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Sweet Sleep: Nighttime and Naptime Strategies for the Breastfeeding Family
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Sweet Sleep: Nighttime and Naptime Strategies for the Breastfeeding Family

4.27  ·  Rating details ·  646 ratings  ·  104 reviews
Sweet Sleep is the first and most complete book on nights and naps for breastfeeding families. It’s mother-wisdom, reassurance, and a how-to guide for making sane and safe decisions on how and where your family sleeps, backed by the latest research.

It’s 4 A.M. You’ve nursed your baby five times throughout the night. You’re beyond exhausted. But where can you breastfeed
Paperback, 1, 512 pages
Published July 29th 2014 by Ballantine Books (first published July 28th 2014)
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Average rating 4.27  · 
Rating details
 ·  646 ratings  ·  104 reviews

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Aug 04, 2014 rated it it was amazing
How about 6 stars? Eight? Ten??? This is without a doubt the absolute best book I've ever read on night-time parenting, co-sleeping and/or bedsharing (not the same thing, by the way). It gives the REAL skinny on safe sleep -- not the ineffective and insufficient mumbo-jumbo offered by the CDC, AAP, and First Candle. This is REAL life. This is where our families live. THIS is the information they need to know! It is completely and thoroughly researched -- and the side comes down heavily and ...more
Oct 09, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: babies-and-kids
Putting aside my own personal thoughts on bed sharing, this book is great. It's well researched and well written. The authors cite research as they write and explain it. Their chapter explaining SIDS is extremely helpful.
Jan 10, 2017 rated it it was amazing
There are some books that are life-changing because they change your outlook or understanding so dramatically that you end up overhauling your behaviour as well. In Defence of Food by Michael Pollan was one of those books for me. This is another. I wish I'd known it existed much sooner, and I hope many more people read it.

Of course parents (and their families and health professionals) should have all the best information to make informed choices about sleep arrangements and baby care in
Jul 01, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: parenting
LLL's The Womanly Art of Breastfeeding is what saved me as a three day old sleep deprived mother. It suggested breastfeeding in bed, and after falling asleep in a chair with my baby and hating myself for it, I read that suggestion and did some 3am internet sleuthing for safety tips and finally got some sleep. Two years later we're still bed-sharing, I am so glad that I heeded that advice.

I read Sweet Sleep even though we're past the stage of needing most of this information because I wanted to
Jessica Piper
Sep 13, 2016 rated it it was ok
I figured out pretty quickly that bed sharing would not work for me. The author seemed to view the baby sleeping in a bassinette next to the bed as a poor substitute for bed sharing, so I did not find this book terribly helpful. My biggest gripe with the book was that the author downplays the SIDS risks associated with bed sharing, while emphasizing that putting your baby in daycare increases his or her risk of dying of SIDS, something I have never read or heard anywhere else. This book is ...more
Sarah White
Nov 08, 2014 rated it it was amazing
This fantastic book instils confidence to share your bed with your breastfed baby; after all it is the biological norm and perfectly safe providing you follow the safe sleep seven rules. It’s thoroughly scientifically researched, with common sense advice where research is lacking. In fact since reading the book my own breastfed family have changed sleeping habits with remarkable results. Everyone who works with mothers and babies should read it, as there’s so much misleading and ...more
Lacey Louwagie
This book has an agenda, but if you go in knowing that, it also has a lot of good information -- and more importantly, support for parenting that is just a bit outside the mainstream.

I do wish I had read it earlier, back when I was in despair about how I would never sleep again, when I couldn't fall asleep because I was tense and bracing for the next time my son would cry in his crib, because that time always felt so near at hand.

I am a rule follower. I like to do things the way you are
Sep 16, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I really love this book. It's the best baby book I've had my hands on. I wish, I'd had it when my child was newborn. The support, reassurance and advise is so amazing. Would have saved me so much time, as I found this information my self scattered from different sources. I simply can't recommend this book enough. Escpecially any pregnant mom considering to breast feed and/or co sleep.
Allysia K
Mar 12, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I needed to read this book. As a sleep-deprived mom 1 month postpartum, this provided good sleep information and peace of mind. It takes a soft approach to infant sleep (it's against cry-it-out, and in favor of sharing beds), but it's science-backed and anti-fear mongering. It has reassuring stats and information on SIDS and smothering risks, and has really helped assuage my fears, especially in the middle of the night.
Selena Beckman-Harned
Feb 05, 2018 rated it really liked it
A must-read for parents following an attachment parenting philosophy and interested in bedsharing. I know there are as many opinions on baby sleep as there are parents, but we’ve found this approach works well for us now and this book was very reassuring.
Feb 11, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: owned, parenting, 2017
A book to revisit often: it has given me more insight into infant napping and nighttime sleeping among others. More importantly, it's made me feel more confident about my parenting choices (co-sleeping, bed-sharing safely, babywearing, breastfeeding, etc.) :-)
Amy Alice
Oct 31, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2018
I want to give this 4.5 stars and they've lost a whole half star by giving bad dog advice. Do not go to Caesar Milan for dog training. He is the Gina Ford of dogs.
Otherwise. Excellent. Saved my sanity and armed me with ammo for naysayers and we're all sleeping so much better. Breastfeeding can continue.
Alicia Z
Feb 07, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: parenting
I think each parent needs to figure their own parenting style out by reading the different sleep options. For me, I knew I would never bed share with my baby.... then he arrived and I realized that I am the kind of parent who, instead of making hard and fast decisions, lets my child teach me how he's comfortable. And, for my son, there's no way he was going to feel okay about sleeping alone in a crib. He wants to be loved, nurtured, and touched 24/7. I have friends whose children are vastly ...more
Nov 16, 2014 rated it it was ok
My baby isn't anything like the babies this book discusses. She loves her pacifier, her swaddle, her bassinet and hates cosleeping and my Moby and Tula, and she DEFINITELY would not sleep through being moved around in a laundry basket. The book is pretty opinionated about the right way to go about parenting and according to it I'm doing it all wrong. I gave it two stars because I did appreciate the section on how to cosleep safely, despite the fact my dd isn't interested. I think the book would ...more
Mar 08, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Tons of great information! I learned a lot about normal infant sleep :)
Oct 10, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Great book every new parent needs it . Theres so much pressure these days to have a "routine" and not have "bad habits" . I contributed to this book so am slightly biased ;-)
Oct 05, 2015 rated it did not like it
Shelves: partially-read
The helpful tips were too buried in judgey fearmongering. Couldn't hack it.
Jun 02, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I wish I read this book when I was pregnant and I think everybody should read this.

In particular, I really liked the precise and clear style of writing. The book is well researched too.
Emily Webb
Jan 12, 2017 rated it liked it
Not very many helpful strategies.
Jan 27, 2020 rated it really liked it
I debated whether to go with 3 or 4 starts for this. On the one hand, I wish I'd read this before my firstborn arrived for an alternate perspective on bed sharing that I would eventually come to side with (the hard way, after tons of scattered research on my own and months of frustration and exhaustion). This book has lots of great information that is well thought out and researched for the most part. On the other hand, this book is very biased, and I don't agree with many of the recommendations ...more
Danielle Shepic
Apr 06, 2019 rated it really liked it
Had I read this book before our son was born I would have done things differently or, at the very least, this would have spared me much anxiety when inevitably he ended up in our bed at night. Prior to reading this I was in fear over all the SIDS warnings and fell prey to the "never ever ever let your baby sleep in your bed" campaigning. Sleeping separately didn't feel natural, my son was distressed sleeping on a separate surface, I lost more sleep trying to keep him out of our bed, and I put ...more
Oct 03, 2017 rated it liked it
Shelves: not-finished
LLLI gets a bad rap and I'm usually one to defend them. We've lost sight of the biological norm for infant feeding and they're trying to reclaim it. I don't talk about LLLI with that snark that a lot of people have in their voice.
I was down for cosleeping and we were fine for the whole breastsleeping thing. But at five months, when that was no longer working for any of us, I started looking for gentle, developmentally appropriate sleep training to get Firstborn into her crib and away from some
LLL USA Breastfeeding Support
Apr 26, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: sleep
The La Leche League International essential sleep guide.

It’s 4 a.m. You’ve nursed your baby five times throughout the night. You’re beyond exhausted. But where can you breastfeed safely when you might fall asleep? You’ve heard that your bed is dangerous for babies. Or is it? Is there a way to reduce the risk? Does life really have to be this hard? No, it doesn’t.

Full of wisdom, reassurance, and support, Sweet Sleep is a comprehensive how-to guide for making sane and safe decisions on how and
Jan 12, 2019 rated it it was amazing
The absolute best sleep book I read. I actually read the intro (almost never read intros in books!) and they talked abt how they wrote the table of contents first and as they began doing their research, they realized they couldn't include a chapter on "letting your baby sleep in the crib down the hall." It just isn't safe (hi, higher rate of SIDS, more crying, etc). This book was excellent and gave me all sorts of tips to safely bedshare (what we do) and how mamas who cosleep get more sleep ...more
Moira Burke
Oct 02, 2017 rated it liked it
As a naive expectant parent, I loved the science-backed recommendations and common sense. No idea if they'll work in practice. But even if you have no plans to share a bed with your child, sleep deprivation makes parents fall asleep with babies on sofas, so you might as well understand how to make a sleeping surface safe(r). It changed my perspective on bed-sharing from "absolutely never" to "we'll see." The tone is a bit judge-y and mothers who can't breastfeed would probably find it outright ...more
Tiffany Tubville
Nov 05, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I heard about this book while attending a La Leche League meeting. I had previously read about safe bedsharing guidelines in “The Womanly Art of Breastfeeding” during pregnancy so we’ve been enjoying bedsharing since my son was born. We love all the cuddles we get with him, we have no bedtime battles, he sleeps well and it makes nursing at night so much easier. “Sweet Sleep” has much more information about sleeping safely and suggestions to fit each family’s needs, research and studies to ...more
May 31, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites
This book changed my life! I read it while pregnant and it helped me find confidence in the sleep-related parenting choices I was about to make for my new baby. It's packed full of research and reality-based recommendations that just make biological sense. We've been a happily bedsharing family for the last four months and I'm pleased to report that sleep is mostly a non-issue here. Who knew THAT was a possibility!?

I am so happy I was gifted this book and hope to pass it on to others in the
Dec 26, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Very helpful

We are trying to figure out whether to sleep train our toddler and this was a helpful reminder that we can continue to sleep share if it is working for us. We will try a few of the tricks/tips suggested to nudge him towards a more suitable bedtime (hopefully, we can get a good "routine" going). All in all, this was a thoughtful, helpful read and a nice companion piece to the Womanly Art of Breastfeeding.
Sarah Chamberlain-Boyle
This book contains lots of helpful, practical information regarding safe bedsharing that I have found very useful. However, it is written in a tone that I find typical of La Leche League publications; one that insinuates that if you DON’T follow their advice, and breastfeed, bedshare, and practice attachment parenting, you might as well just lock your child in a cupboard and raise them to be completely emotionally stunted. As with most parenting books, take what’s useful to you, and leave the ...more
Ashley Deaner
May 28, 2019 rated it did not like it
The most unhelpful, condescending, and guilt-tripping baby book yet. If you're not exclusively breastfeeding and bedsharing, you're the worst parent ever according to this book. I know there are 'alternative' ideas in the back of the book but the tone is awful for a new parent. The good tidbits of information can also be found in the Womanly Art of Breastfeeding.
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