Most helpful critical review
amending my earlier 5 star review
on May 14, 2001
In September I gave this book 5 stars. At that time, it WAS a big help - our son cried basically all the time, and reading this made me feel better.
HOWEVER...as time went on, things did not get much better. The colic, or whatever it was, didn't go away. "Parenting" our baby to sleep was becoming more and more difficult - an hour of rocking, only to have him wake up screaming 10 minutes later. Co-sleeping was a complete joke with this kid. But Dr. Sears puts the fear of God into you about sleep training, warning that it will ruin your baby. DON'T LISTEN TO HIM. Finally at about five months, we did Ferber because our son was waking up all night and would never nap.
And you know what? I don't have a fussy, high-need baby at all. I had a TIRED baby, tired from three months of colic where he probably only slept about 9 or 10 hours a day, instead of 15 or 16. If I had not decided to ignore Dr. Sears's sleeping "advice," I would still have a high-need baby. Our son still trusts us and is about a million times happier now that he can play and be interested in things, instead of just sitting there and crying because he's so tired.
So get what you can from this book, but I would be willing to guess that for many kids, being a fussy baby is a self-fulfilling prophecy if the parent follows Dr. Sears to the letter. Also, his advice is very breastfeeding-centered, so if you're not nursing you may get less out of it.