From "Healthy Sleep Habits, Happy Child" by Marc Weissbluth:
"It is also possible that severe or chronic sleep deficits occurring early during the period of rapid brain growth might hard-wire circuits to produce permanent effects...If the brain has been permanently changed due to severe or chronic sleep loss, then, when the naps disappear and school requires more mental vigiliance and focused attention, preexisting problems may appear. It is not simply academics that might suffer. We do not know the contribution of healthy childhood sleep toward creativity, empathy, a sense of humor, or adult mental health."
So (insert ominous music here) in other words, if your child does not sleep well, HE/SHE WILL BE A CRAZY ADULT.
Well, shit. As if Carter didn't already have the odds stacked against him in the crazy department due simply to genetics, his well-meaning parents had to go bouncing, shushing, and Harvey Karping him into craptastic sleep and subsequent future wackadoodleness. Lovely.
Bleeeeeeeeeeh I say, Marc Weissbluth! Take your overzealous sleep fascism and shove it. We'll sleep train when we're damn good and ready. As I write this, my little boy is asleep in his swing (note: it is NOT turned on - progress!) having been bounced into peaceful slumber. Yes, we have been naughty parents, but time heals all.
Either that or we're in for some serious therapy bills in the future.