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30 of 32 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Healthy Sleep Habits, Happy Child
I consider this book to be the "bible" for sleep-deprived parents. It gives you all the background info you need to understand children's sleep problems and how to fix them. I would not hesitate to recommend it to anyone with a child who is not sleeping well.
However, be prepared for a long, cumbersome read. Like many other reviewers have stated, this book needs...
Published on Jan. 20 2006 by C. Da Roza

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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Not exactly the kinder, gentler approach to sleep
While Dr. Weissbluth had some good tips (e.g., take a child outside in the a.m. to reset the circadian rhythm; have them nap before overtired), I disagree on certain points.
First, I believe that letting a child cry to sleep and then, even after the child throws up, letting him or her sleep in her own vomit (after briefly ascertaining that the child is alive) is...
Published on June 4 2004 by nicolebeth


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30 of 32 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Healthy Sleep Habits, Happy Child, Jan. 20 2006
By 
C. Da Roza (Vancouver, BC) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Healthy Sleep Habits, Happy Child (Paperback)
I consider this book to be the "bible" for sleep-deprived parents. It gives you all the background info you need to understand children's sleep problems and how to fix them. I would not hesitate to recommend it to anyone with a child who is not sleeping well.
However, be prepared for a long, cumbersome read. Like many other reviewers have stated, this book needs some good editing. It is difficult to understand in parts, contradictory at times, and just an overall boring read! Difficult to get through the whole thing when you're a tired mom!
Despite all that, I'd still consider the book worth buying. But for those of you who just want to get to the facts and solutions, and only have a couple of hours to spend reading, there is an even better book out there. It's called the Sleep Sense Program, by Dana Obleman. You can order it at w[...]
We were following Healthy Sleep Habits to the letter, but our son was still not sleeping through the night consistently. When we came across Sleep Sense, we quickly ordered the book and devoured it. We found that Dana's techniques were very similar to Mark Weissbluth's. The difference we found in Dana's book was removing the soother from our son's bedtime routine. As soon as we did that, no more night wakings!
If you have to pick one book, I'd pick Sleep Sense for its quick, no-nonsense read, easy to implement, effective tips as well as the extras it comes with (workbook, electronic sleep log and audio interview with Dana). But if you really want to get in-depth and truly understand how children sleep, what causes sleep problems, different types of sleep problems and how to fix them - Healthy Sleep Habits is the book for you. Personally, I'm glad I have both, and refer back to them whenever my son enters a new sleep pattern.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Not exactly the kinder, gentler approach to sleep, June 4 2004
By 
nicolebeth (Massachusetts) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Healthy Sleep Habits, Happy Child (Paperback)
While Dr. Weissbluth had some good tips (e.g., take a child outside in the a.m. to reset the circadian rhythm; have them nap before overtired), I disagree on certain points.
First, I believe that letting a child cry to sleep and then, even after the child throws up, letting him or her sleep in her own vomit (after briefly ascertaining that the child is alive) is cruel. That's taking the claim that children are manipulative way too far. Secondly, my child has had pain from teething; she sleeps well when not teething and wakes at night when she is teething. If this is my invention to excuse her poor sleeping, why does she only sleep fitfully when teething? And, why does teething bother her during the day? Finally, I think letting a child fall asleep standing up in the crib crying is also cruel.
Again, I feel there are some good facts regarding sleep as well as some good tips. Once the book began discussing leaving a child to cry, and going to such extremes as to letting a child sleep in vomit, it lost me.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Must Read !!! Start with these strategies right away !!, July 16 2004
By 
This review is from: Healthy Sleep Habits, Happy Child (Paperback)
I bought this book when my little one was 4 months old. It saved her and us. I only wish I had read the book while I was pregnant. I have since given this book to 3 friends when they had newborns (including twins) and they all followed Dr. Weissbluth's advice and we all have the BEST sleepers. My firends were lucky though to have avoided all the heartache we had after only 4 months of bad habits.
Dr. Weissbluth is very respectful of parents having different theories and approaches to parenting. He helps you implement healthy sleep habits for children of all ages no matter what your parenting style is.
The anecdotes are helpful in making you realise you are not alone and these are not just theories someone made up in someone's office.
We have even avoided common pitfalls when babies go through teething, vaccines, colds etc.
The book is written in a respectful caring way. You can trust this Dr.'s experience.
This book is relevant for all familes with babies you and old.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Save your money, here's a summary of this book, Nov. 13 2003
By 
Gwendelen A. Lippitt (Albany, NY United States) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Healthy Sleep Habits, Happy Child (Paperback)
About a month ago, my 10 month old baby had a cold, and I felt so bad that I started bringing her into bed with us so I could keep close tabs on her.  Unfortunately, after she started feeling better, she was entirely unwilling to go back to her own bed.  So I bought "Healthy Sleep Habits, Happy Child."  Boy, for anyone who is having trouble nodding off, its a great book, put Me right to sleep!  His 400 pages could basically be condensed down to a twenty page pamphlet, and those 20 pages could be summarized as:  Put your baby to bed earlier and let her cry it out.
With the attachment parenting trend seeming to dominate every popular parenting magazine, I had started to feel as if someone would call child protective services if my baby every cried.  Or that I would do some type of permanent damage to her self confidence and our relationship.  But at the same time, I basically knew that by leaping at every little squeak she made, I was teaching her to cry every time things didn't go exactly her way.  She wasn't getting enough sleep and neither was I.
So, absolutely feeling sick to my stomach, I put her to bed an hour early and shut the door.  She cried very hard for about 20 minutes and I couldn't stand it.  I was so upset myself I went in and rubbed her back a little, and she fell promptly asleep.  For the next two hours she stirred a little, but never really woke up.  Then she slept the entire night, In her Own Bed!  She even slept an hour later than she normally had been.
Now, this one night of sound sleep would have been well worth the $15 I spent on the book, if my husband and I had actually slept.  In the month that she had been in our bed, we had gotten so accustomed to her being there, that we both kept waking up all night looking for her.
Since then, we are all sleeping better.  She definitely complains at nap and bed time, but only for a couple of minutes.  And her crying is very clearly annoyed protesting rather than sounding as if she is seriously upset or has a problem.  She is sleeping longer both at night and at nap time.  During the day, she is much more able to entertain herself.  She had been taking two, or sometimes three naps a day, but they were only half an hour long.  And when she was awake, she needed constant entertainment.  I couldn't do anything other than be with her.  Now I have time to write and long reviews of parenting books!
I realize that this has been basically a review of the method and not the book. Obviosly, the method has worked for us. And what it basically boils down to is, your child crying is not a terrible thing. You need to remember that you are the parent, and if you decide that it is time for a nap, then its time for a nap, not a debate.
Regarding the book, it is clearly very well researched, but excessivly long. The information is very repetative and not terribly well organized. However, if you are willing to wade through testimonials praising the doctor and read the same piece of information over and over again, there are some usful sections. For instance, the book suggest concrete times you should target to put your child to sleep along with averages for how long most children sleep at specific ages. And while ou might get tired of all the quotes from parents tooting the doctors horn, they did help me find the courage to let her cry and not think that I was the worlds worst parent.
So should you buy the book, probably not. If you are reading this book because your older baby is struggling with sleep, than you probably know its because you have been a bit of a pushover. Toughen up, put the music on so the wails don't break your resolve, and send me the $15.
Best of luck, things got enormously better for us in 2-3 days.
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113 of 129 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Scientifically correct....but harsh to put into practice, Nov. 5 2003
By A Customer
This review is from: Healthy Sleep Habits, Happy Child (Paperback)
While the doctor is a specialist in the area of sleep the book fails to appreciate that babies are people with feelings.
To give you an understanding of what I mean here are a few EXACT quotes.
Page 177 "Use thick layers of zinc oxide paste in the diaper region so that no rash will develop when you do not go to your baby at night to change diapers."
How long to let your baby cry? Page 159 for naps "no more than one hour" for bedtime "there is no time limit at night if the child is not hungry or ill"
Why do you let him cry? Page 159 "We are leaving him alone to forget the expectation to be picked up."
To answer "Isn't crying harmful" he says: "Not necessarily." "When a child cries she may more quickly unlearn to expect to be picked up."
And if your baby cries so hard she vomits? Page 176 "If the vomiting is irregular and occasional you should try waiting until after you think she is deeply asleep before checking, and then quickly clean her if needed."
(Wait until she's ASLEEP before checking? Clean her IF NEEDED?)
In response to a parent who says she wants to respond to her crying baby at night, Page 178 "Letting your baby cry is not doing nothing. You are activily encouraging the development of independence" He then says you may not want to hear your baby cry because you have Page 179 "Working mother's guilt. You may feel guilty about being away from your child so much."
What if your baby climbs out of the crib? Page 193 "A crib tent will prevent your child from getting out of the crib, and it allows you to remove yourself from his protest crying" And if you don't want to use a crib tent because he says "some parents feel that the crib tent locks their child in the crib like an animal caged in the zoo" then "lock the door instead."
To keep a 3 year old from getting up too early in the morning "Place a digital clock in her room and set the alarm for 6 or 7" "You do not respond to her cries before this wake-up time."
Enough said. Not only are the ideas harsh and the grammer terrible, I much prefer the sensitive approach in The No-Cry Sleep Solution by Elizabeth Pantley where you don't have to deal with vomiting, crying or crib tents.
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Not terribly useful, July 14 2004
By A Customer
This review is from: Healthy Sleep Habits, Happy Child (Paperback)
I would have to agree with the reviewers who found this book largely baffling and filled with contradictory advice as well as all of the reviewers who noted how terribly written this book is. It does offer useful information on helping your child to nap but also offers contradictory advice in differing sections (sometimes it says checking on your child won't work, elsewhere it says that checking on your child can be fine) and buries key information in chapters that are not relevant (such as the tip that children under 4 months are getting enough sleep if left to their own devices and the even more key point that one should not try to let a 4 month old cry it out). It also repeats tedious, useless phrases far too frequently (it's not logical, but it is biological). I think this book is most useful if either your child already is an easy sleeper and so the suggestions are easy to implement, or if your child is older and its sleep is a disaster and you're desparate for help. Also, the book focuses far too much on disfunction and relies on far too many first person accounts that are not really relevant and are very repetitive.
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Weissbluth's approach is calloused and barbaric, Feb. 15 2003
By 
SillySAHM (Kokomo, IN United States) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Healthy Sleep Habits, Happy Child (Paperback)
I read this, every word. I couldn't believe some of the things Weissbluth was suggesting. At one point, he advocated leaving a baby alone after he had vomited: Don't clean him up, just leave him be. Basically he said leave your child alone to scream as long as it takes. It makes me sick just thinking about it. I would have given this less than a one star rating, but it isn't possible.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Our sleep bible!!, Feb. 15 2009
It has become our bible!, Feb 15 2009
By Masae N - See all my reviews

At 8 months old, our little girl was waking up 3,4 times a night between
9pm and 7am. I was breatfeeling also. My husband and I were exhausted,
wondering why our daughter has not slept through the night, desperately
wishing to sleep just 5,6 hours straight!!! And I bought this book.
I did not think i will have time to read,,, but you know, when
we are desperate, we can make time and how glad I did.

It changed our lives! This book not only provided us the method to
correct problems, but also the valuable basic information on child's sleep
and the importance of consolidated sleeps.

It took me 2 days to read the whole book, discussed with my husband,
and it took us 2 nights to solve our months long problems!!

Our girl is almost 2 years old.
She is sleeping 12 hours a night, straight!
Never once, fussed or cried about going to bed, day or night
since we met this book.
She even asks me to be put to bed when she is tired!!!!!
All my friends get surprised when they notice how easy
it is to put our daughter to bed. (it takes 2,3 minutes)

As she grow, her sleeping pattern has changed, of course,
(2 naps becomes 1.. etc) so with her development, I re-read
the chapters of this book accordingly. It prepared me,
it answered my questions, it gave me back my sleep
and most of all, it made my daughter a happy & well-rested baby!

It is still on my bedside table, I cannot let it go.
I do refer this as our sleep-bible.
Thank you so much...Dr. Weissbluth!!!!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars What would I do without it???, June 30 2004
By A Customer
This review is from: Healthy Sleep Habits, Happy Child (Paperback)
My friend bought the book after her baby was a few months old and she was at her wits end. Now her baby sleeps fomr 6-6!
When I got pregnant she gave me the book. Although it is repetitive and not written very well, it is a Godsend. My baby sleeps from 7-7 every night (he's 3 months old!) with the occasional 3am feed. I did not need to use the crying out because I started very early (at 1 month is was giving him naps in his basinnette) and also, I never let him get overtired so he would never have to cry. As soon as I got the sleepy signs Dr. W talks about, I put him down and he just faded away. The odd time when we missed the 2 hour window we had more problems getting him to nap. Only about 5 minutes of WHINEY crying.
I find that the book has guidlelines ONLY and you shouldnt follow it like a bible. His naps are at 830 12 and 3 not 9-1 and 3 like the book sais. He loves to nap because Ive been on it since he was a wee one. He is now 3 months and almost always sleeps through the night. I didnt use the crying out method because like I said, I didnt wait so long until he cried. I love his nap schedule because I know that I will have time to myself at 820- 12 and 3. Usually at least an hour.
The one BAD thing I find is that I am a slave to his schedule and dont go out much in the days so that he doesnt miss a nap (he wont nap in the stroller). But I have a perfect napper and a well rested giggly, bright boy. I know my cabin fever will be rewarding one day.......
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Great information, but too rigid method, Nov. 2 2003
By 
Y. Chen (Boulder, CO USA) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Healthy Sleep Habits, Happy Child (Paperback)
I got this book from a friend of mine when my daughter was three month old. It helps me to understand her needs for napping, and teach me to learn from my baby. But his plan for older baby just seems to change too dramatically from a caring approach to a convenient (for parents, in my opinion) approach. I tried to let my daughter cry it out for about two three days, and she just change from an happy, quickly-responsed baby to cranky, fussy baby during the day time. She didn't understand why I ignore her needs during the night, and she reflects it when she was with us during the day. I than change my method back to the approach this book gave for younger baby-- listen to your baby. I would not get up and get her when she uses her "I-just-want-attention whimpering", but I would go to her when she starts to cry with "personal emotion". I would try not to pick her up nor nurse her unless she is very upset and hungry. Less than a week after I tried my own method, she started to sleep through the night more or less. She woke up more during some nights with needs than others, but most of the times she sleep from 8pm to 6-7am. Just like us, we sometimes woke up more than most times. I just cannot deny her personal needs when it is there. After all, she IS a helpless human being. Sleeping through the night is very important to her and to me, but it cannot deny the fact that sometimes she feel little ache ness that she has no idea what it is but just hurts, scared and need comfort. I wish this book didn't have such distinct cutoff between its approach for younger and older baby. However, the biological information is very valuable in this book. But as a biologist, I think the author ignore the complicity of human social structure. If human's basic biological need is so important that we can override our emotional needs to biological needs, monogamy would not have ever worked in our society!!
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Healthy Sleep Habits, Happy Child
Healthy Sleep Habits, Happy Child by Marc Weissbluth (Paperback - April 12 1999)
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