on May 25, 2004
This is simply the most helpful sleep book I've ever read. I highly recommend it for anyone who has a newborn baby, or an older baby/child who is having trouble sleeping. The book is very informative, divided into helpful sections, and is easy to read with lots of information without being too simplistic or too weighty.
I got this when my first son (whom I'd been trying to "attachment parent") was 11mo and fought sleep at nighttime for hours on end, and didn't nap during the day. Within a month of following Weissbluth, I had a child who napped two times a day, and slept for 12 hours at night. I cringe to think of how much sleep I shortchanged him in his first year by not knowing the necessity of sleep, and how to best encourage a sleeper. I followed this program from the beginning with my next two children and it worked like a charm with no CIO.
If nothing else, I'd definitely recommend that everyone read the initial section on sleep and the way sleep works. It really is eye-opening and makes so much sense. Now I have three children who go to bed by 7 at night and sleep the whole night through (they are 3 and under). It certainly freed up my evenings, and made for happier children all around. Great book!
on May 20, 2009
SAVED me twice. This book helped me get through sleep problems 4 years ago when my daughter was 6 months old and was night-waking. I have a 3 month old now and I have this book at my bedside. It has certainly helped me remember what to expect from my new little guy as well as remind me how to get him to sleep, when and how long. He is a good sleeper and napper because of it!
on March 11, 2015
I have had two completely different birthing experiences. My first child was born in 2008 with my ex-wife and she is Japanese so she wanted to adopt a more eastern approach to parenting. Co-sleeping. And we also loosely followed the principle of attachment parenting taught by Dr. Sears. I found that experience incredibly difficult, not because of the upfront effort, but because it contributed to outright killing the marriage. She also breastfed and it was a natural childbirth.
Then I remarried and had my latest child in 2013. We did everything opposite -- c-section, formula feeding, never co-slept, and following Weissbluth's techniques. I don't really think many people get to experience such diametrically opposed parenting experiences, so I found it quite an amazing difference. The day we returned from the hospital the baby slept in his crib right from day one. Sure, we fed him often throughout the night during the first few months, and eventually night feedings lessens by 3-6 months. At first we kept his door open and our door open so we can better hear him at night. The sleep training worked like a charm, and I've read some of the other negative reviews here -- talking about babies sleeping in their barf or falling asleep in a standing position because they cried so much. We never experienced that or anything close to that. All babies will vary. During the initial training, our baby cried for 4 painful hours straight. I sent my wife to the gym. On night two, he only cried for 45 minutes, then 20 minutes, and then everything was fairly reasonable. We had the odd blowout, but those also diminished.
Formula feeding is likely unpopular for many, but the advantages aren't often thought through and do contribute to a better sleeping baby. For one, our marriage benefited from that not only for the obvious reasons, but also because I could help by doing some of the night feedings myself -- so wife could sleep. We took turns basically. And while some may say breast pumping counters that, I will say that the effort in breast pumps more than offsets this difference. Breast pumps are a horrible experience -- time consuming in cleaning and pumping, awkward, expensive.The other factor is that formula is much more calorie rich than breast milk -- so babies can last longer between feedings, and that difference is significant. Our baby goes to sleep at 6:30pm every day, and wakes up between 7-8am every day and he's 16 months old now. It's been like this for a little over 10 months now.
Teething and sickness can be an issue at nights, so we'll deal with those appropriately. Tylenol is great for dealing with teething by taking the edge off. We find our baby can sleep better if dosed. And Benedryl for congestion (but only at bedtime). He also got attached to his blanket, and every once in awhile, he'll throw it out of the crib and when he does, he has a very particular cry that is frantic in nature. We know he abandoned his blanket, so we'll go in and give it back. Other than that, sometimes we can hear him playing or making some noises (hoots and squeals).
Another lesson well learned is "sleep begets sleep". While sometimes we will adjust the nap schedules to allow for a day trip or event, we generally pay for it later when the baby becomes a grumpy mess during the 90 minutes leading up to his actual bedtime. We can read the signs well when it's time for nap -- baby rubbing eyes and yawning. Don't miss that window for it only lasts a few minutes. If you are too early or too late, the baby will not nap well. But at 16 months we pretty regularly put him down for naps at 10am and 2pm, even though he wakes at 8am and goes to sleep at 6:30pm. The early bedtime is also good for the marriage as adults have time to spend together. We also feel that nap time doesn't mean the baby is sleeping. He could be quietly rambling around in his crib playing "Game of Stuffed Animals" and making various play noises.
In the end, we have a very happy and healthy baby who can already play independently and seems confident, and that contrasted a lot with my first-born at the same age. And our marriage is stronger and happier as a result. Happy parents, happy baby.
on June 21, 2004
Well.. I came home from the hospital with my precious baby girl and realized that I really knew less about sleep patterns and habits than I had thought. I bought all of the books, "Baby Whisperer", "No Cry Sleep Solution" on and on... they are mostly good books, but I felt that I knew how to soothe my child. I was looking for someone who medically and scientifically understood infant sleep habits and patterns. Weissbluth is the guy! WOW.. Besides the fact that my princess was a night waker from months 2-4.5 and I didn't want to let her CIO, she has always been an amazing sleeper -- mostly due to this book I believe. Even when she was nightwaking, she was still going to bed early around 7:30p and she was still taking 3-4 nice, long naps a day. By 4.5 months of age, my daughter was going to bed at 6p for the night, waking around 7a without waking during the night.. and ALWAYS waking up like pure sunshine, happy as can be. She also takes two naps during the day... her morning nap is over 2 hours most days!
I remember the exhaustion and the desperation, believe me. But if you follow some of Weissbluth's basic rules, you will have at least some success. First, I always started her day at 7a... even if she just ate and went back to sleep at 5a. Then, I followed the rule that she could only be awake for 1.5-2 hours before needing a nap. I learned to trust that I knew what was best for her... and I did it all without CIO. My baby girl is 7.5 months old now, and I get the best compliment there is about her every single day, and that is how happy she is. Well, it's part nature, part nurture, and definitely because she's well rested. (ok, and because she has a great mommy too!)
Please do yourself and your little one a favor and read this book.
on June 20, 2004
We were at our wits end before this book. After consulting our pediatrician for help on why our child would not sleep through the night and would scream til he made himself sick when we'd lay him in his crib, we bought this book with our doctor's recommendation. As I read through this book I learned that all the habits my husband and I had created with our son had created the miserable child he had become. Working full-time during the day and my husband working nights, no one was getting any sleep at all. My husband would nap with him on his chest, I would run errands all day and let him nap in the car. I would rock him to sleep around 8-9pm so we could spend time with him after I was done with work and before my husband left. He would wake up several times a night, screaming and crying in his crib. We didn't know what to do - but we learned from this book that our child was seriously sleep deprived (as were we!) and that his naps were all off scheduled as far as timing them to help him ultimately sleep better at night. I really thought that this would be harder than it turned out to be. I had surrendered to the fact that I was going to have to let him cry awhile (up to an hour) I didn't think I would make but I vowed to try for all our sakes. Being that he had been staying up so late, Dr. Weisbluth recommended an extra early bedtime for at least 4 days to help him catch up on sleep and regulate his schedule -after which it could be moved up 20 mins at a time until we reached the goal time we wanted to set for bed. For us this was 6pm. At 4pm I fed him dinner, bathed him and then gave him his bottle as we rocked in his chair. We he was done I laid him down in his crib and he put his head down. I sat in his chair and waited a while with him. He never tried to get up, he fussed a bit and tossed and turned. When he was distracted and looking the other way I snuck out of the room. He cried for about a minute and a half and then fell asleep. He woke up at 1:30am had a bottle and when right back down to sleep - no fuss at all. He woke up babbling and smiling and so happy! We were amazed!! I'm not kinding when I say that my son screamed until he was sick before I tried this method - please try it, be patient and if need be get a glass of wine to calm your nerve and sit in your laundry room with the dryer on. If you give it a try, I guarantee you will be surprised. These reviews that mention kids being in the family bed, waking up several times a night, etc sounds to me like the parents are being regualted by their children, not the other way around. Good luck and think of your child. You will have a different, happier baby when you are done. We have been successful for a week now - 2 naps a day and only once a night he wakes up to drink. It really works!!!
on June 3, 2004
I spent 5 years working as a technologist in the field of adult sleep medicine. When my first child came along a few months ago, I realized that I had never learned much about children's sleep. I was already pre-disposed against attachment parenting, because I had seen the parents that came in to our sleep clinic with desperate problems resulting from attachment parenting and sharing a family bed.
I read both Ferber's book and Ezzo's "Babywise", and was frustrated by the lack of detailed information on naps, and, in Ezzo's case, the lack of supporting research.
I finally picked up Dr Weissbluth's book and found that it was just what I had been looking for! As other reviewers have said, Dr Weissbluth's approach is very balanced. He gives a lot of background research and tells you what works and WHY it works. His recommendations are based on sleep science, and not opinion.
He discusses the importance of timing, shows you how to recognize the signs of drowsiness when your child is most likely to go to sleep easily, and gives strategies for soothing your child to sleep. His philosophy is that "perfect timing produces no crying". When I first read that, I thought "yeah, right". I have no problem letting my child cry for 10-15 minutes before he goes to sleep, but I had never had him go right to sleep without some crying. I have only been practicing Dr Weissbluth's strategies for a few days, but have already seen that it really does work! When I get the timing right, the baby drifts off to sleep without a wimper, even though he is awake when I put him in the crib.
Whatever your view on letting the baby cry, you will find a strategy in this book that you can live with. Dr Weissbluth gives solutions for a "no cry" approach, a "maybe cry" approach or a "let cry" approach. And he offers two different methods for putting the baby down: whether you want to soothe your baby into a deep sleep before putting him or her down, or you want to put the baby down awake (but drowsy).
He also gives a lot of information on the importance of naps, and detailed instructions on helping your child nap at different stages of development.
The majority of the book is dedicated to sleep in infants, but there are also chapters on pre-school children and schoolchildren & adolescence.
This book is a wealth of information, and I highly recommend it to any parent!
on May 11, 2004
My only problem w/ this book is that I waited to buy it until my baby was 3 months old! You must have this book from the very beginning, before would be better, because if you wait until you have problems, you'll be too tired to read it--but luckily there is an "Action Plan for the Exhausted Parents" at the end of each section.
While reading this book I felt that Dr Weissbluth has a very thorough understanding of children and sleep. He discusses multiple situations and schools of thought and presents more than one solution so that parents can do what they feel is best, which is what parents are meant to do. And since babies aren't the only ones that have trouble sleeping, it includes age specific sections for ages 0-18.
So for the last 7 months that I have been consulting this book I have one of the happiest and easiest babies in the world--and I'm not just saying that; everyone that meets her comments on and is amazed by how happy and good natured she is. (And she wasnt' just born that way either; before this book she was extremely collicky--crying all day and much of the night--and I was an emtional, fatigued wreck.)
on May 8, 2004
Before my daughter was born my husband and I were completely sold on the Sears night-time parenting philosophy. Well, after seven months of sticking to that method, not only were we exhausted but our baby was too. She had no schedule, fussed constantly, rarely napped, and had extreme difficulty sleeping at night. We found Dr. Weissbluth's book and bought it out of sheer desperation. After reading it and implementing the methods suggested we threw out our Sears book--never to look at it again. A couple of weeks ago my husband and I were actually able to watch a movie together before midnight! Imagine that! Of course children are time consuming and they need lots of love and devotion, but they also need lots of sleep; they are constantly growing. This book helps you to teach your children how to sleep, and how to set healthy limits. I am ecstactic to say that it's been a month since we read the book and our daughter now takes two naps a day, is rarely fussy, the bags undernealth her eyes have disapeared, and she sleeps through the night most nights.
I highly recommend this book. This is by far the best book on not just sleeping habits, but on parenting in general that we've read and implemented.
on May 1, 2004
My 15-month-old twins still weren't sleeping through the night, wouldn't go back to sleep unless in my arms, and were cranky all the time. I was desperate for rest and a full night in my own bed when a friend bought me this book. Imagine my surprise to discover it was written by their new pediatrician. I found the quick-read Action Plans helpful to start with in my sleep-deprived state and made immediate changes from the tips there. Once I read a few chapters, I found out I was doing everything wrong, from keeping them up until they passed out from exhaustion every night, to letting them fall asleep in my arms for every nap. All the statistics and data Dr. Weissbluth included from his research helped me realize how sleep-deprived my poor boys were. Plus the bold, boxed-in Practical Points, hints and warnings were great for quick reference later. I thought the book was a terrific teacher and learned more than just techniques. It educated me about the whole process of sleep, the different types of sleep, and problems surrounding them. Dr. Weissbluth kindly gives options for parents of problem babies who can't tolerate the seeming "cruelty" of his extinction method - but we tried it and I fully recommend it. After three horrible nights of crying (but no less actual sleep for me than usual), the boys settled into their new routine and one month later are sleeping together 10-11 hours through the night 90% of the time and napping together 2-3 hours every day. I've never had so much free time on my hands. They are put in their cribs awake 3 hours earlier every evening now that I've read this book and go to sleep with NO CRYING - I swear. They start the day at the same time as they always did, but now I wake to hear them giggling in the morning instead of crying. And as a bonus, the son I had labeled as colicky, difficult, and fussy is now suddenly eating better, is much less whinny and crabby, and is finally starting to try new things like walking now that he is getting the rest he needs. Thank you Dr. Weissbluth for giving me back my evenings with my husband, and helping me enjoy my wonderful boys during their waking hours. This book is a must have for every parent and I will give it as a baby shower gift from now on.
on April 18, 2004
I had heard of this book from many parents in my "mom's group" and decided to give it a go. The information on sleep was very scientific and informational, albeit hard to digest when I was sleep deprived, myself! I held off on the sleep training aspect for a few months until I felt that we were ready to try it. A few nights ago, we let our son cry for the first time (he's 6 1/2 months old) and it was SO difficult for me even though I knew that he was going to be fine. We BOTH cried on-and-off for 35 or 40 minutes and then he went down on his own without his pacifier (first time since he was born). He fussed once at 2:30 or so and then I fed him at 3:45. Last night, he cried for 10 minutes and woke up at 4:45 for his feeding. Tonight - 7 or 8 minutes of crying and we'll see how long he sleeps (my fingers are crossed!)
The negative reviews of this book seem to be from folks who are looking for either a quick, easy fix or those who haven't really read the book (I understand how THAT could happen - it's pretty tough to concentrate for any length of time at this point.) If you take the time to understand Weissbluth's methods, you will see that he offers a range of ways to get your baby to sleep and, while he seems to prefer the Extinction method (crying it out), he also explains something akin to the Ferber method, among others. He offers solutions for all sorts of situations and parental/child personalities.
Trust me, you'll do your whole family a favor if you and your child are well rested and this seems to be working!!!