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531 of 552 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars THE BEST BABY SLEEP BOOK ON THE MARKET
This was an excellent book - I cannot tell you how much this book helped our sleepless, colicky infant. But, several friends with non-colicky babies actually recommended this for any infant. This book is a wonderful middle ground for those parents who do not want a severe schedule (BABYWISE) or the opposite end of the spectrum, attachment parenting (Dr. Sears). It was...
Published on June 4, 2001 by Heidi

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938 of 1,018 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Know your child, and expect that the sleep strategy may change!
A friend purchased this book for us before our son was born, and we read it cover-to-cover. When our little guy entered the world, it didn't take long to discover that he had horrid colic, acid reflux to boot, and wouldn't even sleep lying down. We used his swing at firt, and as a breastfeeding mom, he often landed in bed somewhere in the middle of the night. I was...
Published on April 10, 2008 by S. Aiello


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531 of 552 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars THE BEST BABY SLEEP BOOK ON THE MARKET, June 4, 2001
By 
Heidi (RALEIGH, NC, United States) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
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This review is from: Healthy Sleep Habits, Happy Child (Paperback)
This was an excellent book - I cannot tell you how much this book helped our sleepless, colicky infant. But, several friends with non-colicky babies actually recommended this for any infant. This book is a wonderful middle ground for those parents who do not want a severe schedule (BABYWISE) or the opposite end of the spectrum, attachment parenting (Dr. Sears). It was the only book that I found that spoke knowledgeably about colic, and gave the only helpful advice available on the subject (believe me, we tried it all). It is not a cry-it-out book, although some may look at it in that light. What it teaches you is this: 1. watch your child. 2. put him/her down to sleep when you first see the signs of tiredness 3. most children under 6 months do not stay awake for longer than 2-3 hours at a time without needing a nap. 4. DO NOT just put your child down to nap when you feel like it - that's just letting him/her cry, not TEACHING them to sleep. 5. Most children need to go to sleep at night earlier than you'd think. 6. Going to bed earlier promotes later sleeping (weird, but true. As the author says, it's not logical. It's biological - sleep promotes sleep) There's a lot more too. I really like that the author's data is based on studies that he has done involving the patterns of children who naturally sleep and nap well. No, it didn't give us a perfect baby. We happen to have a very sensitive high strung girlie, who also power-naps. But we went from a cranky post-colicky baby who took no naps or 15-20min naps and got up many times per night to a sweet smiling girl who now takes 3 45min-1 hour naps per day and sleeps from 6pm-7am (waking 2 times to nurse). Oh yes. The nursing. She used to think that nursing was the only way to get to sleep. After diligently following the advice in this book, she now can get to sleep on her own, no nursing. Not that it's perfect - she still cries 5-15 minutes at times before naps. But she is sooooooo much happier now. Gotta think something's working.
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938 of 1,018 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Know your child, and expect that the sleep strategy may change!, April 10, 2008
This review is from: Healthy Sleep Habits, Happy Child (Paperback)
A friend purchased this book for us before our son was born, and we read it cover-to-cover. When our little guy entered the world, it didn't take long to discover that he had horrid colic, acid reflux to boot, and wouldn't even sleep lying down. We used his swing at firt, and as a breastfeeding mom, he often landed in bed somewhere in the middle of the night. I was determined, however, to have him in his crib before I went back to work at 3 months and this book helped me accomplish that... until he was about 6 months.

Once he was old enough to "decide" what he liked and didn't like, and probably due to seperation anxiety- he wouldn't go to sleep easy (cried every night) and began to wake a lot at night, crying for HOURS. After two weeks of the "ignore him" method, and then going "this isn't working at alL!", we tried another 3-4 weeks using the Ferber method (go in every few minutes). We were pulling our hair out. He was SOOOOO unhappy all day after a night of crying, and it got to the point where when you went to put him in his crib for a nap, he would arch his back and just sob... and scream at night. NO ONE was sleeping. Once he could stand (at 7 mos), he would cling to the bars of his crib crying and if he fell asleep, it was curled in the corner with his face against the bars... and we'd be off to a bad start from the moment he woke in the morning.

I started to give up.

Plain and simple. I couldn't do it. My husband and I had not slept in the same bed for more than a month at this point since we "alternated" whose turn it would be to listen to our son cry or try to sooth him in his crib. One of us would sleep seperate in the guest bedroom so at least the other could sleep(we are both attorneys, so our jobs require some level of executive functioning during the day). So one night, I broke down and put him in my bed around 3, and walla, he slept. The next night he was up five or six times between bedtime and again at about 3 my husband gave in. A few days later I got sick... with pneumonia that landed me in the hospital for 5 days (I do not smoke). The doctors kept asking how long I had been so sick and frankly, I hadn't noticed- because I was SO totally exhausted all the time and at wits end... I just thought I was a mom who was tired!

While I was away, my husband let our son sleep with him. And for the first time in almost two months, they both actually slept. I remember when I came home, I was annoyed, but what could I say to a man whose wife was in the hospital and who had been trying to take care of his son when he was totally exhausted? I was too tired to care, but as I watched him laying between us in bed the first night I came home, I couldn't help but feel this sense of guilt as I thought: "I swore I would never be one of those kid-in-my-bed people".

I'm one of them now. At 8 months, I've had the best three weeks of sleep since he was born. He doesn't "cuddle" or disturb us, he just sleeps better for some reason. And he wakes up happy, takes naps (IN HIS CRIB!) readily, and I don't know what else to say, other then, "it doesn't always work for everyone." I regret that I went through more than a month of that crying before letting go of the notion that what works for some kid because I read it in a book, will work for my kid. If being a parent were that easy, we'd all buy a manual and raise little drones.

So... Did I like the book? Yes. I think he's right that kids NEED sleep. Do I think that if you just hang in there- the crying will stop eventually? I don't know... more than a month was too long and I'd never do it again. Our pediatrician told us he believes a child at 7 months should never cry more than an hour. He also told us that he grew up in Bombay, slept in his parent's bed 'till he was 8, and turned out perfectly normal (and sleeps fine, without some weird attachment problem today) (that was in response to our very embarrased "well, he's been sleeping with us...") So maybe he's biased because in other countries they would never do the "put your kid in a crib and let them cry" method. Or MAYBE, JUST MAYBE, there is no perfect sleep solution that works for every kid. Maybe you can be coddled and turn out normal, or cry it out and have sleep problems later. I know plenty of people who slept all night like perfec babies in cribs who are on Lunestra and Ambien today...

Point is... read them all, or read none. At the end of the day, try different methods and don't beat yourself up when you choose something different than you read from one doctor last week. There's a book for everything and every kind of parenting, and 1000 parents who will march to the beat of that drum (or drink the cool-aid, depending on how you look at it!).

Be a parent, be flexible, and if you don't want to let your kid cry for a few weeks, put this one back on the shelf.
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730 of 864 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Useful to some degree, July 7, 2001
By 
Joan "joan2742" (Edgewater, MD, United States) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Healthy Sleep Habits, Happy Child (Paperback)
I generally like to start my reviews by saying what I liked about the book I read. In my opinion, the best and most important point made by this book is that sleep is vital for babies. Parents should be on the lookout for signs their child might be suffering from lack of it, and should also make sure their lifestyles do not interfere with their child's healthy sleep. I also appreciated the author's input about sleep problems and solutions for older children.
I disagreed most with the idea that it is generally a good idea to allow children to cry as long as it takes to get them to sleep at night. Will this method do long term psychological damage? The author says no, and I agree that is probably correct. Okay, so the child won't be delinquent as a teenager, or hate you as an adult. But as a parent, my question is which method is easiest on the child in the short term, as well as being effective in the long term? Frankly, I don't want my child to be unnecessarily miserable, even if it's only for a few nights. Further, I simply couldn't listen to screaming cries for any length of time without intervention.
For the parent interested in sleep "training", I think Dr. Richard Ferber offers a better method. Even Dr. Weissbluth admits Ferber's method's work- he simply thinks they may be too difficult for some parents to apply. Well, I think a little more difficulty may be worth while if the child has an easier time.
Oddly, Dr. Weissbluth claims to have no problems with the "family bed". However, I find his family bed advice confusing, and most of the tips he offers throughout the book seem to be incompatible with the practice. If anybody is practicing the family bed, they should definitely go with Dr. William Sears, whose advice is much more compatible with that arrangement. Dr. Sears is also a good choice for those who find Dr. Ferber too harsh and want the gentlest methods possible.
I tend to disagree with the view of some "attachment parents" that babies always develop the sleep habits that are best for them. There are babies who simply need parental leadership here, and there are also babies whose habits are disruptive to the family. So if parents think their baby has a problem, they should read several books about the topic, and adapt the different views to their personal situation and temperment of their individual child. I think that will lead to a better solution than reading just one book and treating it as a bible.
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68 of 83 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Poorly Written and Unintelligible, January 24, 2009
By 
zendira (brooklyn, ny) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Healthy Sleep Habits, Happy Child (Paperback)
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.
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295 of 372 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Strong Sears supporter recognizes wisdom in Weissbluth also, July 25, 2001
This review is from: Healthy Sleep Habits, Happy Child (Paperback)
UPDATE --

I re-read everything I wrote previously and it's all still true -- I think Weissbluth knows about that which he writes, but never forget that YOU know your own child best. I lost a lot of sleep over this book three years ago because I tormented myself for "failing" my son when it "wasn't working." Give yourself more credit! That said, my three-month-old daughter is a textbook sleeper for the most part. She is the one that I was convinced didn't exist when my son was this age. I've been able to put her down awake 75% to 90% of the time since she was born without her crying at all. To be honest, I'm still somewhat shocked about it. This just reinforces that the best path is to respond to your individual child's needs as best you can because each is SUCH an individual. I handle my daughter the same way I handled my son regarding attached parenting and sleep and she just "gets" going to sleep much more so than he did.

What also intrigues me is how spot-on the sleep patterns are -- my daughter's naps are still all over the map despite my attempts to adhere to a routine when possible, but when she's down for the night she's down -- with a few nighttime feedings, naturally, as she ends up in bed with my husband and me. My son still goes to bed early at almost 4 years old, gave up his nap early (2 1/2) in favor of earlier bedtime (6:00 then, 6:45ish now) and having the evenings "free" really works for my husband and me -- family time is in the morning. Do what works for YOU, your kids, and your whole family -- that's the most important thing!

Original review --

I have been a mom for six months now and I've learned more than I would have imagined. Most importantly I recognize that nothing in life is as straightforward as any book makes it out to be and it took me a long time to come to terms with that. I have waited for the day that I could write a review of this book reporting my AMAZING results. I decided to write now instead!

My son slept in bed with my husband and me for the first five months. We did it because we believed that was where a baby should be, and it worked for all of us. My son also did all his napping in a cloth sling. As he grew, this started NOT working for us, and I did some serious soul-searching.

I consider myself an attached parent. I have difficulty bearing my son crying, ever. If my son would have been able to continue napping with me I would have done it. But he didn't. Every time I would put him down, he would immediately wake up, either at bedtime or for a nap. It got to the point that he would go 12 hours during the day without any sleep at all and only be able to get to sleep at night nursing. He wasn't a raging beast, he just seemed like he needed more sleep. My gut, my instinct said sleep was important and that he wasn't getting it. Especially when people said, "When he needs to sleep, he'll sleep!" Not my social butterfly!

I wholeheartedly support attachment parenting, especially sleeping with your children -- as long as it works for everyone. My husband wasn't comfortable with the idea of our son in our bed for the long haul, so we decided to try Weissbluth's book upon many friends' recommendations.

I believe Weissbluth knows what he is talking about. I have observed my son for two months now and can see the periods of wakefulness in his arousals at night, the maximum time he can be awake without becoming overtired... all these things make sense and I have seen them in my son. He now takes two naps (which vary in length daily) and I put him down awake. I also put him to bed awake at night. MOST of the time, this works without causing him distress. Sometimes it doesn't, and we both cry for a while.

As I said at the beginning, I waited to write a review so I could report a "perfect" result... Life isn't perfect. When my sweet baby needs to sleep, I try to help and let him take it from there. Most of the time he gets there without getting crabby; sometimes he's ticked. Life is like that. I don't think I'd be doing him any favors if I wasn't consistent.

You know your own child. If your child needs you, you know. If your child is overtired, you know. This book will help you slowly but surely figure out how to keep your child from being overtired and most of the time it will work. I still have trouble coping when he has trouble getting to sleep, but certainly all of us are in better spirits more and more often, because my son is much more well rested.

I absolutely believe sincere effort to observe your own child and watch his or her cues is the key -- you want to give your child what he or she needs. All parents do. Sleep is a big need. Good luck!
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73 of 90 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Scientifically correct....but harsh to put into practice, November 5, 2003
By A Customer
This review is from: Healthy Sleep Habits, Happy Child (Paperback)
While the doctor is a specialist in the area of sleep the book fails to appreciate that babies are people with feelings.
To give you an understanding of what I mean here are a few EXACT quotes.
Page 177 "Use thick layers of zinc oxide paste in the diaper region so that no rash will develop when you do not go to your baby at night to change diapers."
How long to let your baby cry? Page 159 for naps "no more than one hour" for bedtime "there is no time limit at night if the child is not hungry or ill"
Why do you let him cry? Page 159 "We are leaving him alone to forget the expectation to be picked up."
To answer "Isn't crying harmful" he says: "Not necessarily." "When a child cries she may more quickly unlearn to expect to be picked up."
And if your baby cries so hard she vomits? Page 176 "If the vomiting is irregular and occasional you should try waiting until after you think she is deeply asleep before checking, and then quickly clean her if needed."
(Wait until she's ASLEEP before checking? Clean her IF NEEDED?)
In response to a parent who says she wants to respond to her crying baby at night, Page 178 "Letting your baby cry is not doing nothing. You are activily encouraging the development of independence" He then says you may not want to hear your baby cry because you have Page 179 "Working mother's guilt. You may feel guilty about being away from your child so much."
What if your baby climbs out of the crib? Page 193 "A crib tent will prevent your child from getting out of the crib, and it allows you to remove yourself from his protest crying" And if you don't want to use a crib tent because he says "some parents feel that the crib tent locks their child in the crib like an animal caged in the zoo" then "lock the door instead."
To keep a 3 year old from getting up too early in the morning "Place a digital clock in her room and set the alarm for 6 or 7" "You do not respond to her cries before this wake-up time."
Enough said. Not only are the ideas harsh and the grammer terrible, I much prefer the sensitive approach in The No-Cry Sleep Solution by Elizabeth Pantley where you don't have to deal with vomiting, crying or crib tents.
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87 of 108 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Don't waste your money if your problem is with napping, March 24, 2005
This review is from: Healthy Sleep Habits, Happy Child (Paperback)
I have read a few sleep books and this one was the least useful. Dr Weissbluth seems to have only one answer to all infants' sleeping problems: put your baby to bed earlier and then ignore him or her for the rest of the night. His early chapters made me feel like a failure as a parent because my child has difficulty napping. On top of that, he has nothing to offer parents whose children (like my daughter) sleep well at night but not during the daytime. His cookie cutter approach to infant napping fails to take into account that babies are individuals and they do wake up from hunger sometimes even beyond 4 months. There is no way that my breast-fed daughter's eating schedule could ever fit into his napping schedule. He also fails to address the needs of short nappers. While he points out that some babies are short nappers and some babies are long nappers, and you can't turn a short napper into a long napper, he doesn't seem to notice that his recommendations do not work for the short nappers. Dr W, if naps are supposed to be at 9am and 1pm and my baby can't stay awake for more than two hours but she won't nap longer than 1 hour, what do I do at 12pm? A four hour sleep plan does not work for a baby that only naps a maximum of 1 hour. And he ignores this issue entirely.

Overall, I found Ferber's book much more useful. Ferber uses many examples to illustrate different solutions to different sleep problems rather than a one-size-fits-all approach and he doesn't have the if-your-child-doesn't-sleep-well-you've-screwed-him-up-for-life attitude.
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11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Informative but not compassionate (at all), September 14, 2006
This review is from: Healthy Sleep Habits, Happy Child (Paperback)
This book does have a ton of useful information. However, I found it to be mostly irritating. Weissbluth speaks of babies with all the compassion one would expect when discussing lab rats; the book reads like a doctoral thesis and is poorly laid out (the publisher really needs to get a page designer in there for the next version); and I find the fact that he is OK with the "extinction method" for sleep training (where you put your baby in his room and do not return until morning no matter how much he cries) appalling.

I actually recommend maybe getting this book to skim through the informational chapters and keep around for a reference, but you'll see as soon as you open it that it is not a fun read and the author is emotionless when discussing what is often a very emotional subject for parents.

After reading pretty much every book on the subject, I found that Kim West's Good Night, Sleep Tight was by far my favorite. It's less harsh the usual "cry it out" methods but far more effective than the "no cry" methods (and it got my son to *finally* sleep through the night).
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191 of 241 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars A One-Size-Fits-All "Product", November 8, 2000
By A Customer
This review is from: Healthy Sleep Habits, Happy Child (Paperback)
As any marketing professional will tell you, not listening to your customers can have long term negative effects on your business. Yet American parents are routinely told to ingnore the cries of their children in order to receive a one-size-fits-all "product"--a baby who naps on schedule and sleeps ten or twelve hours through the night.
A friend gave me "Healthy Sleep Habits, Happy Child" as a baby gift. As an anxious first-time mother, I was frantic when I read Dr. Weissbluth's warning that unless my son learned to sleep in a certain way, he was likely to develop attention deficit disorder or be prone to injury. After additional reading on the topic, I no longer believe this to be true. In fact, the nursery-crib-sleep schedule phenomenon is a very recent development in human evolution.
Dr. Weissbluth's book is filled with anecdotes from exhausted parents who endured three or four nights of their child's hard crying, but were delighted with the results. He makes his method sound straightforward and simple. However, it took one of my neighbors eight weeks to sleep train her daughter. Another neighbor had to retrain her son because the training "wore off." After two weeks of sleep training, my cheerful six month old was a sullen, voracious thumbsucker who had lost weight and no longer trusted me implicitly.
Most of the mothers Dr. Weissbluth interviews confessed to an initial concern about emotionally damaging their children by letting them cry themselves to sleep. Dr. Weissbluth confidently assures them that they will do no such thing. How does he know this? There is a large volume of infant sleep research indicating that babies left alone to cry themselves to sleep experience numerous physiological changes, including elevated levels of the stress hormone cortisol.
Dr. Weissbluth offers hope and a quick fix for parents who want to or must limit the amount of time they spend attending to the needs of their children. For those parents willing and able to follow their instincts, though, I highly recommend the books "Our Babies, Ourselves" by anthropologist Meredith Small, and "Three in a Bed" by Deborah Jackson.
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101 of 126 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars This is the best book on sleep I have found..., October 3, 2000
By 
"pcgould2" (Decatur, GA United States) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Healthy Sleep Habits, Happy Child (Paperback)
Hurry for Dr. Weissbluth! My one year old is now going to bed at 8 and sleeping through the night (4 nights and counting) for the first time in his life. He is also beginning to nap in his crib. A cloud has lifted from our house. This book combines discussions on sleep research with practical how-to information. Weissbluth emphasizes keeping the child from becoming over tired and training the child to achieve sleep continuity. He does recommend allowing a child to cry if neccasary, but that is not the ideal or primary thrust of the approach (like Ferber). I found this approach to be more logical and research based than many popular sleep books. It is better than Sears' "Nighttime Parenting" if you have a child with real sleep issues. It is more scientific and practical than "Babywise" (which my pediatrician says is based on poor research). It is a gentler approach than Ferber, who I feel puts too much emphasis on the act of crying. Also, this approach allows greater flexibility than Ferber's method.
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Healthy Sleep Habits, Happy Child
Healthy Sleep Habits, Happy Child by Marc Weissbluth M.D. (Paperback - April 12, 1999)
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