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.