Thursday, October 9, 2008

Good Night, Sleep Tight - BOOK REVIEW Part 1

Hi everyone! Heather from New Mommy Rant here - I am so happy to be guest blogging for Dana today. She recently received the book "Good Night Sleep Tight" to do a review on and immediately thought of me to be the one to read it. This is probably because I have read more books on babies and children than most moms. The thing that's interesting about that is I don't have any kids! I am just excited to learn as much as possible so I will be prepared when the time comes. I also have many friends and family members with young children so I enjoy passing on what I learn to them. I absolutely recommend this book to any parent of a child with sleep issues. There is no need to leave your child alone crying for hours in the dark...that can be equally tough on the parents and the child. This book will teach you how you can help your child learn to put themselves to sleep. It is easier to break bad habits the younger your child is...but it's never too late!
**This review will be done in 2 parts**
Good Night, Sleep Tight
The Sleep Lady's Gentle Guide To Helping Your Child Go To Sleep, Stay Asleep, And Wake Up Happy
By Kim West with Joanne Kenen
The need for sleep is biological; however the ability to sleep is a learned skill. Some children need a little more help than others.
The Sleep Lady's method is gentle and uses a step by step routine...Baby will sleep more soundly and for longer periods of time leading to well rested baby and parents. 1 in 4 children under 5 have sleep problems.
The most common advice parents receive is to let the baby cry it out and they will eventually fall asleep on their own. It will work eventually but most parents have a problem tolerating it.
Most families can solve their bedtime problems within 2 weeks. Be patient...learning a new skill takes time. You might get less sleep at first but you need to give up all of the negative associations.
Make sure both parents are involved and a united front. Consistency is the key. Don't give mixed messages. Do the same thing every night, not just most of the time. Decide on a plan and stick with it.
The whole family needs good sleep. Everyone deserves it and benefits from it. Good sleep habits are learned…you must teach your children.
Co-sleeping: Some choose it for easy breast feeding and some just end up with it. Think about it before the baby is born...will you want them in your bed at age 2, 4, or 6? What if you have another baby?
Choose the right time to get started sleep training. You will need about 3 weeks without disruptions or major changes in routine (vacation, moving, new baby). The first night you start, make sure baby gets a good nap during the day so they aren't overtired.
Keep a log.
Bedtime Routine - must be comforting and predictable, may include books, songs, and their lovey. You need to switch their brain from alert to sleepy. If your child doesn't like part of the routine, such as putting on their pajamas or brushing teeth, do that first & get it over with.
Always put the baby down drowsy but awake. They need to learn how to fall asleep on their own.
Helpful Hints:
1. Most sleep problems are behavioral, but check with your child's doctor to rule out any physical problems that may be disturbing their sleep.
2. Get room darkening shades if your child wakes up too early or has trouble napping when it is light outside.
3. Use a night light.
4. Use a white noise machine if your home is loud.
5. If the parents like to see and hear the baby, get a video monitor.
6. If your child uses a pacifier, give it to them for naps and bedtime only. Leave several in their crib so they can find one and don't need you to come in and get it for them.
7. Do not put a tv in their room.
8. Make sure the same sleep rules apply all the time - at home, day care, with a babysitter, etc.
9. For less overnight diaper changes, use larger diapers with an insert or overnight diapers.
10. If your child's crying leads to vomiting, avoid feeding right before bedtime.
11. Have a morning ritual - reinforce their waking up by opening the blinds and turning on the lights.
12. If you are trying to stop or reduce overnight breast feeding - have dad put the baby down so they don't expect to be nursed.
13. If you need the crib for a new baby, older child's transition to a bed should be at least 2 months before the birth to avoid feelings of displacement.

Always remember that well rested children find it easier to sleep while overtired children have trouble getting to sleep and staying asleep.

Help your child soothe themselves by giving them some space...they often become dependent on the parents to rock, hold, snuggle, and nurse them.

Parents: remember that no one really sleeps through the night. Everyone has partial arousals from time to time. (This is waking up out of fairly light sleep to adjust your blanket or get a sip of water.) We can get right back to sleep because we know how to do that. Babies don't so we have to teach them. They will just wake up and cry for someone to put them back to sleep by nursing, rocking, pacifier, etc. We must help them give up this association so that when this happens they can soothe themselves with a blankie or stuffed animal, or suck their thumb and get themselves back to sleep.

After 6-8 weeks, babies will get their best sleep in a crib or bassinet...not a swing, stroller, or car seat. Motion may put them to sleep but their brain will never reach the level of complete restorative sleep if they are moving.

How to get the right start for newborns & infants: For the first 2 weeks, don't worry about rules and schedules. Focus on recovery from birth, feeding and getting to know your baby. Accept all of the help you can get from family & friends and don't worry about dirty dishes!
Beginning at 3 weeks old - Sleep Lady's 8 Rules
1. Create a flexible feeding and sleeping routine. Not an exact regimen, just a framework for eating/sleeping/awake time. Young babies like predictability and parents will be able to plan the day better. Most likely you will know what your baby needs when they cry because it will be time for either eating or sleeping. Use a simple log to keep track.
2. Encourage soothing techniques other than nursing. Babies will learn how to soothe themselves. After the first few months, you can try swaddling or swinging.
3. Offer a pacifier for soothing and sucking, but not as a sleep crutch. Get them used to falling asleep without something in their mouth. They can use for comfort or to calm down, but not to get to sleep. Start around 6 weeks; it will be a lot harder the longer you wait. If they spit it out, don't put back in right away. Your child may develop a habit of thumb or finger sucking which parents prefer because you can't lose or forget to bring it with you!
4. Sometimes feed your baby when he wakes up after a nap - not just when you are trying to get him to sleep. You do not want to develop a strong association between feeding and sleeping. Sometimes you should nurse when they get up. Try to do twice a day; the easiest times would be in the morning and their first nap. Don't try it at night first because they will be the most tired and fussy.
5. Put him down drowsy but awake at least once every 24 hours. After 4 weeks old, do this once a day. The morning nap should be the easiest to start with. At 6 weeks try with bedtime.
6. Introduce one bottle a day. Even if you are committed to nursing, introduce bottle by 2 or 3 weeks. This is just common sense preparation for unforeseen circumstances down the road. It's totally up to you if you want to use pumped milk or formula. This also gives dad a chance to feed the baby. Some people like to give formula at night to try and help the baby sleep longer (it takes longer to digest so it will be longer before they wake up hungry again).
7. Create a sleep friendly environment. Room darkening shades, soothing colors, no bright or stimulating mobiles. White noise or fan can help drown out other sounds. Music can be used to set the mood, but don't let it run while baby is falling asleep and don't turn it back on if the baby wakes up during the night. Even though babies up to 8 weeks old are very portable and sleep wherever they are, it shouldn't be done all the time. A nice quiet crib will give them a more restful sleep. A bedtime routine is essential by 6 weeks old. It is easier in the beginning - warm bath, dimly lit room, feed and swaddle. As they get older, add stories to the routine. The routine is very important because it cues their brain to slow down after a busy day.
8. Carefully think through the whole question of co-sleeping and the family bed. Evaluate if it's right for you. Know the co-sleeping safety rules. Short term co-sleeping is ok as long as you make the transition to the crib around 3 will be much harder the longer you wait. If the baby is in a bassinet in your room, move to their own room around 3 months. You may sleep in their room with them for a few days while they get adjusted to the new environment. You can get a monitor to keep yourself from worrying about them being alone. If you co-sleep make sure baby naps in their crib alone. They can't get used to you being there all the time to get to sleep...obviously there will be times when they have a sitter, you have another baby, or you are taking a shower. You want their room to be a familiar place to them. The crib will teach them to put themselves to sleep and is also safer than being alone in a bed. Reactive co-sleeping is very bad! This is when you put the baby to sleep in their crib but bring into the parent's bed when they wake up at night. The child will not learn how to sleep on their own and this can last for years. There are other ways to get your child back to sleep without bringing them into your bed.

Lets you be a comforting presence to a child learning to put themselves to sleep in a crib. You start by his side and gradually move out of the room over a 2 week period.
Nights 1-3: Sit in a chair next to the crib. If he fusses, stroke or pat on & off, try not to pick him up unless extremely upset (does not apply to a baby who is sick or scared). Keep it brief and return to the crib awake. Don't do anything stimulating. Can make shh or other soothing sounds. Stay until he falls asleep.

Nights 4-6: Move chair halfway between the crib & door. Stay in chair if possible, don't pick him up unless he's hysterical. Use your voice to calm him down.

Nights 7-9: Move chair to the doorway but within his view. Intervene as little as possible.

Nights 10-12: Move chair into hallway within view if possible.

Night 13 and on:
Most babies will fall asleep on their own by now. You can stay in the hall or a nearby room if he likes to hear your voice. If he cries, you can go to the bedroom door to soothe him but don't go into the room. Also don't rush right in, give him a chance to calm himself down.

Check back next week for part 2 of Heather's review


Good Night, Sleep Tight!


Giovanna Diaries said...

WOW! What a comprehensive review! I'm shocked you read all these parenting books! I have twins and have read ... or rather skimmed a few books. But now at least I know what my technique was called.
I did it 2 ways. First way...Cry it out/Ferber...Then we moved and I had to do it all over again. The second time I did the Sleep Lady Shuffle. I liked the Sleep Lady Shuffle the best!
Well, you will be well prepared when it's your turn!

Thomas said...

I like all your pictures showing you being an aunt. Is this the world's first auntie blog? I like to think my blog is the world's first blog for uncles since I talk about my niece and nephew quite often.