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4.8 out of 5 stars
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4.8 out of 5 stars
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on 28 December 2003
How lucky I was to read this book. I never wanted children, never felt maternal but at 39 I realised I would like a baby. Married for a short time and divorce followed so most of my experience is from a single parent's point of view.
All my original ideals of dummies, 3 nights of crying would result in a quiet sleeping baby, alone in her cot - start as I mean to go on, etc! It makes me shudder to think of how things might have been - a barbaric way to start a child's life.
Fortunately, I read this book in the nick of time. I followed almost 100% of it and it completely changed my views on child rearing. Mel is now 6, I never struggle and if it hurts I don't do it. I allow Mel to be herself, I have hardly ever had to raise my voice and I have never shouted at her, whispering works much better!
She is a delight, an angel who is spirited but peaceful. I found Deborah's book completely helpful to me, much of it is not just her view's but lots of people's findings so you get a feeling of the power behind it all.
When my friends struggle at school - Melly and I look at each other and wonder what their struggling is all about and we smile at each other.
I thank Deborah and all her friends for the support it has given me over the 6 years - please, please just give it a go, it could change your life too.
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on 7 August 2012
I wish i had read this whilst pregnant rather than when my baby was about 5 months old. I wish i had put my baby in bed with me from the very beginning rather than waiting til he was nearly 3 months old. I am sad that the common sense of this book is not embraced by medical staff who have contact with pregnant/new mothers. Looking back, sleeping with your baby is so obviously natural and what he/she would want and what most parents would want too if they went with their instinct. Its so lovely waking up with your baby gazing at you rather than hollering from a cot. Its so lovely gently nursing your baby back to sleep, half sleeping yourself rather than leaning over a cot half the night with your hand on an unhappy baby several times a night (I have tried it). Please buy this if you are pregnant and don't believe everything the "professionals" tell you. Mothers were around before "experts" were. Be converted to attachment parenting and go with your instincts, parent with love, you wont look back.
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on 12 August 2012
I only wish I read this book before my daughter was born, I struggled with the so called routine i was told to stick to by my midwife and found the putting baby down in her own bed after breastfeeding her a total nightmare,I was constantly told not to even attempt to sleep with her as I would lie on her and was given leaflets re SIDS, it was not untill i stopped listening to midwives and took my colicky, screaming baby girl into my bed did we start getting some sleep and she settled, it was like a new baby, after all, a child should be next to their mother, animals do not make their newborns sleep in baskets in the other room!!! the book was insightful although it had a lot of history in it and child rearing practises in other cultures which was very interesting, it stuck to the point and was a really good read, especially if you are breastfeeding, buy this book if you know someone who is about to have a baby and also wants to breastfeed it's a must. I have reccommended it to many of my friends . excellent book.
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on 12 December 2011
My wife felt a bit embarrassed to admit to folk that we sleep with our baby, but this book has changed that.
Excellent writing, fascinating descriptions of other times and cultures.

Makes you feel sorry for babies who don't get this start in the world :-(
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on 24 July 2015
A brilliant read if you, like me, feel that the popular trend to let your little one cry their hearts out ( and mummy too!) in order to get a decent nights sleep can't be the only way!

I have battled for over a year to help my now 16 month old sleep for more than 2 hours in his own bed. Trying various methods by well known baby guru nanny types, even though my instincts told me otherwise. He resisted everything with full force and I was left frustrated, exhausted and feeling like a failure. More often than not I would 'give up' and break the taboo and (whispers) 'let him sleep in our bed... Shhhh' . Funnily enough the second he is next to me, he sleeps through the night, deeply and peacefully. Almost like he was meant to?!

So this book kind of told me what I deep down already knew: Babies were designed to sleep near their mothers. Phew!!!!

The author backs up her arguments with many many quotes and studies. Not so bad a year down the line but may be hard to concentrate if you are sleep deprived!! I recommend Elizabeth Pantley's 'No cry sleep solution' if you need something a bit less meaty but practical.

I really liked the way she quoted various celebs and other parents about their co sleeping practices. I felt less alone in my choice. As so few parents in my acquaintance practice it (or are willing to admit they do!) or are dead against it.

What I also love and found so refreshing was the analysis of our western baby rearing practices. With comparisons to many other cultures, the reader slowly sees how we have been brainwashed into believing that our way is the only way to bring up baby. When we actually look at some of our practices in the light of much of the studies/history/evidence Jackson presents, it does make you question 'What on earth we are doing?' (From the cosy warm womb straight to a cold barred cot anyone?!)

I think I will be dipping into this book over and over, just to regain some perspective away from our 'push them to independence as soon as we cut the cord' culture.

My only regret is I did not read this when I was pregnant. Back then I had NO idea how overwhelming the advice from all angles would be;deafening and confusing my mothering instincts.

4 stars has been given because I feel that bottle feeding parents may feel their nose being put out of joint. I know breast is best but I nearly couldn't do it and I have countless friends who are heartbroken that they could not. (The author addresses this modern phenomenon in the book too which was fascinating.)
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on 22 April 2012
I previously co-slept with my, now, 11 year old son on the advice of the midwife in the maternity unit where I gave birth. I would start him off at night in his own cot and then when he needed his night time feed would get him into bed and spend the rest of the night sleeping next to him. It worked brilliantly. That was 11 years ago and finding myself pregnant again (planned but a long time coming!) I thought I would co-sleep again with my baby. But with so much press about SIDS and the warnings not to do this I found myself feeling less than confident about what I should do. Then I found this book and was interested to hear someone else's theory on the subject. I'm so glad I bought it. Deborah Jackson gives an unbiased and thoroughly well-researched opinion on the subject of co-sleeping. She obviously comes down on the side of sharing your bed with your child and much of the book is, of course, in favour of this but the research she presents makes interesting reading and, I believe, allows the reader to ultimately choose for themselves whether co-sleeping is right for them. Indeed, Ms Jackson does stress throughout the book that it is for the parents to decide what feels right and to go with their instincts against taking (sometimes unwanted) advice from so-called professionals. She doesn't preach but offers as examples what others have tried - both in favour and against the idea. The last two chapters offer the practical advice - the "how to" co-sleep idea and the different ways she did things. So if, like me, you have a partner who likes the idea, is nervous of the idea, wants to try co-sleeping but also is frightened by all the bad press and can't be bothered to read the whole book, then direct them to these last two chapters so they can at least get an idea of the whole concept. Anyway, the upshot of this book is that I have been sleeping with my now four-week old baby girl and it is wonderful. She feeds at night (sometimes while I'm lying down) then snuggles down for a good sleep and we are all a little more refreshed in the morning for it. I would recommend this book to give you the facts and let you decide for yourself.
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on 27 July 2008
My daughter has been a Velcro baby since we arrived home from hospital, refusing to sleep in her crib. So, against what I was led to believe was better judgement, at 8 days old commenced co-sleeping.

To support my decision and unable to obtain that officially from midwife or health visitor (although unofficially acceptable) I researched co-sleeping and have read the Dr Sears and Elizabeth Pantley books. BUT what these books lack is the assurance from research that supports what I deem 'intuitive parenting' which Deborah's book has throughout.

Deborah Jackson's take on baby-focused parenting feels right. It is ultimately comforting to read that it is fine to have my baby fall asleep by breast feeding without being told that this is a bad habit I should take steps to break. She also confirms that babies do not naturally desire to sleep alone for survival reasons.

My baby is four months old and sleeps contentedly, safe and sound by my side every night. She feeds 2-3 times each night but neither of us barely wake to do so. She is happy and thriving, excelling in motor and vocal skills. She rarely cries as her needs are met continuously. This is unobtrusive babycare because it is 100% natural and, thanks to Deborah Jackson, her well researched and ground-breaking book confirms this for me.

If you have ANY doubt about raising your baby in a compassionate and intuitive way, please read this book to settle your mind. I wish I had read it first!
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on 13 March 2007
This book gave me the confidence to trust my own instincts. There are so many pregnancy 'gurus' out there who urge new parents to subject their kids to strict eating and sleeping regimes. As a new parent, your own instincts can be undermined by all these 'expert' voices. Then someone gave me Deborah Jackson's lovely book and it seemed more in tune with what felt natural for me as a new mother and for the baby. Our baby shares our bed and we're all happier for it.
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on 9 June 2009
I read this book before I even got pregnant and I am so glad I did. I saved myself the hassle of buying a pram and a cot and all the other baby paraphernalia and just bought a futon for us all instead. My kids are now 14 and 15, (my son has just finished his GCSEs - he was July baby) and I can honestly say they are confident, independent and self-motivated. We got a mattress at the side of the futon when no.2 came along and they both 'moved out' when my son was about 4 when we bought their first beds. My daughter (19 months younger) decided she wanted her own bed at the same time and we've never had any bedtime issues. They have both always been comfortable with themselves unlike so many children who are constantly attention seeking. I am convinced that they got the ultimate attention when they needed it - as as well as having them in bed I carried them in a sling constantly until they were crawling and they didn't have a pushchair until they could walk anyway. Now as teenagers they have the self assurance of people who know deep inside themselves that they are loved unconditionally - yes they are normal teenagers but they don't seem to feel the need to rebel, argue for the sake of it or try and assert their independence in a destructive way. If you are expecting or have a baby read this and The Continuum Concept and throw away the pram and the cot. As Deborah Jackson points out the only time you should not sleep with your baby is if you are very overweight or you are drunk or under the influence in anyway as you will not be responsive enough to their presence. Oh and don't listen to health visitors -it's up to you!
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on 13 May 2004
A freind introduced me to the idea of co-sleeping and right from the start it seemed the most natural thing to do, there was no way I fancied getting up in the middle of the night and traipsing around soothing a wakeful baby. So to be perfectly honest it was in my mind sheer laziness that prompted my interest in co-sleeping. Although, through Deborah Jacksons book I realised that my basic maternal instincts were in place as the 'right'place for Mother and baby at night is together.
Jacksons book has proved to be my baby bible this book gave me the confidence and guidelines to sleep with my baby and I can't imagine doing anything else. My daughter is now 13 months and she sleeps snuggly between my partner and me, we are woken every morning not by an alarm clock but by sweet milky breath, smiles and gurgles, Heaven!
I really can't urge you enough to buy this book and challenge out dated and cruel Western baby sleep techniques. If nothing else this book will open your eyes to alternative child rearing techniques. Excellent!
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