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Good Nights: The Happy Parents' Guide to the Family Bed (and a Peaceful Night's Sleep!) Paperback – July 24, 2002
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From Library Journal
Parents of babies and toddlers hope for a good night's rest after a demanding day, but they rarely get it. Books like Richard Ferber's Solve Your Child's Sleep Problems argue that if bedtime becomes a problem, parents should put children in their own beds and let them cry it out. Here, pediatrician Gordon (UCLA Medical Sch.) and former USA Today writer Goodavage offer a gentler approach: put kids in the "family bed" every night, they say. Children will feel secure and happy, Mom can nurse without getting out of bed, Dad will relax, and a good night's rest for all will follow. Covered in full are "beducation," the problems that may arise, how to childproof the bed, dealing with intimacy, and coping with "naysayers." The text also offers reassuring comments from current and past family bedders. Skeptical? So was this reviewer, but the authors conducted impressive research and present it convincingly. Though not for everyone, this book provides a good alternative to dealing with those difficult "night nights." Recommended. Annette V. Janes, Hamilton, MA
Copyright 2002 Cahners Business Information, Inc.
About the Author
Jay Gordon, M.D., is a pediatrician, and a teaching and attending faculty member at UCLA Medical School. He is a frequent expert guest on network television, and writes medical columns for national parenting magazines and web sites. He has acted as CBS TV's Medical Consultant for Children's Programming, and also worked for five years on ABC Television as the on-air medical correspondent for the "Home Show." He continues to consult regularly for television and movies, and is the author of several other books about children. His medical practice is based in Santa Monica, California, where he lives with his wife and daughter.
Maria Goodavage is a former USA Today staff writer and the author of several popular books. Her interest in sleep research started at Northwestern University, where she worked at the school's sleep laboratory and studied the science of sleep. She lives in San Francisco with her husband, daughter, and dog. The latter two no longer share the family bed.
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There are only a handful of rules to safe co-sleeping, so I'm not sure why the naysayers would expect it to fill a whole book. This book is perfect for research-minded people like myself. I like to read studies and stats, so I really enjoyed the authors' scientific approach. It's based on studies from around the world, yet it doesn't come off boring because they keep the tone light and conversational. This book has reassured me that what we're doing can be safer than crib sleeping and offers a great benefit to both us and our son. It just feels right having our son close to us instead of all by himself in a crib in a different room. I encourage those considering co-sleeping to read this book for a wealth of scientific information that will reassure them in their decision.
That was that, I thought. I had no idea that anyone would even consider sharing a bed with an infant in our society. I actually kind of looked down on the guy who'd asked the question.
A few months later I went through about 18 hours of labor followed by a C-section with general anesthetic. Afterward I took narcotics for the pain, and I could not have stayed awake while feeding my baby if my life had depended on it. When I got home, I discovered that the most painless way to feed my son was to lie on my side--so I continued to fall asleep during feedings.
Eventually, we were cosleeping nearly all the time, and I felt guilty about it. One night my husband and I decided to make a go of getting our son into his crib, and it was around 2 AM that night when I bought this book.
Although I'd hesitate to base my stance on a single book alone, Good Nights made me feel significantly better about our situation. I think its ideal audience is made up of parents-to-be, but I was pleased with the information I found in its pages. The authors discuss a wealth of literature the interested reader can check out; they also provide anecdotes from many current and former cosleepers.
Topics covered by the book include ways kids begin cosleeping, ways they stop, how to deal with other people's perceptions, how (and where) sex can continue, how to be safe about cosleeping, why people should cosleep, and why crying it out can be harmful. All this information is very reassuring for the cosleeping family.
There were a few ideas/implications that didn't sit well with me. For instance, I don't think a crib's only use in a cosleeping family is to give the cat a place to sleep. Also, the only other sleeping option the authors really cover in depth is the cry-it-out method. While the cry-it-out method had its day and, I'm sure, is recommended by plenty of books, not ONE person has suggested that we let our baby cry it out. Several people have suggested that we put him in his crib, comfort him, put him in his crib, comfort him, and so on--this is the method that led me to buy the book in the wee hours of the morning, and I'd like to know what Dr. Jay has to say about it.
Overall, the book was very refreshing. It was a quick and pleasant read, and I want to get my husband and my mom to read it too. I wish that I'd known more about cosleeping before I had my son--then I might not have felt so guilty about our situation.