View Full Version : Book on Sleeping

06-05-2002, 10:24 PM
A friend had told me of a fantastic book about how to get the baby to sleep through the night. I forgot the title. Does anyone perhaps know of a fantastic book that instructs parents how to get the little one to start sleeping through the night?

06-06-2002, 06:50 AM
My ped recommends Marc Weissbluth's Healthy Sleep Habits, Happy Child. But I'd do a little research before commiting to a sleep book. Most people have very strong views on sleep. For example, if you are against "cry it out", then getting a book that recommends this method will only cause you great distress. Similarly, if you believe in CIO, then a "nighttime parenting" philosphy won't work for you. The Weissbluth book is considered middle of the road. There are also some books that are very popular right now that are considered unhealthy and contrary to standard medical opinion. These are the books that generally advise putting infants on some sort of pre-determined "schedule", rather than letting your baby be your guide as to what their natural routine it.

My personal opinion is that babies sleep through the night when they are good and ready to. We were blessed with a baby who started sleeping through the night (completely on her own, with zero effort on our part) at 8 weeks, but I know plenty of parents of babies who took 6 months or more to start sleeping through the night. Where the books are helpful, I think, is in telling us, the parents, how to PREVENT creating poor sleeping habits in our children.

I'd spend some quality time in the baby section of your local library. You may be surprised at the number and quality of the baby development books (including sleep books) that are available there.


06-06-2002, 11:51 PM
"The No Cry Sleep Solution" by Elizabeth Pantley is just out and is fantastic!!! It is a gentle, but good way to get your child to sleep through the night. You can order it at Amazon.com for $10.72 plus shipping. You can also go to her website at www.pantley.com and get all the resources you need from this book, including joining a mailing list with other moms using the book and her methods. She completely does not advocate CIO (Cry It Out), but she works on enough sleep for your child through naps and early bedtimes, keeping a sleep log, "GR" or gentle removal when weaning children from nightime nursing or pacifier use, rocking, key words to help children sleep (e.g shh-shh, etc.), quiet dark rooms, etc. Check it out, it just came out in March or April, but the buzz is big right now, especially for those parents who can't stomach CIO.

06-21-2002, 08:41 PM
A huge "second" on Marc Weissbluth's Healthy Sleep Habits, Happy Baby. Ferber is the classic sleep reference but it was too harsh for us. We tried it for 3 nights and gave up though I know many people who had success with it. Weissbluth is great but even he says that it is normal for babies to wake up for food at least once up until 9 mos. Sure enough, that's what my dd did and suddenly around 9 mos. stopped waking up. It was my instinct to feed her and not let her cry and he supports this. There are tons of books out there that say kids should sleep throught the night by 4 mos. and I don't know any kid who did this! Have realistic expectations.
Weisbluth's big thing is "sleep begets sleep" and you have to give your kid great naps and put them to bed early. If you follow his advice, it really works. I can put my baby down awake and she falls asleep by herself.
Good Luck - Emily in NYC

06-23-2002, 08:51 PM
We are also huge fans of Weissbluth. We got it when our son was 4 months old, and he is now nearly 2 years old. We put him to bed awake and he goes to sleep with little protest. We recently made the dreaded transition to a "big boy" bed with no problems. Be warned, though, Weissbluth recommends an early bedtime, and some parents find that to be a difficult schedule to keep. I think that you can find a sleep book that says anything you want it to say, frankly. Stay away from anything by Sears if you think you need to let your baby cry to sleep a little. Sears will make you feel like a monster if you don't want them in bed with you until they are 15! ;-)

07-01-2002, 10:02 PM
Another vote for Weissbluth! I'm lucky enough to live in Chicago so our son goes to his practice. Some people call Dr. W. "The Sleep Nazi" which I think is an overreaction. Our son had a tough time getting and staying asleep for a while (reflux, etc) and the thing about Weissbluth is a nice combination of routine, cuddling and understanding. He actually has a couple of books. "Healthy Sleep Habits..." was first. He also has a book called "Sweet Babies," which is about nurturing and calming your child. Both are terrific combos of developmental research and parenting from the heart.

What our doctor there told us when Jakey was a year old and having night terrors, and therefore stopped sleeping through the night, was that you have to give "sleep training" about a week. Instead of Ferberizing, we simply would get Jakey to bed by the "night deadline" we set with ourselves and doctor, and for about five really upsetting nights, I would cry with my head under the pillow when Jake woke up begging for me. The first two nights were the worst; then things RAPIDLY improved. The bottom line is, if your child is comfortable, safe and healthy, there comes a time when it's okay to let him or her cry for a little while. I have a friend who had to go onto her patio while her husband waited for the baby to calm down -- we all have trouble with this.

After the five rough nights, Jacob slept like an angel. For a while after that, if he woke up and we were worried, my husband would go in there. To this day (Jacob is 2 1/2 now), Daddy is the soother who can always get him back to sleep... this may be partly because he knows Mommy is a sucker who is more likely to bring him to "the big bed."

It's very hard not to be the one who goes running in when I hear a noise or a cry. But feel comforted in the fact that almost EVERY parent goes through sleep crises, and we all get through them. Find a doctor, friend, and/or book that works for you, and try it. If nothing works, stop for a while and then try something again.

I wish you the best of luck. Just remember, both you AND your baby need sleep, and you'll both feel better when you get more of it!


07-04-2002, 04:34 PM
I've started using Weissbluth's "method A" in the past week for my 5 week old baby. We had problems having him take naps during the day.....at times would be awake for 6-7 hours straight. Believe it or not, for the past week, he is sleeping great naps. (nights were never a real problem---he just got up to feed and then fell right back asleep with no crying, since about 2 weeks old)

My question is: what is the difference really between Weissbluth's method A and the "Ferber" method??

Do you think it's too early to instill this type of "training"?

07-04-2002, 05:03 PM
Here's a link to a site that discusses several sleep methods, including Ferber, Weissbluth and Sears.
The main difference between Ferber and Weissbluth is that Ferber is a reactive method and Weissbluth is a proactive method.

My personal opinion is that 5 weeks is way too early to "sleep train" a baby. A baby that young needs to tended to when it cries. Also, not feeding on demand this early can sabotage your milk supply if you are breastfeeding.

It is not however, too young to try and apply some basic Weissbluth principles, like keeping a journal, keeping a routine (as much as possible), putting baby down for a nap awake rather than asleep when the opportunity presents itself. But don't worry if the opportunity doesn't present itself at this young age. When your baby gets to be 6 to 9 months old and is still not able to sleep through the night or has other issues, then you need to start making some choices. I would recommend reading all the reliable sources and choosing the method that you feel you will be able to follow. It does no good to apply Ferber or Weissbluth if you can't stick to it, so choose the method that will work for you. But you have a long time before you need to worry about it.


07-09-2002, 03:57 PM
Thanks Beth. Well, I guess what I'm doing is what you said: I keep a journal, and I try to put baby down within the 2 hour frame during the day, ...and most of the time, he's wide awake. He will just hang out quietly for about 10 minutes and then cry. I've let him cry up to 15 minutes and he would just fall asleep. Does that sound too cruel? I'm a new mom and everything is so daunting as all the books say different things.

Also, at night, he typically feeds and sleeps--never cries. (and yes, I do feed on demand). Is there anything I should do to proactively get him to sleep longer? A friend of mine would wake her baby at midnight and feed her, and by 2 months, the baby would sleep from 10pm-5am.
Thus far, I have never woke my baby up from sleep to feed. and i'm feeding about 8-9 times per day.

Thanks for your help.

07-09-2002, 09:38 PM
Nina, my ped recommended something similar to what your friend did. He called this "topping off" for the night. He recommended feeding her just before we went to bed for the night (even if that meant waking her up from sleep) and offering her a bottle with a few ounces. He said this might get her to go a longer stretch before waking up. I can't really say with any scientific certainty whether or not this did any good, but she was sleeping from 12-6 by 8 weeks and going from 11-7 by 12 weeks. But Sarah has always been a good napper and night sleeper, so she may have done this no matter what we did.

As far as letting your baby cry, I would talk to your ped since your baby is so young. If your baby is gaining and thriving, then this may be working for you. I am not a sleep expert and don't pretend to be one. But honestly, everything I have ever read (written by what I think is a scientific/research based NOT ideologic/personal opinion based source) says that when a baby is that young, their every cry should be attended to. It is only when they are 7-9 months old, that sleep training is recommended and ONLY if your baby has an issue. Even Weissbluth says that if you don't have sleep issues, then there is no need to sleep train.

The book that I have personally found to be the most helpful is one called "The First Three Years of Life" by Burton L White. He is a child development specialist who has spent 30+ years in research with new parents and infants. I have found his advice to be practical, reasonable, and right on the money for Sarah so far in each developmental stage. This is not a "sleep" book, but he does talk about sleep. It is more a book about the stages of development your child goes through from birth to age 3 and how to meet the changing needs of your child (physical, emotional and psychological) as they go through those stages.

Sorry to throw another book at you! I know how hard it is when there is so much conflicting information out there. You read one book and it says one thing and another book says something else. Ultimately, you have to go with what your heart tells you is right. If you feel like the advice you read in a book isn't right for you and your baby, ignore it. As long as your ped tells you that your baby is growing and healthy, that is the main thing.


Andrews Mom
07-09-2002, 10:59 PM
I highly recommend the nighttime feed before you go to bed. My baby started sleeping in 6 hours stretches at about 6 weeks but that stretch often started around 6 or 7 in the evening which really didn't help DH and I get the sleep we wanted. We started waking him up to eat (no talking or stimulation, just the feed) before we went to bed around 11 and then he would sleep until 5. After 3 or 4 weeks of that, he started going to bed a little later and we let him sleep through and he'd sleep until 5. At 10 weeks, he was sleeping from 9 or 10 until 5. Now, at 15 weeks, he sleeps from 8:30 to 6 or 7. It's soooo nice! :) I really think waking him up to eat helped us get there.

Now I'm just worried it won't last once teething really kicks in, but we'll see. :D

Good luck!


09-08-2002, 11:04 AM
A friend who had a baby Nov 2001 recommended a book called BABYWISE to us. She said the advice in the book really worked for them and their baby started sleeping 5-6 hours at about 2 months. The basic advice in the book is to get your baby on a sort of routine -- they call it "parent-directed feeding" -- where you feed the newborn about every 2.5 to 3 hours, then keep them awake for about 30 minutes, THEN put them down while they are still awake. Except at night when you try to keep them as sleepy as possible! They claim the babies are more comfortable with a routine. Our first child is due in about 2 weeks so I don't have any firsthand experience yet! Good luck, Priscilla

09-08-2002, 01:19 PM
Just FYI. While Babywise is a very popular book, a lot of the advice in that book is contrary to American Academy of Pediatrics guidelines for feeding infants. Ezzo's advice and the Babywise book are considered very controversial.

Here's a link with more info: http://www.ezzo.info/Aney/aneyaap.htm

Here's an excerpt from the link that talks specifically about the parent directed feeding program:

"The book's feeding schedule, called Parent Directed Feeding (PDF), consists of feeding newborns at intervals of three to three and one-half hours (described as two and one-half to three hours from the end of the last 30-minute feeding) beginning at birth. Nighttime feedings are eliminated at eight weeks.

This advice is in direct opposition to the latest AAP recommendations on newborn feeding (AAP Policy Statement, "Breastfeeding and the Use of Human Milk," Pediatrics, Dec. 1997): "Newborns should be nursed whenever they show signs of hunger, such as increased alertness or activity, mouthing, or rooting. Crying is a late indicator of hunger. Newborns should be nursed approximately eight to 12 times every 24 hours until satiety."

Although demand feeding is endorsed by the Academy, WHO, and La Leche League among others, "Babywise" claims that demand feeding may be harmful and outlines a feeding schedule in contrast to it. The book makes numerous medical statements without references or research, despite that many are the antitheses of well-known medical research findings. In 190 pages, only two pediatric journals are referenced with citations dated 1982 and 1986. "

Just FYI and hope this helps,