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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars This has helped my son (and us) so much!
My son was born 3 weeks early, and also was extremely fussy/colicky. The first 3.5 months were very rough, as he had so much trouble getting to sleep and staying asleep (which I now know is part of the colic) and cried for hours every night (so did I!). My pediatrician recommended this book to me and said "this is THE book on a child's sleep - don't pay attention to...
Published on July 13 2004 by Amazon Customer

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14 of 15 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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14 of 15 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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117 of 134 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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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars very poorly written/edited, Dec 29 2011
This review is from: Healthy Sleep Habits, Happy Child (Paperback)
This book was recommended to me, but unfortunately I found it so poorly written and edited that I have given up trying to read it.

The text is repetitive and poorly organized. The following are examples of the poor editing:
1) The section titles were innacurate. For example, on p. 76 the title is "Breast-feeding versus bottle-feeding and family bed versus crib." This is followed by two-thirds of a page on how to tell if your baby has colic, which obviously should have been in a section titled, "how to tell if your baby has colic."
2) The author gives contradictory advice -- e.g. using textboxes and bold font to state, "never wake a sleeping baby" e.g. on p. 52 and 108. However on p. 106 he states "if naps are too long...you might have to wake him ... in order to maintain the timeliness of the sleep rhythm at night" and on p. 103-104 "Practice scheduled awakening..." and "Control the wake-up time." If the textboxes aren't meant to be absolutes, perhaps it would have been helpful to soften the language somewhat...
3) I also found that the example stories, while perhaps interesting, were often not representative of the problem/solution he was trying to illustrate.

Although this is apparently the 3rd edition of the book, I think a more thorough edit should have happened before it was published. Despite reading more than 200 pages, I'm still not entirely sure what the Dr. recommends as best practice.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars This has helped my son (and us) so much!, July 13 2004
By 
Amazon Customer "eadlklausing" (Richardson, TX United States) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Healthy Sleep Habits, Happy Child (Paperback)
My son was born 3 weeks early, and also was extremely fussy/colicky. The first 3.5 months were very rough, as he had so much trouble getting to sleep and staying asleep (which I now know is part of the colic) and cried for hours every night (so did I!). My pediatrician recommended this book to me and said "this is THE book on a child's sleep - don't pay attention to anything else". Well, I read the first section all about healthy sleep, and then turned to the section that is age specific. He explains so much about healthy sleep, and explains some different ways to get them to sleep through the night, and nap well. Two weeks before I started back to work again (he was 4 mo.) I began Dr. Weissbluth's program to get him to sleep through the night. It was tough, because I chose the extinction method (which is allowing him to cry and not respond) so emotionally I had a hard time with that for the first week. After 2 weeks, he was sleeping through the night, with minimal crying when I put him down. What he explains is that we are allowing some crying for the greater good, which is that your child must learn to go to sleep & stay asleep on his own. The end goal is good sleep and rest for the child AND the rest of the family. This is just the first of MANY times that I did what I knew was best for him, even if he didn't like it! (My child still didn't nap well until 7 mo., but that's common too with babies who've been colicky). Now he's 7.5 months, and a HAPPY, affectionate, responsive, inquisitive little guy, and we are ALL much more rested. BUY THIS BOOK! I've given it as gifts to 3 people already and am buying more.
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32 of 37 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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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Wish I had read this book earlier, July 13 2009
By 
D. Sun (Toronto, Canada) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Healthy Sleep Habits, Happy Child (Paperback)
My son was four months old when I purchased this book. Bed time was always a battle and he would cry bloody murder whenever we put him to bed at night. Even when we rocked him, he'd scream and cry anyway. I would cry with him and got so depressed. Finally we decided enough is enough. He needed to learn how to fall asleep on his own.

We followed the book. The first couple of days were horrible: I was crying outside his room along with him. Then miracle happened: he just started playing by himself for 5 to 10 minutes and he fell asleep on his own!! The odd time he would cry a bit longer, but most of the time he goes to bed without fight. We are so much happier and we got time as a couple at night. This book saved my baby and our marriage!
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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
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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21 of 25 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Cruel and Unsafe, Aug. 4 2000
By A Customer
This review is from: Healthy Sleep Habits, Happy Child (Paperback)
The whole philosophy of the book is that children's need for sleep takes precedence over all other needs of the child: need for security, (Maslow), need to develop trust (Erickson), and other basic needs like breastmilk and water.
Weissbluth's definition of a sleep problem is when the child not sleeping becomes a problem for the parent. His solution is that up to four months, parents should meet the babies' needs for cuddles, feeding, etc. After four months, he advocates letting the baby cry it out for however long it takes until the baby stops crying and goes to sleep. The parents are not to check on the baby or pat it's back or talk. When asked "How long should I let my baby cry?", he replies, "to establish regular naps, and consolidated sleep overnight, there is no time limit." p.134 "We are leaving the baby alone to forget the expection to be picked up."
The most offensive part of the book in on page 157 in the 4 month to 12 month age, where he replies to a mother whose baby is so upset, she vomits: "If the vomiting always occurs, I think you will want to always go in to clean her promptly and then leave her again. 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."
The parents are not to check to see if the baby choked? They are advised to make her fall asleep in her vomit? What if her body is dangling from the crib slats? What if she has a tummyache, or is hungry or has a thread wrapped around her toe? The parents are just supposed to ignore it until she gives up sobbing in desparation?
Weissbluth also makes statements in the book that are not backed by studies:
Letting a baby cry for hours on end without soothing, reassuring, or picking up, does no emotional damage in the long term.
Kids become independent by being ignored and learning to meet their own needs by self soothing, rahter then by being nurtured ny parents and having their needs met quickly.
Kids that demand more emotional/social time with parents are called "bratty".
Temperment can be changed by sleep increases. A child's behaviour is not linked to temperment, but is linked to the amount of rest they get.
Parents have ultimate *control* over their child's sleep. They are not just facilitators of sleep, but can make their children go to sleep.
Breastmilk and formula are just as satiating because of the similar calorie count. (He discounts that breastmilk is easier to digest and therefore breastfed babies can be hungrier through the night. )
Adults who are addicted to their lovers, probably had Mothers who couldn't allow them to separate, self soothe, or grow. p.236
A nine month old baby has the cognitive ability to "stick it to his Mother" and planned out ways to manipulate her. p.218
Infants that have every need met are left with "undischarged aggression". The infant is robbed of desire because his every need is anticipated and met before being experienced. p.78
"Two and a half hours of crying is normal during a sleep training program. " (The baby is two months old.) P. 97 to 99
The need for attention and soothing at night is not a need, but a want, like the desire for candy. p. 164
This book is not only cruel but dangerous. A parent who can ignore her babies crys in the midst of vomit for hours on end, is not going to be a nurturing, responsive parent during the day. The need for attention, food, soothing, cuddles and security are basic needs of babies and children. Sleep is also a need. As a responsible parent you can find ways to give your child both.
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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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