So you'd like to...

Get More Sleep

A guide by Ann Douglas "pregnancy/parenting author" (Peterborough, Ontario Canada)
(REAL NAME)   

Products sampled from this guide:
Sleep. It's the stuff of which dreams are made -- particularly when you have a newborn baby....

While researching Sleep Solutions for Your Baby, Toddler and Preschooler: The Ultimate No-Worry Approach for Each Age and Stage (Mother of All Solutions), I talked to a lot of sleep-deprived parents, interviewed a lot of sleep experts, and hit the books in a major way. Here are some mini-reviews of some of the sleep books that can be found on the bookstore shelves these days.

- The Happiest Baby on the Block: This book provides excellent advice about soothing fussy babies and helping them to get the sleep they need. Pediatrician Harvey Karp, M.D., explains that newborns benefit from some extra help comforting themselves during the "fourth trimester" -- the first three months of life. He explains the science that makes the 5 S's -- swaddling, side-lying position (while holding the baby), sound (such as a white noise CD or white noise machine), swinging, or sucking -- so effective in calming newborns.
- Sleeping Through the Night, Revised Edition: How Infants, Toddlers, and Their Parents Can Get a Good Night's Sleep: Jodi Mindell does a fabulous job of explaining infant sleep patterns and all of her sleep recommendations/tips are solidly backed by research. Her tone is warm and reassuring and her credentials are impeccable. (She is one of America's top sleep experts.) Even if you find the cry-it-out method isn't your style, you can still pick up plenty of valuable information on sleep cycles and the benefits of bedtime routines from Mindell's book.
- Healthy Sleep Habits, Happy Child: Marc Weissbluth's book has a lot of useful information on how sleep cycles evolve in babies and young children and what parents can do to promote healthy sleep habits. You don't have to agree with everything he says in this book or decide to use his sleep training methods to glean very valuable information from this book that you can then apply to your child/family's situation. Consider this a really solid "sleep science" title.
- In Search of Sleep: Straight Talk About Babies, Toddlers and Night Waking: This is one of the more sensible books to be written on sleep over the years, but one that not too many people know about. I really like the down-to-earth, friendly tone and the fact that the author isn't promoting a particular sleep agenda. The author isn't offering a sleep program per se but rather explaining to parents why it takes babies time to learn how to sleep through the night and why this process shouldn't be rushed.
- Good Night, Sleep Tight: The Sleep Lady's Gentle Guide to Helping Your Child Go to Sleep, Stay Asleep, and Wake Up Happy: This book presents a very realistic gentle sleep solution. I like the fact that "The Sleep Lady" (a.k.a. Kim West) states in her introduction that while she's very much in favor of minimizing crying, she can't guarantee that all crying will be avoidable for all babies. This is a realistic statement and helps to remove some of the unnecessary guilt that has been injected into the sleep discussion over the past few years.
- Sleep (Johnson's Everyday Babycare): This book provides a concise overview of sleep-related issues. This is a great place to start if you're bleary-eyed and having a hard time concentrating on anything longer than a grocery list.
- Sleep: The Brazelton Way: A brief introduction to the world of babies and sleep. Again, this book would be a good place to start if you're too exhausted to tackle a "big" sleep book right now.
- American Academy of Pediatrics Guide to Your Child's Sleep: Birth Through Adolescence: A medically-oriented guide to children and sleep. Because the book covers a huge age range (birth to adolesence), only a small part of the book focuses on babies. Still, what is there is very useful as long as you aren't put off by the sometimes conservative tone. An excellent resource guide for the more medical-oriented sleep questions.
- Sleeping Like a Baby : A Sensitive and Sensible Approach to Solving Your Child's Sleep Problems: Avi Sadeh looks at the science behind infant sleep. He does a good job of differentiating between sleep problems and sleep disorders and provides a lot of reassuring words and helpful advice (via case studies) to parents who are wondering if they'll ever sleep again.
- Counting Sheep: The Science and Pleasures of Sleep and Dreams: More on the science behind sleep. There's some really interesting material on how sleep quality changes during pregnancy -- and how the "sleep debt" that a mama-to-be incurs can carry over into the early months of motherhood and beyond.
- Sleeping with Your Baby: A Parent's Guide to Cosleeping: James J. McKenna, PhD, directs the Mother-Baby Behavioral Sleep Laboratory at the University of Notre Dame. A leading authority on breastfeeding issues in relationships to SIDS and bedsharing safety, James McKenna has just written a cosleeping book that is both research-based and parent-friendly. There's a fabulous interview with McKenna on his publisher's website. In that interview, he offers this wise advice to parents who choose to co-sleep: "I think it is important to empower parents and let them know that every child born in the world is unique as is each family. Since no child is the same, no solution to what children need is necessarily the same. Parents know their own babies better than anyone....I do believe that parents should be well-informed so that they are able to make the best decisions for their families, and so that if they do choose to do something like share a bed with their baby, they can do it as safely as possible."
- Nighttime Parenting: How to Get Your Baby and Child to Sleep: This book is a classic -- the book that helped me to gain a perspective on the sleep issue back when I found myself pacing the floor with my colicky first-born. Dr. Sears has written a number of other books on night-time parenting since, so you may want to check out some of his other titles as well.
- The Sleepeasy Solution: The Exhausted Parent's Guide to Getting Your Child to Sleep from Birth to Age 5: One of the newer arrivals on the sleep book shelf. What makes this book stand out is the fact that it's addressed to both mom and dad (as opposed to just mom). After all, sleep is both parents' problem -- or it will be soon, if mom gets too sleep deprived. It's a great idea to get both partners talking about sleep, ideally before baby arrives, so if you're planning to buy this guide for a friend, make it a pre-baby purchase. Note: The book assumes that the couple is heterosexual (hence the "marriage-saver" advice).
- The No-Cry Sleep Solution: Gentle Ways to Help Your Baby Sleep Through the Night: No sleep book list these days would be complete without a mention of Elizabeth Pantley's bestselling guide to infant sleep. The book's key strength is Pantley's explanation of gentle infant soothing techniques, like helping a baby to be less dependent on the breast for falling asleep. Pantley has done a great job of summarizing a lot of "mother wisdom" on sleep (e.g., pretending to be asleep when baby wants to nurse during the night when you're cosleeping to see if baby will settle on his/her own). The title is a bit misleading, given that Pantley herself allows for crying in the book; and the book encourages inconsistency rather than consistency in sleep training, something that goes against the basic principles of behavior modification. (Pantley repeatedly tells parents that they should go back to what they were doing before if her plan isn't working.) Ideally, it should be considered a sleep-soothing rather than a sleep-training resource (more in the category of a "Happiest Baby on the Block"-type book).
- The Baby Whisperer Solves All Your Problems (by Teaching You How to Ask the Right Questions): Sleeping, Feeding, and Behavior--Beyond the Basics from Infancy Through Toddlerhood: A guide to troubleshooting common infant/toddler problems, including sleep problems. Some parents (and babies!) may object to the emphasis on routines, but others will find that approach extremely helpful. Note: Putting the baby down when the baby is happy and picking the baby up when the baby is crying risks reinforcing the wrong behaviors, so that's a point worth considering.
- The Lull-A-Baby Sleep Plan: The Soothing, Superfast Way to Help Your New Baby Sleep Through the Night...and Prevent Sleep Problems Before They Develop: This book -- published last year -- features a 7-day plan that can be used to take advantage of a sleep learning window of opportunity that, according to the author, occurs at around six to eight weeks. If you've missed that window of opportunity, you can still use the book to re-train older babies and toddlers.
- Solve Your Child's Sleep Problems: New, Revised, and Expanded Edition: Dr. Ferber's classic guide to sleep training. The Ferber method is one of the few methods to have been studied in clinical trials. It has been proven to reduce the severity of postpartum depression in a group of depressed mothers in Australia. That's not to say the method is good, bad, or the right one for you. I'm just pointing out that we actually have some clinical data about this method. Note: Wendy Hall, a UBC researcher, has pointed out, quite rightly, that we need a lot more research into the relative merits of various sleep training methods. She says it's no wonder we have so much conflicting evidence -- and that parents are so confused. She says we need to treat sleep research as a priority, just as we treat nutritional research.
- Sleep Solutions for Your Baby, Toddler and Preschooler: The Ultimate No-Worry Approach for Each Age and Stage (Mother of All Solutions): This one is my book on sleep. I don't favor any one sleep training method. I think that would be kind of presumptuous of me, given that I've never had the privilege of meeting you or your baby and I don't know anything about your parenting style, your family's circumstances, or your child's age/developmental stage. Instead, I provide you with an explanation of the science behind each of the major sleep training schools of thought (and an indication of how each method might mesh with your parenting philosophies) so you can make up your mind for yourself. The book also features stories, anecdotes, and tips from the more than 200 parents who served as members of the parent advisory panel for the book.They talk about how unprepared they felt for the sleep deprivation of early parenthood, how judged they felt by other parents if those parents made other sleep choices than they did ("You can't talk sleep training with other parents." one mom concluded. "It's like religion and politics."); about co-sleeping (both pro and con), co-parenting (partners who were helpful and partners who were not), and the "high stakes" feeling that surrounds the whole sleep issue ("Make one wrong sleep decision, and you've ruined your child's life. That's how it seems," said one tired and frustrated parent). There are also extensive appendices, featuring sleep troubleshooting tools (e.g., most common causes of nighttime waking and checklists of things to try); web links; a directory of sleep organizations, and other helpful resources.

Ann Douglas, author of The Mother of all Pregnancy Books, The Mother of All Baby Books, Sleep Solutions for Your Baby, Toddler and Preschooler: The Ultimate No-Worry Approach for Each Age and Stage (Mother of All Solutions), and Mealtime Solutions for Your Baby, Toddler and Preschooler: The Ultimate No-Worry Approach for Each Age and Stage (Mother of All Solutions)

Products mentioned include:
1.  Sleep Solutions for Your Baby, Toddler and Preschooler: The Ultimate No-Worry Approach for Each Age and Stage (Mother of All Solutions)  by Ann Douglas
Used & New from: $0.01
4.3 out of 5 stars   (10) | 1 customer discussion
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2.  The Happiest Baby on the Block  by Harvey Karp
$11.73 Used & New from: $0.01
4.5 out of 5 stars   (1,715) | 5 customer discussions
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3.  Sleeping Through the Night, Revised Edition: How Infants, Toddlers, and Their Parents Can Get a Good Night's Sleep  by Jodi A. Mindell
$11.97 Used & New from: $0.01
4.3 out of 5 stars   (161)
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4.  Healthy Sleep Habits, Happy Child  by Dr Marc Weissbluth
$10.64 Used & New from: $0.01
4.2 out of 5 stars   (2,063) | 35 customer discussions
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5.  In Search of Sleep: Straight Talk About Babies, Toddlers and Night Waking  by Bonny Reichert
Used & New from: $0.01
4.4 out of 5 stars   (5)
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6.  Good Night, Sleep Tight: The Sleep Lady's Gentle Guide to Helping Your Child Go to Sleep, Stay Asleep, and Wake Up Happy  by Kim West
Used & New from: $0.01
4.4 out of 5 stars   (377) | 1 customer discussion
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7.  Sleep (Johnson's Everyday Babycare)  by Katy Holland
Used & New from: $0.01
5.0 out of 5 stars   (1)
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8.  Sleep: The Brazelton Way  by T. Berry Brazelton
$9.25 Used & New from: $0.01
2.9 out of 5 stars   (15)
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9.  American Academy of Pediatrics Guide to Your Child's Sleep: Birth Through Adolescence  by American Academy Of Pediatrics
Used & New from: $0.01
2.6 out of 5 stars   (11)
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10.  Sleeping Like a Baby : A Sensitive and Sensible Approach to Solving Your Child's Sleep Problems  by Avi Sadeh
Used & New from: $0.01
3.0 out of 5 stars   (3)
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11.  Counting Sheep: The Science and Pleasures of Sleep and Dreams  by Paul Martin
Used & New from: $0.01
4.5 out of 5 stars   (12)
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12.  Sleeping with Your Baby: A Parent's Guide to Cosleeping  by James J. McKenna
$12.23 Used & New from: $1.96
4.3 out of 5 stars   (48)
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13.  Nighttime Parenting: How to Get Your Baby and Child to Sleep  by William Sears
$11.63 Used & New from: $0.01
3.5 out of 5 stars   (84) | 1 customer discussion
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14.  The Sleepeasy Solution: The Exhausted Parent's Guide to Getting Your Child to Sleep from Birth to Age 5  by Jennifer Waldburger
$8.67 Used & New from: $3.19
4.6 out of 5 stars   (522) | 1 customer discussion
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15.  The No-Cry Sleep Solution: Gentle Ways to Help Your Baby Sleep Through the Night  by Elizabeth Pantley
$11.18 Used & New from: $0.01
4.2 out of 5 stars   (1,486) | 1 customer discussion
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16.  The Baby Whisperer Solves All Your Problems (by Teaching You How to Ask the Right Questions): Sleeping, Feeding, and Behavior--Beyond the Basics from Infancy Through Toddlerhood  by Melinda Blau
Used & New from: $0.01
4.1 out of 5 stars   (350)
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17.  The Lull-A-Baby Sleep Plan: The Soothing, Superfast Way to Help Your New Baby Sleep Through the Night...and Prevent Sleep Problems Before They Develop  by Cathryn Tobin
$13.62 Used & New from: $0.01
4.1 out of 5 stars   (26)
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18.  Solve Your Child's Sleep Problems: New, Revised, and Expanded Edition  by Richard Ferber
$11.19 Used & New from: $0.01
4.6 out of 5 stars   (493) | 1 customer discussion
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19.  Sleep Solutions for Your Baby, Toddler and Preschooler: The Ultimate No-Worry Approach for Each Age and Stage (Mother of All Solutions)  by Ann Douglas
Used & New from: $0.01
4.3 out of 5 stars   (10) | 1 customer discussion
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20.  The Mother of all Pregnancy Books  by Ann Douglas
Used & New from: $0.01
4.2 out of 5 stars   (220) | 4 customer discussions
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21.  The Mother of All Baby Books  by Ann Douglas
$21.80 Used & New from: $0.01
4.3 out of 5 stars   (35)
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22.  Sleep Solutions for Your Baby, Toddler and Preschooler: The Ultimate No-Worry Approach for Each Age and Stage (Mother of All Solutions)  by Ann Douglas
Used & New from: $0.01
4.3 out of 5 stars   (10) | 1 customer discussion
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23.  Mealtime Solutions for Your Baby, Toddler and Preschooler: The Ultimate No-Worry Approach for Each Age and Stage (Mother of All Solutions)  by Ann Douglas
Used & New from: $0.01
4.0 out of 5 stars   (4)
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Customer Discussions about products in this guide
Discussion Replies Latest Post
4 month old naps only when held 23 12 days ago
After how many days/weeks the programme starts to show improvements? 0 Feb 19, 2015
Does Harvey Karp recommend putting baby to bed asleep or awake? 1 Apr 12, 2014
What if no one else believes in it or ready to make the effort? 1 Mar 26, 2014
7 Month Old - Very Short Naps 2 Mar 26, 2014
My 4-month old screams for three hours and still doesn't fall asleep 1 Mar 26, 2014
6-month old mom SOS! 7 Jan 12, 2014
is the wrapping anything special? 1 Dec 8, 2013
A few questions about the sleep lady shuffle 2 Nov 9, 2013
6 month old hit and miss 0 Oct 28, 2013
Read this book, have question about pacifier??? 1 Oct 9, 2013
Baby books 2 Aug 19, 2013
 
   

About this Guide

 

Author

Ann Douglas "pregnancy/parenting author" (Peterborough, Ontario Canada)
(REAL NAME)   
Qualifications: Mom of four, pregnancy and parenting book author
Last updated: 8/14/08
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