See that? That book. Right up there. Yup, that's the one.
That book has changed my life.
And I've had it in my grubby little hands just over a week.
Oodles of friends (and complete strangers, for that matter) recommended it to me, but I had yet to take the bait. I feared with every fibre of my being that it would be exactly like the other sleep books out there . . . and I've read at least a half a dozen of them.
When Thing 2 was a baby and not sleeping through the night, I purchased The No-Cry Sleep Solution in hopes that it would revolutionize our lives and magically transform my eight month old baby into an all-night sleeper. And while no tears were shed from little Thing 2 - I assure you this crafty mom did cry!
In all my reluctance, I picked up the book while visiting my sister last weekend. She calls the book her sleep bible and has used it successfully with both her children.
As my fingers grazed the first few pages and my eyes and my brain scanned and processed the so-called "sleep words of wisdom", I heaved a gigantic sigh of relief as I knew I had finally found the holy grail. Of sleep.
The book is simple, basic, and makes total sense to me. Everything I read just clicked. Where in other books I may have agreed with several points the authors made, I nearly pulled a ligament in my neck from nodding so vigorously as I read each chapter of Healthy Sleep Habits, Happy Child. I agreed with everything Weissbluth stated and am fully embracing his philosophy for healthy sleep habits. I'm a convert, plain and simple.
How did I - an intelligent mother of three, an avid reader, and an owner of more parenting books than our local library - not know about this book? I didn't have it recommended to me until I started publicly whining about Thing 3's issues with sleeping and naps.
I am even going to go as far as to say that every parent should read this book. If you have a child, or two, or three, or more, the philosophies in this book will help you understand sleep, it's importance, the parameters around how to get enough, and the difference you will see in a child who is well-rested.
After having read only a couple chapters last week, I had begun putting Thing 3 to bed an hour earlier than normal. Because sleep begets sleep. But somehow I couldn't wrap my head around that . . . until I tried it. She is THRIVING on her earlier bedtime - she is out cold by 7:00 p.m. now, leaving me free for some much-needed mommy time in the evening. It gives me more time to cuddle and read stories to Thing 1 and Thing 2, and we are no longer struggling to "hold her off" for another half hour while I am busy and can't nurse her.
I'm not nursing her to sleep anymore!
I lie her down in her crib awake and she falls asleep on her own.
Hear that? That's fireworks outside my bedroom window erupting in celebration of this small, but mighty, victory.
For the first few nights she fussed and cried, but it was less than five minutes and I could tell she was tired. And I was in tune with her "sleepy" signs because . . . I had read the book which explained them to me in fine detail. So I was confident in my ability to know when it was time for her to sleep. She sleeps until 7:00 or later the next morning, with no night wake-ups. (Well, with the exception of this morning when she woke up at 6:15 a.m. because she had a cold and a cough . . . hey, no plan is fool-proof, right?)
Have I mentioned I love the book?
Reading subsequent chapters fueled me with with the knowledge that Things 1 and 2 likely needed more sleep as well. They are now successfully in bed asleep 30-45 minutes earlier per night, and are not waking any earlier than they had been. And while they have colds (hey, it's Ottawa in November!) and it's hard to tell how much the extra sleep is assisting in transforming their general moods, overall things are just running smoother over here at the crafty household.
The copy of the book I have now is my sister's and she wants it back. So off fall the diamond earrings from my holiday wish list as I bump Healthy Sleep Habits, Happy Child up to the top of my list.
Note: I really should be honest and mention that my sleep issues are hardly serious at all - on the whole I have been pretty fortunate to have three kids who all sleep through the night for 11-12 hours. Thing 2 was my only thing who didn't sleep through the night at about 4 months old - he waited until after his first birthday, and even that really wasn't truly stressful for me as he only woke once per night to nurse and always went right back to sleep.
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