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There are so many sleep training books out there. It can be overwhelming to work out which one is the right book to choose. Finding the best sleep training books for you can really help you with your child or baby’s sleep. Both to set up healthy sleep habits in the early years or if you are considering embarking on the sleep training process.
As an expert sleep consultant, who has read a whole lot of the sleep books out there, and knows all about child and baby sleep, I am going to run through the best baby sleep books, so that you can make the right decision on what book to buy.
My favorite books:
Dr. Weissbluth has almost 50 years of experience as a pediatrician and is considered a leading expert on child sleep. He uses the latest research to provide sleep advice and information from birth until the teen years. This book can be your sleep bible, with information on the science of sleep, creating healthy sleep habits, information on different age groups, different methods for sleep training and more. It is quite a long book, but he provides tired parent summaries, which helps you zero in on the most pertinent information in each chapter.
Dr Ferber is a physician with over 30 years of experience sleep and sleep disorders in children. His book provides advice on helping teach babies and children to sleep through the night as well as other issues like night terrors, bedwetting and sleep walking. He only talks about one sleep training method, commonly known as the Ferber Method, which involves leaving your baby for periods to potentially cry. This may not be for everyone.
Heather Turgeon And Julie Wright are both psyschotherapists and sleep experts. Their best-selling book is a researched based book with age appropriate sleep information and the science of sleep. They even provide information on mindfulness and meditation for parents. It is an easy read and they provide a step-by-step program for both babies and toddlers using their specially devised method. These methods do involve crying. Personally I love using their toddler sleep method for families that come to me with toddler sleep issues.
Kim West’s book explores a gradual, more gentle sleep training method to solve children’s sleep struggles. But there could still be crying, it just means that a parent can be there during the process of sleep training. This sleep training method won’t always be a good method for every child, it will depend on their temperament. The information in her book is organized into different ages. One great thing is that Kim West has also written a book for children with special needs called The Good Night Sleep Tight Workbook for Children Special Needs.
This book is an easy to read, step-by-step plan for how to solve your baby or child’s sleep problems. It is important to note that the plan involves one method. The book does a great job at exploring the importance of sleep, when to, and not to, sleep train – which is incredibly important. The book also covers different issues like separation anxiety, teething, nap resistance, potty training, fears and more.
Dr. Karp is a pediatrician who has not only written books but developed his own bassinet for the newborn sleep period. His book is a wonderful read for new parents during the fourth trimester. The book provides practical tips for parents to soothe their newborns using his 5s method (swaddling, side/stomach position, shushing, swinging and rocking. This is a gentle method designed to help parents up to about 4 months of age.
An honorable mention needs to go to The Wonder Weeks book by Frans X. Plooij and Hetty van de Rijt.
This is a great book for finding out whether your baby’s fussy behavior is caused my leaps in their mental development- when they are learning new skills. I often check this book out when I’m working with my clients as well, because sometimes it explains their sleep regression during sleep training. Not only is it a helpful book, but there is an app as well.
Other books you may want to consider, but I don’t generally recommend.
- The No-Cry Sleep Solution: Gentle Ways to Help Your Baby Sleep Through the Night by Elizabeth Pantley.
This book describes a gentle method, so if your parenting style is to go gentle, this book may be for you. It is about gently removing habits, which may not work for fall babies. It provides helpful advice on how babies sleep and common sleep problems that parents can experience.
Tracy Hogg explores a gentle method of picking up your baby and calming them each time they cry. Through personal experience this doesn’t work for every baby and when it does, the baby is usually at most 5 months old. The book explores well the different temperaments of babies, which can help you understand your baby. There is no information on the science of baby sleep, which is so important for new moms and dads.
This book has good information on sleep associations and what to look out for. It recommends less hours of sleep than I would ideally want a baby to have. She also recommends a very strict sleep routine for parents to follow. She recommends one method that is not one that is on the gentle spectrum. I wrote more about this book in a previous post. You can check it out here.
This book gives an unrealistic impression of babies being able to sleep 12 hours by 12 weeks of age. This isn’t possible for all babies. Some babies still need to wake up for a feed until 6 – 9 months of age. The general idea of the book is to decrease feeds overnight and increase feeds during the day. This is much more doable for a formula fed baby than a breastfed baby. The sleep schedules described in the book are too little for babies. I have also written more about the pros and cons of this book. Check it out here.
I hope this helps you decide which sleep book is the right one for you. And if you’d prefer to skip the book and have a consultation instead. I would be more than happy to help you and your little one get a good night’s sleep. With a variety of methods under my belt, we can come up with a plan you are comfortable with. You’ll receive step-by-step instructions, and support while you implement. My goal is not just to fix your little one’s sleep but help the whole family become better rested.