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Are you looking for the best book on baby sleep? We’ve got you covered.
Sleep is absolutely vital for babies.
Good sleep promotes healthy brain development, both physically and mentally, encouraging the growth of brain tissue, forming synapse connections, storing memories for learning, restoring energy, and more, essentially establishing the foundations for your baby’s future learning, health, and behavior.
Studies show that quality sleep supports physical growth, literally boosting the levels of growth hormone to develop healthy bones and muscles.
Good sleep for infants also helps heart function, protecting it against stress hormones and cholesterol. The most recent studies suggest that babies who don’t get good sleep are more prone to diabetes, obesity, and other health problems in later life, as well as having an increased risk of mental and emotional health issues, plus difficulties with language and reading.
And let’s not forget you guys.
Sleep is important for adults too, and if your baby isn’t sleeping, neither are you. This often leads to sleep deprivation resulting in extreme fatigue, mood swings — and in the case of moms, an increased risk of postpartum depression — making daily life much harder to cope with.
Also, a baby who sleeps well is also much happier when awake, more responsive, easier to feed and soothe, and generally more more agreeable than a tired, grumpy baby, which means less stress for parents.
It makes a whole lot of sense therefore, to establish an effective sleep routine for baby as soon as possible.
However, all children are individuals, and what may work well for one infant may not work for another. The internet is packed with advice on how to ensure babies get good sleep, but this information is often ill informed and unreliable.
The best knowledge, advice and strategies come straight from the experts. We’ve compiled this list of books to help parents develop effective sleep routines to benefit baby — and themselves.
Read on to discover the best book on baby sleeping…
Best Books on Baby Sleep
Dr. Marc Weissbluth is not only an experienced and distinguished pediatrician with his own general practice spanning 40 years and who founded Chicago Children’s Hospital’s Sleep Disorders Center, but also a father of four and grandfather to eight grandchildren — so he really knows his stuff.
His groundbreaking book — Healthy Sleep Habits, Happy Child — is a child care classic, and this revised 4th edition has been improved and expanded to educate parents about his step-by-step program for creating beneficial sleep habits in line with children’s natural sleep cycles and circadian rhythms to prevent the development of unhealthy sleep patterns from the get go.
It covers sleep strategies and solutions and demonstrates how to understand healthy sleep habits, and how to establish healthy sleep habits from infancy through to adolescence.
This book also features invaluable information on how to treat sleep problems if and when they arise, and how parents can avoid making common mistakes when it’s time to put their child to bed, how to understand the sleep needs of the individual child, how sleep deprivation can affect parents and the family unit, and much more.
Since setting up her blog ‘Precious Little Sleep’ in 2011, Alexis Dubief’s online audience has grown into the millions.
Dubief has invested years interviewing experts, connecting with a number of eminent pediatricians and pediatric sleep specialists, digging into research, and working with individual families to understand why sleep is challenging and what parents can do to improve things.
The results of her labors are now available to parents in her comprehensive book — Precious Little Sleep: The Complete Baby Sleep Guide for Modern Parents.
Witty and lighthearted, yet honest and compassionate, this book on baby sleeping is bursting with the benefits of Dubief’s experience. It demonstrates clear, easy to follow and easily adaptable strategies to improve the sleep of both children and parents.
The first chapters include all the essential information you need to know about sleep safety, where you baby should sleep, and what to expect in the first three months.
Other sections deal with subjects including common bedtime problems, how to teach your baby to fall asleep, baby sleep power tools, how to help your baby learn to sleep without you, how to handle night waking, and how to become the Zen Nap Ninja Master. Entertaining as well as informative, Precious Little Sleep is a must have for modern parents.
This 404 page book on baby sleeping caused a sensation when it was first released in 1985.
The new edition has been revised and expanded to include the most up to date research and techniques, making it indispensable for parents today.
It contains everything parents need to know about the fundamentals of sleep for children, from newborns through to adolescents.
Richard Ferber M.D. is an associate professor of neurology at the Harvard Medical School and director of the Center for Pediatric Sleep Disorders at Children’s Hospital Boston, and has been researching sleep and sleep disorders in children for over 30 years.
In this book he employs all his experience to tackle matters such as how to tell if your child has a sleep problem, how sleep stages develop in children, sleep and waking patterns, and the importance of natural circadian rhythms.
This book guides parents to help their children establish good sleep practices with bedtime routines and develop good schedules, decide whether or not they should co-sleep with their child, how to set boundaries, deal with a child’s night time fears and anxieties, and a whole host of other useful information that can easily be tailored to suit each individual child.
As the saying goes — nature knows best. The Natural Baby Sleep Solution: Use Your Child’s Internal Sleep Rhythms for Better Nights and Naps by Dr Polly Moore employs science and nature theory to create a multiple step NAPS program for parents to ensure that their baby gets all the day and night time sleep he or she needs, the natural way.
With the NAPS plan, Moore has incorporated her wealth of experience to design a program for babies ages from 2 weeks to 1 year old, based on the 90 minute patterns of babies’ natural biological rhythms as they cycle between wakeful alert periods and sleep periods.
There are individual chapters dedicated to the basics of the NAPS plan, as well as how the NAPS program can be adapted for babies as they grow from 2 weeks to 5 months, and from 5 months to a year.
The book is well written and easy to follow, and includes a handy journal for parents to register all the important details about their children’s sleep habits.
Dr Polly Moore is one of the foremost leading experts on sleep in the United States and the director of sleep research at the California Clinical trials in San Diego, as well as the mother of two young children.
Hearing your baby cry it out when he or she should be getting good sleep can be heartbreaking and frustrating.
The No-Cry Sleep Solution for Newborns: Amazing Sleep from Day One – For Baby and You by Elizabeth Pantley has been created specifically with newborns in mind, and is a fantastic guide for new or expectant parents.
Based on the basic principle that babies don’t need to be trained to nap and sleep as they naturally spend so much time doing it in the womb, the book contains 15 key approaches to ensure that your baby gets the most beneficial sleep every time he or she is put to bed.
Pantley writes in a warm, non-judgemental and engaging manner with concepts based on the experiences of real life parents that are easy to understand and simple to follow.
Her book highlights issues such as the common unintentional errors parents make that disrupt a baby’s natural sleep instead of aiding it, and the setting of realistic expectations about infant sleep and the focus on building attachment through responsiveness.
It also contains a host of tips and good advice regarding how to realize that baby needs to nap, how to create a soothing environment that helps baby fall asleep, how to make sure baby sleeps soundly without waking too soon, and ways in which parents can set a solid groundwork for excellent sleep habit that continue as they grow.
The Baby Whisperer Solves All Your Problems: Sleeping, Feeding, and Behavior–Beyond the Basics from Infancy Through Toddlerhood
You may well have heard of the horse whisperer, but what about the baby whisperer?
In this 416 page book for baby sleeping, child expert and ex British nurse Tracy Hogg addresses the issues of eating, sleeping and behavioral problems in infants and toddlers.
It offers useful insights into how your baby’s mind works and how to understand how they are communicating with you.
Hogg’s methods revolve around 12 principles of problem solving which help parents identify any issues and deal with them as effectively as possible.
She stresses the importance of establishing patterns and routines, and the chapter on sleep problems is especially useful, with troubleshooting tips to help determine whether a baby is overstimulated, in discomfort, hungry or lacks an adequate sleep ritual, as well as how best to get baby to sleep, and recognize and remedy accidental parental behaviour that can be the unintentional cause of many sleep issues for babies.
The Baby Whisperer Solves All Your Problems: Sleeping, Feeding, and Behavior–Beyond the Basics from Infancy Through Toddlerhood is not just a valuable tool for parents who want their babies to get the best sleep, it’s also a fantastic guide for all aspects of parenting babies and younger children.
The Happiest Baby on the Block; Fully Revised and Updated Second Edition: The New Way to Calm Crying and Help Your Newborn Baby Sleep Longer
This 2002 book on newborn sleeping and soothing techniques that has sold more than a million copies has now been totally updated to include all the latest research.
Written by well known pediatrician and baby and parenting expert Dr Harvey Karp, The Happiest Baby on the Block; Fully Revised and Updated Second Edition provides parents with down to earth, practical advice and insights into why their baby cries for hours for seemingly no reason, and how to turn things around and enable baby to stop crying and get good, healthy sleep.
The book is divided into two main parts. The first section deals with why babies cry, why some cry so much more than others, breastfeeding, the risks of sudden infant death syndrome, and more.
The book’s second section is dedicated to the art of soothing a baby, and provides comprehensive information on various techniques including swaddling, shushing, side position, swinging, sucking, colic remedies, and how to tailor make the perfect ‘cuddle cure’ for your baby.
Karp’s gentle yet effective approach has been proven to really help babies settle, and this book makes an ideal companion for not only parents who are at their wits’ ends because of a baby’s incessant crying, but also all new and expecting parents.
Cosleeping with your baby can be a contentious issue. Dr. James J. McKenna’s book, Sleeping with Your Baby: A Parent’s Guide to Cosleeping, dispels many of the myths and outdated practices surrounding cosleeping, and demonstrates that it can in fact help both mothers and infants to sleep better, to thrive mentally and emotionally, and even reduce the risk of sudden infant death syndrome and other health related issues.
Professor James J. McKenna is recognized as one of the world’s leading authorities on mother-infant cosleeping, and has published almost 140 scientific articles on the subjects of co-sleeping, breastfeeding, evolutionary medicine and SIDS.
In part one of his book, he provides a well researched introduction to cosleeping, including the benefits of cosleeping for both baby and parents, the importance of cosleeping for both breastfeeding and formula feeding mothers, and guidance on how to support babies getting optimal sleep and nourishment during the night.
Part two confronts the issues surrounding how to cosleep safely with your child, the consequences of unsafe bed sharing, and details the proper way to cosleep.
The third section in this book is composed of an enlightening FAQ and general advice about cosleeping, which answers many of the worries and burning questions that parents often ask.
Short but endlessly inspiring, McKenna’s book shows that cosleeping is a part of a loving, supportive environment that parents produce for their children, and this, in turn, will give them the confidence to grow into social, happy, loving adults.
On Becoming Babywise: Giving Your Infant the Gift of Nighttime Sleep “2019 edition”- Interactive Support
Updated for 2019, this essential parenting manual for newborns has been finely honed and revised to include the most up to date research from top pediatricians and doctors.
Co authors Dr Robert Bucknam, M.D. Gary Ezzo have created this best selling book for baby sleeping based on 520 case studies of newborns who have successfully responded to their approach that it is up to parents to direct and manage every aspect of their baby’s upbringing, including structured nap times, play times, feeding techniques and more in order to synchronize the schedule of your baby to enable both parents and baby to have an uninterrupted good night’s sleep.
On Becoming Babywise: Giving Your Infant the Gift of Nighttime Sleep “2019 edition makes the claim that by following the guidelines provided, babies will be able to sleep through the night by the age of eight weeks old.
As the infant grows, the schedule changes to adapt to baby’s needs until he or she naturally transitions into a following a typical daily routine with three meals, normal naps, and continuous sleep at night.
Although somewhat controversial, millions of parents worldwide have found this book to be extremely helpful in those first weeks after bringing baby home, and beyond.
The 2019 edition features interactive, live online support to provide a forum where new parents can ask questions and benefit from the experience of others.
Which do you think is the best book on baby sleep training?