Isn’t this the dream of every parent? When their dearest bundle of joy is welcomed into this world, every parent wants to do their best and is determined to help their child learn how to sleep. While most healthy normal infants sleep well in their first two to three months of life, many distractions including breastfeeding, diaper changes, returning to work, and daily demands of older children can all lead to exhaustion, frustration, and sleepless days and nights for new moms and dads.
Sometimes gastroesophageal reflux, colic, breathing problems, and seizures in the newborn period can disrupt normal sleep/wake rhythms and lead to interrupted sleep for parents and children alike. Once a disrupted pattern is established, the family can be stressed and anxious.
What can families do? Many consult their primary care doctor or nurse practitioner who may give sound advice, trial of medications, and reassurance to the family. But, sometimes this is not enough and the chronic sleeplessness is difficult to overcome.
The Pediatric Sleep Evaluation Center at Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh of UPMC offers expert guidance to young families in order to educate parents and to help establish healthy sleep patterns in developing infants for a lifetime of good sleep.
Dr. Hiren Muzumdar and Dr. Sangeeta Chakravorty staff the multidisciplinary center and bring their respective pulmonary and neurology expertise to help parents create an individual program to improve their child’s sleep habits. After a comprehensive clinical evaluation, they determine the best approach. It may include a behavioral plan, trial of medication, or an overnight sleep study.
During an overnight sleep study, a child’s brain waves, eye movements, heart and respiratory rhythms, body movements, and oxygen and carbon dioxide levels are monitored by a skilled technologist. The studies are done at the main hospital campus in Lawrenceville and Children’s North in Wexford, where infants and children can be safely studied. Patients and families have a comfortable, child-friendly, secure, and private environment in the sleep rooms in both locations.
With our experienced staff, the center can help children and families achieve their goal and sleep “like a baby.” After all, when the child sleeps well, the family sleeps well!
For more information on the Pediatric Sleep Evaluation Center, visit www.chp.edu/CHP/sleep.