Healthy Sleep Habits, Happy Child: A Step-By-Step Programme for a Good Night's Sleep

Healthy Sleep Habits, Happy Child: A Step-By-Step Programme for a Good Night's Sleep

3.9 203
by Marc Weissbluth
     
 

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780091902551
Publisher:
Vermilion
Publication date:
04/28/2005
Sales rank:
364,085

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Healthy Sleep Habits, Happy Child 3.9 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 199 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I am a stay at home mom of a 5 mo old boy and have been using this book since he was 2 1/2 months old and I love it! I use it all the time to refer to. What I like is that it gives you step by step instructions for getting your child to sleep. Until he was 4 months I did not let him cry at all. I tried soothing him to sleep, but then he would just wake up a few minutes later. He was really fighting anything I tried to soothe him. I got to the point where I felt like nothing I was doing was helping anyway. Then I decided to start letting him cry it out. It was the hardest thing to do, I cried with him pretty much the entire time. I started with his morning nap and he cried the entire time and I went to get him after an hour. Then he took his next 2 naps and went down for the night with soothing. The next day he took his morning nap fine but then cried though his 1st afternoon nap, the entire hour once again. He took his 3rd nap and went down fine for bedtime. The next day he cried for 45 min for his morning nap. Since then, he cries very little and goes down so easily! I was on the verge of giving up but I am so glad I didn't. I can not even tell you how liberating it is to be able to put your baby down - whether the baby is asleep or awake - it will change your life! He now sleeps from 7pm-6:30 am and takes 3 naps at about 8:30am, noon, and 3:30pm. He is so happy! I recommend it to anyone with babies they are struggling to get to sleep!
Guest More than 1 year ago
I was a Sears follower (an auther and pediatrician who encourages parents to always attend to children's cries during the night, otherwise called 'Nightime Parenting'). After 9 months my baby was still waking up 2-4 times per night and was sleeping erratically during the day for at most 2 hours, but usually less than one hour naps. We all were exhausted. I read this book and realized that I had not taught my daughter how to put herself to sleep, we had been running to her every whim during the night and she expected us to help her fall asleep. Healthy Sleep Habits, Happy Child is a must read if you have a child who is not sleeping well. I now know that sleep is as critical to my baby as eating and stimulation. Our baby, now 10 months old, goes to bed at 6:00 pm and sleeps through to 6:00 am. She naps at 8:30 for an hour or two and then again at 12:30 for an hour or two. I lay her down and she rarely cries. Bed time is a joy. This book is a must read....
Guest More than 1 year ago
I found the information in this book to be very sound and doable as it is based on an entire career of research and experience as a clinician, pediatrician and well as a father of 4 children. Living in Chicago, I wish to share that Weissbluth has a long standing well-respected reputation. For me, this book taught my husband and I a variety of strategies regarding various sleep issues as our baby grew older. Most recently we consulted the book for the step by step process of how to get our 3 year old to stay in HIS bed all night. It takes tenacity and consistency (and maybe a couple of glasses of wine) to execute over a 3-4 day period...but the extinction method worked and I am so grateful my husband and I stuck it out. If you have a child that won't stay in his bed after you tuck him in...this book offers a way to solve the problem. This is THE book for handling all sleep problems. For more tips on managing a variety of related toddler/preschooler behaviors particularly common at bedtime (such as tantrums, bad words, power struggles, whining and many more), I wish to recommend 'The Pocket Parent'. Weissbluth is quoted several times in the chapter on Bedtime Refusals and Nighttime Fears. --These are two parent freindly books you can refer to again and again for insight and strategies that work.
ArizonaWorkingMommy More than 1 year ago
My husband and I walked in to the pediatrician's office bleary eyed and exhausted with our 4-month old son, and practically begged for help. Without hesitation he recommended this book to us and it worked. I love it because unlike many other parenting books that are filled with emotionally charged discussions and mud-slinging for or against one style vs. another, this book only deals in facts and medical research on sleep patterns and brain cycles and how they change over the course of those precious first 2 years. This is not a book that advocates letting your child scream his lungs out, I am not at all a fan of the Ferber method. What I did like is that he says in fact, if you learn when your childs' ideal sleep window is, they will fall asleep much more readily and easily without the screaming than when they are overtired. I did have to endure a few nights of protest crying, but they lasted no more than 20 minutes and there was no distressed crying. There were parts of the book that were very clinical and somewhat dry as he attempts to build your understanding of the physiological needs for sleep, and I found myself skipping around a bit to the sections that pertained to my sons age to read the examples he gave. Just as he predicts, we would fall in to a time where the sleep schedule just didn't seem to be working and after a few frustrating days of a cranky baby I would remind myself to pick up the book and review his suggestions on how to make modifications, and they worked- EVERY TIME! There are some people who believe that being disciplined about their child's sleep is inconvenient for their schedule as parents, but I found the opposite to be true! No my kids did not fall asleep in their strollers or in car seats out at restaurants, and yes, I did have to modify my life for a couple of years, with a few exceptions, to insure that they got all of the sleep they needed, but the results were worth it. We had happy, delightful, never overtired babies. They had a consistently early bed time which meant relaxation and time alone for us as a couple. And now at 4 and 6 years old we have boys that are well rested and ready to learn. Even now when we have the occasional late night bed time, or when we are on vacation or traveling, I can really see a difference in their behavior with a little sleep deficit; particularly if the deficit occurs over several nights. However, because of this book and the training it provides, it is very easy to make some adjustments and get them down early for a few nights and we are back on track! I have two boys and both of them were very different in terms of their sleep patterns and needs. My youngest son never has slept as long at night or taken long naps like my oldest son. This book does not prescribe a one size fits all approach to developing good sleep habits. It gives you the ranges of what is considered normal and what the brain needs at each given age bracket and will require you to observe your child carefully over several days and invest a little bit of time in to changing your bedtime routines and patterns until you find their magic window where they fall asleep with very little crying. If you want a factual, informative book on how to create healthy sleep habits that will last for life-than this book is for you!
Guest More than 1 year ago
I am a mom to five kids and have used this method successfully on four of my children (my youngest is just 12 weeks and we're about to undertake sleep training once again). Anyway, I notice that the majority of the reviews are positive and I can't add much to the comments except to give a brief description of our success for the faint of heart. Plus, I would like to point out that those of us who opt for this method are NOT cruel or lazy or selfish (as some of the negative reviewers imply). We are simply parents doing what we feel is best for our children, our families and our own mental health. I know for me this book truly saved me from deepening depression, anxiety, and anger (towards my husband, my baby, and my other children as each baby came). When I was a chronically sleep-deprived mother I was not capable of being the mother that I wanted to be. My experience: Baby #1) Boy, started training at 3 1/2 months. He was colicky and slept a total of 8-9 hours out of 24. When not nursing or sleeping, he was crying. The only way I managed him was by walking (up to 6 miles a day) just so he wouldn't cry. I was burned out, resentful, wanting to return to work just to escape and found myself very depressed, tired and worn out. I found the Ferber book first, read it and tried the method. However, the intermittent reassurance only made my baby mad so I looked for more help. Thank God above, I found Dr. Weissbluth. As others have noted, his book gives scientific explanations in addition to advice and I found the personal testimonies very reassuring. I implemented his strategies immediately. His nighttime sleep improved quickly, but naps were more difficult. I stuck with it, however, and after 6 weeks of consistent training (and not much crying in retrospect), he was sleeping 10-12 hours a night and taking 2, 1-2 hour naps. This seemed nothing short of a miracle for my baby who previously took NO naps and slept intermittently at night. Baby #2)A girl born 1 1/2 years after her brother. She had her days and nights pretty mixed up so she slept great stretches during the day and screamed (and I mean screamed) all night. By eight weeks both my husband and I were completely fried. A story in the book was similar to ours so we started sleep training at eight weeks with the understanding that we would abandon it if she didn't improve quickly. Well, within 3 days she was sleeping 12 hours at night and taking 2-3 naps per day. Some nights she would sleep 14 hours a night. We were floored. Again, another 'miracle.' Baby #3)A boy. We started using the strategies early with this baby. By eight weeks he was sleeping 6 hour stretches at night with almost no crying. We were very in tune to his sleepy cues and tried to get him down for naps when he seemed tired. As Dr. Weissbluth notes, sometimes the naps work and sometimes they don't when they are only 6-8 weeks old, but being consistent can really help your child learn to sleep. Again, by 12 weeks, he was sleeping very well at nigth (12 hours) and taking 2 naps per day. Baby #4)A girl. I honestly don't remember any sleep issues with her (other than typical newborn crying jags and fussiness). We were very consistent with her, had her sleeping in her crib and made sure to stick to our routine. Yes she cried a little, but no long crying spells. Some days she couldn't be up for more than an hour at a time before needing another nap. She is now 5 and to this day she will say 'I need to go to bed now.' She knows when she needs sleep and she goes willingly. Even on Christmas Eve. Baby #5)A boy. He is almost three months and we have tried to 'train' him in fits and starts. It doesn't work. Consistency, patience and persistence are key. We are about to undertake sleep training again. We can see that he is getting overtired, irritable and unable to settle himself. Overall, this method works. Period. Again, it is not for everyone. If you prefer a
Guest More than 1 year ago
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.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I do not let my baby cry and would not let him cry for 40 minutes like one of the reviews stated or as the book states. That is horrible!!! A baby needs security like he had in the womb and to know his parents are there especially in the first six months. Allowing your baby to cry for long periods of time within the first six months can cause problems with insecurity for your child. Along with a gassy baby sucking in all that air screaming. I am surprised that any parent would actually take that advice and listen to their baby cry for long periods (40 minutes).It may work for the moment but later can resurface with deep rooted problems,insecurties and a dependency problem.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I read this book because my friend insisted I 'had to' and it was 'The Book'. I was horrified. The book tells you to let your poor baby scream and scream and scream. It tells you to go against every instinct naturally bestowed upon women (for a reason) and ignore your baby's only way to communicate, and eventually you'll be lucky enough that they just give up. That's not how I want to start a relationship with a baby. I want my baby to know he can trust me to be there for him. My son, by the way, is a great sleeper, still napping at age 4 and sleeping through the night. He wakes with a smile. My friend's kids? Well, she's still pulling out her hair 3 years later and constantly 're-training' them with the advice in this book.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
My daughter swears by this book. She has used it as a resource for her first child who is now 3 and her second who is 5 months. My other daughter is having her first baby in November and I bought this as a gift for her. We have also given the book to numerous friends upon the birth of their first children.
tlclolley More than 1 year ago
I have had this book since my son was 10 months old and not sleeping well. He is now 8. When we started this book, he was sleeping about 7-8hr and napping about and hour a day. By the time he was 11 months old, he was sleeping 14 hrs a night and taking 2, two hour naps a day! He was such a happy baby after we started this! It is totally my bible and goes clear through adolesence. I still reference it because as they grow so does different sleeping patterns.
Guest More than 1 year ago
As an adoptive parent, I am appalled by the advice given in this book. The author insists that crying-it-out doesn't interfere with attachment. He never says anything specific about 'attachment in adoption' however, and makes no distinction between children who were adopted and biological children, and that alone is a huge red flag for me. All babies and children need to attach to their parents, and maybe letting your kid scream alone for an hour won't hurt a kid you gave birth to 'i have no idea, really' but he also advises this for adoptive parents, and that's just bad advice. In fact, adoption is only mentioned on 3 of the 457 pages of this book. It is almost completely anecdotal, too, and the advice given contradicts basic attachment recommendations for adoptive families. Example is cited below. There is one brief paragraph from the author, on page 428, ending with the sentence 'The following story illustrates how experienced parents were able to help their new child learn to sleep better, even though she hadn't slept well for nine months'. --Okay, how does HE know how the baby slept for the first 9 months prior to adoption??? The story goes on to say 'We arrived back home late that night....the next day we paid a visit to Dr. Weissbluth's office, and he advised us...put her down at 9am for a morning nap...if she cries, pick her up after an hour.' --AN HOUR, for a NEWLY ADOPTED 9 month old?!?! A later paragraph states 'I was convinced that she was missing her foster father and that she was grieving for everythign she had left behind in Guatemala....I mentioned my 'grieving' theory to Dr. Weissbluth, who politely discounted it. He said that when babies wake up in the middle of the night, they are in a twilight state between sleep and waking. They aren't likely to be grieving or doing much else.... he suggested putting her to bed earlier...she might still be overtired.' Again, this runs completely COUNTER to what we know of adopted children who CAN talk, for starters. And discounting grieving in a child who was attached to her foster family and had stranger anxiety and didn't know who these new strangers were??? --stranger anxiety was also mentioned earlier in the story. Later the parent writes 'Have these healthy sleep habits produced a happy child? You bet. 'she' is a joy to be around. As we've all gotten to know each other better she has become much more affectionate.' Does anyone else think maybe TIME GETTING TO KNOW EACH OTHER maybe was the huge factor there, since they were complete strangers at first? It's even possible, perhaps probable, that letting this poor little girl cry it out only prolonged attaching to her new family.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I have been reading this book and I am deeply disturbed by many things the author says, and the way that he approaches children, as if they don't matter and they do not have feelings. In one section he says, and I quote: 'Crying is not the real issue. We are leaving the child alone to forget the expectation to be picked up.' I found this goal frightening. I want my baby to know I will pick him up when he needs me, and I want him to be able to express his needs to me and know that I care. He says that to keep a child in the bedroom use 'a stiff door hook' and to keep a child in the crib use a crib tent to 'prevent social interaction at night.' He even says directly, 'Leave him alone.' I don't feel this is thoughtful or wise advice. If your child crys so hard she vomits, he says 'you should try waiting until after you think she is deeply asleep before checking and then quickly clean her if needed.' If needed?! That section alone makes me distrust the whole book. Several parents quoted in the book say they feel cruel, insensitive and guilty, and I can surely understand why. I would avoid this book and instead read one of the other books about children's sleep.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I purchased this book after my daughter's sleep turned into a disaster area. She used to sleep well and then stopped all of a sudden, she began to wake all through the night and stop napping, i looked to this book for help and found some. It was not written as concisely as I would have liked and it took me a while to figure out what I should do to improve her sleep, the one big tip i picked up was earlier bedtimes, this seemed to be the problem and really did help. I would recommend this book along with Nanny Wisdom and Dr Ferber's book. After reading all three of these books I was able to decipher what to do next, how much sleep my daughter needed and how to actually do it.
Guest More than 1 year ago
If you are into letting your child CIO this is for you but there are better more nurturing ways to meet your child's needs.
Guest More than 1 year ago
THIS BOOK IS A MUST- I wish I would've read this sooner. I am a mother of 4 1/2 month old fraternal twins and read this book front to back in a week (a milestone with twins). Up until reading this, I assumed that no person and not one book could assist in getting my babies to sleep in the early evening and keeping them down all night. I was a frazzled woman- waiting for them to fall asleep when they pleased & accepting that whatever sleep they got was fine. They were getting about 12 hours of sleep in 24 hours and were going down for the night at 10:30/11pm. After reading this book, I was able to put them on a schedule (didn't think I could, with twins) and after 4 days they were sleeping at 6:30pm for 12 hours & 3 hours in the day for their naps. Ahhh...time with my husband and happier babies during the day.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This book charms the new parent who is desperate for sleep. But 'sleep at any cost' is purely the wrong way to approach raising your child. Yes I think that any baby left to cry in the crib will sooner or later fall asleep and will learn that no one comes so why bother to call out. But I think that is what parents are for - to be there for their children day AND night not just when it is convenient or easy. The methods in this book are straightforward even when he tells you not to clean up your baby if he vomits lest you damage the progress of sleep training. The baby stage is very short and I don't want to look back at this time and think that I took the selfish route just for a few hours of sleep. A better and more loving approach is outlined in The No Cry Sleep Solution. I think you should check them both out before you decide if you want to sleep train your baby OR work with your baby's natural rhythms to gently help him learn to sleep better.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Here's a quote from the book 'If we place an arbitrary limit on the duration of crying at night, we train our child to cry to that predetermined time. When it is open-ended, the child learns to stop protesting and to fall asleep.' Well, sure. Have you ever cried yourself to sleep? Exhaustion and agony work. This requires a hard heart and lots of crying. He also says 'We are leaving him alone to forget the expectation to be picked up.' We are talking about a BABY here, a baby who deserves and needs to picked up and should expect to be picked up. I'm sorry that I started with this book, I'm glad I moved on to one that is more compassionate and loving: The No-Cry Sleep Solution. A better and more peaceful NO CRY way.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Just do everything this guy says to do. The parents on here who have insisted that the book is cruel have likely not read the entire book. The doctor who wrote it explains all of the theories and procedures. And, the goal, as those of us who have read this book know, is to PUT AN END to your child's crying and sleeplessness. The goal is NOT simply to make things easier for you (even though his methods will make things easier for you). The goal is to help your baby soothe himself and learn to sleep peacefully on his own, not to be PUT to sleep by a well-meaning parent. The complaint that I have, though, is that the book is TERRIBLY written. It is disorganized, grammatically awkward, and sectioned oddly so that it is nearly impossible to use it as a guide. You can't simply use it as a manual in the middle of the night. It is not a reference book. It would be better if you could look up the sleep issue that is impacting your child in an index and turn to a page for the magical solution to that issue. It doesn't work like that, though. Instead, you have to read the whole thing and dogear pages, highlight sections and weed through a bunch of anecdotal side-stories in order to find the solutions you seek. Nevertheless, this is a great tool for parents. Buy it and read it while pregnant so you're ready to go. Reading with an infant around will be impossible...
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I found this book extremely helpful as a first time parent. My baby is an excellent night sleeper - slept for no less than 8 hours a night from her seventh day, however I have really struggled with day sleep since she turned 3 months old. This book was very informative and based on solid research. I trust the information and techniques talked about in the book and have already seen an improvement in my child's day sleeping patterns. She is now sleeping 12 hours at night and her temperament has returned to its joyful state of her early infancy. I fully intend to implement the day sleep schedule Dr. Weisbluth recommends for 5 month olds when she reaches that age.
MamaDK More than 1 year ago
I had several friends recommend this book to me and I am sure it is a very good book, but unfortunately I have not had a chance to read the whole thing. I just wish there was a cliff notes version! I know sounds ridiculous. I love reading but with a new baby who is now 4 months old.....I have no spare time to get a 400 something page book read! So being a tired mom I have been a little overwhelmed and as I have read it I feel like I have just messed up already and need to just wait til my next child. I tried to implement some of the stuff I read but my baby is just not having it! Everyone who has read it that I know swears by it, but it just wasn't for me and I know it was because of bad timing!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book gives one piece of advice: if your baby isn't sleeping well, it's because he's over tired. There are a bunch of pages with studies and other information backing this up, but no information on HOW to get your overtired baby to sleep. It was worthless for me.
Guest More than 1 year ago
My title says it all. Since 6 months old, my daughter has slept 13 hours a night straight. As she gets older and needs less sleep, she shortens her naps...which is OK by me. Either it works for you or it doesn't......it saved my sanity...and every night is date night when my husband gets home!
Guest More than 1 year ago
I had high hopes for this book, but was sorely disappointed and frustrated. The advice was very confusing, inconsistent, vague and not at all realistic. To get a 3 month old to take 3 naps yet only be awake for 2 hours at at time (not to mention that they eat every 3 hours) requires 3 TWO-HOUR naps a day. The math just doesn't add up. The book is also poorly written and redundant, and I find the idea of letting my baby cry for unlimited lengths of time sickening.
Guest More than 1 year ago
The best parts of this book talk about scheduling your baby's nap times and setting an earlier bed time. Just following his advice on these items made a big difference in how long my baby sleeps. The first night I moved her bedtime earlier she slept for almost 8 hours straight! The descriptions of parents crying in their living rooms while their babies screamed in their bedrooms made me sick to my stomach. Ignore the cry it out advice and fear mongering that your child will be a moron if he doesn't sleep enough, and this book has some very useful information.
Guest More than 1 year ago
As a mother of three young children and health professional working with mothers and babies, I would NOT recommend this book for the following reasons: 1. His method: leave baby to cry for UNLIMITED periods (¿extinction¿) 2. Confusing and conflicting advice. 3. The ¿leap of faith¿ between the facts and his method. 4. Lack of a coherent strategy. 5. Patronizing and condescending tone 6. Exhausting to read (almost 500 pages). The book does have some interesting facts about sleep, but in the end, Dr. Weissbluth¿s ¿Trust me, I¿m a doctor¿-attitude could never convince me to follow his methods. There are gentler ways of helping baby to sleep well!