wrote a book about babies and sleep and how to make those two things work better together.
About 12 years ago, Marc Lewis and I wrote a book called Bedtiming, a baby sleep guide of a different sort. It was meant to introduce new parents to some basic principles of developmental psychology in order to help them make informed decisions about WHEN to attempt sleep training (not HOW to do it, which is what the vast majority of books focus on). The basic idea was that children go through normative developmental stages that are quite predictable. The transition periods between these stages are particularly wonderous, given the amazing and rather abrupt shifts that happen in emotions, thinking capacities, and behavioural patterns. As wonderous as these shifts are, they are indeed SHIFTS and this is precisely why you wouldn’t want to try to instill new sleep habits during these periods.
I’ve never been deeply interested in babies’ sleep patterns per se. What fascinated me (and continues to be darn interesting), is the nature of these developmental transition more broadly. For about two years, I kept a blog connected to the book, for parents who had extra questions or personal circumstances that they wanted me to cover in more detail than the book afforded. The blog morphed over the years to encompass the more interesting developmental milestones, the cognitive, emotional and social acquisitions that blow most developmental psychologists minds. More than just sleep issues, I ended up covering the science of parenting in all sorts of domains. It’s now archived in a rather hideous format, but the content is still all there and still very relevant today.
The book itself, Bedtiming, got some great reviews on Amazon back then, and everything in it is still 100% relevant today (because babies, developmental stages, and sleep needs are not exactly trendy topics that go out of vogue).