Healthy Sleep Habits, Happy Child

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One of the country's leading researchers updates his revolutionary approach to solving--and preventing--your children's sleep problems Here Dr. Marc Weissbluth, a distinguished pediatrician and father of four, offers his groundbreaking pro...
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One of the country's leading researchers updates his revolutionary approach to solving--and preventing--your children's sleep problems

Here Dr. Marc Weissbluth, a distinguished pediatrician and father of four, offers his groundbreaking program to ensure the best sleep for your child. In Healthy Sleep Habits, Happy Child, he explains with authority and reassurance his step-by-step regime for instituting beneficial habits within the framework of your child's natural sleep cycles. This valuable sourcebook contains brand new research that...

- Pinpoints the way daytime sleep differs from night sleep and why both are important to your child
- Helps you cope with and stop the crybaby syndrome, nightmares, bedwetting, and more
- Analyzes ways to get your baby to fall asleep according to his internal clock--naturally
- Reveals the common mistakes parents make to get their children to sleep--including the inclination to rock and feed
- Explores the different sleep cycle needs for different temperaments--from quiet babies to hyperactive toddlers
- Emphasizes the significance of a nap schedule

Rest is vital to your child's health growth and development. Healthy Sleep Habits, Happy Child outlines proven strategies that ensure good, healthy sleep for every age. Advises parents dealing with teenagers and their unique sleep problems

 

Product Details

Paperback: 346 pages

     
     
     

    Editorial Reviews

    Review

    “I love Dr. Weissbluth’s philosophy that the most important thing to have is a well-rested family. And fortunately, thanks to this book, most days (and nights) we do!”
    –from the Foreword by Cindy Crawford
     

    About the Author

    A pediatrician with thirty-two years of experience, Marc Weissbluth, M.D., is also a leading researcher on sleep and children. He founded the original Sleep Disorders Center at Chicago’s Children’s Memorial Hospital and is a professor of clinical pediatrics at Northwestern University School of Medicine. Dr. Weissbluth discovered that sleep is linked to temperament and that sleeping problems are related to infant colic. His landmark seven-year study on the development and disappearance of naps highlighted the importance of daytime sleep. In addition to his own research, he has written about sleep problems in manuals of pediatrics, lectured extensively to parent groups, and appeared on Oprah. Dr. Weissbluth has four sons, two grandsons, and, thankfully, one granddaughter–and they are all good sleepers. Linda, his wife of more than forty years, has provided both inspiration and original ideas for this book.


     

    Most Helpful Customer Reviews

    494 of 513 people found the following review helpfulBy Heidi on June 4, 2001
    Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
    This was an excellent book - I cannot tell you how much this book helped our sleepless, colicky infant. But, several friends with non-colicky babies actually recommended this for any infant. This book is a wonderful middle ground for those parents who do not want a severe schedule (BABYWISE) or the opposite end of the spectrum, attachment parenting (Dr. Sears). It was the only book that I found that spoke knowledgeably about colic, and gave the only helpful advice available on the subject (believe me, we tried it all). It is not a cry-it-out book, although some may look at it in that light. What it teaches you is this: 1. watch your child. 2. put him/her down to sleep when you first see the signs of tiredness 3. most children under 6 months do not stay awake for longer than 2-3 hours at a time without needing a nap. 4. DO NOT just put your child down to nap when you feel like it - that's just letting him/her cry, not TEACHING them to sleep. 5. Most children need to go to sleep at night earlier than you'd think. 6. Going to bed earlier promotes later sleeping (weird, but true. As the author says, it's not logical. It's biological - sleep promotes sleep) There's a lot more too. I really like that the author's data is based on studies that he has done involving the patterns of children who naturally sleep and nap well. No, it didn't give us a perfect baby. We happen to have a very sensitive high strung girlie, who also power-naps. But we went from a cranky post-colicky baby who took no naps or 15-20min naps and got up many times per night to a sweet smiling girl who now takes 3 45min-1 hour naps per day and sleeps from 6pm-7am (waking 2 times to nurse). Oh yes. The nursing. She used to think that nursing was the only way to get to sleep.Read more ›
    15 Comments  Was this review helpful to you?  YesNo
    863 of 936 people found the following review helpfulBy S. Aiello on April 10, 2008
    Format: Paperback
    A friend purchased this book for us before our son was born, and we read it cover-to-cover. When our little guy entered the world, it didn't take long to discover that he had horrid colic, acid reflux to boot, and wouldn't even sleep lying down. We used his swing at firt, and as a breastfeeding mom, he often landed in bed somewhere in the middle of the night. I was determined, however, to have him in his crib before I went back to work at 3 months and this book helped me accomplish that... until he was about 6 months.

    Once he was old enough to "decide" what he liked and didn't like, and probably due to seperation anxiety- he wouldn't go to sleep easy (cried every night) and began to wake a lot at night, crying for HOURS. After two weeks of the "ignore him" method, and then going "this isn't working at alL!", we tried another 3-4 weeks using the Ferber method (go in every few minutes). We were pulling our hair out. He was SOOOOO unhappy all day after a night of crying, and it got to the point where when you went to put him in his crib for a nap, he would arch his back and just sob... and scream at night. NO ONE was sleeping. Once he could stand (at 7 mos), he would cling to the bars of his crib crying and if he fell asleep, it was curled in the corner with his face against the bars... and we'd be off to a bad start from the moment he woke in the morning.

    I started to give up.

    Plain and simple. I couldn't do it. My husband and I had not slept in the same bed for more than a month at this point since we "alternated" whose turn it would be to listen to our son cry or try to sooth him in his crib. One of us would sleep seperate in the guest bedroom so at least the other could sleep(we are both attorneys, so our jobs require some level of executive functioning during the day). So one night, I broke down and put him in my bed around 3, and walla, he slept. The next night he was up five or six times between bedtime and again at about 3 my husband gave in. A few days later I got sick... with pneumonia that landed me in the hospital for 5 days (I do not smoke). The doctors kept asking how long I had been so sick and frankly, I hadn't noticed- because I was SO totally exhausted all the time and at wits end... I just thought I was a mom who was tired!

    While I was away, my husband let our son sleep with him. And for the first time in almost two months, they both actually slept. I remember when I came home, I was annoyed, but what could I say to a man whose wife was in the hospital and who had been trying to take care of his son when he was totally exhausted? I was too tired to care, but as I watched him laying between us in bed the first night I came home, I couldn't help but feel this sense of guilt as I thought: "I swore I would never be one of those kid-in-my-bed people".

    I'm one of them now. At 8 months, I've had the best three weeks of sleep since he was born. He doesn't "cuddle" or disturb us, he just sleeps better for some reason. And he wakes up happy, takes naps (IN HIS CRIB!) readily, and I don't know what else to say, other then, "it doesn't always work for everyone." I regret that I went through more than a month of that crying before letting go of the notion that what works for some kid because I read it in a book, will work for my kid. If being a parent were that easy, we'd all buy a manual and raise little drones.

    So... Did I like the book? Yes. I think he's right that kids NEED sleep. Do I think that if you just hang in there- the crying will stop eventually? I don't know... more than a month was too long and I'd never do it again. Our pediatrician told us he believes a child at 7 months should never cry more than an hour. He also told us that he grew up in Bombay, slept in his parent's bed 'till he was 8, and turned out perfectly normal (and sleeps fine, without some weird attachment problem today) (that was in response to our very embarrased "well, he's been sleeping with us...") So maybe he's biased because in other countries they would never do the "put your kid in a crib and let them cry" method. Or MAYBE, JUST MAYBE, there is no perfect sleep solution that works for every kid. Maybe you can be coddled and turn out normal, or cry it out and have sleep problems later. I know plenty of people who slept all night like perfec babies in cribs who are on Lunestra and Ambien today...

    Point is... read them all, or read none. At the end of the day, try different methods and don't beat yourself up when you choose something different than you read from one doctor last week. There's a book for everything and every kind of parenting, and 1000 parents who will march to the beat of that drum (or drink the cool-aid, depending on how you look at it!).

    Be a parent, be flexible, and if you don't want to let your kid cry for a few weeks, put this one back on the shelf.
    28 Comments  Was this review helpful to you?  YesNo
    704 of 824 people found the following review helpfulBy Amazon Customer on July 7, 2001
    Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
    I generally like to start my reviews by saying what I liked about the book I read. In my opinion, the best and most important point made by this book is that sleep is vital for babies. Parents should be on the lookout for signs their child might be suffering from lack of it, and should also make sure their lifestyles do not interfere with their child's healthy sleep. I also appreciated the author's input about sleep problems and solutions for older children.
    I disagreed most with the idea that it is generally a good idea to allow children to cry as long as it takes to get them to sleep at night. Will this method do long term psychological damage? The author says no, and I agree that is probably correct. Okay, so the child won't be delinquent as a teenager, or hate you as an adult. But as a parent, my question is which method is easiest on the child in the short term, as well as being effective in the long term? Frankly, I don't want my child to be unnecessarily miserable, even if it's only for a few nights. Further, I simply couldn't listen to screaming cries for any length of time without intervention.
    For the parent interested in sleep "training", I think Dr. Richard Ferber offers a better method. Even Dr. Weissbluth admits Ferber's method's work- he simply thinks they may be too difficult for some parents to apply. Well, I think a little more difficulty may be worth while if the child has an easier time.
    Oddly, Dr. Weissbluth claims to have no problems with the "family bed". However, I find his family bed advice confusing, and most of the tips he offers throughout the book seem to be incompatible with the practice. If anybody is practicing the family bed, they should definitely go with Dr. William Sears, whose advice is much more compatible with that arrangement. Dr. Sears is also a good choice for those who find Dr. Ferber too harsh and want the gentlest methods possible.
    I tend to disagree with the view of some "attachment parents" that babies always develop the sleep habits that are best for them. There are babies who simply need parental leadership here, and there are also babies whose habits are disruptive to the family. So if parents think their baby has a problem, they should read several books about the topic, and adapt the different views to their personal situation and temperment of their individual child. I think that will lead to a better solution than reading just one book and treating it as a bible.

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