Customer Review

987 of 1,072 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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Comments

Tracked by 5 customers

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Showing 1-10 of 28 posts in this discussion
Initial post: Apr 23, 2008 5:09:50 AM PDT
Asma says:
fantastic review, thank you for reassuring parents that there is not one perfect solution to any childraising issue that will work for everyone =)

Posted on Jun 10, 2008 8:24:08 PM PDT
Midwest Mom says:
Great post. I completely agree. We didn't intend to have our baby in our bed with us either, but right now that is what is working for us. I read several books on sleeping and asked everyone their opinions, but at some point, I realized that I am the one raising this child and now I make the decisions that I think are right for us as a family.

Posted on May 14, 2011 6:07:04 PM PDT
supermiller says:
I love your review. "I am one of THEM now." I am as well. Swore on my life I would never be a co-sleeper! I have always been a light sleeper and assumed a baby in my bed would mean no sleep for me. Little did I realize it would mean the complete opposite. Fortunately we "accidentally" co-slept the first night home from the hospital. (We both fell asleep nursing and woke up safe and sound several hours later.) But part of my intention in reading this book was to try to transition my son out of our bed. Your post makes me realize I don't need to do that. It's more of a social pressure situation and if we're all rested and happy I don't see any reason to change. Thank you!

Posted on May 19, 2011 7:19:19 AM PDT
My baby slept with us in bed, not because he cried at night, but because my mom came to visit and we decided to give her privacy and thought that 2 weeks on our bed it wouldn't be bad. When we went to put him in his crib 2 weeks later, he only cried, and cried, so we gave up, and he slept with us. We always thought that later when he was a little older, it would be easier to move him to his bedroom. My son is 4 years old and he is finally sleeping in his bed. This problem was huge stress in my relationship with my husband, and my son would only fall asleep early if we were in bed with him, for a while. I am full time employed and I study in the evenings, my husband has a full time job and a study in the evening. My son was always late in bed, crying in the morning to go to school, a big nightmare. I don't recomend anyone to make this kind of choice. It can be hard to make a baby sleep in his bed, but it is even harder on your marriage, and everything else.

In reply to an earlier post on May 19, 2011 1:06:22 PM PDT
supermiller says:
I do think there's a difference between choosing to co-sleep with your child and having no other choice. Just like anything, when it's your decision and it works for you, it's easy to accept. It also has to be a decision made by both parents. It sounds like your son made the decision and you guys were at his mercy :( I'm sorry it worked out that way for you. I hope now that he's in his own bed your marriage is back on track.

Posted on Aug 28, 2011 11:02:52 AM PDT
This book has NOT only provided readers with ONE SINGLE solution or just one-method-fits-all......

Well, it has mentioned about family bed and HOW it is different from a crib when coming to sleep strategies. I just think, the book is not very super easy to read, as it is structured in a way not so 'linear' or 'step-by-step', but it is unfair just to link the book to 'CIO' (cry-it-out) method, as it has given many lists of resources on soothing babies to sleep and considerations on what methods and strategies to choose and to follow.

Just one KEYPOINT: It is NOT a CIO book!!! Instead, it is an informative, scientific-research-and-evidence-based book of 'science of healthy sleep of infants'.

:-)

In reply to an earlier post on Aug 28, 2011 11:08:08 AM PDT
Good luck with you, and your whole family! Wish you all the best!!!

I slept with adults at home when I was small, and I don't want that happen to my children now. And the thing is, for sleeping, it is much easier to let the baby sleep according to OWN timetable when she is not sleeping with us, as the sound and light around us, and the very different sleeping time for us adults would DEFINITELY interferes with hers, esp. when my baby is not the type who can sleep very well with all these disturbances...... I don't want to affect her, for HER good, not mine, as simple as that.

Now, once the change has been made, it can't be easily reverted, as I see so many examples around me. Just wish you all the best!!!

Posted on Sep 26, 2011 11:17:56 PM PDT
Chattie says:
I agree. Every baby is so different. I'm an American, but realize the whole "cry it out method" is a Western way of thinking. Other countries, as you mentioned do not believe in the CIO method and they bed share. I was actually completely against bed sharing before having my daughter, and all for the CIO method. That of course changed after having my daughter. I basically felt I had to have her sleep with us. She woke up every 2 hours to nurse, had reflux (for 5.5 mos), and was fussy (not colic) for 3 mos. I would sometimes get maybe 45 mins of sleep between feedings, until I nursed her in bed. When we tried to sleep train, she was the baby that would totally throw up because of screaming so much...not crying, SCREAMING! We basically did a variation of attach parenting and I tell you what, she is the best 2 year old I've ever scene. I know I'm bias, but she actually listens! She's still a mama's girl, but she's totally outgoing, has awesome manners, is extremely smart, and so far, no tantrums. I honestly believe a lot of that has to do with all the attention she got as a baby. I'm not saying babies who are sleep trained aren't those things, but I do feel that the higher need babies can't be sleep trained like other babies.

Posted on Oct 25, 2011 8:52:00 AM PDT
Loved your review! I am a first time mom with a 2 month old. I tried to get him to sleep in a crib but frankly we all sleep better with him in our bed. So I'm OK with it and I refuse to feel guilty about it!!! :)

Posted on Nov 10, 2011 9:49:54 AM PST
I haven't read the whole book yet, (got it from the library and had to give it back) but I didn't think it was anti cosleeping? I THINK I remember it saying something along the lines of cosleeping is fine if that's what works for you and if everyone is getting enough sleep. It gives suggestions for moving baby into a crib from cosleeping, or bed from cosleeping when the times comes. I would guess there aren't many tips on how to make cosleeping "work" beyond the sleep timing of any sleep method, because if it works for you, it's working, and if it doesn't, it's probably just not going to work.

I may be confusing it with another book though.
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