The Estivill method
Exposed rules and routines, supported by pediatric, psychological and pedagogical scientific societies, to solve childhood insomnia due to behavioral causes.
In 1976, Dr. Eduard Estivill began studies on sleep disorders in children. In the scientific field in general and in the field of infant sleep, in particular, scientific discoveries, always endorsed by publications in prestigious medical journals, have made it possible to bring together knowledge from such varied areas of knowledge as neurobiology, pediatrics, neurophysiology, pedagogy and psychology.
In recent years, scientists have provided data on how the suprachiasmatic nucleus of the hypothalamus (a group of cells, located in the brain, that acts as our biological clock) matures and evolves in the first months of life. This has allowed us to understand how babies’ sleep has different characteristics depending on their age.
In addition, various phenomena, hitherto considered “unsolvable”, such as the awakening of children during sleep, have been understood. In the same way, psychology and pedagogy have provided data on the configuration of habits and routines.
All this information has led Infant Sleep Medicine specialists to provide parents with guidelines and advice to improve infant sleep situations.
The first books published for this purpose date back more than 20 years. Richard Ferber, pediatrician and head of the Pediatrics Service at Boston Children’s Hospital, USA, was the first to publish a modern treatise on sleep disorders in children, which Dr. Estivill prefaced in its Spanish version.
Richard Ferber was one of Dr. Estivill’s teachers. He encouraged her interest in this field and is one of the scientific references of our daily work.
Since 1989 we have been providing consultations on children’s insomnia problems. The experience accumulated with more than 15,000 patients and the publications we have published support the reliability of the concepts expressed in our books on how to treat children’s sleep problems. We are scientists and we only express what science discovers, we do not give personal opinions.
“It has been 20 years since I first published the guidelines for teaching children to sleep. Parents ended up calling this compendium of recommendations and rules, affectionately, the “Estivill method”, but I have to remind you that it is not my invention.”
In 1996 we published a compendium of standards expressed in an easy-to-understand form, based on new scientific advances. We were not inventing anything, we were not proposing empirical theories or dictating dogmas, we were simply providing knowledge to the many parents who have children with sleep disorders. This materialized in the book Duérmete Niño ( Editorial Penguin Random House Mondadori).
The effectiveness of the proposed standards and the support of parents, together with the recognition of the majority of the pediatric, psychological and pedagogical scientific community, led to a rapid dissemination of the suggested standards, as has happened in many parts of the world with other books that disseminate the same scientific knowledge.
It has sold more than four million books and has been translated into twenty-two languages (Spanish, Catalan, Italian, French, Portuguese, Brazilian, Icelandic, Croatian, Slovak, English, Dutch, German, Japanese, Danish, Hangars, Polish, Greek, Chinese, Russian). This can only be explained by the solvency of its contents and the effectiveness of the recommendations implemented by the parents.
The book Duérmete Niño has an updated and expanded version that offers parents new knowledge that complements those previously published. For example, we have made advances in the understanding of fetal sleep. And this has allowed us to suggest rules for teaching sleep from the first day of birth.
New time table
Recent studies carried out on these techniques recommend this table of waiting times (replaces the one found in the book SLEEP CHILD. It is just as effective, and more bearable for parents. (Minutes are replaced by seconds)