Parents should be aware that young babies are not eligible for sleep training, writes Helen Ball, a professor of anthropology in North Carolina on the

These therapies are used to manipulate babies’ sleep patterns to more closely match their parents’ preferences, along with coping strategies for parents, as they adjust their goal to have a three-month-old who “sleeps through the night”.

But herein lies the problem, because babies do not need to learn, be taught or coached, how to sleep. They emerge from the womb fully capable of sleeping, as do all newborn mammals. They have been sleeping in utero for the last several months, and they spend much of the first few months outside the womb doing so, too.

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