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158 of 166 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Sleep, Baby, Sleep
This is a wonderful addition to the Sears Parenting Library. While the book contains standard AP/Sears fare (i.e. breastfeeding is good, consider co-sleeping, always respond to a crying baby, etc.), there are also some great new ideas wrt to helping your baby sleep better and longer.

Know what you're getting when you buy this book however: there are no...
Published on November 25, 2005 by Lit_Goddess

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97 of 105 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Good Sears primer
If you are new to Dr Sears and sleep is your only issue this would be a nice choice. I found lots of the sleep ideas in The Baby Book which also has everything else you need about raising your baby. The Baby Book would be my first choice from Sears.
Published on October 14, 2005 by Catz


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158 of 166 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Sleep, Baby, Sleep, November 25, 2005
By 
Lit_Goddess (Seattle, WA United States) - See all my reviews
This is a wonderful addition to the Sears Parenting Library. While the book contains standard AP/Sears fare (i.e. breastfeeding is good, consider co-sleeping, always respond to a crying baby, etc.), there are also some great new ideas wrt to helping your baby sleep better and longer.

Know what you're getting when you buy this book however: there are no miracle solutions, or quick fixes to get your infant to sleep. The authors want to educate you about how babies really do sleep, and to help you make the best choices for your family once armed with that information. But you're not going to finish reading this book and have all of the answers to get your 8 week old to sleep through the night. Indeed, you'll realize that your 8 week old probably should NOT be sleeping through the night, but you'll have some tools to help you cope with this.

Dr. Bill, Martha, and their two pediatrician sons offer compassionate, responsible parenting advice. They are truly advocates for babies and children, and their gentle, kind approaches to parenting are a relief after reading version after version of "Your baby should fit into your life, and you shouldn't have to compromise or change because of them."

Oh -- if you haven't read anything by William and Martha Sears before this, I strongly recommend _The Baby Book_, _The Attachment Parenting Book_, and _The Discipline Book_. Again, there is some overlap in all of the Sears' books, but these three are great primers in infant care and parenting.
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97 of 105 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Good Sears primer, October 14, 2005
If you are new to Dr Sears and sleep is your only issue this would be a nice choice. I found lots of the sleep ideas in The Baby Book which also has everything else you need about raising your baby. The Baby Book would be my first choice from Sears.
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144 of 170 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars My take on cry it out vs. other methods, July 31, 2009
This review is from: The Baby Sleep Book: The Complete Guide to a Good Night's Rest for the Whole Family (Sears Parenting Library) (Paperback)
I bought this book, but got through only the first couple of chapters as I found the approach preachy, unconvincing, and it didn't seem to speak to the experience I was having.

Having asked lots of people for advice, read parts of various books, and having read a lot of Amazon online discussions, I have finally hit on a solution that I can live with. I'd like to share it as it may give support and encouragement to others.

I want to be clear that I know that my experience is very limited, I have no certainty whether my approach would work with many other children, and most important, I don't judge people who do things differently.

Here's what's been going on. Two months ago, I adopted a 6-month-old child. I'm a single dad with no previous experience with babies. I didn't have much information about his sleep patterns, but I later learned that his previous experience was feeding to sleep and if he didn't fall asleep after the bottle was done, he was allowed to cry it out. This worked: when he came to me, he was sleeping through the night.

Lacking any experience with babies and with little information about him, and wanting to maximize our bonding and minimize his distress, I started responding to his every cry. I discovered that I could sometimes overcome his penchant for fighting sleep by holding him until fell asleep. Because he wouldn't tolerate a bumpy transfer from my arms to the crib, I quickly realized that I was physically incapable of dangling myself over a crib to transfer him smoothly, which I was often having to do repeatedly.

So I started putting him to bed on a queen size mattress on the floor because it was easier to hold him on my chest and then roll gently to transfer him. I also tried transferring him from an Ergo carrier, but that was also physically difficult and usually didn't work.

Still, this approach was often taking an hour for him to get to sleep- and that's counting from after we had lain down, after the bath and bottle. This hour was a lot of him alternating between being grumpy and frustrated and entertaining himself by playing with his feet and vocalizing. So this was taking too much time, and I also realized that once he could start moving I wanted him in the crib (although I've also considered getting a twin or large-chair size futon for the floor - so long as the room is childproofed, this is perfectly safe - there's nowhere to fall and no crevices to get caught in, and it allows me to lay down next to him).

All my reading convinced me that holding him to sleep was a losing proposition since it was both physically taxing and took a lot of time. (I know a lot of people say that this prevents them from learning to fall back asleep by themselves when they wake up at night ... while this may be true, when I was holding/rocking him to sleep I did not find that he was waking up and demanding being held to fall back asleep.)

I started running low on patience and was feeling that I was at my limit. So I tried the cry it out method for one night and one naptime the following day. I used the standard approach: come back after 5 minutes, then 10, then 15. He cried for about 45 minutes that first night.

I did not like this. I had never heard him in such distress. When he screamed during the naptime on the second day, I aborted the approach and haven't tried it since. I just didn't feel right about it. Again, I'm not judging - I just didn't want to go through with it, even though I know that it can often be completed in just a few days and that there's no evidence that the kids are harmed. I can say that I felt emotionally distant from him for a day or two afterwards. Perhaps I was imagining it, but I felt that the extreme crying brought some coolness and detachment into our relationship.

So I was committed now to staying in the room while he fell asleep. I created a ritual, which consists of a bath, then while seated in a glider, I feed him from a bottle as I tell him what we did that day, and I sing the same two songs to him. Before he's done feeding, I put him on his back in the bed and hold the bottle for him. Alongside is the special blanket he uses to rub on his face and settle himself to sleep. (My pediatrician tells me not to worry that feeding on his back could cause an ear infection, though my dentist wants me to start cleaning his teeth after feeding or giving him some water to rinse -- I haven't started with this yet.)

After time, I realized that though he seemed to want to be picked up, my touching him was sometimes stimulating him and preventing him from falling asleep. So rather than touching him a lot, I switched to putting my hand on his stomach for maybe 10 seconds and saying "shhhhh," and repeating this perhaps every 5 minutes.

It still wasn't working. Maybe 2 nights out of 3 he would fall asleep at the 7 pm bedtime. The other times it could take an hour to fall asleep, a time when he would be grunting and whimpering in frustration.

So I made a simple change. Since he just didn't seem to want to go to bed at 7 pm, I moved his bedtime from 7 pm to 8 pm. He now takes between 0 and 10 minutes to settle down and fall asleep after he's done with the bottle. Then I leave the room. It was that simple.

I can live with this. There's no drama. Yes - he sometimes grunts and whimpers a little. Sometimes this sounds like frustration (I think he doesn't want to miss out on the fun of being up), but I've made peace with not rescuing him from some necessary frustration. Mostly the sounds he makes are him settling himself. I don't sense any anxiety or distress. I have noticed that it can be hard to distinguish the sounds of frustrations with the sounds of a bowel movement, so I've taken to checking his diaper more frequently, as he often has a bowel movement after a feeding, rather than just assuming that he's frustrated because he doesn't want to go to sleep.

Now he was still waking for feedings most nights, at around 1 am and 5 am. It wasn't a big deal for me - I was able to go back to sleep, so I wasn't sleep deprived. But my pediatrician advised me that the 1 am feeding was probably giving him more calories than he needed. So I've started giving him cereal after the bath but before the final bottle, and I try to keep him awake to get as much formula into him as possible before he falls asleep. I've also started decreasing the amount of the 1 am feeding - I'm down to 3 ounces and plan to decrease it to zero, or perhaps to switch to diluted formula which eventually is just water. He's already waking less often, and I'd say now about half the time he is sleeping through the night, other times waking up at 5 am and then going back to sleep, and only occasionally still waking around 1am.

So there it is. It took a few weeks of trial and error, but bed and naptimes are now drama-free. He's going to sleep because he wants to go to sleep, and I get a wonderful feeling being there with him as he falls asleep. He continues to confirm my impression of him that he's a reasonable and respectful little guy: when he cries, it's because he needs something. So now when I'm baffled at his crying, I always run through five questions: Is his diaper clean (take a peek); is he hungry (offer food); is he hurt or afraid (make him comfortable/soothe him); is he tired (put him to bed); does he feel neglected (try to give him a few seconds or minutes of my attention if I can).
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19 of 21 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars So glad I found this book when I did!, November 21, 2008
By 
Mama Bean (Central Virginia) - See all my reviews
This review is from: The Baby Sleep Book: The Complete Guide to a Good Night's Rest for the Whole Family (Sears Parenting Library) (Paperback)
I have recommended this book to countless parents I have encountered in person and on the web. It is full of gentle, commonsense tips to getting a good night's sleep, as well as negotiating the "politics" of family sleep. All of the information is backed by science, and it makes a compelling argument against some of the more hard-core approaches--commonly called "sleep training"--which are variations on the old "cry-it-out" method. Do your baby - and your sanity - a favor and ignore the advice that runs contrary to your best parenting tools--your instincts.

Unlike some other parenting philosophies and books on baby sleep, you can rest assured that any techniques you take away from this book will NOT be harmful to your child, in the short- or long-run. But, the beauty is that you do not have to follow it to the tee to be deemed a "good" parent. You can use what works for you and leave the rest. You can come back to it when your child is older or when you have another baby, and it will still be relevant and sound information you can rely on.

Be forewarned: there is not a prescribed sleep "program" to follow in this book, for good reason. All babies are different (just like adults!), and what works for one will not work for another. Save yourself a lot of headache and heartache; don't buy into the notion that you need to follow an "expert's" sleep regimen in order to be a good parent or have a so-called good sleeper.

For parents who appreciate well-researched and logical information on raising healthy children, but also want to follow their hearts and do what feels right, I also recommend Healing Our Children: Because Your New Baby Matters! Sacred Wisdom for Preconception, Pregnancy, Birth and Parenting (ages 0-6) by Ramiel Nagel.
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17 of 19 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Pros and Cons, September 30, 2010
Here are the pros and cons of this book:

PRO:
- Gentle, attachment-based advice for solving sleep problems and keeping them from occuring in the first place
- Good explanation of how children sleep
- Engaging writing style, easy to read
- Lots of subheadings, making information easy to find
- Good index

CON:
- Very repetitive, could shorten book by half and not lose any content
- Completely attachment-parenting based, no discussion of alternatives
- Heavy-handed on co-sleeping and breastfeeding
- Jugmental at times
- Product-pushing for the Amby Sleep Thingy and some Co-sleeper
- Does not add much to "The Baby Book" by the same authors

VERDICT:
I liked this book, but if you do not subscribe to attachment parenting, then this is not the book for you. If you enjoy the Sears's other books, you will like this one.
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28 of 33 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Finally some useful answers, November 1, 2005
I was very surprised at the number of new ideas and unique approaches the Sears hadn't written about before in any of their other books. I'm looking forward to getting some much needed sleep!!!
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62 of 78 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars A reassuring book, April 25, 2006
Like all of Sears other books this one gives you permission to follow your own instincts with your baby. It gives you permission to have a family bed and tells you to enjoy it. It is short on any new solutions to sleep problems, as it contains much of what is in The Baby Book. Sears's other recommended book "The No-Cry Sleep Solution" is the perfect companion to this one since it contains gentle solutions that are compatible with the ideas in all Sears baby books.
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19 of 22 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars a realistic view of baby sleep, January 9, 2007
This book is great for those who don't agree with the cry-it-out method, and take a holistic and understanding approach to baby sleep. It explains why babies sleep the way they do, and why it is unrealistic to expect a baby to sleep like an adult. Instead, it lets the reader know that it is good for the baby to be comforted and nursed at night, and this won't last forever. However, it also gives advice on how to get a better night of sleep, understanding that if a parent is worn out from frequent night wakings, resentment can result. I feel it is a good book for new parents, and a great alternative to all the cry-it-out books that are so numerous.
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12 of 13 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Food for thought, January 27, 2009
By 
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It's difficult to rate a book like this, in my opinion. It really depends on what your parenting technique will be, is or is developing into. I have read several different sleep books and have taken something out of each one that works for us. Some of it I agree with and some I don't. This book is very much geared towards supporting, comforting and parents assisting the babies to sleep, not so much toward early sleep training. Great book to read if thats the technique you plan to try.
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31 of 38 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Overall good choice, March 15, 2006
This book was well laid out and informative. The book is designed so that you can skip around or read in succession. The authors are pro co-sleeping, however, they do discuss opposite alternatives such as the "fade-away strategy", offered as an alternative to the "cry it out" method. There are no miracle sleep solutions offered in this book, but overall I found it useful. Useful for ages infant to children transitioning to sleeping on their own.
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The Baby Sleep Book: The Complete Guide to a Good Night's Rest for the Whole Family (Sears Parenting Library)
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