Homebirth: A “Narcissistic” Choice?


By Tracy G. Cassels I came across this interesting discussion on Facebook the other day (be warned, it’s long so make sure you have time to read it all if interested, which I believe many of you will be).  What struck me most about it was the idea that, for some, to birth at home is a “narcissistic” choice.  (I take issue with the term itself as I don’t believe the choice is … [Read more...]

Bedsharing in Australia: Scare Mongering versus Reality

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By Tracy G. Cassels Many Australians woke this morning to scare mongering about bedsharing thanks to articles in their papers.  Claims that 25 babies died in the parental bed last year have led people to declare that bedsharing should be illegal.  Some people are being investigated for it as it is not seemingly okay to report it to Child Services (I kid you not).  It's hard … [Read more...]

Proving the Risk of Harm in Early Sleep Training

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By Tracy G. Cassels You can read this article in Hebrew here, thanks to Idan Melamed! A new review paper out in the Journal of Developmental and Behavioural Pediatrics[1] has me hearing choirs, seeing the clouds part, and sun shining down (and I live in Vancouver, BC so it’s not something I see very often) over finally seeing someone address the issue of sleep training in … [Read more...]

The Daily Fail Strikes Again!


By Tracy G. Cassels Alright, I caved.  At first I wanted nothing to do with this article, but let’s take it apart, shall we? Let’s start with the title: The new parenting fad experts fear could KILL your baby: Mothers are jeopardising their child's safety by co-sleeping Um… clearly Ms. Hoyle knows nothing about human history.  Co-sleeping is about as new as, oh, … [Read more...]

Press Release Re: Carpenter et al. Bedsharing Study


My plan this weekend had been to enjoy a relaxing weekend away with the family.  However, Friday I was made aware of a new report coming out today on the "dangers of bedsharing".  Needless to say, this weekend changed.  We were luckily able to view a copy of the article in advance and the group of researchers I have worked with on other posts and I wrote a response.  This is … [Read more...]

What is Normal Infant Sleep? (Part I)

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By: Tracy G. Cassels Darcia Narvaez Wendy Middlemiss John Hoffman Sarah Ockwell-Smith Kathleen Kendall-Tackett Helen Stevens To view the article in Spanish, click here. To view the entire series in Hungarian, click here. Infant sleep problems are some of the most common concerns reported by parents of young children.  Ask any new parent and most will complain about … [Read more...]

Simple Ways to Calm a Crying Baby


By: Sarah Ockwell-Smith Wendy Middlemiss John Hoffman Kathleen Kendall-Tackett Helen Stevens Darcia Narvaez James McKenna Tracy Cassels (for a full list of author credentials, please see the end of the piece)   “My baby is only happy in my arms, the minute I put her down she cries.”  “She wakes every hour throughout the night, every night, I’m … [Read more...]

A Room Swept White by Sophie Hannah: A Review

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By Tracy G. Cassels I have to say that I love fiction, though I rarely have time to read much of it anymore.  And I’ve always been particularly into mysteries even when I was a kid.  Back then, Nancy Drew did it for me, but it’s been a while, and now I tend to prefer my mysteries with something a little bit more to them.  A story to make you think, so to speak.  Why am I … [Read more...]

Co-Sleeping on Trial: The Vanessa Clark Case

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By Tracy G. Cassels On April 5, 2012 Vanessa Clark was found guilty of child endangerment in the death of her 2-month-old son Tristan in July 2010.  What did she do?  She co-slept with him.  The problem is that in 2009, she lost another child, presumably to SIDS but who was also co-sleeping.  At the time of her first child’s death, Child Protective Services (CPS) warned Ms. … [Read more...]

Five Questions with Dr. Helen Ball

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By Tracy G. Cassels Many of you know the name Dr. Helen Ball, but for those of you who don’t, let me give you a brief introduction.  A professor of anthropology at Durham University (in the United Kingdom), Dr. Ball has spent most of her career examining issues surrounding infant sleep and breastfeeding (though you’ll see here that it was not what she intended to do).  Her … [Read more...]