SafeSleep Excerpt (from Chapter 1)
Sleep is important in the development of psychological safety because sleep is the first experience our infant has of being alone. Some parenting approaches assume that falling asleep is only a matter of physical ability. They say that parents need to train their infants to fall asleep by leaving them alone. They do not take into account the psychological implications of that decision.
I think we do harm to some infants if we train them to fall asleep alone when they ask us to be with them. Their feelings of safety require bonding and parental reassurance. To be sure, most infants who cry themselves to sleep alone regularly will learn to fall asleep without us. However, what is the cost to long-term memory? We want our children to grow up to be independent adults. We want them to be capable of mastering the task of maintaining their psychological health. Therefore, is it not essential that we establish positive emotions and impressions of the moments early in life when they are first learning to fall asleep and to be alone in a world of their own?
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