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Sleep Book Recommendations

Posted by on Mar. 27, 2008 at 9:12 PM
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In the course of our conversations on sleep, various books come up, so here is a place for us to share our thoughts on the books that are out there on baby sleep.  Here are a few of my "reviews":

The Happiest Baby on the Block, by Harvey Karp, M.D.
LOVE, LOVE, LOVE this book!  I wish I had read it when my son was a newborn, or better yet, before he came along.  I learned so much about what goes through the mind of an infant and how to soothe them.  This book is primarily no-cry, which was also a plus for me.  The only negative is that it really focuses on babies in the first 3 months, so if your child is older than that, buy it for when you have the next one!

The Sleepeasy Solution, by Jennifer Waldburger and Jill Spivak
There are a lot of great things about this book.  One is that it is very well-researched.  The authors run a sleep clinic and are well-known in the baby sleep community.  Another good thing about this book is that they talk about kids of all ages, not just babies, so this book is good even for parents who are trying to get toddlers to sleep in their own bed.  I like that they help you set up a detailed plan and really walk you through the how-to's.  The authors also use a very sympathetic tone, which is helpful when you are feeling very frazzled and frustrated.  I liked the "Crying 911" section in the back that helps you get through those bouts of crying.  The one drawback I saw is that this book is basically glorified CIO, so if you aren't up for CIO, it's not for you.

Healthy Sleep Habits, Happy Child, by Marc Weissbluth, M.D.
I had mixed feelings about this book.  It's a tough read - almost like a textbook.  There are a couple good things about it though - 1. I really learned a lot about how sleep schedules work, and how napping affects night sleep.  There is a lot of statistical info that can be pretty helpful in understanding sleep problems. 2. There are chapters tailored just to your babies age range, which is really helpful. (I've had more than one friend recommend that you read only that chapter that pertains to your baby's age).
That being said, I wasn't crazy about the overall tone of the book.  The author claims not to promote CIO early in the book, but then goes on to prescribe CIO anyway.  His tone is not overly sympathetic to parent or child.

Nighttime Parenting, by Dr. William Sears
I really enjoyed this book.  This is an earlier work of Dr. Sears, but it has been updated to reflect more recent scientific findings and safety measures.  This book is very pro-attachtment parenting, and pro-co-sleeping, so if that is not for you, this book may not be.  Although I only co-slept for the first three months, I still found the book very helpful, and Dr. Sears to be very intuitive.  There is a great chapter on bed-wetting, which is definitely worth taking a look at if you are experiencing that issue, or just want to learn what to do if you ever do.

Some other books that I've heard good things about, but haven't read....

The Baby Sleep Book, by Dr. William Sears

The No-Cry Sleep Solution, by Elizabeth Pantley

Baby Wise, by Gary Ezzo and Robert Bucknam

Good Night, Sleep Tight: The Sleep Lady's Gentle Guide to Helping Your Child Go to Sleep, Stay Asleep, and Wake up Happy, by Kim West

Solve Your Child's Sleep Problems, by Dr. Richard Ferber

Solve Your Child's Sleep Problems: New, Revised, and Expanded Edition

Please share your thoughts on these and other books - Thanks!

by on Mar. 27, 2008 at 9:12 PM
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by on Jun. 13, 2008 at 10:12 AM
I have read Kim West's book, "Good Night Sleep Tight".  It seems a very sensible, kind way to get a child to sleep, but only if your child has a sweet and easy temperament.  Wouldn't work for my son, who screams his head off when his head touches the crib mattress.  May work for older children who can be reasoned with.  It is an easy read, though, and has some very useful sleeping and feeding schedules at the beginning of each chapter (organized by baby's age).  I actually found the breastfeeding information more useful from this book than from the "breastfeeding" books that I have.
by on Aug. 23, 2008 at 1:24 AM

I'm reading Dr. Sears "The Baby Book" it has a whole section on babies and sleeping, I really like it! Its also helpful with a lot of other things too, its like a baby manual that new moms need! LOL

by on Sep. 19, 2008 at 1:42 PM

My four month old son would not sleep for anything!!! He would be up for 5-6 hours at a time during the day, and then up twice nightly and fussy 24 hrs a day. I just finished reading and started to follow the guide from the book Babywise. So Thursday was day #1 - we started the morning with a bottle, then played for about an hour....then I put him down for the dreaded nap. He cried for an hour before falling asleep for 1 1/2 hrs. He woke up so happy and rested. Then we repeated the cycle in the afternoon - with only 45 min of crying for the next nap. Then at bedtime - instead of struggling to get him down around 9 or 9:30 - he was so tired by 8pm that he could barely keep his eyes open. And that we the last time he has cried while going down for a nap since yesterday!!! It is seriously like we have a whole new baby! I would definitely recommend reading this book and giving it a try. I had also read Healthy Sleep Habits, Happy Child but felt that it didn't really apply to our situation....but to each her own!

by on Sep. 25, 2008 at 11:21 PM

I read Babywise  while pregnant and it has been an absolute Godsend. 

My son has been on a flexible routine from day one and sleeping 7 hours at 8 weeks old.  He is now 12 weeks old and goes to bed every night at 7:30pm and we get him up at 6:00am so I can feed him before taking him to work with me.  He takes 4 naps every day of 1.5 hours on average.  He is happy, well-rested and eats nice full meals every 3 hours.

by on Oct. 9, 2008 at 5:17 PM

I've read the "no cry sleep solution" and what I liked best is that she gives a bunch of different techniques for you to try that you pick and choose what best fits your situation. She has help for co-sleepers, breastfed babies, bottle fed babies, different ages, and seems very open to all parenting styles. It is (obviously) a no-cry book, but she does a good job of reminding you to be patient. I would recommend it to anyone not wanting to let baby cry it out.


by on Nov. 18, 2008 at 10:22 PM

i read "the happiest baby on the block" and "the no cry sleep solution" and found both to be helpful.

however, i also had purchased the e-book online from the baby sleep coach and wasn't impressed.  i had no new info.... and it was more expensive thn he other books!!!! 

by on Dec. 4, 2008 at 2:13 PM

I actualy watched the video "The Happiest Baby on the Block". It was a god send when she was real little. Those tricks don't work for her anymore but I am still very happy that I had those tricks handy before.

New Mommy of 1
by on Jan. 20, 2009 at 2:22 PM

First we tried the No Cry Sleep Solution.  It didn't work for us & once, in my sleep exhaustion, called it the No Sleep Cry Solution.  That stuck & it is how I feel about it.

I was way too sleepy to get thru Weissbluth's book.  But I tried.  We bought but didn't even look at Ferber's book, who has time or stamina in the state we were in???!!!

We then got the short DVD of Sleepeasy Solution.  It is basically the social worker touchy feely Ferber.  That was what we could handle.  At 8.5 months Shayna wasn't sleeping at all for days at a time, & neither were we.  It wasn't safe any longer & we had to address it.  So, even though we weren't initially willing to utilize any CIO method, we decided that an adapted method like this would have to be OK.  After we got some sleep we checked the book out of the library.  It is concise enough that you don't feel like you have to read a bunch of theory & science.  You just get to get some sleep!

Shayna still doesn't always sleep thru the night, though she can at times.  We are in a difficult bout of interrupted sleep right now.  Still, if we go back to an abreviated version of Sleepeasy, we can usually get back on track quickly.


Hate Is NOT a Family Value.

by on Mar. 10, 2009 at 7:57 PM

Just bought and skimmed the No Cry Sleep Solution, haven't tried it yet.  I looked at several other books at Borders and I just can't buy anything that tells me to let my child cry for an hour or more.  I was just about in tears thinking about it.  It doesn't feel right to me.  So, at least philosophically I like the No Cry Sleep Solution book better, it makes better sense to me as a parent and from an attachment perspective.  I have done graduate coursework on child development and while I understand that "cry it out" may work, I can't imagine that having the elevated cortisol levels associated with stress and screaming and crying for a prolonged period of time is good for babies!  As well as the message a parent sends by ignoring their cries.  I do want my child to learn to comfort himself and I know there are so things we can do differently, but just looking at a couple of those books really brought home for me that I am not and will never be a cry it out parent. 

by on Mar. 16, 2009 at 9:47 AM

Update: really having good success with this:

The No-Cry Sleep Solution, by Elizabeth Pantley

Am now able to put him down in his crib for a nap and pat him for maybe 10 mins and he sleeps great.  Slept through the night (ALL night) last night, despite runny nose which usually prevents anyone around here from getting good sleep.  I gave him his dad's old (very flat) army pillow, which I'm sure smells like dad, and I think that helps elevate his head a little plus is comforting.  Nathan smailes when I put him down for a nap, and wants to lay around in his crib a few minutes after he wakes up-- he LIKES his bed, which I don't really think would be the case had I tried CIO.

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