One of the most difficult things about taking care of a new baby is getting through the night. From birth to toddlerhood, it’s hard for most parents to get their kids to go to sleep at the same time every night. Getting your sweetie to go to bed and wake up at the same time every day can help you in the future and set healthy sleeping habits that you and your child will both enjoy. Getting help from people who know about babies can help you lay down the law about bedtime so your child doesn’t have to go through a lot of drama before going to sleep. Before you start any kind of sleep training, you should talk to your pediatrician to make sure it’s the right thing for you and your child.
Here are the best books to help you on your way to getting your child to sleep.
Best for Newborns: The Happiest Baby on the Block: The New Way to Calm Crying and Help Your Newborn Baby Sleep Longer
In this book by Dr. Harvey Karp, he explains how he came up with new ways to soothe babies and get them to sleep better. He talks about the “fourth trimester,” which is when babies still need a womb-like environment to feel safe and soothed, and the 5 S’s, which are swaddling, shushing, swinging, and sucking. In this book, you’ll learn about infant sleep, bedsharing, breastfeeding, and swaddling, as well as how to make your child the happiest and most well-rested baby on the block.
Even though this book isn’t really about sleep training, it will help you calm down a fussy baby in no time at all. People who have just had their first child have found this book very helpful, and they also use many of the tips for their next children, too.
Best for First Year: Healthy Sleep Habits, Happy Child
Healthy Sleep Habits, Happy Child is another sleep book that has been around for a long time. It combines the most up-to-date research with practical advice to help parents get their kids to sleep with ease. Dr. Marc Weissbluth, a well-known pediatrician, talks about how he came up with a new way to help kids get a good night’s sleep, which he often thinks is because babies are too tired. There’s a whole idea that a baby who sleeps better will be happier (and so will Mom and Dad, too). He also talks about how to deal with kids who don’t want to nap, how to deal with bedwetting, nightmares, and how to get kids to fall asleep on their own.
Dr. Weissbluth does say that the “cry it out” method is the fastest way to get your child to sleep. Some parents don’t like this method, so if that’s you, this title might not be right for you.
Best Emotional Support: The Sleepeasy Solution
For both parents and babies, sleep training can be a lot of work. They say to start training around five months. This book explains what your baby is going through from then on, and how you can help him or her. There are many ways to get your baby to fall asleep on their own. This book will show you how (fading or extinction). It will also help you talk about how to wean your child off of nighttime feeds with little crying and how to deal with common sleep problems like teething, sickness, separation anxiety, and any other problems that will happen over time.
This book has been read by many famous people, like Ben Stiller, Conan O’Brien, and more!
Best for Twins: 13 Hours’ Sleep by 12 Weeks Old
If you have twins, you have twice as many reasons to get your babies to sleep on a schedule right away. Parents of multiples and single babies love this book because it shows them how to get their babies to sleep for 12 hours a night by the age of 12 weeks.
In this case, the expert on babies and sleep is called the “bab Suzy Giordano’s simple method of feeding babies at regular times and reducing the amount of milk they drink at night can work well with any baby, even one who is fussy. There are a lot of steps in her method, but it also helps babies get the sleep they need and makes them have regular feedings and long naps during the day.
People say this book is too intense for their parenting style, and it might be hard for breastfeeding mothers to use this method because it is so intense. As with any kind of sleep training, you should talk to your pediatrician first.
Best for Toddlers: Sleeping Through the Night
To get your toddler to sleep through the night, you’ll need a book that talks about how to do it in a way that works for their age. A sleep expert called Dr. Jodi A. Mindell has written a book called Sleeping Through the Night. She gives practical advice for bedtime rather than middle-of-the-night sleep training, which can be hard for kids to do at night. With a supportive and encouraging tone, she helps parents understand their babies and toddlers’ sleep problems and gives them the best and most effective strategies based on years of research. When you read her advice, you’ll learn how to help your child get to sleep and stay asleep, and how to move your baby into their own room.
Best Cry It Out: Solve Your Child’s Sleep Problems
The American Academy of Pediatrics says that the cry it out (CIO) method works well for many parents, and it doesn’t have long-term effects on kids’ behavior, even though some parents don’t like it. It’s one of the best-known CIO experts, pediatrician Dr. Richard Ferber, who talks about how parents can use the method to teach their babies how to self-soothe on their own and get them to sleep on their own in his book.
Besides giving advice on the Ferber method, he talks about a lot of other things that happen when you sleep, like bedtime problems and nighttime wakings, effective strategies for naps, sleep schedule irregularities, co-sleeping, sleep terrors and sleepwalking, sleep apnea, narcolepsy, and bed-wetting.
Best for Breastfeeding: Solve Your Child’s Sleep Problems
A tool called The No-Cry Sleep Solution might be right for you if you don’t want to try the CIO method. This method is based on research and can help parents figure out and work with their baby’s natural sleep rhythms and come up with a plan that works for their child. Educator Elizabeth Pantley, who is also a mother of four, helps parents understand common sleep problems and gives them advice on how to teach their babies to fall asleep without breastfeeding, bottle-feeding, or using a toy to help them sleep, among other things.
While her method takes a lot of time and effort, she thinks that the gentle and gradual no-cry method meets the needs of a child.
Best Gentle: Secrets of the Baby Whisperer
Tracy Hogg, a baby and sleep expert, has been called “The Baby Whisperer” by thousands of grateful families she has helped. She talks about her new and gentle method for getting babies to sleep. Step-by-step, she lays out how to get your baby to sleep when he wants to, how to get him to feed, play, and even how to put him to sleep on his own.
Hogg helps parents understand their baby’s temperament by giving them her tips on how to read what your baby is trying to say, how to figure out your baby’s personality type, and how to interact with that type. Secrets of the Baby Whisperer gives parents the information and confidence they need to help their babies learn good sleep habits. It’s written in a way that is both practical and reassuring.
Best Classic: On Becoming Babywise
If you want to learn how to better manage your child, this book is for you. It has been one of the best guides for two decades. As a pediatrician, Robert Bucknam, MD, is one of the best in the field. He and co-author Gary Ezzo offer ways for parents to successfully and naturally synchronize their baby’s feeding, wake, and nighttime cycles so they can get them on a general schedule. They also talk about things that might keep babies from sleeping, like colic and reflux. When they use common sense, they end up with happy, healthy babies who are usually able to sleep through the night between seven and nine weeks old.
This book does involve sleep learning earlier than is recommended, so please check with your child’s doctor before you start reading.
Best Quick-Reference: Moms on Call
A sleep training plan that is easy to follow and based on reality might be the right guide for you. Moms on Call might be the one. The book was written by two pediatric nurse moms who have more than 20 years of experience and eight kids between them. It has step-by-step instructions for getting babies on a schedule and sleeping through the night.
Everything you need to know about how to care for babies in the first six months of their lives is in there. Moms on Call is a great resource for parents who don’t get enough sleep. It’s organized in a simple and clear way so they can get the information they need right away.