The NYU Baby Sleep Study is examining sleeping, eating, and digestion in healthy infants and infants who may later be diagnosed with developmental disorders. We plan to enroll many thousands of infants in the study. We have three objectives:
1) Parents like you will be able to better manage their infant’s sleep and eating guided by scientifically-informed insights derived from the largest and most dense database about normal infant development.
2) Parents, caregivers, and pediatricians will be better able to identify potential early signs (red flags) of developmental disorders, allowing them to get help as soon as possible.
3) Through our newsletter (Baby Sleep News), parents like you will be provided with scientifically- and medically-based advice and information about human development, sleep, and developmental disorders.
It will be challenging to recruit large numbers of families to participate in the study, and the study will not meet all of its objectives unless lots of people participate. We need your help to spread the word about the NYU Baby Sleep Study. Tell your friends and family about the project. Post links to our study on Facebook and through other social media. But we don't expect you to do this unless it's of value to you and the people you share it with. And that's the point of our newsletter, Baby Sleep News.
Baby Sleep News is intended to provide valuable information about infant development and care to parents like you. Our goal for the newsletter is to offer information that is interesting and worthwhile so that you will want to share it, information that you feel every parent would want to know. If we succeed in this, then you and other parents will tell others about the newsletter. This will help more people enroll in the study while providing a reliable parenting resource.
There are four types of articles in Baby Sleep News, each indicated by a different icon:
Scientifically-based, actionable advice. For example, short-wavelength (blueish) light at nighttime interferes with your sleep cycle and your baby's sleep cycle. The actionable advice is: put an orange/amber lightbulb in one of you lamps and use only that light source when you're up in the middle of the night with your baby. See this article for how and why.
Expert opinions. For example, a pediatrician who has been in practice for ten years states an opinion about good strategies to quiet your baby at night.
Research summaries. For example, a new research study draws a conclusion about factors that can cause autism. We will summarize the research to let you know what it means. Sometimes when science is described in the news or online, the interpretation is exaggerated. We won’t do that.
Editorials. We will occasionally post updates about the NYU Baby Sleep Study or about Baby Sleep News. This article is an example.
The first category (offering scientifically-based, actionable advice) is, we believe, the most important. You wouldn't consider being a passenger on an airplane designed by an someone who was just "winging it". Rather, you need assurance that it was designed and built based on the principles of physics and best practices of aeronautical engineering. Likewise, we believe that the choices you make about how to take care of your infant should have a solid foundation.
There are, however, a limited number of topics for which we'll be able to provide solid, scientifically-based advice, and we'll be clear about when we can and cannot do so. For some issues, problems, and needs that you face as parents, there is not enough known to provide scientifically-sound advice. You may have noticed that much of what you read about infants and childcare is based on expert opinion, which is very different from a scientific foundation. So it means something special when you see an article with the first icon.
We want your feedback. If you do not find our newsletter articles to be of value to you then we need to know that and we need to know why. Perhaps you disagree about the importance of science in making decisions about childcare. Perhaps the topics we're covering are not relevant or not of interest to you. If so, please tell us. You can add comments about each of the newsletter articles on babysleepstudy.org, or you can send email to [email protected] . We also want to know, of course, if we do something right, so please add comments about articles that you find useful and why. Finally, please let us know if there are topics that you'd like to have us cover. Let us know the biggest parenting problems you face, and we'll do the research to find out if science can come to the rescue.
Remember to keep logging your baby's sleep, eating, and diaper changes.