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The Baby Sleep Book: The Complete Guide to a Good Night's Rest for the Whole Family (Sears Parenting Library)

3.79  ·  Rating details ·  771 ratings  ·  83 reviews
America's favorite pediatric experts turn their attention to solving babies' sleep problems in a definitive book that offers immediate results. A comprehensive, reassuring, solution-filled sleep resource, this guide shows parents how to match the nighttime temperament of their baby to their own lifestyle, and provides practical tools parents need to help the entire family ...more
Kindle Edition, 288 pages
Published (first published August 1st 2005)
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3.79  · 
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 ·  771 ratings  ·  83 reviews

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Megan Norquest
While there is some good advice in this book, it’s better left to those who have decided to participate exclusively in the “attachment parenting” fad. Otherwise it would be called “The How to Scare the Shit Out of You in Your Last Month of Pregnancy Book.” If you aren’t a co-sleeping, breastfeeding, wear your baby, anti-cry it out parent (yes, all 4) then I would find a different book.
Jul 23, 2012 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: nonfiction-read
This was really well-written but I'm still not sure where to go next! So it would get 5 stars if it worked like a charm. I took some notes in case I want to refer to them in the future:

--Sleep Tool Checklist (p 30):
*different sleeping arrangements
*charting baby's tired times
*sleep associations
*sounds to sleep by
*a loving touch
*a familiar scent
*a pacifier
*motion for sleep
*feeding baby partially to sleep
*back-to-sleep cues
*bedtime rituals
*nursing down
*wearing down
*fathering down
*nestling down
Jun 04, 2010 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Where Babywise is on one end of the spectrum, this one is on the complete opposite. We didn't have great success with getting Charlie to sleep through the night, so I have been reading lots of books to get good ideas for Felicity, so I picked up this book. I am not a Babywise kind of person; it just wouldn't work for me. This one is a little closer to my style, but I am not extreme in this direction either, same as with Babywise. It was a little bit long because it basically said one thing: co-s ...more
Jul 23, 2013 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: non-fiction
Begin rant now: I am so sick of the parenting book roller coaster. I am not really sure why I keep reading them. You are either spoiling your child if you ever think of picking him up or, as in this book, you get a big fat F in parenting of your child ever utters one tiny sob. Ever hear of moderation people?
Anyhow, these authors are strong advocates of attachment parenting I am not. I suppose I need not say more.
Feb 13, 2008 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
If you are interested in attachment parenting/co-sleeping with your child - this book is a wonderfully helpful resource throughout the process -- from start to finish. I really enjoyed the practical advice & the stories of the Sears's family throughout the book. If you are looking for sleep training or getting your baby to sleep through the night @ 2 weeks -- this isn't the book for you.
Jul 13, 2008 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: babies-kids
Good. I get overwhelmed with too many ideas and too many approaches. Sears is not saying you have to do it ONE way which I appreciate, but on the other hand, can't someone just tell me what to do?
Feb 02, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Written by the attachment parenting gurus, this book discusses sleep education for babies, toddlers, and young children.

The good: Although there is a distinct attachment parenting slant to this book, including a chapter devoted to cosleeping and another criticizing CIO (cry it out), its advice is inclusive of a range of a parenting styles and situations. The authors provide pointers for determining the sleep arrangement and techniques that will work best for your family, and a number of techniqu
Some good advice, but I found William Sears and co profoundly unpractical at times. Stop saying 5,000 times to get a king sized bed. Some people don't have space (and can't afford to move someplace with bigger space) or can't afford a new bed - what can they do? Still, I appreciate an AP sleep guide in a world where people think cry it out is a good message (WTF?!?!?!?!? How can you love your child and do that, esp with the harsh realities that research has shown that it is an effed up message.) ...more
Aug 20, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I could not apply CIO and any versions of it (like kim west) on any of my daughters. This was the only book with really alternative reco.s but not a slightly different application of cio. And i liked the flexibility they offer rather than dictating one solution as well as their trust and emphasis on parent gut. I would give it five stars if there was not that chaptwr which wildly attacks cio methods. Did not like how their blaming attitude on cio applying parents there.
May 06, 2018 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
The format of the book makes it so hard to read. There is a lot of useful information but also a lot of personal stories and jokes I would skip to get the point.
Mia Sajbel
It was alright... this book didn't address some of the unique stuff we had going on, but it had some decent tips.
Too much trying to please everyone without offering any practical solutions. Wasn't especially helpful.
Oct 17, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
It's the anti-sleep-training book. On the one hand, it made me feel good because it said "sure, feed him, and don't expect him to sleep!" On the other hand, it isn't going to do too much to help us get more sleep. SOOO CONFLICTED.

Whole chapter on why cry it out is bad. You want them to sleep not just longer, but happier. Cry it out methods can lead to anxiety related to sleep, with nightmares and night terrors when the kid is older.

Co-sleeping's okay. Or at least should be in your room if breast
Jan 02, 2010 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: parents
This book is for the co-sleeping, attachment parenting family who doesn't subscribe to the "cry it out" method of baby sleep training. I find myself mostly in this camp when it comes to my "parenting style" (if one be a part of a universal style, which is silly because every parent and child is so unique). I read Sears's Vaccine Book which was excellent. The tone in this book bothered me a little, though. The examples the author used made me feel that he thinks CIO is wrong and those who do it o ...more
Jan 25, 2012 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: parenting
In general, I found this a very helpful book in terms of identifying what our goals for our daughter are around sleep, rather than focusing on creating a convenient child. Creating an environment and a routine that teaches your child to sleep well is a very helpful framework.

It seems that all books written by male pediatricians have a certain air of the histrionic about them. Also, its a great idea to have a maid and extra help with the house if you can afford it. Plenty of people cannot howeve
Michelle Rowe
I thought this book was maybe the most helpful out of all of the ones I read. I made me feel better about what I was doing, and less like a failure for not being able to implement a "method" described as in other books. I thought the best advice in this book was "If there is something you don't like about your sleep situation, change it". It didn't criticize co-sleeping or crying it out. It suggests trying everything and everything to find a comfortable sleep arrangement that works for your fami ...more
Aug 20, 2008 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Anyone seeking gentle ideas for nighttime parenting
I'm a big fan of Dr. Sears. I think his thoughts on parenting are reasonable, compassionate, and gentle. Several times when I've been frustrated with DD's sleep problems, I read what Dr. Sears has written and it helps me to try and view things from my daughter's point of view. He reaffirms my own "gut" feelings about how to parent my child. I like that he doesn't advocate "crying it out", even dedicating a whole chapter on how it can be detrimental to your child. However, he does make the point ...more
While I liked reading the book, I'm not sure how helpful it was to me. A lot of info I already knew like have going to bed "ritual". But nothing to really help me get baby to sleep longer than 2 stretches other than what I'm already doing.....Also, be prepared for some guilt if you're not breastfeeding and co-sleeping, and Sears pretty much assumes that all mom's are stay at home moms, a very common trend in the book I saw were suggestions like, take naps with the baby (impossible when you're at ...more
This is really 3.5 stars. Since we're mainly focused on Attachment Parenting, obviously this was aligned with our main viewpoints. But the insinuations that cry it out in any form will destroy your child... well please. It does have some helpful thoughts, and if it doesn't actually help our son sleep, at least it's helped me reframe nighttimes in my mind again, so I am less resentful of the 9 million night wakings, and focus on what I can do to fix it now (cosleep) and in the future (continue th ...more
Apr 11, 2013 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
There are many great things about this book. I love how it encourages fathers to get involved with taking care of their children. While it is organized well, it isn't organized in the most ideal way if you are going through sleep issues--one reason I think the No Cry Sleep Solution wins in comparison. I disagree quite a bit with the philosophy behind the Sears method and some of the methods so while it would be a great book for some people, 3 stars is definitely the most I can give it. A great r ...more
Meg Hammond
Repetitive but has some good info

It conforms to most if my previously held beliefs so I like that. It's a little preachy even though it says they try not to be. A bit repetitive through the different chapters but for sleep deprived parents or people that aren't reading the book from cover to cover it can be helpful. Nothing really magical about the info though.

I initially started reading it to get my baby to sleep like "he should" but read that the way he sleeps is how he should. It is nice to
Sears are such gentle folk and offer good advice for helping your child to sleep in an attachment parenting way. However, word of caution that they really adhere to holding your baby during sleeping and co-sleeping, which is absolutely wonderful. HOWEVER, we've learned that if you always do this, baby will ONLY want to sleep on/near/by/under/over/next to you. And I mean always. If you want independence sometimes, it's wise to teach your baby to learn to sleep on their own - gently. I recommend P ...more
Margaret Samuels
Oct 14, 2010 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
There are a lot of complaints about this book saying its useless if you're not Breastfeeding and co-sleeping. But i'm not co-sleeping and i still found it very educational. There are plenty of sections just for formula feeding moms as well. You just skip over the parts that don't apply to you. It alternates chapters on infant and toddler issues, and really gives you all the information so you can create a plan for your own child. I'm still hesitant to change my baby's sleep patterns, but i think ...more
Sonya Feher
Aug 27, 2008 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: parents
The Baby Sleep Book had useful information throughout. “Twenty-three Nighttime Fathering Tips” is an incredibly helpful section, which I give to fathers-to-be. The sections on sleep associations, tips for toddlers to go to sleep and night weaning have also been helpful for me. This is definitely a book that I would recommend to parents as a resource to look up information about sleep, but I found it a tedious cover-to-cover read. The explanations are long and there are so many examples that may ...more
Oct 15, 2007 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Parents
Shelves: about-kids
This gives a lot of good ideas of how to deal with babies and their sleeping patterns. He talks a lot about what sleep means for a baby (its different from an adult!). The main message I got from this book is how to look for ways to respectfully address yours and your child sleep needs. Dr. Sears is very anti- cry-it-out-alone but he is not anti-crying-at-all. What I have found works for us, is being in the room with the baby while they are crying so they do not feel alone. I'm happy to loan out ...more
Aug 20, 2009 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Rob by: Amy
Shelves: 2009
Abandoned 11/30/09 because The Boy (at 17 months) seemed to get his sleeping act together on his own without much in the way of real interventions.

I wanted to like this book. And a lot of it I did like. But it also seems like the central message of this (and a lot of other baby sleep books) is to adjust your attitude because you can't adjust your baby.

Which is fine. And true. And right. But when you're frazzled and sleep-deprived, it's a little hard to swallow.

Would I recommend it to parents wit
Aug 19, 2010 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book gives a lot of great suggestions, but the best advice it contains? Use your gut. That alone won me over, as I was tired of hearing "You HAVE to do it this way" or "Don't do this or you will spoil your baby."

I was glad to read a book that warns of baby trainers and the cry it out method - as those had never seemed right to me.

If you don't want your baby crying himself to sleep, but you still want to get better sleep (for you, for baby, for the family...), then this book is for you.
Bethany Joy
pros: lots of suggestions for Dads, lots of stories, helpful in understanding baby sleep better, good encouragement to be patient. I like that concept of nighttime parenting to remind me that this is part of the job.
Cons: cosleeping will solve all your problems! but that unfortunately is not true when your sweaty refluxy chunky kid only will cosleep with mom sitting up. most of the solutions seem to assume baby will sleep on a flat surface. this is not the only sleep book that assumes that, but
Feb 21, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: parenting
I skimmed the bits that weren't applicable to me (twins, older kids, etc.), but really liked the rest. Some of the more judgmental Sears followers made me worried about reading this, but I found it to be encouraging and understanding. They certainly don't hide what they believe to be best, but they accept that that ideal can't always happen and offer some advice for those situations. Overall, worth the read to understand my baby's sleep needs and how to deal with them better.
Jul 14, 2016 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: non-fiction, adult
I like a lot of Dr. Sears's gentle ideas and philosophies. Some of his advice has been helpful. I have been trying new sleep associations and keeping a sleep log.
The part I really dislike is what I dislike about most baby sleep books -- the author takes time to malign other baby sleep methods. I may not be looking at using cry it out right now for my kid, but I don't think it is a monstrous thing to do, either.
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Dr. Sears, or Dr. Bill as his "little patients" call him, is the father of eight children as well as the author of over 30 books on childcare. Dr. Bill is an Associate Clinical Professor of Pediatrics at the University of California, Irvine, School of Medicine. Dr. Bill received his pediatric training at Harvard Medical School's Children's Hospital in Boston and The Hospital for Sick Children in T ...more
“Mothers are hormonally wired to respond to, not ignore, their baby’s cries. (Fathers, take note: You can’t argue with biology!)” 1 likes
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