131 of 143 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Best solution for getting OUR baby to sleep through the night
I purchased this book along with Pantley's "The No-Cry Sleep Solution: Gentle Ways to Help Your Baby Sleep Through the Night" out of desperation to find some way to help my then 8 month old son sleep for more than 3-4 hours at a time.
Some background data: my son is an extremely high energy, high spirited, self-determined little man. He's a very happy baby but...
Published on February 24, 2010 by J. Cherwak
87 of 92 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Like the method, not the book
I really wasn't happy with several aspects of this book. This is the third sleep book that I've read, and I really liked the message. The other two books that I read were at very different ends of the spectrum; the Sleep Lady fell nicely in the middle, and really struck a chord with me since I'm straddling the fence of attachment parenting. I also read:
Published on February 22, 2011 by Melissa
Most Helpful First | Newest First
87 of 92 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Like the method, not the book,
This review is from: The Sleep Lady®'s Good Night, Sleep Tight: Gentle Proven Solutions to Help Your Child Sleep Well and Wake Up Happy (Paperback)I really wasn't happy with several aspects of this book. This is the third sleep book that I've read, and I really liked the message. The other two books that I read were at very different ends of the spectrum; the Sleep Lady fell nicely in the middle, and really struck a chord with me since I'm straddling the fence of attachment parenting. I also read:
- Dr. Sears' Sleep Book - another chapter in the attachment parenting bible. However, 90% of the book is "why would you NOT want to cosleep? It's the answer to everything!" As much as I enjoyed my time cosleeping, with a squrimy 1-year-old and a small bed, it was time to stop. Not much advice at all in there on stopping, maybe just 2 pages on transitioning.
- BabyWise - the anti-attachment-parenting book. What a put-offish, angry tome. It spends the first several chapters belittling anyone would would think kindly of attachment parenting, and puts co-sleeping on the same level as heresy. I didn't even get to the actual method, I put the book down after three chapters. But it advocates a cry-it-out strategy.
The Sleep Lady Shuffle, as she calls her "sleep shaping" method, is assisted cry-it-out. You sit in the room at different positions, and turn a blind eye (and ear) to your baby's cries as they learn to put themselves to sleep. Your only role in the room is to let them know that you're there, that you won't abandon them. I'm not a fan of cry-it-out, but this seemed the gentlest approach, and is similar to what Super Nanny does.
Every baby is different, and the sleep training methods that work for one baby may not work for another. "Ferberizing" (cry-it-out alone with 10-minute checks & soothing) just did not work for my baby. She got increasingly agitated as time went on, and let out a shrill, blood-curdling scream that lasted for two solid hours before I gave up. However, though she still did cry for two hours when we started The Sleep Lady, the tone and severity of the crying was much different, and she did end up falling asleep in the crib without my intervention.
For babies that respond well to Ferber, that method is faster. But for those who don't, give this method a try. The downside in comparison to Ferber is that this method does take longer, you need to "fade away" from them.
My biggest complaint was not the method or the philosophy in the book. I think a lot of the explanations and discussions of baby sleep needs at different ages and stages was very informative. However, the editing of the book was pretty atrocious, and whomever designed the layout should be fired. The number of 'breakaway' texts was ludicrous. You know how when you read a magazine article, they will take one or two poignant phrases and put them in large, bold font in the middle of the page? This book does that.. a lot. I've never read a book like this that has so many breakout phrases. They're littering the whole first section. And they are all phrases that appear right in the next paragraph. So, before you read a full paragraph you've already read half of it as a breakout text not 10 seconds earlier. To have that over and over and OVER again was annoying.
My other complaint was that all of the age-specific sections were copy-pastes of each other, with only a few differences between them. And as you read the sections for the older ages, a lot of tips will simply say "please see this item in the age 6-12 months section." If you're going to copy-paste whole swaths of text, why not copy that too? It would make a whole heck of a lot more sense to put it all in there once, and save all of those breakouts for an actual useful purpose, by highlighting strategies for specific age groups within the greater text of the steps of her method. No more copy-paste.
And instead of copy-paste text, they would now have room for more content. I found that most of the "good stuff" in the book was easily found online for free in various articles and message boards. What I really needed the book for were specific strategies and "troubleshooting" steps if we were to encounter them. And while there is a section called "routine busters" (teething, vacations, illnesses) there isn't a section called "what to do if your child starts ripping off her jammies while she's supposed to be soothing herself to sleep and you're supposed to be ignoring her." There isn't a section called "Days 1-4 went great but we've stopped making progress and now she's getting worse." And there is no section called "choosing and attaching to a lovey, 101". For all of those needs I've had to turn to the aforementioned message boards and parenting sites. I'd rather pay the book's price to go to a website that has a message board that *she* posts on, so I can ask questions directly to her for these issues, since that is where I would find the most value for my money. The book simply didn't provide enough value, enough 'new' content that I couldn't get elsewhere.
And here, the entire meat of the book is online for free by the author:
131 of 143 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Best solution for getting OUR baby to sleep through the night,
This review is from: The Sleep Lady®'s Good Night, Sleep Tight: Gentle Proven Solutions to Help Your Child Sleep Well and Wake Up Happy (Paperback)I purchased this book along with Pantley's "The No-Cry Sleep Solution: Gentle Ways to Help Your Baby Sleep Through the Night" out of desperation to find some way to help my then 8 month old son sleep for more than 3-4 hours at a time.
Some background data: my son is an extremely high energy, high spirited, self-determined little man. He's a very happy baby but not the kind who will be content to sit in a swing and "relax" for more than a couple of minutes. We phased out night feedings, with the OK from our ped, at about 5 months. After only a couple of rough nights at that, he was going to sleep rather easily and would sleep from about 7:30pm until 12am, get up once and have to be patted back to sleep (for about 10 minutes) then back to sleep until 6am. We had a "bedtime routine" in place at about 4 months- turn down TV, dim lights, feeding, bath, quiet play time, books, rocking and to bed drowsy but not sleeping. Getting up once wasn't that hard and we were content with our nighttime schedule and our son was getting enough sleep and very happy during the day.
Then at about 6 months he started to get ear infections- one after the other and the total time handling ear infections was about 2 straight months. Right after that he got his first cold which lasted about a week and a half. During this time his sleep schedule was really bad. We had to hold him most of the night because it hurt him too much to lay flat in his crib and he would wake a lot from the pain. After he was no longer ill, he became used to my husband or me holding him at night and being constantly with us. So, he started waking up 3-4 times a night and it would take patting his back for about 10-25 minutes each time to get him to go to sleep again and sometimes he'd get so upset I'd have to pick him up and walk him around the house for 30 minutes or so before he'd fall asleep again. After many months of really poor broken up sleep I was desperate to find a solution.
We tried Pantley's book first because I was extremely opposed to any sleep solution that allowed my baby to cry for ANY length of time. We implemented ALL the techniques in "The No-Cry Sleep Solution: Gentle Ways to Help Your Baby Sleep Through the Night" for just over 2 months. At the end, the result for us was that it made our son need us even MORE to go to bed and during the night. He absolutely would no longer go to sleep on his own- if we put him to bed drowsy but not 100% asleep, as soon as he touched the crib he'd jerk himself awake and start to get hysterical if we didn't immediately pick him up. To even get him into his crib we'd have to feed him a bottle until he was almost asleep and stand and bounce him for at least 15 minutes each night until he was 100% asleep and he would wake up and cry for us 6-8 times a night and it would take rocking, patting, walking him around for a total of about 3-4 hours each night. My husband and I were beyond exhausted and so was my son. We were crabby. He was crabby. We even took him to the doctor to make sure there was no medical situation causing his lack of sleep (which I would definitely recommend every parent do before implementing ANY sleep solution- make sure there are zero medical issues hindering their ability to go and stay asleep). He checked out perfectly healthy. (The techniques in Pantley's book may work for many babies and families and I'd hoped that it would for our baby/family but it didn't. Every child is different and there really is no "one size fits all" solution when it comes to them.)
So, desperate for sleep, I decided to "give in" and try the sleep lady shuffle as described in Kim West's book (basically, put the baby in the crib drowsy, sit in a chair next to the crib, soothe him briefly by touch/words if he gets upset then sit back down and do this until he falls asleep. After 3 nights next to the crib, move a bit away from the crib/closer to the door and do the same thing etc.) I knew to expect some crying but by this point my son was just over 10 months old and I'd learned what his different cries meant- hysterical when he had a bad dream or fell down while practicing walking, whine type crying when he was tired or hungry, mad crying when he couldn't get what he wanted etc. Beforehand, my husband and I agreed that if my son got hysterical we would end it right away and we'd only try it for an hour- if he was still not sleeping and was upset/cranky/crying after 60 minutes, we'd end it and look for another solution. Personally I could never feel good about anything that made my son so upset he became hysterical (as in Ferber's CIO until you puke method- that's just me.) I made my husband do the first night as I did not want to hear my son cry. The first thing we did (after his normal bottle/bath/book bedtime routine) was explain to him what was going to happen- he's a big boy now and needs to go to sleep so he can get big and strong but daddy will be in the room the whole time until he falls asleep etc. We also gave him his favorite stuffed toy to sleep with. I listened/watched on and off from our video monitor. My husband put our son in his crib, covered him and sat in the chair next to the crib. At first there was no crying- he just stood up and looked at my husband as if confused on why he wasn't being patted to sleep. Then he started to cry. My husband just stayed completely calm and sat next to the crib. I was surprised to hear his cry sounded more annoyed than really upset. He'd cry for a bit then stop and listen to hear if we were going to get him. Cry again, stop for a couple minutes, cry for half a minute etc. Then he'd lie down, whimper, stop and listen, cry, stand up, lay down etc. This lasted just under 30 minutes and he fell asleep and slept through the entire night without waking ONCE- until 6:30am- 10.5 hours! The next night it was the same except he cried for 20 minutes (and slept through the night). By night 3 he cried for 6 minutes then fell asleep. He did wake up once at 2am and my husband went to check on him to make sure he was OK- hadn't peed through his diaper, wasn't sick etc. He was fine, so my husband told him it was "sleepy time", gently laid him back down, sat next to the crib and my son whimpered for less than one minute and fell back asleep for the rest of the night. Night 4 was even better. One thing we are doing though- which is what we do with ALL parenting books/advice - is take what we like and throw out the rest. Try what we liked, if it doesn't work, modify it or abandon it. I thought that only 3 days next to the crib and then moving to the door was too fast a transition so we're staying next to the crib longer and only moving a foot away at a time. I noticed that when I leaned over my son's crib to hug him, he'd cry harder after I let go - I found it best to just lightly pat his back or briefly rub his head and tell him "It's OK. I'm here. Go to sleep now." and "shh.. shh.." You just have to pay attention to your own child's signs and figure out what works for them.
Note: After about a week of this method, my whole family came down with the flu. Of course during this time, we did not use any "method" to get my son to sleep as he needed our touch and closeness to sleep since he didn't feel well. Once he was 100%, we started over with Step 1 of the shuffle and it worked again- fell asleep with minimal whine type crying and then slept through the night!
I was really against allowing my son to cry at bedtime- even slightly- even for a moment, but when my options boiled down to starting to irrationally resent being a mother because I was so sleep deprived I could barely see straight or my son shedding a few NON-hysterical, "I'm mad at you" type tears for a few nights only and then sleep wonderfully and wake up extremely happy- that was the lesser evil for me. With our next baby, if he/she is not as "high needs" as our son, I will try Pantley's methods again first (but not for 2 months this time). If they don't work with the new baby, I won't hesitate to use the sleep lady shuffle - as a couple of semi-rough nights are worth a baby (and mom and dad!) who is happy and healthy because he/she is getting enough rest.
The bottom line is: every child is different- some things will work for one child but not at all for another. So use common sense, follow your instincts as a parent, try out advice/solutions that you, as the parent, are OK with for THAT specific child and if it doesn't work, try something else. One of my friends has a 2 year old son who is very "chill" and calm. They tried Ferber's method when he was 7 months old and her son only cried slightly for less than 10 minutes, for less than 5 days and then went to bed really happy with no complaints and slept through the night ever since. She had also gone with her instincts as a parent and decided that if her son got too upset or cried longer than 15 minutes that she would get him - going against the Ferber technique. She took the parts that she thought useful to her and threw out the rest. I know for sure that method would not have worked with my son so I didn't even try it. Not every solution will work for every single child but the sleep shuffle technique did work for our son.
37 of 38 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars If you are tired, frustrated and at the end of your rope - READ this review,
This review is from: The Sleep Lady®'s Good Night, Sleep Tight: Gentle Proven Solutions to Help Your Child Sleep Well and Wake Up Happy (Paperback)Okay listen to me. I have NEVER written a review on amazon. Never. (okay fine, once. But it was only so that I could be entered into a contest).
I know what you are thinking... yeah yeah, it works for other people's babies, it will not work for mine. I WAS THERE. I was YOU saying that same thing! My baby was "the worst sleeper in the history of sleepless babies in all of time". I promise you. I bought every sleep training book. I sought help from the internet, friends, the doctor, family, random people on the street. You name it. We tried CIO. I read the supposed "sleep bible" of Weissbluth's that everyone says is life changing. I tried Ferber. I tried not sleep training at all and "waiting it out". I nursed on demand. I refused to nurse. I co-slept. I sent my husband in. I. tried. everything. And yet, my otherwise lovely daughter would NOT sleep through the night. Not even close. I read all the reviews of people saying "well my baby is bad at night but naps well". Or, "my baby sleeps fine at night but won't nap". And my reaction? "At least your kid will do one or the other!!" So this review is written for the parent whose child does not sleep at night AND does not nap. Because THAT is a lethal combo.
Sleep training became a necessity for us. My daughter (13 months), most importantly, was exhausted. In a constant state of sleep deprivation. Nothing helped. Not the car, not the stroller, not sleeping with us, not nursing to sleep. Nothing. I was getting 2-3 hours of BROKEN sleep per NIGHT. And no breaks during the day. To say I was exhausted, frustrated, and going out of my mind is an understatement. So I stumbled across The Sleep Lady one day on the internet and looked up her book. It looked promising enough and, what the hell, I had tried everything else so I figured why not give this one a go.
People...I am telling you. I started this on a Friday night and THAT very night there was huge improvement. The next day she napped...TWICE. That night was not very good. Perhaps she thought, "hey I don't like this new thing we have going here". But then, the next day...she napped twice again AND then she slept through the night! It was glorious. She has been sleeping through the night every night since then and by that Wednesday I was able to leave the room and she put herself to sleep. I'm not going to say it was a walk in the park. And we still struggle and there are still tears but the point is SHE'S DOING IT! And every day we're making improvements.
So, there you go. I hope this helps bring some hope to your sleep deprived, exhausted, and frustrated state. Know that others have been there and come out the other side. I am still waiting to be completely out on the other side but I at least now have hope that it will happen!
15 of 16 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars What a great book!,
Our pediatrician recommended this book to us at our six-month wellness visit. We've been following the Sleep Lady Shuffle method for naps and IT WORKS! The first day was really hard (sitting next to the crib and periodically patting baby while she cried) but my husband was in the room to support me through the thirty minutes of tears before our daughter eventually fell asleep. Each nap time resulted in less and less crying time (Day one, second nap she only cried/fussed 15 minutes, Day one, third nap she only fussed 7 minutes). By day THREE our daughter took a ONE HOUR AND FORTY MINUTE nap in her crib after only 5 minutes of fussing (no tears, just making noises while she got comfortable).
I recommend this book and the Sleep Lady Shuffle heartily! Good luck parents!
16 of 18 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The only method that worked,
My son has never slept for long periods of time. However, from 6-10 weeks, he would sleep from 7PM to 12AM or sometimes even from 7PM to 2AM. This did not last long, and from 10 weeks on, he began waking up more and more, almost never sleeping longer than 2 ˝ hours at a time from four months on. Occasionally, I could pat him back to sleep, but usually I had to nurse him back to sleep and was nursing him at least four times per night. That said, from six weeks old on, he went to sleep easily enough most nights for the first time each night, alone in his crib, albeit to the sound and sight of his electric mobile which shut off automatically after 25 minutes. He might protest cry some nights when being put down for the first time but usually calmed alone within five minutes. (I separate protest crying (intermittent calls) from hysterical crying (tears, constant, loud, `real' crying). If he did ever hysterical cry, I would go back in. For the first put-down of the night and his naps, I did not nurse him to sleep.
I had read several sleep books - Weissbluth's unassisted cry-it-out (my instinct tells me that this method is cruel and I believe in listening to my instincts), Jodi Mindell's book who purports that if a baby can fall asleep alone for the first night put down all problems will be solved (this was NOT the case for us and I see from other Amazon reviews on that book that I am not alone on that), the Baby Whisperer (her pick-up put-down method made things worse...after trying it one night for HOURS until he went back to sleep, the baby would not let me put him down for a second without crying the next day, not even under his play gym where he has always been willing to play contentedly for several minutes), and Pantley's No-Cry (I found no real advice in the book - any tip seemed to be something that I was already doing out of normal logic). So I had given up. I had resigned myself to never sleeping for more than two hours at a time. But I was resentful and grumpy in the morning.
Alas, just browsing casually, I saw this book - The Sleep Lady's Good Night, Sleep Tight: Gentle Proven Solutions to Help Your Child Sleep Well and Wake Up Happy and grabbed it, not really believing it would help.After reading about her shuffle method, which is so clearly outlined in detail, I decided to try it. I decided that I would follow it to the letter and I did (except perhaps for the method to night wean, I sort of created my own method, see below). I knew that I could tolerate protest crying if I could be there to comfort physically and verbally my baby. Our pediatrician had assured me that our son did not need to eat at night.
Here is the diary: (I am not going to describe the method of patting and sitting and moving the chair and verbal soothing which is in the book. Just know that I followed the method exactly except for the nursing the first two nights. So below, when I talk about my son crying, I was right there with physical and verbal soothing).
Night 1: We've removed his mobile (sleep "crutch"). It took 15 minutes for him to fall asleep, with some crying. Through the night, he woke up over 20 times, with an awake period of over two hours around 2AM. After waking, it took sometimes 30 minutes of frequent but intermittent patting for the crying to subside. I decided that this first night I would nurse him twice (at 11 and at 3), tomorrow just once (around 11) and after that not at all. In all, I got almost no sleep. When he did fall back asleep it was often just for 10 or 15 minutes (except after the nursing session when he fell back to sleep for at least an hour). At some point in the night, I just started `sleeping' on the twin bed in his bedroom (this probably was a violation of the method, but I was just sooooo tired.) His crying was never hysterical (no real tears).
Night 2: Took less than five minutes of protest crying for him to fall asleep the first time. He woke up at least ten times. I nursed at 11PM. But around 1AM, he did a lot of protest crying and then calmed, but was awake for about two hours.
Night 3: No nursing through the night at all! He slept from 7:30 PM to 11:00PM, which is already the longest stretch of sleep in months. He had an awake period of about 1 ˝ hours around 11PM, not crying too much, just awake. He had another long awake period around 2AM. Some crying, sometimes just awake.
Night 4: No nursing through the night. He slept from 7:30PM to 11PM and was easily and quickly soothed at 11PM. Slept from 11-2AM, was easily soothed at 2AM. Slept from 2AM to 6AM!
Night 5: No nursing through the night. Put down for the first sleep with less than 10 seconds of crying. Slept from 7:30PM to 2AM (!!!!!!!!). Took a while for him to fall back asleep. Once he went back to sleep, slept until 5:15AM. Cried on and off until 6AM when I could get him up for the day.
Night 6: No nursing through the night. Put down with less than 10 seconds of protest crying at 7:30PM. Wake-ups at: 12:15, 1:30, 2:30, 3:30. I got him up at 6AM. This was a harder night than last.
Night 7: No nursing through the night. Put him down with no crying at 7:30PM. Woke up at 10:05PM, occasional protest cries, took 25 minutes to fall back asleep. Awoke at 11:40PM, took 30 minutes to fall back asleep, loud protest crying. Awoke at 2AM, loud protest crying, took 15 minutes to fall back asleep). Awoke at 5:20 AM, immediately soothed and fell back asleep. I got him up at 6:20AM.
Night 8: No nursing through the night. Put him down with no crying. Awoke at 12:30, loud protest crying, fell back asleep at 12:45. Awoke at 2:30AM, took 10 minutes to fall back asleep. Awake at 4:30AM, immediately soothed and back to sleep. Awake at 5:15, immediately soothed and back to sleep. Awake at 5:45, immediately soothed and back to sleep. I got him up at 6:30AM
Night 9: No nursing through the night. Put him down with less than ten seconds of crying. Awoke at 10:15PM and immediately soothed and back to sleep. THEN he slept with no crying until 6AM. I heard him babbling contentedly around 5AM but didn't go in. Got him up at 6:20AM. Hallelujah
Night 10: No nursing through the night. We had houseguests and the baby had to sleep in our room. So this night doesn't count and I won't detail it.
Night 11: No nursing through the night. Put down at 7PM with one little protest cry. Around 9PM, I heard one short protest cry on the monitor, by the time I stood up, it was silent and I waited - continued silence, so I did not go in. Slept with no noise until 5:40AM!!!! I patted him until 6AM when I could get him up. THIS IS A FIRST!
Night 12: So far same as night 11. I am confident that things are SO much better. I will attack naps next (I think that I was willing to start the night training because she gives you the permission to work on night-training first and then naps later....I couldn't have done both at the same time).
In the whole process, there were never any real tears and no hysterical crying (both of which have occurred at times when I have left him alone briefly during the day, for example, to take a lightening quick shower). I feel that this is a HUMANE method that feels right to this mom. When he calls me, he needs to know I still exist. With this method, he knew that.
As an additional note: upon being night-weaned my son started eating solids with much greater enthusiasm. I started solids at 5 months and he had generally refused to eat more than one bite. Now, after six weeks of almost complete refusal, he opens up and eats sometimes a whole bowl of cereal with fruit puree and breastmilk.
Another additional note: since we have been doing this method, his naps have gotten longer. Instead of a one hour morning nap and one hour afternoon nap, he has started to do two hour morning naps and 1 ˝ hour afternoon naps. Beautiful!
Final note - I have felt happier and kinder since I've gotten a couple nights of full sleep. This method has probably made me a better wife and mom!
I hope it works for you - it will be worth the first few tough nights!
7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars LIFESAVER!!!!!!!,
7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A MUST HAVE FOR ALL NEW PARENTS...Sleep at last!,
My youngest just turned one, and we had literally tried everything. As a full time teacher, counselor, wife and mommy, I felt spread thin...but with this system, within a week we were enjoying a full night's sleep!
What I epecially liked about this system was that Kim West never promises that your baby will never cry, but because you are in the room with or near the room of the baby, you never feel guilty. Trust me...I tried the cry-it-out thing...I'm way to soft, it just didn't feel right to leave my baby in a panic like that. The sleep lady system made it possible to let my son cry while soothing him and comforting him, and still allowing him to learn to soothe himself! It really has been wonderful, and my husband and I are not only sleeping but enjoying having our bed to ourselves again!
A definite must have for all new parent!
6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Best Book Ever,
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Not just for new mom's.... great info for reflux babies!,
9 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A gentle and EFFECTIVE method,
This method was basically a fast-track of the method I had gleaned from The No-Cry Sleep Solution, but was more clearly written, and was honest about the fact that her method was gentle but not no-cry. The Sleep Lady puts much more emphasis on consistency and minimal interventions (to avoid creating a new sleep association) than Pantley. The effectiveness of graduated extinction methods like Ferber's are well-supported by research. Here's a book that shows you how to use that effective method without leaving the baby alone to cry.
I appreciated that I could go directly to the chapter covering my baby's current age and find all the advice for that age in one place. Great for my exhausted mind. I find her book very balanced and I wish I had followed it from the very beginning. Within days of reading this book, my baby slept for 12 hours without waking enough to need intervention, something she had never done before. She cried out a few times but put herself back to sleep every time within a couple minutes.
Most Helpful First | Newest First
The Sleep Lady®'s Good Night, Sleep Tight: Gentle Proven Solutions to Help Your Child Sleep Well and Wake Up Happy by Kim West (Paperback - December 22, 2009)