Monday, April 22, 2013

Happiest Baby Guide to Great Sleep :: A Book Review

There are so many things to think about when preparing for the arrival of your first baby. Other than turning your house upside down with your new found love of nesting organizing, there is a nursery to design and setup, closets to clean, baby clothes to fold, doctors to choose and childbirth classes to take. And that is just the beginning.

One of the things that has had me the most curious is how we will do settling into our new life, and into important new routines. Of course I don't know what exactly to expect during the process of establishing said routines, but I do imagine there will be breastfeeding, new sleeping arrangements (read: no sleep) and the eventual pattern of sleep training. I can plan as much as I want to, but still not know how all of this will fall into place until the time actually comes and G Baby is giving us a run for our money in the sleep department.

But I thought that doing my research now and reading up on some popularly used sleep training tips and techniques wouldn't be a bad place to start. Especially since I still have time to read, and sleep, right now. 

So, when I was offered the chance to read and review Harper Collins' 'The Happiest Baby Guide to Great Sleep,' I thought it might be a great place to begin.

'Backed by compelling science, common sense and decades of experience, Dr. Karp’s landmark guide will revolutionize how millions of children drift off to dreamland.' Dr. Harvey Karp does a great job dispelling some commonly used sleep training myths, and offering up useful tips and advice for any parent that is struggling to create a good sleep pattern for their baby or toddler. These tips include the following ...
  • How to train brand new babies to sleep better: Infants can be taught to sleep at least one extra hour from the first weeks of life! Dr. Karp shows how to safely boost baby sleep in just days. 
  • What’s the best white noise (and which ones worsen sleep): The right white noise (low pitched and rumbling) is the key to good sleep—even through teething—for all babies. Plus, it even gives parents a more restful sleep 
  • Why parents should always wake a sleeping baby: For good sleep, babies must learn how to self-soothe. The best way to teach babies how to fall back to sleep—when they rouse in the middle of the night—is to wake them just as they’re being put into bed. 
  • How to enjoy the benefits - and avoid the risks - of swaddling: Swaddling dramatically improves a new baby’s sleep. Yet, many states are shockingly banning this ancient parenting tool. Smart moms should do it and Dr. Karp will teach them how to do it properly and safely. 
  • The importance of powering down: Staring at bright screens at night (TVs, computers, phones) can wreak a toddler and a parent’s sleep. 
  • Easy "no-cry" tips that end infant and toddler bedtime struggles in just days!
While I am certainly no pro at employing these tips, I am working hard to build my knowledge of helpful advice like this while we prepare for Gavin's arrival. I figure I can't go wrong with doing copious research and then taking a bit from each style ad creating one that is personalized for our family. 

I plan to write another post touching on this subject once I have had a few months at home with G and have tried out some of the best tips that I have come across.

Have you tried the 'Happiest Baby' sleep training tips? Perhaps renting the DVD and having B watch with me would be a fun, educational idea?! 

Please share your thoughts and advice!

“I am participating in a book review campaign with One2One Network. I received this book from Harper Collins for the purposes of reviewing it. I have not received compensation. My participation in the campaign enters me into a drawing for a gift card. All opinions stated are my own.”


Rachel said...

We didn't read this, but we did watch The Happiest Baby on the Block DVD together and it was so helpful! My husband was sort of "whatever" about it at first, but once we watched it, he admitted that it was well worth our 45 min! We also got the DVD at our local library, so it was free!

{annie_loo} @ The Farrar Four said...

I didn't read this, but I did do Baby Wise. I think the route of eat-play-sleep is great. Just as this book says, it's good for doesn't always work, but if you shoot for it, its helpful. Also, consistency is key. For mine, doing the same thing every night was good for him (and me). You'll figure out what works for you. No two babies are alike and no book has all the answers but you can merge what you've read with what makes you comfortable to figure out what works for y'all.

Ashley said...

I never read any parenting books on sleep, I used my experience of three kids and what worked best for us. My biggest piece of advice I always give parents is DON'T get your child relying on something to help them sleep... examples would be white noise, night lights, rocking them to sleep, etc. Once they get dependent on that item to fall asleep it will be a hard habit to break. The only exception to this would be a pacifier. Pacifiers have shown to reduce the risk of SIDS. The most common one I see my friends/family doing is holding the baby while he/she sleeps. Then the baby can't sleep unless being held. I made that mistake with my first so with our second and third sleeping only happened in crib, bassinet, playpen, etc. (starting in the hospital). Bed time was a million times easier with those two. Our three slept through the night at 6, 4, and 6 weeks.
I also like to tell people that you have to relax. If you're stressing over the sleep, baby is going to feel your stress and get worked up himself. We've actually applied that to every part of parenting and so far it's worked great :)
Good luck, whatever you do I'm sure it will be right for your family!

Erin said...

We used a lot (but not all) of his Happiest Baby on the Block. Babywise was NOT my parenting style AT ALL, and this was more up my alley. Was it because of this that Katherine was sleeping 7-8 hours a night at 6 weeks old? I'll never know. Babies have their own sleep personalities! But I know it sure made ME feel better! Like someone else said, I really tried not to let her rely on anything as a sleep aid (except for a pacifier), and didn't introduce white noise until around 3 months. She doesn't need it to sleep, but it's nice when we want to cover up the noise of a late movie or dinner party :)

Jennifer said...

I loved this book! We definitely used some of the tips with our first and will do so with our second!

Sarah said...

LOVED this book!