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67 of 68 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars research-based advice
This has been the most helpful book I have read on the subject of child sleeping patterns and I wish I had read it before our baby was born, because as a previous reviewer has pointed out, there are issues with layout, repetition and consistency. One needs time to digest and understand the book and it can indeed be difficult to follow if one is already sleep deprived...
Published on 6 Jun 2007 by London Reviewer

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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Poorly written, confusing and unhelpful
Dr Weissbluth clearly knows a huge amount about children's sleep patterns. Unfortunately he's totally unable to express himself in a manner which is accessible to anyone else. I pride myself that I'm not starting from scratch on this subject (2 biology degrees and a career in science policy) but I found this book most unhelpful.

The book is very long, at nearly...
Published 21 months ago by rhd23


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67 of 68 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars research-based advice, 6 Jun 2007
This has been the most helpful book I have read on the subject of child sleeping patterns and I wish I had read it before our baby was born, because as a previous reviewer has pointed out, there are issues with layout, repetition and consistency. One needs time to digest and understand the book and it can indeed be difficult to follow if one is already sleep deprived. For example, key recommendations highlighted in boxes on some pages, such as "Never wake a sleeping baby", are qualified in the body of the text (wake a sleeping baby if to let her sleep would interfere with that child's daily sleeping pattern): this can be initially confusing and we often had to read the same chapter a number of times in order to appreciate the subleties of the advice and the nuances for our own child. I didn't expect a "one size fits all" solution, however, so a certain complexity to the book seems understandable.

Such difficulties aside, we relied heavily on the book at months 3 to 4 and it helped us to understand the reasons for the changes to our baby's sleeping patterns and the importance of helping her learn to get to sleep by herself. From being woken every 2 hours throughout the night and our daughter being unable to nap for longer than 40 minute periods during the day (and consequently behaving as if she had attention deficit disorder and being generally a bit miserable when she was awake), we now at 8 months have (and have had since 4 months) a happy, relaxed baby who sleeps 11 or 12 hours at night and naps well and easily during the day: this has been literally life-changing and marriage saving.

I was very reassured by the extent of scientific research cited in the bibliography and my partner in particular was happier to accept advice from someone who could point to supporting research than from other parenting "experts/personalities" with books on the market. A friend lent us the No Cry Sleep Solutions book which I initially found helpful but which left me feeling intensely guilty if our daughter cried at all and led to my trying physically to soothe or feed the baby to sleep at increasingly more frequent times during the night until we were both exhausted and frantic. To understand that limited, controlled crying in certain circumstances can within a few days establish a child's independent ability to sleep - and the reasons why, stripped of judgment not based on research - was incredibly helpful to us. Our daughter has cried much less, both during the day and at night, since she learned to sleep by herself.

The book deals with sleep issues from birth to teenager and provides considerably more detail than any other book on the market which I could find. Its conclusions are consistent with those of a number of other authors: the difference with this book is that the reasons for the advice given are fully explained and the supporting research cited, so that one does not feel that one is experimenting with one's own child. This is particularly important in the highly emotive context of allowing one's child to cry in certain circumstances.

Despite the qualifications mentioned above, I have given this book 5 stars in this review because of the effect it has had on our life and on our daughter's happiness.
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12 of 12 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars the bits I used have been a real help, 13 Dec 2006
I have read the other reviews and can't really comment on whether it would have been helpful to me with an infant deciding how to sleep train, as I didn't come across this book until I had two pre-schoolers, and wanted to know about their sleep needs and why they woke early.

For me the useful parts were the information about bedtimes, spotting the signs of first stages of sleepiness, how we often put children down later than they need because we don't read their signs, and what effects an earlier bed time can have. Like another reviewer I also had ditched the nap for my youngest when I read it, and also felt a bit bad. We didn't consider reinstating it because it would have been too disruptive, but we did opt to make up some sleep at night.

So we did try the theory of bringing the bedtime forward, rather sceptically, and it worked for us, although it is logistically very difficult and still requires a lot of things to fit round their bedtime, but it has paid off in other ways.

I didn't find the format very user friendly in many ways, and I don't know if the ideas would work for everyone, it certainly isn't a book of tips, as another reviewer said. But I did find it the best overall source of information on children and sleep and has widened my understanding enormously. I'm very glad I came across it.
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21 of 23 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Methodical explanations and varied solutions to problems, 4 July 2005
By A Customer
After buying about every book about sleep under the sun, I've found this one to be the most comprehensive and clearly explained. It doesn't offer quick fix solutions (which tend to undermine your confidence if they don't work), but rather looks at how children sleep, the various problems and how you can tackle them. Dr Weissbluth has years of pediatric sleep research under his belt and provides plenty of case studies in the book which are realistic and capture the breadth of his experience. The tone of this book is not at all judgemental which is extremely reassuring when nothing seems to be working with getting your baby to sleep!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars advice works but lot to take in, 16 Feb 2013
This review is from: Healthy Sleep Habits, Happy Child: A step-by-step programme for a good night's sleep (Kindle Edition)
the advice is great and it DOES work. however when you have a screaming child to see too and are sleep deprived the first 250 pages are not worth reading as it is just the science behind sleep, very fascinating and helps you understand why sleep is so important. there is a lot of 'conflicting' advice such as 'never wake a sleeping baby' but then goes on to say 'wake the child so not to interfere with the next nap' and 'wake child to get them into the correct routine', the original advice is aimed at not waking for own pleasure such as going out for lunch or shopping but that isn't made clear until near the end so it seams conflicting when reading that chapter. that aside this book is great a bit scatty the way it is put together but that isn't the authors fault.
i was also concerned that it would just have one type of sleep solution and if it didn't work id have to buy a new book however this book looks at all temperament of children and has a solution for each 'type' of child and also a sleep correction that is good for the parent such as 'no cry' 'cry a little' and 'cry it out'
MY experience
my baby is 4 months old and WE had created bad habits as he was diagnosed with reflux at 4 weeks and we started rocking bouncing to help soothe his pain but now hes 4 month and the reflux is under control we needed to stop the bad habits as he was getting up 8 times a night at 4 months i look like a zombie. i put all my effort into putting the routine in order, it took 24 hours to get him sorted yes 24 hours :) he went from 2 half hour naps in the day and getting up 8 times a night to having 2 2 hours naps in the day with a small 20 min nap late afternoon and going to bed settling himself to sleep and sleeping from 5pm till 6am only getting up twice for feeds then settling himself back to sleep. it was hard the first night and the morning nap as i went for the cry it out, quick results but highly stressful he cried for 30 mins before settling himself, i was geared up for round two when the afternoon nap came but he just fell asleep he woke during the 2 hours but got himself back to sleep same at bed time. i know it early days and there can be bumps in the road but i have the book to refer back too. id defiantly recommend this book just give yourself time to read it as some points i has to read a few times before getting my head around it
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars authoratative, researched, non-judgemental, helpful!, 4 April 2008
By 
Ms. Tamara M. Shand "tshand22" (London, UK) - See all my reviews
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After becoming totally demoralised by the Baby Whisperer I was thrilled to find this book so informative, encouraging, well-researched and clearly outlined.

Generally, Dr. Weissbluth does a good job of describing the science of sleep in laymom's terms and I clearly recognized my daughter in his descriptions of wired babies. Unlike other expert book writers, Weissbluth is a trained medical professional with decades of experience which gave me faith in his recommendations. His recommendations are also well supported with external research by leading child psychologists so again you are not relying solely on one person's opinion. Most importantly he's not judgemental or faddy about how you set about getting your baby to sleep.

Highly recommended.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars This book is a lifesaver, 10 July 2009
By 
A. Trytsman (Ireland) - See all my reviews
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If you're sleep depreived and at the end of your tether, then this book is for you. We tried all the other soft approaches with no improvement. I gave up on controlled crying after two weeks of crying for up to an hour at each waking and decided to sit with my son at bedtime and every time he woke up until he fell asleep again. This started at 9 months and continued until 20 months. At first it wasn't too bad as he would take 10-30 minutes to fall asleep again. When he turned 19 months old it started taking anything up to 3 hours to get him back to sleep again. We were both tired and cranky during the day and I have another baby due soon so I knew I needed drastic action. I decided to try the suggested approach of letting him cry himself to sleep. The first night was awful. He cried on and off for 2 hours and 40 minutes and I almost gave in. So glad I didn't. He then slept through. The next night he cried for an hour and slept through. Five minutes of crying on the third night and after that he no longer cried when put down to sleep. He now sleeps through for 10-11 hours at night and has a 2 hour nap during the day. He is well rested, loving and happy and so am I! What I like about this book is that it is written by an experienced paediatrician, not by a Mum who thinks she's a sleep expert. There are numerous case studies and a special section on colicky babies.

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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars research based advice that worked for us, 1 Jan 2009
By 
C. Reilly "i'm spring cleaning" (London, UK) - See all my reviews
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Having read a number of other books prior to our babys birth - "no cry sleep solution", "save our sleep", "contented baby" i'd decided on a gentle path, going to baby whenever needed.

My colicky baby slept through at 3 months, however baby then began more frequent waking until we were up 10 times a night getting a max of 2.5 hours sleep at a time (at 5 months). Our happy baby was no longer enjoying things he used to and looked whacked out. I tried some routine based methods with no luck, and i knew i had to try something else; for baby and for me.

Unlike many sleep books written by nanny's and childcare workers, this is written by a researcher with comprehensive research based experience i.e. facts.... it also gives advice for post colic baby's like mine which was really useful.

Dr W's methods worked fabulously for us; and i liked the fact that he explains his views, and leaves you with the options of chosing methods that suit your child and family. It's not prescriptive, and very baby led - letting your baby's needs shine through- and helping you navigate "sleepy signs".

Our irregular baby was transformed in 3 days - going from 10 wakings a night to just 1, and we are still breast feeding. The added bonus has been that baby takes more at each feed so the breast feeding is less frequent now - this was an added bonus.

Dr W's advice enables me to
* get baby night sleeping for 8 hours at a stretch 13 hours total
* get baby sleeping 2 hour naps - previous max was about 45 mins
* breast feed him to sleep - without stupid advice to wake the baby up again (!)
* delay weaning - Dr W clearly states no scientific link between eating/weaning and sleeping - which was great for me as i did not want to wean baby but my (ill-informed) health centre were pressing me in that direction - and formula...

Dr W's research based advice gave me the FACTS i needed to choose a method that works for us - and i could digest the advice when i was severely sleep deprived.

Thanks Dr W, your sound advice really worked for us.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Poorly written, confusing and unhelpful, 3 April 2013
Dr Weissbluth clearly knows a huge amount about children's sleep patterns. Unfortunately he's totally unable to express himself in a manner which is accessible to anyone else. I pride myself that I'm not starting from scratch on this subject (2 biology degrees and a career in science policy) but I found this book most unhelpful.

The book is very long, at nearly 500 pages, and densely written. The structure includes a large first section which aims to explain how children sleep and sleep problems in general, followed by a second section with more insight for specific age groups (0-4 months old, etc). It closes with a section on related issues like sleepwalking and travelling across time zones.

In principle this sounds helpful, but I found the book's style was most odd. It's written in a very academic manner so generally does not provide much practical advice on tackling problems and the dense language and confusing structure would be completely unreadable if you're a sleep-deprived parent seeking practical help. However, it is also incomplete from an academic perspective. For example, part of the first section describes biological sleep rhythms such as those based on body temperature, and includes the phrase: "Bedtimes occurring near the lower portion of the temperature cycle result in shorter sleep durations.' But no further detail is given! I would have found it helpful to relate temperature to the sleep problems - can body temperature be influenced to improve babies' sleep? If so, how? This type of 'hanging fact' occurs throughout the book and means there is little narrative thread.

In addition, the author has a really annoying habit of inserting random lists without any discussion or context. For example, a list entitled 'Resources for parents ability to sooth' includes the following gems: 'Father involvement versus absent father', 'Ability or inability to afford household help' and so on. In my view this is not a list of RESOURCES to draw on but a list of factors which may contribute to poor self-soothing in a baby. There is also no discussion of what to do about these issues - I assume involvement of the father is better but it's not actually stated!

As others have said, there are also inconsistencies, for example the author frequently states that a sleeping baby should never be woken but then also says a baby may need to be woken in the morning in order to start the day on schedule.

I think a good editor and a red pen could make this a better book, but as it stands this has been a waste of my money and time.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The best and the most comprehensive book on the subject, 28 Dec 2009
By 
DTA (London, UK) - See all my reviews
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This is a no-nonsence, well researched, informative guide to baby's and child's sleep and sleep problems. The size seems intimidating, but in the end it saves loads of time as it teached you how to help your baby sleep better and sleep well, and that saves both your time and sanity. Besides, a good part of the book is not immediately important and can be read at a later stage (the book deals with all age categories), and some parts of the book dealing with really serious sleep disorders, hopefully do not apply at all. The book helps you understand not only what you can do for your child, but more importantly why you do that, so when things do not go according to the book (inevitable with a baby), you are prepared and can improvise. This book did change our lives and the life of our daughter, and I whole-heartedky recommend it.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Should be given by the NHS to all new parents!, 6 Oct 2012
This book has been utterly invaluable to me as a new mum as it goes into detail about your babies sleep rhythms and what to expect month by month. Unlike some of the other parenting books out there he uses real scientific research. For example, he states there is no benefit to the 'dream feed' as advocated by Gina Ford ( and countless other 'experts'). As soon as we stopped waking our 3 month old son for this feed within 2 nights he dropped his night feed at 3am and slept through to 7am - and this is with an early bedtime of 6.30pm!

The bad reviews of this book are negative about the cry it out solution. However, if you follow this book from the start and don't teach your child bad sleep habits then there's nothing to cry about anyway. Just a happy, contented baby and a happy mum.
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