Wednesday, February 10, 2010

General Info & Baby Sleep Books

Before reading my thoughts, please keep in mind that I don't tend to follow the attachment parenting views and I am a fan of scheduling & sleep training babies. I know that everyone has different opinions about how best to raise their babies, so I just wanted to throw that out there that my opinions on these books comes from the above general viewpoints. Feel free to disagree!

On Becoming Baby Wise by Gary Ezzo, M.A. and Robert Bucknam, M.D.
I read this book while I was pregnant & then I read a lot of it again right at the beginning of Isis being home. I had planned on just really sticking with this, but found that the only thing I could really put into practice was the every 2 1/2 to 3 hour feeding routine & then eat, wake, sleep pattern. While I still think it's a great method if you can do it, I found myself basically flying by the seat of my pants right at the beginning and my main problems were that I couldn't get Isis to go to sleep. She would fight it so much and the book didn't really offer any solutions for the problems I was having. I had a several day old baby wanting to stay awake for like 4-5 hours at a time & then being super fussy & not sleeping well when she did go to sleep. My problem had more to do with sleep than with a routine.

Twelve Hours Sleep by Twelve Weeks Old by Suzy Giordano
My friend Kristin recommended this book to me! It's such a quick, easy read! Another one of the books talks about it and describes it as being "baby boot camp" - which it totally is when I think about it! It's a several step process that you begin at a specific time. It has to do with spreading the feedings to every 4 hours and then eliminating night-time feedings slowly by increasing the amount the baby eats during the day and then decreasing the amount eaten at night by an ounce or two every three nights. Then it finishes with establishing a bedtime routine and then establishing 2 naps during the day. The baby ends up sleeping 15 hours a day by 12 weeks old - 12 hours at night and then two naps during the day. Because of the methods of her plan, she says not to begin the plan until the baby is at least 9 pounds and is taking in at least 24 oz of formula or breastmilk. I really like this plan and took a few tidbits from it, but my main issue with it was that she recommends that you pump and feed the baby from a bottle while doing the training so that you can make sure she's getting enough food, but I didn't want to do that. So I'm doing a variation of it that won't be so stressful on me or Isis.

Baby 411 by Denise Fields and Ari Brown, M.D.
This book isn't just for sleep, but for all baby info! I found it very helpful in all areas! It's something I will keep referring to throughout her first year. In terms of sleep, they have 10 commandments for sleep including these 5: teach baby to fall asleep on their own, be consistent - establish a routine, always sleep in the same place for daytime and nighttime, nap time and bedtime should be about the same time everyday, always follow your sleep ritual. There is a whole chapter on sleep as well as chapters on discipline, illness, nutrition, development & first aid.

The Lull-A-Baby Sleep Plan by Cathryn Tobin, M.D.
This plan follows the same general guides as having a bedtime ritual, put the baby down sleepy but awake, etc. Their specific lulling plan has to do with sitting by the baby's bed and talking quietly to lull them to sleep. The problem I had with this was that you have to do it every time in the middle of the night and everything. It does talk a lot about the Window of Opportunity (WOO) that you have for sleep training your child. They say the WOO begins to open at 6-8 weeks, is wide open at 8-16 weeks, begins to close at 16-28 weeks and is shut at 9 months and older. So she says if you begin your sleep training within the WOO that you'll have the greatest opportunity for success. She also gives you several things to look for developmentally to tell if your baby is ready for training. This is how Lewis and I determined that Isis was probably ready.

Sleeping Through the Night by Jodi A. Mindell, Ph.D.
I still haven't completely finished this book, but I really like it so far & I'm about 3/4 of the way through it. Jodi Mindell is the associate director of the Sleep Disorders Center at The Children's Hospital of Philadelphia, so the way she writes focuses on the science of sleep and has lots of information & research. She focuses on a "Basic Bedtime Method" with 4 steps. This is the method that we most closely follow in our sleep training. Step 1 is setting a consistent bedtime. Step 2 is establish a bedtime routine. Step 3 is setting up the bedroom environment. Step 4 is putting the baby down awake. The thing I really like about her book is that she touches on other topics that are involved in sleep training, such as advice for single parents, advice for adult sleep problems, etc.

Any other books you would recommend?


Jennifer said...

Little secret but thanks for your opinions on the books... we will hopefully be using them sometime soon! I have heard of BabyWise and my sister in law recently gave it to me but I haven't started reading it yet since I have a little while. But I'm super nervous about this sleep thing so I will be getting all of the books you recommend!

Cameron said...

I have loved reading these books! I'm not following any of them exactly because you kinda gotta see what fits best for your baby, but I'm so happy I read all of them for different reasons! I think they all have something that will help anyone!! You'll have to let me know what you think when it's time for you to start reading them!!

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