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on 28 July 2004
This book says, basically, "breastfeed and cosleep and you
won't have a problem". Now, that may well be true for most
families - but if you've breastfed and coslept since the
beginning, and you *do* have a problem, it's frustrating and
unhelpful! Much as I admire Sears, this book went into the
charity-shop-box. I recommend Pantley's "The No Cry Sleep
Solution" instead.
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on 30 August 1999
If I'd read this, I'd have gotten rid of my waterbed before ourbaby was born, instead of spending nights on the couch until we could take it down and put a safe bed up. The family bed has become one of the best parts about having children. Nothing beats waking up to happy babies instead of hearing crying through the monitor. Or noticing your child has a fever, because the feel of her hot skin wakes you up, and you are able to take care of her before she wakens and becomes upset. Or, sensing your child's unrest and waking up and fetching a bucket/bin *before* she throws up. In three years and two children, I've never had to change soiled sheets, I've never had a rough morning awakening. Perhaps the best is hearing your child say, in the middle of the night, "Mommy? I love you mommy" and feeling an arm flung over your shoulders as your child falls back asleep. Or laying between the people you love most in the world, listening to the precious child breaths. This book taught me how to be patient and trusting of my instincts in the face of noneducated but well-meaning relatives and friends. My children are wonderful sleepers and we are all well-rested, but more importantly, we parents are more patient and educated about nighttime parenting needs. I'm only disappointed my sister has chosen to keep her waterbed and let her baby sleep elsewhere. They are both missing out on the best experience.
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on 7 April 1999
Nighttime Parenting is an invaluable guide for new parents. (This edition has outdated sleep positions in reference to SIDS, imagine the newest edition corrects it.) Yes, it does center around breastfeeding and the family bed. This should not alienate those who don't breastfeed or family bed - you still get valuable information and tips.
BUT the best thing about the book was the attitude and (nicely worded) reminder of three things:
(1) parenting does not stop at bedtime,
(2) being a doctor or even a pediatrician does not mean one is an expert on PARENTING, and
(3) many of the popular cure-all books on the market treat children's nighttime needs as problems. Certainly there are sleep disorders, but many doctors and books ignore that fact that infants are designed to awaken frequently. We've all heard it but new parents need to be reminded: this has been built into us for centuries as a survival mechanism. Until very recently in human existance, all babies slept next to their parents. If the babies awoke and were alone, they were at danger from predators and needed to cry and be found, to survive. Further, babies have tiny stomachs and breastmilk is designed to be easily digested. Babies wake up at night to eat - a very natural and essential fact.
Manipulating or forcing your baby to adhere to rigid sleeping schedules may get you 6 to 8 hours of sleep, but there are more natural techniques to ensure that ALL family members have a more enjoyable sleep.
My daughters have both slept through the night from 4 weeks. We do the family bed, and I still nurse my 9 month old. She surfaces to nurse but we both sleep through it, so she truly does sleep through the night.
We had the same anxieties that other new parents do, and this book helped us use our own common sense with confidence.
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on 15 June 1998
This book provides practical information on finding a solution that will meet the needs of your family (needs of baby AND parent). It advocates responding to your baby's needs in a way that is very natural and loving.
Co-sleeping with your baby is not the only solution Dr. Sears suggests. For more information on co-sleeping historically and cross-culturally, I recommend The Family Bed by Tine Thevenin. If you're looking for solutions to your older baby's sleep problems, you may also want to see The Discipline Book by Dr. Sears.
I understand the urge of parents who want to have their babies trained to sleep through the night in a nursery room -- some times I wish for the free time I imagine that affords. But we have fewer night problems than people we know who follow other methods. It's easier to make choices as a parent when you sort your wants from your needs. Babies ask for what they need. We have a very peaceful time as a family by following Dr. Sears advice and it really shows in our toddler's daytime and nighttime behavior.
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on 7 January 1997
For parents who are looking for an alternative to the
"cry-it-out" theory of getting their baby or child to sleep,
this is the book for you. William Sears provides practical
advice on everything from the causes of night-waking in
infants and children to the best furniture to buy for
the children to sleep on. He covers important information
about Sudden Infant Death Syndrome, night terrors, bed-wetting,
thumbsucking, nighttime fathering tips, nighttime
parenting of high-need babies, and much more. Working moms
will particularly like this book because it will give them
practical advice on how to ensure their young baby "knows
who their mom is!" Sears' advice not only works, but it just
plain "feels right". I've raised my two kids (now 2-1/2 and 10 mos)
using his advice, and it really works. A "must buy" for every
parent's library.
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on 21 November 1997
This book strongly pushes the "family bed" technique of child rearing. If you're interested in that, this book is for you. If, however, you have an older infant who has suddenly decided she doesn't want to sleep, you're not going to get a lot of help from this book. There are a few suggestions and comments that might help you, but the book is really written for the new parent - to start your baby sleeping in your bed from the very beginning. Very well written with an obvious abundance of knowledge about babies, but not the book for everyone; and not the answer to questions about a baby sleeping in her own bed.
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on 6 June 1999
I don't know what I would have done without the great books from Dr. Bill and Martha Sears. I knew what I felt was the right way to parent by listening to my "mother's intuition", but I was also hearing a lot of conflicting advice. I was constantly being told not to nurse my 6-month old daughter to sleep, not to let her sleep in our bedroom, and not to feed her at night. After reading this book from Dr. Bill, I not only let my daughter sleep in my room, she is now in the bed with me. We both sleep so much better, since she can nurse without either of us waking up. It is a perfect scenario for today's busy lifestyle. Even as a stay-at-home mom, sometimes I don't get the private bonding time that I would like, so night time is our special time to cuddle together. She knows that her father and I are always there for her - not just when it is convenient for us. I have also started finding MANY people who share sleep with their children, and I feel much more confident about my mothering skills. I can't imagine my daughter being stuck in a room by herself alone, and Iam so thankful that I read this book from Dr. Sears. What a gift to bond with your child at night.
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on 21 September 2011
This book helped me keep breastfeeding my twins and probably saved my marriage! It was lovely to read and gave me all of the reassurance I needed to sleep safely with my twins overnight which allowed me and my husband to get more sleep and stopped us being tempted to move twins onto bottles. Had read Gina Ford (decided quickly it wouldn't suit my personality) and tried dream feeding and "putting down to sleep drowsy but awake" but was not successful at getting much sleep. this book reassured me I was not "spoiling" my twins by responding to their cries and helped me form a more loving respectful relationship with them (even more than I already had). Daddy never gets up in the night and the twins rarely wake him. They never cry overnight now and I wake up with babies cooing to me and playing with my hair! Twins now 9 months and I am a happy well slept mummy with two happy bfeeding babies. Thanks Dr Sears! If you have tried everything and its not working - try reading this, it might just change your mind about a few things.
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on 25 June 2016
Very balanced book, full of information to help you as a parent understand your child and in turn cope with nighttime wakings. I would thoroughly recommend this book. I love Dr Sears and his wife Martha Sears !
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on 16 February 2013
So much agree with the idea of co-sleeping, that's why I really love this book. I started co-sleaping when my little one was 7 months old after red this book... only sad I didn't know about this book earlier. We all can get much better and longer sleep now when baby is sleeping with us.
Recoment this book to every parent (especially first time parents).
One of my favorite parenting books of all times.
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