Sleep Project

Painting by Nguyen Thanh Binh

Painting by Nguyen Thanh Binh

We all need sleep to regenerate and connect to our dream life, and for the little child sleep is so important for the development of the physical body. The child needs sleep to grow.

In countries around the world in the surroundings of the little child we see a number of things that are making it harder and harder for children to have a healthy sleep rhythm. Such threats to sleep include the growing amount of screen time children are exposed to, less and less awareness  of the importance of sleep, the speed with which we expect children to learn things, early academics, more stress, and less and less time to simply "be", to let go, relax and have a spiritual connection.

The IASWECE Birth to Three Working Group is preparing a study on the subject of sleep.They  have compiled the following collection of articles, quotations and research material to assist colleagues, from member countries around the world,who would like to organize a conference or a training course on the theme of sleep:

newborn sleep.jpeg

Rudolf Steiner gave us many indications to help us understand sleeping and waking, through his research in Spiritual Science. The following link provides access to some quotes taken from his works.

Birth To Three Project


"The first two and a half years are the most important of all...During this time the child has the gift of being instinctively aware of everything that goes on around it, especially as regards the people who come into daily contact with the child... Everything that takes place in its environment imprints itself on its physical bodily form... so that our behaviour will influence its disposition to health or disease for the whole of its life"

Rudolf Steiner, From "The Child Before the Seventh Year", Lecture series given in Dornach,

Dec 23 1921-Jan 7, 1922

List of books and articles related to the work with children under three

  • The lectures and workshop summaries of the Conference on the Dignity of the Young Child 2010 are now available in English translation as an e-book which can be purchased online through $3.99 AUS  This book is an excellent resource for people working with children under three.  Title: The dignity of the young child (Persephone Books 2) by  Michaela Gloecker, Claudia Grah-Wittich 2013
  • A Warm and Gentle Welcome. Nurturing Children from Birth to Three. Published by WECAN Gateways Series, USA 2008
  • The Child from Birth to Three in Waldorf Education and Child Care. R.Patzlaff/C.McKeen and others. Published by WECAN New York 2011
  • Home Away from Home. Lifeways Care of Children and Families. C.Aldinger/M. O’Connell, Published by Lifeways.
  • Life is the Curriculum. C. Aldinger. Published by LifeWays North America, 2015
  • Creating Connections. Perspectives on Parent-and-Child Work in Waldorf Early Childhood Education. Kimberley Lewis and Susan Weber, Published by WECAN, Spring Valley 2014
  • In Praise of Crawling. Susan Weber/ J.Swain.
  • Children under Three: Some Thoughts about the Song Circle and Storytelling. Christine Christiansen, Published in: Gateways Spring/Summer2011
  • A Toddler Group within a Kindergarten. Eldbjorg  Guessing Paulsen. Published in: Gateways 61/ 2011
  • Trust and Wonder. A Waldorf Approach to caring for infants and toddlers. Eldbjorg Guessing Paulsen. Published by WECAN Publications 2011
  • Creating a Home for Body Soul and Spirit : A New Approach to Childcare.  Bernadette Raichle. Published by WECAN Spring Valley 2011
  • Under the Stars The Foundations of Steiner Early Childhood Education. Renate Long-Breipohl. Published by Hawthorn Press UK 2012
  • Observations of Children Under Three in the Kindergarten. Lisa Gromicko, Published in: Gateways  Spring/Summer 2010.

Courses and Training

"Working with Children from Pre-birth to Three Years"

Rudolf Steiner College Perth

"The Art of Caring: Working with Children under Three"

Sydney Rudolf Steiner College