Book Review: Healthy Sleep Habits, Happy Child
Name of Book Being Reviewed: Healthy Sleep Habits, Happy Child
Author: Marc Weissbluth, M.D.
Reviewed By: Genevieve Olson, M.S. in Reading Instruction
Date Reviewed: 3/9/10
Pros: roadmap for helping your child sleep; broken into ages of child; research based; written by an actual doctor
Cons: written by an actual doctor so can be a little boring to read at times and sounds a little like a research article
When I was 7 months pregnant I wanted to feel “in control” of something. I had heard horror stories about babies who just would not get into any kind of sleep pattern and had seen friends with two and three year olds still fighting about bedtime or naps. I wanted to have as much knowledge on the subject as possible so I started doing my own research. A friend of mine whose baby had started sleeping 12 hours a night by the time she was about 12 weeks old told me about this book. I rushed right out to get it. I will admit several pages in I found myself falling asleep. I don’t know if I can blame this all on the book I was now 8 months pregnant but it was pretty dry so I skipped to the good stuff! I found the section for newborns and broke out the highlighter and sticky notes. What the author said made perfect sense and was enlightening to me. It also helped me to improve on my own sleep habits. In a nutshell, Weissbluth informs the reader that keeping your baby up later so that they would sleep in the next morning is a misnomer. Your baby will wake up at roughly the same time regardless. Starting an earlier bedtime was key for making sure your baby received the right amount of sleep. Also, the author stated that sleep begets sleep. So the better your baby sleeps during the day the better they will sleep at night and vice versa. All of this was eye opening to me but made perfect sense.
While I know there are many circumstances that go along with how well babies sleep I will say that this book worked very well for us. Paige from around 5-6 weeks old would sleep for at least 6 to 8 hours a night and as she was introduced to formula and got a little older it moved to now 10-12 hours with at least two naps a day that are at least an hour or sometimes two long. The author tackles sleep issues all the way up to adolescence. Weissbluth also gives pros and cons for other sleep methods as well. If you are a pregnant mom, new mom, or one that it still having trouble getting your kid to sleep I would highly recommend this book. Just remember to skip to the good stuff! Good Luck!