View Full Version : Book on Helping Baby Sleep

02-20-2006, 03:55 PM
DS is 4 months old and has always been a terrible sleeper. He fights sleep and has never been a good napper. He was sleeping through the night (once we finally got him to asleep) until we moved him from his bassinet to his crib at 3 months. Now, he wakes almost every time I put him down, so it takes 4-5 attempts to put him to bed at night, and he is waking several times during the night with shrill screams. Once he is awake, it can take 1-2 hours to get him back to bed at night. Also, I am lucky to get him to nap for 30 minutes at a time during the day.

I am looking to buy a book to help get him to sleep. I am not a fan of "crying it out". I tried that, going in to calm him every 5 minutes, then 10, then 15. He would scream until I finally picked him up after 1 hour, and he would be so worked up that he was sweaty, his face was puffy, and he would sob for quite a while after being picked up. I have heard of "Healthy Sleep Habits, Happy Child", "No-Cry Sleep Solution: Gentle Ways to Help Your Baby Sleep Through the Night", and "Secrets of the Baby Whisperer", but I don't know which method to start with. I like the sounds of the "No-Cry Sleep Solution", but I don't know if it really works. I am a SAHM, so I can devote whatever time I need to to the process.

Can anyone help me choose a book to start with?

02-21-2006, 09:54 AM

Read the responses under the topic, "Crying to Sleep at Naptime" which is below this topic. I posted a response there also. I am a stay at home mom and this is our first child. I heard of the other books also and researched reviews on Amazon.com. This way I could get other parents reviews and a brief version of what the book was about. After doing this I had my husband pick up the book Healthy Sleep Habits Healthy Child, and we went through it together. The methods he uses make sense. We spent the weekend reorganizing her schedule and it worked! It seemed like a very long weekend but our daughter woke up happier and more rested.

For some odd reason, I thought babies could fall asleep on their own. Our daughter was falling asleep from the bottle/breast which is natural and o.k. but it's not something we want to rely on all the time. Babies need to "learn" how to do it on their own which is why this book is so wonderful. It actually gives you a step by step plan and explains why sleep is so important for them.

I just put my daughter down for a nap- she fussed and cried a little (not crying it out) for 15 minutes and she is now asleep. I did go in to comfort her briefly during this time- she looks at me and smiles and then goes back to fussing and then she fell asleep. She will sleep about an hour or a little more and wake up happy. I love to see the smile on her face. :) Also, putting her to bed earlier has helped us.
If for some reason, she wouldn't take a nap- I would get her up and play with her and then try again later.

Sorry about rambling on but here would be my advice- research the books that you mentioned and go with your gut feeling on the one YOU feel is best for you and your son. I went with my gut on this book and my husband and I are pleased. If it wasn't working, I would try another method. I'm not a fan of "crying it out" either.

By the way, just to let you know- our daughter has reflux and was colicky just until recently. She still has the reflux and we just stopped swaddling her 3 weeks ago. It wasn't possible for us to do this new sleep method any sooner. It's actually a relief for us to finally have some sort of schedule with her. It had been a rough 3 months- she could barely tolerate her crib and I held her a lot during some of her naps. Our daughter will be 4 months old tomorrow.

Anway, hope this helps and gives you insight. Good luck! If I can be of any more help, let me know.


02-23-2006, 01:57 PM
Thanks for your reply. I decided on the No-Cry Solution. Hopefully he'll be sleeping better in a few weeks!

02-24-2006, 08:26 AM
My DD had very similar problems. She is now 4.5 mos, and a great napper (3 naps 1.5- 3hours long) and night sleeper (6pm-6am with one waking around 2) I read both books (No cry & Healthy sllp habits) and I found a mix of both helpful. But, the key to better sleep was the early bedtime. In one week I moved the bed time from 8:30 to 6:00 and almost all of the problems have stopped. Also, she is never awake for more than 2 hours at a time. Her sleep schedule does rule our lives, but the more on schedule she is, the easier it is to break every once in a while.

02-24-2006, 02:19 PM

When you moved your bedtime up for your DD, did you find that your nap durations increased? Our DD is asleep by 8 but her naps are not as long but at least she is taking them.


02-27-2006, 09:33 AM
We had no established naps until I moved up the bedtime. Usually there was one or two 1-hour naps and one 3-4 hour nap. She was also sleeping 10 hours at night. Once we moved the bedtime down, she sleeps 12 hours (6pm - 6am) at night with one waking and naps three times for 1-2 hours each. Some days she will take a three hour nap, but it is not regular. The amount of naps and the duration of waking time in between is fixed, but the length of the naps still varies. But, bedtime is so much easier now.

03-01-2006, 09:00 AM

Thanks for your response. We moved our DD bedtime earlier (she is asleep by 7 p.m.) and she wakes up around 3:30 and then around 6:30. This is fine but her naps during the day are only about 40-45 minutes at most. She takes two in the AM, and two in the PM before starting her bedtime routine at 6 p.m. She is almost 4 1/2 months old and we are still new with this plan.

She is a post colicky baby and in the book by Dr. Weissbluth he said that it may take longer for some nap routines to develop and the night time would develop first. I don't mind the night routine but I wish her naps would be a little longer. Should they be at least 1 hour?

Does the nap time increase as she gets older? My husband and I love the routine overall; it's much better than what we had.


03-01-2006, 10:30 AM
DD's naps were awful until we established the night sleeping. We felt that we would trade good night sleep for naps, but after a week or so of the early bedtime and good night sleep, she established her own nap schedule. She was not colicky and has always been a low fuss/easy baby so we did not have any major mountains to climb with her. I do agree with Weisbluth on the nap duration issue. I think that any nap under 1 hour doesn't count. Sometimes DD does the 45 minute nap thing, and she is cranky all day until bed time. I would just be patient with the naps.


03-01-2006, 10:57 AM

Thanks so much for your replies and comments. It's much appreciated! :)

I do agree with Dr. Weissbluth on the nap duration issue- that under 1 hour doesn't count. It's amazing how much better our DD has been since we switched to this plan!


05-23-2006, 12:07 PM
For any of you following this method, how many weeks was your child when you started the earlier bedtime? My son is currently 10 weeks and going to bed at 8:30. He does pretty well at night, usually waking only once at 3 AM, but he too is a terrible napper (usually doing the 45 minute thing) and is colicky. I have been implementing Weissbluth's methods, which has been helping, and am wondering if I need to make the bedtime even earlier now (we just moved up from 10:30 PM to 8:30 about 10 days ago after reading the Weissbluth book).

If you are still following this post, I'd appreciate any advice!:)

05-23-2006, 01:30 PM
I started the earlier bedtime at 14 weeks, but in retrospect, I could have started at least 4-6 weeks earlier. I only realized when I started reading the Weissbluth book (at 14 weeks) that the going to bed insanity that we had been dealing with was due to her too late bed time. Her bed time is 6pm now, and she sticks to it. We've been trying to move it to 7pm, but we are having no luck, she wants 6. One thing that he mentions in the book is that colicky babies sometimes take longer to get into a rhythm so you shouldn't worry if it is taking too long. DD's napping fell into place pretty easily, but she has no regular nap time. She always takes good naps, but, we just follow her cues and put her down when she is acting tired. She is in Daycare now (she's 8 months) and she still naps well and has good night time sleep.

05-24-2006, 10:42 AM
thanks, and I am going to try moving it up again, maybe to 7 PM.
If the other poster is still following this post, have any of the new things you decided to try been working well for you?