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Sleeping with Your Baby: A Parent's Guide to Cosleeping [Paperback]

James J. McKenna
4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
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Book Description

May 15 2007
Sleeping With Your Baby: A Parent's Guide is your guide to understanding how to make nighttimes with your baby safe, fun and relaxing! Written by James McKenna, the world's authority on co-sleeping.

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Sleeping with Your Baby: A Parent's Guide to Cosleeping + The No-Cry Sleep Solution: Gentle Ways to Help Your Baby Sleep Through the Night
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Inside This Book (Learn More)
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Front Cover | Copyright | Table of Contents | Excerpt | Index
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Customer Reviews

4.2 out of 5 stars
4.2 out of 5 stars
Most helpful customer reviews
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
This book is useful in that it explains how to safely cosleep with your baby. One of our big questions remained unanswered: how to cosleep with a very active and mobile baby (trying to crawl/roll off the bed). I thought that this out of all books would explore this, not so. The author is more focused on defending the practice of cosleeping - most people purchasing the book are already on board, so it is a bit redundant. If you can borrow this book from a library, do.
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By Sylvain
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
This book will mainly convince you to do cosleeping, and maybe even bed-sharing. You will find explanation on how you can do it safely too. If you like to know everything about it before you do it, you may need some more resource on all the possibilities and cases of co-sleeping and bed-sharing to feel more prepared :D
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5.0 out of 5 stars The real scoop on bedsharing and cosleeping Jan. 7 2013
By Mrs Bee
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Dr. McKenna began researching shared sleep, mothers and babies sleeping together, out of idle curiosity. After a few years of sleep research, he became convinced that the physiologically normal place for breastfed babies to sleep was next to their mothers, in a safe sleep environment. Find out what the safe sleeping guidelines are, and how you can modify those to keep your baby near you at night, to safely fit your family situation. (For example, formula fed babies should not bedshare, but sleeping in the parents' room in a separate crib is a safer sleep environment during the first 6 months of life, than sleeping in a separate room.)
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5.0 out of 5 stars A must guide for cosleeping parents March 15 2012
By vicki
I purchased this book after many long nights trying to soothe my son to sleep in his own bed. One night I decided to bring him to our bed and he slept wonderfully. Dr. McKenna is the expert on cosleeping and I wanted to make sure that if we are bedsharing that we do it safely. Dr. McKenna uses evidence to show that cosleeping can be safe. The rules are lined out very clearly (breastfeeding, firm mattress, no alcohol/drugs, light blanket). He also provided pictures to show safe and unsafe sleeping situations. There is information about cosleeping products. I feel this book is a must have for anyone considering cosleeping or bedsharing.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 4.3 out of 5 stars  45 reviews
63 of 67 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Ultimate Guide to Cosleeping With Your Baby June 25 2007
By Ann Douglas - Published on
In the preface to this book, attachment parenting guru William Sears, MD, author of The Baby Sleep Book: The Complete Guide to a Good Night's Rest for the Whole Family (Sears Parenting Library), identifies James J. McKenna, PhD, as the leading authority on co-sleeping -- and for good reason. Through his work as the director of the Mother-Baby Behavioral Sleep Laboratory at the University of Notre Dame and through countless studies published in collaboration with researchers around the world, McKenna has established a highly specialized niche, mastering the knowledge of the science and anthropology of co-sleeping.

Back when I was writing my own sleep book a year ago -- Sleep Solutions for Your Baby, Toddler and Preschooler: The Ultimate No-Worry Approach for Each Age and Stage (Mother of All Solutions) -- I noted that what co-sleeping parents really needed was some sort of guide to safe -- or safer -- co-sleeping: a book that summarized all the best evidence on safe sleeping (as applied to various co-sleeping arrangments) and presented this information in a clear and practical way. In writing Sleeping with Your Baby: A Parent's Guide to Cosleeping, McKenna has written just such a book.

Providing photos that clearly illustrate the dangers of entrapment and that caution parents against other situations that would make bedsharing a poor choice (e.g., if one or both parents is significantly obese, if the parents smoke or if the mother smoked during pregnancy, if one or both parents have consumed alcohol, if the sleeping surface is not suitable for bedsharing, if pets or older children share the bed, etc.), McKenna clearly maps out the do's and don'ts of cosleeping. He also explains that there's a difference between bedsharing (sharing a bed) and cosleeping (sleeping with your baby in close proximity to you). He stresses that it's important to specify the nature of the cosleeping arrangement when we're talking about cosleeping so that we don't muddy the waters further on this already controversial issue. "There is no one right way to cosleep, nor does cosleeping occur in one correct configuration. While some ways of cosleeping are safer than other ways, some are not safe at all," he notes.

Common myths about cosleeping are also addressed (e.g., cosleeping always means bedsharing, you won't sleep well if you're cosleeping, forget about romance if you're cosleeping, that baby will never leave your bed if you're cosleeping).

Appendices provide details about other helpful products that may be of interest to parents who choose to cosleep. There are also exhaustive references, for anyone who wishes to do further research into cosleeping.

Another noteworthy feature is the book's introduction -- written by Meredith Small, author of Our Babies, Ourselves: How Biology and Culture Shape the Way We Parent. Small writes: "The accepted norm in Western culture is singular sleep for babies; this is what the pediatricians recommend and what the grandparents expect. And so cosleeping has become a revolutionary act. But parents who choose to cosleep with their babies don't feel like revolutionaries, they just want to stay close to their babies. Thank goodness we have Jim to reassure cosleeping families that their choice is normal and natural, no matter what the culture says."

The book is easy to read and it is respectful of parents every step of the way. If you're thinking of cosleeping -- or if you suspect that you could end up carring your baby back to bed on occasion in a desperate quest for sleep, even if your baby will be sleeping someplace else most of the time -- you should read this book.
30 of 31 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Thank You Dr McKenna March 26 2007
By Doreen - Published on
My son is 3 years old now, and an excellent sleeper. In his own bed, and sometimes with me in his bed. Bedtime is a happy time for us, and is initiated by my son 99% of the time.

Three years ago I read everything I could get my hands on by Dr. McKenna. His website and various articles and letters gave me alot of confidence that what I was doing was perfectly normal and natural (I was only making the mistake of telling everyone what I was doing Ha!)

I am very happy that he has put this book out. Co-sleeping when done with forethought to the safety of the environment, and done by a healthy, sober, rational mother is very safe. It also helps the breastfeeding mother rest and continue the breastfeeding relationship.

Thank you again!
28 of 30 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Parent's Dream Come True! March 20 2007
By Ann F. Grauer - Published on
James McKenna has given parents a true gift with his book "Sleeping With Your Baby". He has given us the gift of peace of mind.

Up until now parents have been confused as to whether or not they could or should sleep with their babies. Is it safe? Is it dangerous psychologically? Will you create a "bad habit" by doing so? The well-meaning comments of family and friends, as well as the confusing information in newspapers and the media about this topic have only made parents feel guilty if they do cosleep.

Dr. McKenna is a leading researcher in the field of maternal-infant sleep. But don't let that scare you---this is not a dry science book. It is written with wit, warmth, kindness and is straight to the point: all sleeping must be done safely, whether done in a crib or a parent's bed. He explains the biological need of human beings to be close at night and helps us to understand how we can integrate this into our own lives. And he does so with science supporting his stance and without judgment regarding the choices of parents.

Thank you, Dr. McKenna, for this gift! I will be recommending this book to new parents and I will be giving it to expectant families. I have a feeling parents everywhere will sleep a little easier after reading your lovely, intelligent and helpful book. And I'll sleep a little easier knowing that I have shared it with them.
21 of 23 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Easy to Read and PACKED with Information Aug. 28 2008
By S. Lancaster - Published on
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
If you have ever wondered why billion of babies around the world have survived eons of human history sleeping with their parents when it's obviously so dangerous, this is the book for you. If you cosleep with your baby, and your family is completely ballistic over it, this the is book for you (and them). If you are stumbling through the early days of parenting wondering why your baby screams bloody murder every time you lay him in his beautifully decorated nursery, this is the book for you. If you occasionally take your baby back to bed with you in a desperate bid for sleep, then feel horribly guilty in the morning, this is the book for you. This book is smart, easy to read and packed from front to back with scientifically validated information.

This book is an incredibly easy read. I believe it's about ninety pages long, so even a sleep-deprived parent or a recalcitrant partner can read it quickly. Within those pages is a huge amount of information. Rather than expousing his pet theories, McKenna brings in the research, and lots of it. Nevertheless, he keeps his book accessible and easy to read. I was never overwhelmed by the technobabble that occasionally accompanies quotations of scientific research. McKenna doesn't tell you what is best for your baby. He doesn't tell you where your child has to sleep. He offers many different options and leaves it to each family to decide what works best for them. For each option, he also offers information about when it would not be safe. After reading this book, I felt validated in most of the sleeping choices our family has made. I also realized that one of them was extrememly dangerous - falling asleep with our baby on the couch. Finally, Dr. McKenna's credentials are impeccable, and much more reliable than the Juvenile Products Commission, who are lobbyists for crib-makers. (No mixed interests there!) He runs the only mother-infant sleep lab in the country that actually studies mothers and infants during sleep. He also has some great information in there about SIDS.

This book is wonderful. It offers a wide-range of choices without the judgement that one finds in so many other parenting books, magazines, websites. McKenna obviously believes that babies belong near their parents, but he never claims that there is a one-sized-fits-all model for sleep. Rather than insulting our intelligence by attempting to persuade us to follow his plan, he offers options, explains which situations they are appropriate in and which they are not, and then leaves it to each family to make its own choices. All of this is wrapped up in an easy-to-read, very accessible package, which is especially appropriate for sleep-deprived parents and well-meaning in-laws.

Happy sleeping,
10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars excellent book May 13 2007
By Carole E. Peterson - Published on
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
As always, excellent information from an excellent researcher, Dr. Mc Kenna. This book makes the information available and understandable for parents as they work through the conflicting statements on this topic.
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