|Healthy Sleep Habits, Happy Child
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One of the country's leading researchers updates his revolutionary approach to solving--and preventing--your children's sleep problems
Here Dr. Marc Weissbluth, a distinguished pediatrician and father of four, offers his groundbreaking program to ensure the best sleep for your child. In Healthy Sleep Habits, Happy Child, he explains with authority and reassurance his step-by-step regime for instituting beneficial habits within the framework of your child's natural sleep cycles. This valuable sourcebook contains brand new research that
- Pinpoints the way daytime sleep differs from night sleep and why both are important to your child
- Helps you cope with and stop the crybaby syndrome, nightmares, bedwetting, and more
- Analyzes ways to get your baby to fall asleep according to his internal clock--naturally
- Reveals the common mistakes parents make to get their children to sleep--including the inclination to rock and feed
- Explores the different sleep cycle needs for different temperaments--from quiet babies to hyperactive toddlers
- Emphasizes the significance of a nap schedule
Rest is vital to your child's health growth and development. Healthy Sleep Habits, Happy Child outlines proven strategies that ensure good, healthy sleep for every age. Advises parents dealing with teenagers and their unique sleep problems
- Cliff-Notes Version, Please
I found this book difficult to follow and even more difficult to implement. I don't doubt that Dr. Weisssbluth knows his stuff. A lot of what he says about the importance of sleep makes a lot of sense. But after reading testimonials, graphs, lists and bullet points, I still found myself asking, "But what do I do?" The answers to simple questions were buried under tons of prose. Even his end-of-chapter summaries called "Action Plan for Exhausted Parents" were too long and didn't have any real "actions."
In terms of chapters, the first 196 pages cover sleep problems. If you didn't think your child had a sleeping problem before, you will now. I was completely paranoid I would raise a child that would have sleep problems the rest of his life if I didn't get this right. Then, finally, on page 197, I got some age-appropriate advice. Chapter 5 is Months One to Four with breakdowns for the first eight weeks. Perfect. But then the next chapter is Months Five to Twelve! You get only 63 pages for 8 months of your baby's life.
This is the only sleep book I have read, but surely someone else has come up with a better format for answering parents' basic questions about what to do at the various ages. I truly believe Dr. Weissbluth has all the answers, he just needs a good editor to get them into a readable and followable format. Until then, how about the Cliff Notes version ......more info
- Best baby sleep book on the market
This book saved my sanity. I had read Ferber carefully and had read a fair amount about sleep before having a baby, and yet, by 5 months, my daughter was a terrible sleeper, and I was losing it. We used the techniques in this book, and my daughter almost immediately began sleeping better. I was able to move her bedtime from 10 or so to 7:30, and she began napping in her crib (which she never did) for 45 minutes, then an hour, then 1.25-1.5 hours per nap. Furthermore, I have used the techniques in the book to help other friends straighten out sleep habits in their babies with great success.
Some things that I particularly liked about this book: sleep patterns and actions needed to promote better sleep are broken down by age in a very concrete manner that even a ferociously sleep deprived mother can get, nursing to sleep is allowed to a certain age as is night nursing (within limits), and the technique focuses as much on awake time (e.g., making sure babies are awake for the proper amount of time between naps) as does on sleep.
My daughter was a different baby once we got her sleeping using the techniques in this book. I know some people think that crying it out is a terrible thing to do to a baby, but as long as the baby is the right age and capable of learning to self-soothe, it really does lead to happier babies and parents. Every morning when I went to my daughter's crib during the training period (and beyond), she greeted me with a big smile. She was so happy to be well-rested, and this book is largely responsible for that....more info
- Research-based info by a researcher himself
As a professional who reviews and uses research to guide treatment of my patients with language and cognitive deficits, I found Dr. Weissbluth's book to be the most straightforward, data-based resource on sleep hygiene. I only wish I had read this book BEFORE I had my baby! It would have saved me from six months of being a zombie....more info
- Reassuring and Educational
Every infant presents different sleep challenges, and I found this book to be a wonderful resource as I decided how to establish healthy and regular sleep schedules for my twins. The book offers easy-to-understand insight into WHY your baby might have difficulty establishing a good sleep routine. I especially like that Dr. Weissbluth differentiates between problems that colicky babies face and those that "normal" babies face - because the causes and cures are quite different, even if the symptoms are similar. A light went on for me when I read about infants' natural period of wakefulness, and it was amazing how much happier my babies were when I was more attuned and responsive to their signs of tiredness. The book covers both Ferber, and other methods of sleep training, and I never felt like I was being lectured...only informed. Dr. Weissbluth offers general guidelines for nap schedules and total hours of sleep needed at different ages, and I continue to use the book as a reference for my toddlers as they go through different development and growth stages....more info
- The only sleep book you will ever need
This book is simply amazing. We got this 5 years ago and still refer to it (when we aren't loaning it out!). It is so complete and thorough you will never need another sleep book again. Some of the material can be dense and even a little dry (like a text book) because it has so much research to back up the suggestions. However, it is well worth it to go through the "why's" at least once for background knowledge. But, if you are a sleep-deprived parent, there are actually summaries at the end of each chapter for your 'quick start' so you can begin implementing strategies. In the beginning there is also an overview where the author suggests what chapters are most crutial to parents by age range so you can begin right away and go back later to read in-depth. This book will have you and your child(ren) sleeping better. The author has strategies whether you have a family bed or cry-it-out, or any number of other popular sleeping situations. The no-cry sleep solutions are the best. I buy this book for each shower I attend....more info
- Hard To Follow
I found the book very hard to follow. My daughter is 6 mos. old and we are researching different opinions to decide how we want to handle her sleep issues. The chapters looked like everything was organized so well, then I started reading it and was totally confused by what the author was saying....I'm moving on to Ferber. ...more info
- This book made me so frustrated!
I wound up throwing this book into the trash, literally. I was so fed up with it's superior tone and frankly the book told me that my baby's sleeping problems were all my fault! I'm more in the Dr. Sears camp of parenting and this book did not suit me at all. I read it, eager to find solutions, only to find that implementing the techniques suggested simply did not work. ...more info
- Sleep advice based on research: Follow the advice, and miracles can happen!
Dr. Weissbluth's methods to help children sleep are based on sound research. He has been practicing pediatrics for more than 30 years and has conducted numerous studies on children's sleep habits. This is one of the reasons that we felt that his advice could help our colicky baby sleep better. We started using Dr. Weissbluth's methods when our son was 4 months old - he is now 3 years old and sleeps from 6pm until 7:30am every day. He is a happy, well-adjusted child who is eager to learn and gets along with other children. I attribute much of this to being well rested. Using Dr. Weissbluth's "sleep rules" with a 2.5 - 3 year old child can really help! This book can help exasperated and exhausted parents of children of all ages. It is the only parenting book that I consistently refer to at every stage of my child's life. ...more info
- Great help!
I have found this book to be extremely helpful. There are lots of stories to help relate the advice and there are little bits of advice off to the side of pages that help for quick reading/skimming. The absolute best advice was not keeping your infant awake for more than 2 hours at a time. This has worked wonders for us as well as realizing how important an early bed time is.
This book gives practical advice and has proven to be correct in many instances with my first born. I also loved the charts to show bedtimes and amount of sleep for different ages and stages.
I am not a fan of the "let cry" bedtime solution. I would probably use it if I had exhausted every other avenue. This book discusses "no cry," "maybe cry," and "let cry." It does not condemn any of these in particular. It gives important advice and lets you choose which is best for your family. The whole book has that tone for me, it gives scientific evidence and advice then helps you choose what is right for your family. I am using it now for my 2nd child and the habits we formed for our 3 year old previously are still in place....more info
- This book is not for new borns
There was alot of talk about this book so we bought it. And if you want to instill discipline into your childs sleeping habits this is a book for you (though please note that it does play on one's emotions and fears a little). However our pedeatrician told us that the sleeping methods proposed in this book (and others) are not suitable for babies less than four months old. ...more info
- A God Send. . .
We were given this book by friends and it has been the most wonderful gift ever. At first some of the ideas seemed a little crazy, but what happened was it began to work. And within just a few short weeks, we had not only a happy baby, but more well rested parents. Our daughter has been sleeping through the night since about 5.5 months old (6 pm - 6 am). She does wake from time to time in the middle of the night but has taught herself to self-soothe. Since she is now almost a year old, she takes fewer naps now, but she still sleep the full night. Everyone is amazed when we tell them about her sleep schedule - even our doctor told us in the beginning that it would not last, but we are around 7 months and counting now. And this has even continued through teething and growing pains. I would recommend it to any new parent. I am not saying that it is perfect and that there are not some of "those" nights from time to time, but these are only few and far between. ...more info
Ugh - this is my comment on this book. Firstly, as others have already noted, this guy should have hired a good editor. There are inconsistencies all over the place with regard to his recommendations. More importantly, though, the author advocates letting a 4-month-old cry it out alone, with no checks or consolations or visits, for the entire night. That's right: according to this guy, it's OK to put your baby down in the crib, shut the door, and do not return until morning. Help! Who does this?!?!??!? Don't bother buying this book unless you are a sociopath....more info
- An invaluable resource
I recommend reading this book before your baby is born. With our first daughter, we were only following "The Baby Book" by Dr. Sears, and while that's a lovely book, it did not offer sleep solutions that worked for us when the family bed stopped working and everyone was sleep-deprived and miserable. We ended up using 3 nights of cry-it-out in order to remove her from our bed; she's been a brilliant sleeper ever since.
With our second daughter, we resolved to use the family bed in the early days, but to be prepared to transition her out of our bed by 5-6 months, or as soon as it stopped working for all of us. Since we'd done this so successfully and (relatively) easily with our first daughter, we didn't do any reading up on the subject. Daughter #2 was a bit more of a challenge, and a friend loaned us Dr. Weissbluth's book, which has been very helpful.
The book is an excellent resource on infant sleep. As others have commented, it is not light reading, nor is it an easy, step-by-step, one-size-fits-all guide to sleep training. However, it helped us refine our strategy and reconfirm our commitment to getting good sleep for our whole family, even if that entailed a few nights' displeasure for a certain tenacious little one. Wish we'd read it before she was born, because I believe it would have made the process even easier with her....more info
- Best Sleep Training Method Ever!
Although this book can at times be confusing and contradictory, my friends and I have found it to be the best sleep training method. We've found the extinction method to work the best, and the sleep schedule really works. I'd highly recommend this book to anyone who's sleep traiing their baby....more info
- Not happy at all...(with the service...)
I am still waiting to get this product !!! The "due date" is many days behind me and I'm still anxiously waiting to receive this book !!!! And I'm really not happy about this! My child will learn alone how and when to sleep till I'll get this book!!! :(...more info
- The most important book for new parents
I love my boy so much. I tried so hard to help him sleep. I had no idea what I was doing. I hadn't read a single book on sleep before he was born. Nobody told me it was the most important and hardest part of taking care of a baby. All they said was "you can't spoil a newborn." Well what do you do afterwards? What do you do in the time between 4 weeks and 4 months to help them sleep? Well, what I did was rock him to sleep each and every time. I didn't know what else to do. By the time he was 4 months, he was up every hour all night long. That's every night. I never slept. I was dying, falling apart, disintegrating. How could it be this hard? I'm smart, hardworking, and dedicated to being the best mom possible. And for all that effort, I was just spinning my wheels.
I thought this book was just a cry-it-out manual that I would have to turn to later if I couldn't teach him on my own. I WAS SO WRONG. This is the most important book for taking care of a baby. Sleep is everything. I wish I had known, I wish someone told me. Why don't people talk about this?
Please read this book before your baby is born. I mean really read it, start from page one and read through 9 months. If you follow the rules for months 1-4 you will most likely not have to resort to crying-it-out. And if you do it will be minimal. The 5-9 month section shows you where you are trying to get to. It shows you the blue print for the natural sleep cycle of a baby.
If you are like me...I read the book, was committed to sleep training, but wasn't confident enough to do this alone...then you can call and make an appointment with Dr. Weissbluth. We're lucky because we live in Chicago (his office is here) but he does phone consults if you live out of state. Google his name and you'll find his number.
I can tell from meeting with Dr. Weissbluth that it really bothers him that some people think that he's a heartless beast who wants to make kids cry. He wants kids to sleep. It's so vitally important to their well being and the well being of the entire family. He does not believe that sleep training equals crying it out. He wants people to start from the day the baby comes home to teach the sleep habits that help them sleep well. He does not want children to suffer for the first 4 months, sleep deprived, only to have to go through a week or so of crying to make up for lost time. He titled the book "Healthy Sleep Habits" because that is his focus. He advocates crying-it-out because it is the most direct path from bad sleeping to good sleeping. That's all. He would rather a baby cry for a couple of hours total, then go sleep deprived for months or years.
By the way, babies don't just grow out of it. I was waiting for the magic day my son would just figure it out. Things only got worse.
I have to get the word out. Please read this book.
- Take what you need out of it.
This is a good book for trying to figure out how to get your baby to sleep at night. It was given to me as a gift when I was pregnant. I have been reading it during the stages that the book is broken down in. It has helped with ideas to get my little one to sleep at night, back to sleep in the middle of the night and at naptime. It also gives you a good idea on how to break up the sleep during the day. The other nice thing about it is that it has chapters discussing traveling with baby, when baby gets older (toddler and pre-teen ages). It will be a nice reference to have for this child and many more to come.
The con is that it has a lot of scientific evidence proving the theroies discussed. This information was irrelevant to me as I just wanted to know how to get my child to sleep better.
I say take what you need out of this book because it does have great ideas for sleeping better, not only for baby but for you too! I bought this book as a gift for a friend that is expecting in August so that is how much I like this book. ...more info
- Helped us sleep through the night
After trying the no cry version we realized that after weeks it wasn't working for us and we were getting less sleep than we had been.
This book has helped turned my boys into good sleepers. I still reference it if I have a question about colds or early wakings, etc.
I was firmly against CIO methods but we were so sleep derived that I felt I would give this book a chance and it has worked wonders. The only issue I have is the info on twins and mutiples is not all that detailed like the rest of the book - though I think he is coming out with a book this summer that addresses twins and multiples.
- One of the best baby books!
If you want to get a good night sleep and give your child the gift of healthy sleep habits, you MUST get this book. It the best book that I have read on the topic...and I read a lot! My baby just turned four months when I got the book and even though he is a good baby and slept pretty well at night, this book gave me the tools and insight to give my baby more structure, including the naps he needs to take and to sleep even longer and more soundly at night. A must buy for any tired and responsible parent....more info
- the book to get on sleeping
this book guided me through the very challenging process of sleep training. research based and very helpful as long as you stick to its advice!...more info
- Didn't work for us
For a book targeted to sleep-deprived parents, this book may do more harm than good.
My first complaint is that it could be half as long.
I was initially excited by the lengthy, clear, and well organized table of contents, but the pages referenced in the table of contents often don't correspond to the expected subject matter.
Weissbluth often contradicts himself, and primarily on a central and controversial core message of the book, when to use "cry-it-out." In the beginning he says using the "cry it out" method isn't usually recommended for most babies, but then he spends half the book talking about the cry it out method and all the instances when and why it should be used.
Here is just one example. p. 247: "It is not a good idea to go to your child before 6:00 AM, even if he is crying, because if you do he will begin to force himself to wake up earlier and earlier in order to enjoy your company."
the very next sentence:
"The natural wake-up time seems to be an independent neurological alarm clock in these young infants that is somewhat independent of the part of the brain that puts them to sleep or keeps them asleep."
HUH?? First he makes the claim that if you go to a child before 6 AM you will cause them to wake up even earlier the next day, then he says the child's wake up time is innate and internal.
I did find some of the sleep research fascinating, but it isn't always clear when Weissbluth is citing a referencable and scientific study or interjecting his opinion. I think most of the book is his opinion, and I tend to disagree him after having two very different children (and witnessing many other friend's children and their sleep needs.)
If you are sleep deprived, this is NOT the book to be reading. It will probably just confuse you even more.
In case this is useful information for anyone, I did the horrid "cry-it-out" method exactly as described by Weisbluth with my son for 5 straight days at 6 months and then again at 10 months and his sleep habits didn't improve at all. They only were worse at the end of both terrible experiments and he came down with a bad cold by the end of the week both times. I'm sure it was because he was crying all night, literally, off and on for 5 days and getting at most 6 hours of sleep in a 24 hour cycle.
Fortunately, I found the Hand in Hand Parenting website, which is full of great information (including sleep information) and I think both my son and I have recovered.
I highly recommend their articles (which are free online) and pamplets (which are inexpensive).
Good luck with your sleep issues! Everything passes and changes, no matter what you do (or don't do). ...more info
- Saved my Sanity!!
A friend gave me this book after my husband and I returned home from Colombia with our newly adopted five month old son. In the weeks before I had the book, life was very difficult. I couldn't get our baby to sleep at all. He wouldn't nap for more than 20 minutes at a time, and he was so overstimulated.
By reading Dr. Weissbluth's book, I began to understand how important sleep was, and that a lack of sleep can compound itself to make for one cranky baby. I began to learn that if you miss the window of opportunity to put a baby down when they first get tired, than you may have a very overstimulated, difficult to calm child on your hands.
After a few weeks of reading this book, my son was sleeping better. He became a different baby. After a couple of months, he was in a very good schedule. Now, he's 7 and 1/2 years old and still needs his sleep or he gets overstimulated. He sleeps really, really well though thanks to this book and the lessons/techniques I learned from it.
This book was my "bible" with my son, and then my daughter, adopted at 10 weeks old from Colombia.
Now, we're awaiting a third child, this time from Taiwan and no matter where I look I cannot find my copy of Healthy Sleep Habits, Happy Child (must've loaned it out to a friend) so I'm back on Amazon to order another copy. It's a MUST read and I have recommended it to friends countless times....more info
- It works, not harsh at all
reading this book was the best thing I have done for my 6 month old son. he was a very colicky baby with reflux who only slept on our chests. yes, we had no freedom and pretty much played hot potato with him all night and day. he had to be held for naps and would only nap 20-40 min max.i read this book, ferber and no cry sleep solution. no cry actually made our son worse and fussier. we combined ferber and this book and now have a very very happy child who sleeps from 7 pm to 6:30 am waking twice to nurse and takes 45 min to 1 1/2 hour naps. we can put him in bed wide awake and he goes to sleep within 1-15 minutes everytime. at night there is no crying, just feeding and back to bed - in HIS crib! i thought i was a total sears parent, but this has actually made me a happier, healhtier mom with a very happy son. it is not cry it out - it is really "teach your child to sleep." while there was some crying, and it truly hurts to hear your child cry, it did not last long and felt so good to see my son sleep and be well rested. i can make plans during the day and know he will be happy the whole time we are out. ...more info
- Essential Info on Baby and Child Sleep
At 3 1/2 months, our son's sleep habits were a mess. He was a promising night sleeper, but erratic. Daytime naps were all but nonexistent, since we were told not to let him "cry it out" and every time we put him down to sleep he...well, cried. The result was a baby with what we assumed was a naturally fussy disposition. Then a friend recommended this book and we UNDERSTOOD. The reason our son fussed most of the time was because he wasn't getting enough sleep. Once we learned how to recognize signs of drowsiness, put our baby down for a nap, and soothe him to sleep, our little guy was so much happier. Yes, there was (still is) some crying involved in this process. And yes, some sources insist you're a horrible parent and your child will have abandonment issues if you let him "cry it out." But I look at it this way: either he cries for 5-10 minutes before falling asleep and then awakens refreshed or I avoid putting him down for fear he might scream, he gets cranky because he isn't getting the sleep he needs, and then he ends up crying much, much more than 5-10 minutes (and then he *really* won't go to sleep). I now feel very little angst listening to my son protest for a bit when I put him down to nap. A few observations:
*Skip "Part I: How Children Sleep" and go directly to "Part II: How Parents Can Help Their Children Establish Healthy Sleep Habits." So much of Part I is redundant, disorganized, and filled with statistics from scientific studies. The first 191 pages could be condensed into the following sentence: Babies and children need sleep, but don't always know how to get there; so it's up to you as a responsible parent to teach them good sleep habits. "Drowsy Signs" and "Soothing to Sleep" on pages 63-69 (paperback) are helpful, as is "Bedtime Routines" on page 75, but the rest of the first section is largely a waste of time.
*"Part II: How Parents Can Help Their Children Establish Healthy Sleep Habits" is absolutely invaluable in its breakdown of what's reasonable to expect from each age group, from newborn to adolescence. It also contains a lot of information from the first section, but much better organized.
*Weissbluth's language can at times be really alarmist and should therefore be taken with a grain of salt. Example: "A missed nap is sleep lost forever." Talk about fatalistic. Get the gist, then don't take the wording personally.
*The earlier in your child's development you institute the sleep methods in this book, the easier it'll be to get your kid to respond. In other words, if you start letting your kid fall asleep unassisted at, say, 10 months (versus 4 months), you're in for more crying. That isn't to say you simply shouldn't try Weissbluth's methods if you have an older baby or child. Rather, just be aware that initially it's going to be harder for you than if you'd tried a similar approach earlier on.
*Weissbluth may endorse what's essentially the "cry it out" method, but he isn't against co-sleeping or using breast-feeding to soothe a baby to sleep. He's firm, but not cruel.
*Don't beat yourself up if your child doesn't conform completely to Weissbluth's ideal sleep schedule. Every child is different. And at the very least, this book will give you an idea of how sleep works at different ages. What you do with that information is up to you....more info
The author of this book is very extremist about sleep. For a new mom (or dad), this is the last thing she (or he) needs. After meticulously following the advice in this book, it was I who ended up a nervous wreck. My baby's sleep habits are as they are. She doesn't nap or sleep at the hours suggested in the book, and her sleep habits tend to change from day to day (even at nine months). When she cries for more than a few minutes before a nap or at night, it's because something is wrong. Either I'm trying to force a sleep schedule on her that doesn't work, or else she wants to eat again, even if she just ate. I find that my baby is now awake for a couple of hours in the morning before her nap, and then several hours in the afternoon and evening before her second nap and night sleep. This sometimes means she goes to sleep at night at seven, and sometimes at ten. But when I respect HER time clock, she goes to sleep quite happily...on her own....more info
- Life Saver!
I am a pediatrician (now stay at home mom) with 2 1/2 year old twins. This book is fantastic. I am not sure how well I would have made it through without it! Healthy sleep habits are so important keeping the whole family healthy. I will be recommending it to all of my parents one day. It is my new baby shower gift....more info
- If you want your baby on a schedule, read this sleep training manual!
This read was vehemently recommended by a friend so I purchased it while I was still pregnant. I have to say I am grateful for her recommendation! Three things this book did, and still does, for me: First, it put my son on a schedule. I'm a work-from-home Mom so this was very important for me. Second, I got to sleep- ALOT! Even though I breast fed during the first four months I was well rested. (And therefore, wasn't a biotch to my hubby.) Lastly, it gives me a heads up to a growing baby's sleep schedule. Babies change so fast! The book recognizes those changes, explains the stage they're in, and makes the appropriate recommendations. Sounds like an easy manual for "How to get my baby to sleep." Well, honestly I have to warn that this is not the easiest book to follow. At first I was confused by the contradictory methods in the different sections but soon realized that it was more helpful if I took on one section at a time. For example, right before my son got to the next stage, I would read the next set of "instructions". I do recognize that the sleep training may have been easier for me to follow because I started right at the recommended 6 weeks but, after reading the case studies of sleep training for toddlers, I don't know if I could have gotten through it. Overall, not the easiest read but the content worked and still works for my baby and me. I know not all babies and parents may feel Dr. Weissbluth's methods are for them but just try it and stick to it. It'll work for you too. ...more info
- This book is right on!
I am the mother of 3 children, all of which have been terrible sleepers. I bought this book when my now 5 year old was 10 months old. Following the Dr's instructions in the book, my up every hour baby was sleeping 12 hours/night without waking. I will say, I wish the book was laid out a bit better, it is a quite choppy and jumps around quite sporadically, but the information is there and it is extremely useful and accurate, you just have to read the whole thing. If you want your child to sleep and are OK with crying it out, this is for you. ...more info
- What about parents who work?
I only read bits and pieces of this book but I was not impressed. He seems to think that everyone is a stay at home parent and basically says if you're not, then you're ruining your child's life because they won't have the proper sleep habits. He talks about getting your child up at 7 am and not any earlier...not going to work for me. I have to bring my baby to child care at 5 am so I can get to work on time. ALso, I have little control over her napping schedule during the day because my parents take care of her for free and I can't ask them to drop all the activities in their life and sit by the clock waiting for her to nap, they do their best to get her to nap and that's all I can ask for.
He includes one small section about parents who work and pretty much says that because you want to see them at night and you have to take them with you on errands during the weekend, that your completely ruining their sleep habits and you're doomed.
So this book made me question my choices as a parent and made me feel like [...]. I DO NOT recommend it....more info
- I love this book!!! My baby sleeps now.
A friend sent this book to me and I loved it. I have one child and was having trouble figuring out how to get him to nap regularly and go down at night well. After devouring this book I was hooked and now my child sleeps through the night. We got it when he was 3 months old. It is the best gift we received. I have bought it and recommended this book to friends and have heard positive results from them too....more info
- Healthy Sleep Habits, Happy Child
This book absolutly saved our lives.We are grandparents raising our grandson and we were having such a hard time getting him to sleep through the night. I read the book and gained such wisdom. We all can get sleep deprived and it really does effect our daily lives. We were sleep deprived and so was our grandson. We learned simple techniques and put them into practice, and gained our lives back. We started putting him to bed around 7:30 and just like the book said...the more sleep children get the more they need. Our grandson began sleeping all night after the 2nd night! Being grandparents raising a baby is tough enough, but try doing it on very little sleep! You must read this book if your children are having trouble sleeping. ...more info
- Not for caring parents of High needs or fussy babies
First off, this book is boring and difficult to enjoy reading. Next, the author is insultive to babies who fall into his category of Highly fussy/Intense temperment. He calls parents of these "unlucky" and that these children will most likely only respond to the cry it out method. Shame on both counts! It may be difficult to parent these children at times due to a lack of parental resources. However, telling parents they are unlucky to have a child like this is certainly not going to help them rise to the occasion. These children can successfull learn to sleep gently and with love as they mature. Plus, they truly do bring out the best parent in you if you yield to what is needed. Parents of truly fussy or high needs babies this book is not for you. Maybe for the placid baby your friends have, but not you! Beware, and save your money!...more info
- this book needs a good editor!
we did cry it out ,and it did work for us. but, just fyi, it's not something you do once and that's it! periodically, we have to do it again, eg, after illness, development, time change!, etc. we've been more slack, not hard core with later attempts, but our son seems to have the 'basics' down so it takes less time. but also as he gets older, and more vocal, verbal, it's harder to ignore him! ;-) (he's almost 1 year). we ended up using another book which helped us better--the sleep easy solution. my problem with this book is that it is not organized in a orderly fashion. it is very hard to read and follow! the above book we ended up using is very easy to read, very easy to find quick answers, etch. weissbluth's book is just so disorganized to me, and a lot of things seem contradictory. and, to me, the idea of sticking the baby in their crib, closing the door, and not going in again until the next morning is way too cruel and harsh! Also, one thing my husband thought was odd is that all the research is his research, not from some independent body. which to me seems a little biased, odd. bottom line, you and your partner have to be in agreement with whatever youdeciide to do. and, follow your gut with what works or doesn't work for your kiddo. ...more info
- Methods Still Working 2 Years Plus! My Sleep Bible!!!!
This book was given as a gift before my son arrived. The sleep methods are clear, scheduled, and best of all...they work! I used this to establish naps and a nighttime routine.
No child is perfect and even my sleep trained son gets off track occasionally. I return to this book to correct any problems that creep into his sleep pattern. Every time the suggested solution works. For example, at 2 he tried to drop his nap. Got it reestablished within 2 days. A few months back, he was requesting water in the middle of the night. Nipped that in the bud in 2 nights. Real life examples are presented with specific solutions.
I see there are several parents that say this book is not for colicky babies or problem sleepers. I cannot speak to that, but for a typical newborn to toddler (and the book goes up to teenagers-just have not needed that yet) it gets results!
Please note, while the methods are not torture like some reviews have suggested, many are not for the faint of heart. Two nights of crying can equal years of peaceful nights!
I recommend trying this out if you feel lost. A well rested parent equals a happier home!!! ...more info
- Dr. Weissbluth gave me my son back
We are blessed to have Dr. Weissbluth as the head of my son's pediatric practice group. I had always follwed his teachings and my little guy was sleeping through the night by 14 weeks. My now 4 year old suffered his first seizure at the age of 11 months. Unfortunately, his episodes are nocturnal only. After 2 years on medication, we were told that with one more EEG he'd be taken off of meds. This was not to be the case. The EEG showed seizure activity again only during sleep. After switching to another medication (that caused horrible mood swings) I decided to have a consultation with Dr. Weissbluth on the off chance that we were really looking at a sleep disorder.
In 30 minutes he determined that my son was operating with a sleep deficit. For 2 weeks we sleep trained him and simply adjusted his bedtime by 30-45 minutes. I have my son back. He's no longer cranky, irritable and whiny. He's more focused during the day and generally a happier boy than he'd been in recent months.
For those who don't believe, just try his methods. My son is living proof that they work....more info
- Helped my 3.5 month old sleep 11-12 hours a night
Ferber (I know this is a review for Weissbluth but bear with me) says "It's entirely reasonable to cut back to two nighttime feedings by the time your child is two or three months of age, one feeding by three or four months, and none at all at five months. Many children give up nighttime feedings altogether around the age of three or four months;basically no normal, healthy full-term babies still require a nighttime feeding when they are five months old, and you can certainly insist on stopping them altogether at that point if you want to."
Sounds too good to be true? That's exactly what my son did.
From talking to my friends, it sounds like I won the lottery on the sleep friend since my 3.5 month old son has started sleeping 11-12 hours straight a night. He just started a week ago and he's not completely consistent about this yet, so there are some nights he still wakes up to be fed, but I can happily live with that. I think part of it is genetic & part of it is luck, but I also attribute it to the fact that I obsessed over having him develop healthy sleep habits early on so I could avoid having to "sleep train" or break bad habits later on. Some of things I did as soon as he turned 2 months old:
- Moved him to his crib in the nursery (before that he was sleeping with me in bed)
- Did not wake him for feeding during the day (if he slept through a meal, I would just time shift subsequent feedings)
- Avoided rocking him to sleep
- Put him down while he was drowsy but still slightly awake
- Separated the time between his last feeding for the day and bed time (so he didn't need to rely on food to fall asleep)
- Made sure all his naps and bedtime were in the crib
- If he fell asleep in a swing, I would turn off the motion so the swing would be still
Basically, I tried very hard to teach my son how to fall asleep by himself while respecting his demands and need for sleep (i.e., watching for his sleepy cues and letting him sleep for as long as he needed, even during the day).
The two books I swear by that gave me the necessary methodology are "Healthy Sleep Habits, Happy Child" by Marc Weissbluth and "Solve Your Child's Sleep Problems" by Richard Ferber. There was some overlap between the two, but I gleaned enough different information from them that I recommend getting both.
Parents often think that to get their kids to sleep longer at night, they
should be kept awake for as long as possible during the day so that they become exhausted in the evenings and snooze better. WRONG! Kids actually become "overtired" and can't sleep. Instead, they should sleep as much as they need to during the day and be put to bed earlier -- completely counter intuitive. I used Weissbluth to make sure I paid attention to when my son showed signs of being sleepy and put him down for napping right away. Weissbluth also gives some very helpful descriptions on what to expect (and what to do) when a baby is 0-2 months old, 2-3 months old, etc.
Ferber is attributed (and in a bad way) for the "cry it out" method, but I think it's because people misinterpret his recommendations. I think he is misunderstood and his methodology isn't as traumatic as people make it out to be. Having said that, I never actually had to sleep train my child or "Ferberize" him. Ferber doesn't recommend this for children until they are four months old, and I wasn't going to even try until he was five months old, but I was able to avoid this altogether.
Oh, and try to read these books BEFORE you baby is born! These books are not light reading and I made the mistake of tackling them after my darling was born which is tough to do when I had so little "free" time and was horribly sleep deprived. But the effort paid off in spades....more info
- Best book ever!
I had problems trying to get my 5 month old to sleep at night. I was quite skeptical, but I used the suggestions from this book and within 2 nights she was sleeping through the night. She is now 7 1/2 years old and still sleeps like a rock! My second daughter is a super sleeper, too. I recommend this for any exhausted parent!
P.S. I also have given this book to several other new parents. One friend was SO thankful--her son has been sleeping 11 hours at a time since she was given this book. Before he was waking up every 3 hours. It really works!
- Would have been lost without it!
I would have been lost without this book. I read through it and started the suggestions with my first baby and have used it for all of my children. It is so very helpful with knowing how you can help your baby to sleep at any age. Our 3.5 year old has been sleeping through the night in his own bed since age 4 months from 7 pm to 7 am, and has always been a great napper on the schedule recommended. Our 20 month old has been sleeping through the night in his own bed since age 5 months from 7 pm to 7 am, and also takes naps on the recommend schedule. They're behavior is really good, and I can tell they are much less hyper than other children, because they are well rested.
I love how Weissbluth gives different options for ways to soothe and doesn't scold you for rocking your baby. You may have to let your baby cry a little, but he doesn't recommend doing that until the child is several months old and not a tiny newborn.
I either buy or recommend this book to all of my friends. I'll be pulling it out again for our new baby this fall....more info
- Saved my sanity!
I am not joking when I say this book saved my sanity. There is a section written especially for extremely fussy and colicky babies that was my savior. I was convinced that nothing was going to work for my constantly crying baby, but Dr. Weissbluth knew exactly what was wrong. Finally someone could tell me what was wrong and how to fix it. My 5 month old daughter went from never napping to getting 2 naps totaling at least 3 hours everyday. We have our bumps but it is not daily and she is so much happier and learning so much quicker. This book is for babies from birth to adolescents with bad sleep habits. Dr Weissbluth has solutions for every family from the "let cry" to the "no cry" solutions. This book is so worth it and I will always use it for reference. ...more info
- Poorly Written and Unintelligible
I am a proponent of the "Cry It Out" method and have four-month-old twins. However, if you'd like to try this technique, I recommend talking to your pediatrician and other parents. Do NOT bother to read or buy this book. It's so poorly written that it's frustratingly unintelligible and confusing. It's full of contradictions. Here are just some examples: Weissbluth has bold reminders throughout the book to never wake a sleeping child, but he recommends waking your sleeping child as a solution to several sleep "problems"; he says that your baby may wake up around 7am and should only have one hour of wakefulness before the first morning nap, but should not be put down for a morning nap until 9am, two hours later; he says that any nap under 60 minutes is not a nap, but your child may only need a 45 minute nap, in which case any nap under 30 minutes is not a nap. I am quoting directly from the book, so I would only recommend buying this if you are somehow able to decipher this advice.
This book is terrible. A total piece of junk....more info
- A few good points in a very long book
The amazon.com review written by H. Grable pretty much sums up all the important points in this book for you in one paragraph. The book itself is a long tedious read. I was getting no sleep with my child and this book just made me feel sleepier. It talks extensively about why sleep is so important and how unhealthy it is for children not to be getting good sleep which only made me feel bad. Our basic sleep dilemma was teaching our son how to soothe himself to sleep without props (rocking or nursing). This book offered little help with that other that cry-it-out. ...more info
- Author shows signs of ADD
While reading this book, I couldn't help but think of Geoffrey Rush's performance in "Shine", or Robin Williams antics during a "Tonight Show" interview, or trying to make a 3 year old explain why the sky is blue. Or even, trying to create a portrait with a paint ball gun!! It brings these chaotic images to mind, doesn't it..full of diversions and detours and digressions. Entertaining when you deal with comedy, yes..but this is not the label you would want for this type of book. It didn't get 1 star for 2 reasons: 1) I liked the fact that the good doctor is not a strict "Back to Sleep" advocate. 2) It was good to see that there was actually a perfect description of my 3 month old girl which meant that we, as parents, were doing the best we could.
The book is disorganized, repetitive, at times contradictory. It is by no means a structured "How To" manual. Try this: pick 2 pages at random and see how many points he has repeated. As my title suggests, the good doctor was not able to build progressively on any one point. There is much useful information dispersed like confetti within the writing..good luck organizing it. Editor, Editor, Editor...much like the real estate mantra "Location, location, location".
To parents who would like their baby to experience deep sleep during those few times they sleep, consider this: try tummy down. I am beginning to believe that the tremendous reduction in SIDS cases has NOT solely been due to the "belly up" campaign. The data analysis that brought about this campaign DID NOT consider the social/economic environment of the households polled (smokers/education/alcoholism). It has become the first commandment in sleep posture because it simply worked without considering why "belly down" didn't work. This has been intuitive for me after observing my baby sleep for the first month..tummy up and tummy down. I'm sorry folks, "belly up" during the infant years, goes against mother nature. While scouring articles on the web, it is apparent that some scholars in pediatrics are beginning to question the "Back to Sleep" campaign as well. There is an important petition:
which explains in great detail why we should begin to reconsider the entire SIDS policy. The consideration of "Slow Wave Sleep" is extremely important. That's my two cents..and now even if my baby doesn't sleep a lot, she sleeps deeply..and I can tell since she's alert and happy when she's awake.
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