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Baby Sleep Book, The Paperback – Oct 26 2005

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Baby Sleep Book, The + The No-Cry Sleep Solution: Gentle Ways to Help Your Baby Sleep Through the Night + The Baby Book, Revised Edition: Everything You Need to Know About Your Baby from Birth to Age Two
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 288 pages
  • Publisher: Word Alive; 1 edition (Oct. 26 2005)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0316107719
  • ISBN-13: 978-0316107716
  • Product Dimensions: 19 x 1.9 x 23.5 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 431 g
  • Average Customer Review: 3.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #59,968 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description


Praise for The Baby Book: 'Encyclopaedic, clear, modern and engaging... Among the best parenting books out there.' Junior --This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.

About the Author

William Sears, M.D, and Martha Sears, R.N., are the paediatric experts on whom American parents rely for advice on all aspects of pregnancy, birth, childcare, and family nutrition. Dr. Sears was trained at Harvard Medical School's Children's Hospital and has practices paediatrics for more than thirty years. Martha Sears is a registered nurse, certified childbirth educator, and breast feeding consultant. --This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.

Inside This Book

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Customer Reviews

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By Milonga on Jan. 29 2015
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I loved the Baby Book by Dr. Sears, but this book didn't work for me at all. Their "method" for putting baby to sleep is just common sense suggestions, no real method there. The book has interesting facts but is completely useless if you're looking to put baby to sleep.
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Shelly Belly on Sept. 8 2013
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Very Enlightening book about baby sleep, realistic expectations, the biology behind the baby sleeping. Try your best, but be aware of the reality of baby sleep maturity.
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2 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Hoopty Frood on Jan. 30 2007
Format: Paperback
This is a decent starter book if you're looking for information on helping your little one sleep better. I appreciated the list of sleep associations for getting a routine set up for the baby. Through the exercise of tracking my son's sleeping times, I realized that we were, indeed, already on a sort of consistent schedule. That helped me to feel much better about the situation.

In the end, however, I still feel that there is something missing, that the pages were too simplistic. Ultimately, I'd say this is a good starting point to help you get a sense of direction, but not a final solution.
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5 of 10 people found the following review helpful By Reader on April 26 2006
Format: Paperback
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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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 69 reviews
163 of 172 people found the following review helpful
Sleep, Baby, Sleep Nov. 25 2005
By Lit_Goddess - Published on
Format: Paperback
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.
100 of 108 people found the following review helpful
Good Sears primer Oct. 14 2005
By Catz - Published on
Format: Paperback
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.
170 of 203 people found the following review helpful
My take on cry it out vs. other methods July 31 2009
By Anonymous - Published on
Format: 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).
22 of 24 people found the following review helpful
So glad I found this book when I did! Nov. 21 2008
By Mama Bean - Published on
Format: 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.
28 of 33 people found the following review helpful
Finally some useful answers Nov. 1 2005
By Sleepless Mom - Published on
Format: Paperback
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!!!