Dr Addyman’s tips on sleep, laughter, and other miracles

Fresh from the lab: Dr Caspar Addyman about sleep, music and happiness in babies.

Dr Caspar Addyman, Lecturer at Goldsmith University, has certainly got what parents care about. At this week's CBCD seminar, he run us through some of his exciting science about baby's sleep and about their happiness (in this order. Is it a coincidence?)

In his Brazilian research sponsored by Pampers, Caspar asked over 200 parents to keep a 10-days sleep diary, making a note of how much the child slept, how wet the diaper was in the morning, how many times the baby woke up, how many feeds and changed occurs that night, how happy and how energetic the child was in the morning.

Main take-home messages?

  1. A baby is more likely to sleep more hours if her night starts early.

  2. If baby sleeps longer, she is more likely to wake up happy. For mothers, what counts is not how many hours you sleep but how many times you get interrupted.

  3. Use more absorbent nappies if you only can: they appear let your baby's happiness increase with the amount of sleep!

Practical implications for parents?

  • Put the baby to sleep early.

  • Establishing some sort or feeding rhythm may help mum feel better in the morning.

  • Absorbent nappies do their job well (we now need to ask Caspar to try and test washable ones).

Caspar went on to tell us about his psychology of music project sponsored by C&GBabyclub, which he had described for us in a previous interview, and sharing that the most scary thing he ever did in this life was to be a TED Talk Speaker. By all means have a look at his contribution as soon as you have 15 minutes available. It not only teaches you loads about baby's laughter, but it gives you a very good perspective of development and ultimately of the human mind.

Touching on poetry, meditation and music, he is very effective as portraying how powerful the human brain is, how amazingly development unfolds and how inexplicable happiness is.

Caspar does not mince his words: it is all a miracle. And if a rational neuroscientist says this, it must be true.

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