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The Happy Sleeper: The Science-Backed Guide to Helping Your Baby Get a Good Night's Sleep-Newborn to School Age Kindle Edition
—Dr. Mehmet Oz
"Clear a space on your bookshelf! You'll be consulting this friendly, research-based guide to the blessings of sleep for you and your little ones for many years to come."
—Adele Faber, co-author of How To Talk So Kids Will Listen & Listen So Kids Will Talk
“Compassionate, courageous, and creative. . . Heather Turgeon and Julie Wright have written a user-friendly, scientifically-informed, practical guide that provides the information and intention you need to cultivate healthy sleeping habits not only for your child, but for yourself as well! Give your children the relationship security they need while also providing them the structure they require to sleep well and thrive.”
—from the foreword by Daniel J. Siegel, MD, New York Times-bestselling author of Brainstorm: The Power and Purpose of the Teenage Brain
“An important resource for parents seeking to give their children a lifetime of quality sleep. Good sleep habits are vital to child development and overall health, and The Happy Sleeper offers real-world strategies for getting children the sleep they need.”
—David M. Cloud, CEO, National Sleep Foundation
“Solid information on children’s brain development and physiology supports a clear and systematic “attunement” philosophy that strikes a happy balance between “cry it out” and “over-helping.” Turgeon and Wright’s compassionate but firm system reminds parents that even the smallest infants are already learners, and to be cognizant of what they want to teach.”
--This text refers to the paperback edition.
About the Author
Julie Wright, MFT, is one of Los Angeles’s best known parenting group leaders and has taught thousands of moms in her popular Wright Mommy and Me program. Julie is a licensed psychotherapist working with infants, children, and adults, exploring attachment, mindfulness, parenting, and empathic communication. She and Heather conduct sleep consultations with parents in the LA area and remotely. --This text refers to the paperback edition.
- ASIN : B00INIXOUO
- Publisher : TarcherPerigee (December 26, 2014)
- Publication date : December 26, 2014
- Language : English
- File size : 2696 KB
- Text-to-Speech : Enabled
- Screen Reader : Supported
- Enhanced typesetting : Enabled
- X-Ray : Enabled
- Word Wise : Enabled
- Print length : 362 pages
- Lending : Not Enabled
- Best Sellers Rank: #68,153 in Kindle Store (See Top 100 in Kindle Store)
- Customer Reviews:
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Top reviews from the United States
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If you have a bad sleeper, you know that it's exhausting and that everyone basically acts like you must be the problem. You hold your baby too much, created bad habits, coddle your infant, etc. This book basically reinforces all of that cultural pressure. Yes, they tell you that you CAN still breastfeed your child at night for example, but only for five minutes at a time, otherwise you're ruining everything. Sleep method not working? You didn't go in feeling confident, which your baby can read because mirror neurons (something they mention over and over on the blog/book in a way that really stretches the actual science involved, but I digress.) It's sort of like The Secret for baby sleep - if it goes wrong, it's because you didn't believe in yourself. Not because the method just isn't right for your baby.
I'm a working mom. The hour before bed and night time feeding are sometimes all I get with my kid. Now this book is basically here to say that the snuggles, occasional long breastfeeding sessions, and feelings of sadness I get when my child spends all of our limited time desperately sobbing for me are, in effect, me ruining his chances of ever sleeping normally. Guilt city. Just what working moms need more of. Even if the method works, it can take up to 3 weeks for naps and you must get your daycare provider to use the same room setup (white noise, darkening curtains, same time, same phrases. Good thing my kid is the only important one at daycare, right?) And then you have to remain super regimented in how you do bedtime, night feeding, etc. Maybe that works for your family, but my husband and I both have jobs and he works shifts that change each day/week so this is just not a good fit for ours. I'm not against CIO type methods, but most families have two working parents and this book is just not friendly for us.
First and foremost, the important lesson to take away from all these sleep books is that you as a parent need to do what feels right for you, and if allowing your baby to cry at all is too painful for you, you need to listen to that. Some of the advice in this book didn't work for us, and I am relieved I didn't feel like I had to follow it. But overall, this book made a lot of sense to me. Other reviewers criticize it as cry-it-out ("CIO") in disguise, but here's why I strongly disagree. CIO--whether leaving your baby to cry for an hour without checking on her, or ferberizing (patting and soothing after consistent time increments)--risks leaving your baby scared or confused. Full-blown CIO means your baby is alone for a long stretch of time until she stops crying and is forced to learn to fall asleep independently. All my friends who have done this say it's very effective and it happens fast. But to me, I felt like my baby would feel scared, like I abandoned her and was never coming back. Ferberizing seemed like an acceptable alternative, but the Happy Sleeper makes a compelling case for why it's actually harder for your baby: you leave her for five/seven/whatever minutes and she protests, then you come in and pat and shush her so she gets a glimmer of hope that you'll take over and make it all better, then you leave again. So, even though she's not feeling abandoned, she's confused, and you're actually actively preventing her from self-soothing.
Enter the sleep wave. Your baby sees you there every five minutes and does not feel abandoned, yet does not get confused (as she does with Ferberizing), because you're telling her she is responsible for teaching herself to sleep. I know in my case the first two or three nights were torturous, but it was clear to me that my baby was not scared, just MAD. Within just a couple days of implementing this method, my daughter became a visibly and palpably happier baby. Now she's 16 months old, and although she's super attached to me and cries when I leave for work, she sleeps through the night consistently and always is very happy when I put her in her crib. She has very strong sleep skills, and I owe that to this book. I wish we'd had it for my older daughter too, who still has night wakings and is almost 5!
I do want to note that, at least for us, the baby learned the sleep skills she needed for nighttime sleep very quickly, but solid napping did not happen for a few months. I don't think this has anything to do with the book; just know that consistent naps tend to take longer.
I do have a few critiques of this book. First, the 0-4 month chapter (the soothing ladder, I think they called it?) is pretty unrealistic. The first few steps on the ladder never ever worked, and I imagine most people will have the same experience, unless they have a remarkably chill baby. Second, if you are a nursing mom who works outside of the home, I'd read the section about night weaning with healthy skepticism. While your baby might not need the calories in the middle of the night, you and your baby might need the connection; moreover, shaving off one minute every other night seems like a great idea to prevent a drop in milk production, but ultimately if your body is connecting to a pump most of the day and not nursing the baby at night, your milk supply will drop. Finally, I found the sections on dropping naps to be unhelpful and underdeveloped. I had a really hard time navigating the 3- to 2-nap transition, as well as the 2- to 1-nap transition, and was disappointed to find this book had little advice.
Top reviews from other countries
My son has bedshared since day 1 but by 10m this was no longer working for us,he was restless at night and I was trapped with him from bedtime and every nap. At 11m we moved him to a floorbed in his own room, this helped but I still ended up laying with him for 30mins about 5 times a night which wasn't sustainable, bedtime took 1-2hrs. We could not being ourselves to do extinction/cry it out, and the lack of a crib further complicated the matter.
At 11m I started using the happy sleeper method recommend for older toddlers who are out of cribs. The first night was hard, it took 2.5hrs as baby kept getting up and coming to the gate. Second night took 30mins, third took 15mins and since then it's been a couple of mins wriggling and that's it!
6week later bedtime is still a dream and we've also just night weaned without a fight. Still getting about 2 wakings of about 5mins each but I can honestly say this method has changed our lives. My baby now actually looks forward to sleep!! He has 2.5hrs of day naps and 11hrs at night at 1yr old and is happy as can be. I finally get a few hours in the evening with my husband
I was dead against crying to sleep, but I was at the end of my rope and more importantly, my baby wasn't getting the sleep she needed. Before trying the method in this book, I had already worked on not feeding to sleep anymore - we rocked/held instead - so that it wasn't just me who could put her down. I also worked on reducing night feeds by, again, rocking/holding/walking. This had to some degree already helped her sleep longer stretches at night. I had also worked on getting her on a consistent schedule, which also helped her take good naps already. Despite all this, we could tell the one thing she needed was to fall asleep by herself. She was fighting all our attempts to put her to bed, but once in bed and not fully asleep, she would cry. It was a battle we just couldn't win.
So - we started the method described in this book. I had prepared for hours of crying, staying up most of the night and me being emotional, but my husband and me had agreed on this and we were determined. We did our routine, put her down - crying for five minutes - we went in. Went back out - crying. However - she stopped crying and feel asleep sitting up within the next 5 min!! She had a few more cries on finding herself asleep sitting up, then eventually just laid herself down and went to sleep!! WITHIN 15 MIN! She woke a few times but each time went back to sleep within 3 min. I fed her only once and put her back down awake - again asleep within 3 min. Since starting this, she goes to sleep within 3 min of crying, and today (day 4) - no cries at all for her nap! She now sleeps through the night for 11-12 hours, instead of just about the 9 she made before, with one wakeup to drink. We could probably wean her off this feed too, but for now, my engorged breasts welcome the relief!
Wow wow wow, get this book, and do your baby and yourself a huge favour!!
It does contain lots of helpful info, especially about nap windows, the "soothing ladder" for younger babies, some fantastic tips for a bedtime routine and even a whole chapter about parent sleep. I do refer back to it now and again for info about these things. There's examples of routines depending on age, and it's all very easy to read, clearly written with sleep deprived parents in mind!
However - the sleep wave, the method you're supposed to use to help your baby sleep better, is controlled crying. Basically what you do is put your baby to bed, and say a script like "good night, I love you", then leave the room for 5 mins, and return at 5 minute intervals to repeat your "script" as long as the baby is crying. The thought behind it is that babies can and do want to settle themselves to sleep, they just need the time and space to do it, which I think sounds great, but after a lot of consideration we decided we didn't want to do it. So while I'm sure this method works well for a lot of parents, and if this sounds right for you then I would definitely recommend this book - there's lots of valuable info and I really do think the method would work, but the sleep wave method just wasn't right for our family. I wouldn't recommend buying this book if you don't want to do controlled crying.
For one thing, it's a really easy read. I read all the bits relevant to my son's age group easily in one evening, despite being massively sleep deprived. It explains the science clearly and I could recognise my exact situation in the explanations. Still sceptical, we tried it out last night. I was expecting hours of crying and even thinking I might have to stay awake all night checking on him every 5 minutes, there's no way my absolute nightmare of a sleeper would self settle. Ever. But this amazing thing happened and he was asleep within 45 mins! He woke up several times during the night, but instead of spending hours feeding/rocking him back to sleep we followed this method and he settled down within 15-20 mins each time, without us picking him up once. He slept in his cot all night for the first time in months and I only fed him once, when I normally feed him 4+ times. Tonight he went to sleep after only 10 minutes and although he's woken up a few more times he's self settled within 2 mins each time.
If you are dithering about this book, try it. Follow the instructions exactly and hopefully it will work for you too!
Definitely recommend it. It’s easy and doable. Hopefully our sleep will continue to improve and we will be able to give our baby good sleep habits.