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on August 22, 2015
I chose NOT to read many books about babies before our babies birth because it was overwhelming to have all those what ifs on every different topic and what if none of them ever happened- wasted time learning about stuff i didn't need. I wish i had read at least one book on sleep and wish it was this one. I started reading sleep books when baby was 2-3 months old and have discovered that 1. every baby sleeps, 2. every baby has times when they don't sleep when you need/want them to, and 3. everyone has an opinion on it and most of them are not going to apply to you and your baby. So, if you are going to read one book prior to having baby (you know, besides the pregnancy books you read diligently) READ THIS ONE! Seriously, moms who know will recommend this one to you. It's difficult to read at first b/c it's a lot of info, but this is why you will need to read it before you have the baby- you still have time and brain cells. There's a few new versions and old- read any one, the basic info is the same but the newer ones are a little easier to follow. This has been on me or my husbands nightstand for 18 months now. I have friends who have kept it on the nightstand for 4 years because it helps with every new stage of sleep.
Note to those who are buying this after baby is already having sleep problems: this book will NOT make you feel bad. Many many many other sleep books that you read after you already have problems will make you feel like you ruined your child's sleep by not catching some magical moment when they were 5 weeks old or make you feel like you are doomed if you didn't start from day one. This one will not. It helps fix, train, work through issues. It is hard work, but seriously worth it. Ask other moms, you will find one nearby who has read it and attests.
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on March 14, 2016
I am a first time mom of a baby who just turned 4 months old a couple of days ago. I was given this book when she was born, but never read it because she was an amazing sleeper. She slept on her own almost anywhere, through anything. At about 1 1/2 months she started having a "fussy time" at around 8 or 9pm that lasted until about 10:45 when she would fall asleep. It wasn't crying, it was just fussy. Otherwise, she was still a great sleeper (and still sleeping through the night since a week home from the hospital). At almost exactly 3 months old, however, she started screaming and was hysterical at her normal bedtime. The first time, she was inconsolable. She screamed for 4 hours. Nothing I did worked, until I climbed into the bath tub with both of us fully clothed and let her float with me in the water. She calmed down until we took her out. But at that point, she would then take her bottle and soon fell asleep. From that point on, getting her to sleep at night was a crying session every night for her (maybe about 1/2 hour), and she no longer would nap unless it was ON ME in the day time. When I told the doctor, they suggested I read this book. I already had it! So I went home that day and read the entire thing (aside for the stuff for school aged and teenagers). I did NOTHING all day but watch my baby for cues. I had NO IDEA, nor had ANYONE told me that babies shouldn't stay up longer than 2 hours. My baby was up for sometimes 4 hours! Just because she COULD do it didn't mean she SHOULD! That's one of the biggest points I took from the book. I learned that at 3-4 months she was a different baby now, and so things had to change, and that I was the one that had to start to implement that change. After watching her From the time she woke up from a nap, I realized her eyelids started getting pink at about 45 min after waking up, and at about 1 hour, she would turn her head slowly to the left (people had previously told me this was called "rooting" and that she was hungry, so I would always try to feed her when I saw this, but she always protested... Because that's not what it was! She does this EXACT same thing no matter where she is. If she's laying on her back on the floor, if she is in her bouncy seat, or if I am holding her. And it is 90% of the time turning to her left side. That is her CUE! If I whisk her upstairs at that moment, I can sing her 1 verse of twinkle twinkle little star as I cuddle her, then set her into her bed, hand her a snuggly, she does a little whimper, then falls asleep. If I MISS the cue, she will start the rub her eyes and fuss. If I don't get her in her bed soon enough, she will cry when I put her down, and will require the bottle to soothe her, and will not fall right asleep.
After learning her cue THAT FIRST DAY, I put her right in her dark room (black out curtains) with a white noise machine ($9.99 travel one from buy buy baby) and she sleeps for 1 1/2 hours. She STIRS at 45 minutes EXACTLY every single nap, but if I leave her alone, she will go back to sleep for another 45 minutes, and then wakes up at EXACTLY 1 1/2 hours from when she fell asleep. It will be only ONE WEEK TOMORROW that I have been doing this, PLUS we went away on vacation two days ago, and we are still following the plan, and she is DOING IT. She went to sleep at 8:30 last night, slept until 7am, took a bottle, had a diaper change, played for a short time, then fell asleep at exactly 8am and slept again until 9:30. This book has not only changed my life as a first time mom, but I also teach 1st grade, and it has changed the way I look at ALL KIDS... SOOOOOO many issues I see in school every day I now know are most likely caused by these children having either too little sleep, too erratic sleep, or fragmented sleep. The only complaint I have is that there is not a FAQ section in the book. I think it would be a HIGHLY valued section. The random questions throughout the book would be better served in a FAQ section that can be quickly referenced and re-referenced, and more questions/answers should be added.

I also wish that Dr. Weissbluth had a website or email address that you could ask questions, because even though my baby is now sleeping on naps and "through the night" again, I have no idea why she is only awake for 1 hour at a time during the day. The standard suggestions of amount of naps and wake times don't apply to her, and I want to know when/if that will change. She is 4 months old, and her "morning nap" after a wake-up time of 7am comes at exactly 8am (she cues me at 7:45 and she's sound asleep by 8), which is NOWHERE NEAR the suggested 9am nap. Then, throughout the rest of the day, she can ONLY stay up for 1hr - 1 hour and 15 min. 1 1/2 is REALLY pushing my luck, and it has NEVER been 2. She takes FOUR naps per day, with a 7:30 (before the time change yesterday, so I don't know how that will screw things up) bed time, and a couple of times, she has needed FIVE naps. Shouldn't she be able to stay up longer than 1 hour at 4 months? That's pretty much my only concern.
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on February 18, 2018
The negative of this book is that each chapter has very little structure. For example, the chapter on sleep solutions is over 120 pages and has almost no clear internal structure except for sometimes helpful and sometimes vague paragraph headings. The chapter on sleep at 3-4 months of age has 50 pages on baby temperament that is completely rambling. I would say the only way to use this book would be to read each chapter completely and take notes being aware that much of it is not practical information. This is not a reference guide and often does not offer summaries that give clear action plans but instead rather vague principles. It is also written very much to mothers so if you're a father reading this working hard to raise your child you might find this very frustrating when it ends sections with comments along the lines of fathers should help to, like on the weekends.
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on July 17, 2017
So effing long! Google the cliff notes...save yourself the time....unless you're interested in all the studies that back the information given. Agree with a lot of the points, but I got so bored with reading it I finally just googled the cliff notes and wish I would've done that from the begining.
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on March 12, 2018
Disappointed. As others stated, it's basically CIO in disguise. I read one extremely long chapter and it seriously just stressed me out. At one point he basically used a study to blame the mom for having a baby that isn't perfect. He doesn't seem to take colic seriously or have any advice for babies with health issues. To him babies are either perfect sleepers with mild and joyful attitudes or awful sleepers with difficult attitudes who will never change.

I will state a few positives though. He really stresses the importantance of fathers being there and helpful, not just letting it all be the mom's responsibility. If you enjoy reading studies (and sometimes I do) some of these are interesting but I would take them all with a grain of salt. Last positive, he does make sleep and naps seem possible lol.

Anywho I just couldn't finish it. I started it excited and ended stressed out. I figured I'd just take this knowledge and add it to all the other info I read to form my own conclusion and process, without letting my 3 Month old cry for hours.
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on January 1, 2014
Healthy Sleep Habits, Happy Child was recommended to me by my sister-in-law. She told me it really worked. Also, my parents-in-law babysit her children and they remarked that every time it is nap time, both of those kids go straight to bed with no fuss and take long, restful naps. So I had to read it.

Dr. Weissbluth very apparently knows what he is talking about and gives the reader real-world stories from parents who have used his techniques. He also sites MANY, MANY studies on sleep-training and infant sleep. It is very apparent when reading this book that the author knows his subject front and back, and is an expert.

He differentiates between daytime and night-time sleep, and the methods you use to sleep-train. I personally used the "Let Cry" (also called "extinction") method for night, although you can also use "graduated extinction". It worked just like he said it would: my baby was sleeping through the night for large chunks of time--I'm talking 10-13 hours with only one or two feedings during the night. You have to follow his directions explicitly, and this may not be for every parent, since you do have to endure your child crying. But just like he said, the first night, our kid cried off and on for about an hour; the second night, he cried for about 15 minutes, and the 3rd night he cried right when I put him in the crib and the second I closed the door, he stopped and went to sleep. I have recommended this book to several friends, and it has worked for all of them. The one thing I will mention is that you need to follow Weissbluth's directions for achieving success--primarily, you need to be CONSISTENT. One of my friend's that tried it had great success right away, but then stopped being consistent about bed time and about checking on their son, and now he is not sleeping well. My other friends are now as thrilled with it as I am.

Weissbluth recommends that you start sleep-training between about 4-6 months. I started at 6 months, but if I have another child, I may start at four months. This book is INVALUABLE and if you are consistent you will see immediate results. My son sleeps, on average, thirteen hours a night, and takes three naps a day. Weissbluth also tells you what your child's sleep looks like as they get older and he prepares you for all eventualities. For instance, my baby is 9 months and has essentially dropped his third nap now, just as I was told he would. Also, Weissbluth says that by nine months, your child shouldn't be waking at night, even for a feeding. This is assuming a good eight hour sleep, though, so I don't feel guilty when I do one feeding now, since my son is sleeping thirteen hours, as long as the feeding doesn't come before his eight hours.

All in all, a GREAT BOOK that I would highly recommend to anyone with a baby who is in dire need of some sleep. It is crammed with facts, studies and stories and some of the reading is pretty dense with information, but you won't be sorry you read it. You will feel like you are in on the biggest secret in the world, once you've read it. You'll have the keys to the kingdom.

This is the best book I have read thus far, because it really works.
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on August 1, 2017
I have a 1 year old son, and I credit this book for my sanity and his great sleep. We started implementing Dr. Weissbluth's tips from day 1, and they became especially helpful at 6 weeks old when we started sleep training. Our baby started sleeping 6-6 with a few wakeups at 8 weeks, and stopping waking up at all at 6 months when I stopped breastfeeding.

He still takes 2 90 minute naps at 1 year old, and is not a kid who likes sleep - he is social and constantly wants to be around people. I tell all my expecting friends this is the only book worth reading about newborn care.
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on July 12, 2016
This book was everything it promised to be. Originally we were against the CIO method, but after trying everything else, we finally decided to give it a try. It wasn't easy, but just as the book promised, it only took 3 nights and the whole family was sleeping peacefully. 3 years later, we still have a fantastic sleeper who will eagerly put herself to sleep!
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on July 4, 2017
I don't know how this book has so many 5 star reviews because the 500 PAGE book doesn't even tell you how to get your child to sleep through the night. It just cites pages and pages of studies, statistics, the effects of sleep deprivation, etc. and doesn't tell you in any straight-forward fashion how to FIX the the sleep problem. In NO way is it a "step-by-step" guide. Where are the steps? Hidden among the rambling text of statistics and graphs, the author sort of implies ways to get your child to sleep longer. However, these little treasures of actual useful information aren't in any linear order. Are these the "steps"? Who knows. Don't buy the book, and just look for the cliff notes version online.
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on February 17, 2016
This is one of the "perhaps" three books you need as a new parent. I cannot express how helpful this book has been in my life to understand the importance of healthy sleeping habits, of reading my child and attending his needs when he's tired, etc. The book can seem overwhelming at times because it expresses how strict one must be regarding sleeping times, nap times, their needs, how they must learn to self-soothe, how parents must learn to let them learn these skills even if they do cry sometimes. But it is a good guide. I personally think it is impossible to have a baby on a PERFECT schedule. He's on daycare now and it's hard to control the situation, which makes me feel horrible. BUT I know what he needs, I know he has to go to bed as soon as we get home, I know that weekends are GOLD because that's when I can control a bit more the situation. Yes, maybe I don't go out as much and guard his nap needs like a crazy person but it's just for a little while. I'm sure he'll grow into a happier child that way. Excellent book!
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