For many parents, bedtime is a time of stress and strife. Many kids simply won’t give in to the Sandman when it comes time to end the day and crawl into bed. Their reasons range from fear of the dark to fear of missing out on some exciting late-night adventure that they’re sure will begin just as soon as they drift off to slumberland. For some kids, it may be a matter of asserting control, and for others it’s a tooth-and-nail struggle against sleepiness. Whatever the root cause, the result is the same – a prolonged and tiresome bedtime ritual. Proper rest is an essential component for kids’ health and growth, so you’ve both got a stake in making sure you win the bedtime battle. To help tip the scales in your favor, we’ve assembled a list of five books that cover this very subject.
- The Baby Sleep Book: The Complete Guide to a Good Night’s Rest for the Whole Family -by William Sears, M.D. – Here you’ll find tips on how to set up a nighttime ritual that fosters a better sleep environment for your baby and recommendations for when and where to bed your child down. The book addresses sleep issues for babies from infancy through pre-school age, naps, night-feeding, and moving the baby from your bed to her own. And as the title suggests, there are a whole host of tips on how to salvage your own much-needed rest as well.
- The Sleep Lady’s Good Night, Sleep Tight: Gentle Proven Solutions to Help Your Child Sleep Well and Wake Up Happy – by Kim West, LCSW-C – The Sleep Lady®, Ms. West, provides valuable information in this updated edition of her 2004 best-seller. In it, you’ll find suggestions about pacifier use, toddler naps, and even baby yoga positions. Chapters dealing with night terrors, sleepwalking, medical issues and bed-sharing are also included. Of particular note is the Sleep Lady system’s concept of sleep as a learned skill, and its refutation of the cry-it-out credo of other sleep experts.
- The Sleepeasy Solution: The Exhausted Parent’s Guide to Getting Your Child to Sleep from Birth to Age 5 – by Jennifer Waldberger, LCSW and Jill Spivack, LMSW – A direct correlation is drawn for parents between developmental issues and how they affect sleep for each stage of development covered in the book, from birth through the age of 5 years. These psychotherapists have worked together and with Hollywood A-list clients to develop a system they claim will have your baby sleeping soundly within as little as three days’ time.
- The Baby Whisperer Solves All Your Problems: Sleeping, Feeding, and Behavior–Beyond the Basics from Infancy Through Toddlerhood – by Tracy Hogg and Melinda Beau – The key to a good night’s sleep for baby and you, according to Trogg, is learning to speak banguage, or baby language. Once you understand what’s keeping baby awake, the battle is half over already. Using the E.A.S.Y. System – Eat, engage in some Activity, Sleep, resulting in time for You – provides a routine that will lead to more restful sleep for both baby and you.
- Healthy Sleep Habits, Happy Child – by Marc Weissbluth, M.D. – Pediatrician Weissbluth sets down steps for parents to take that will help cope with crybaby syndrome, bedwetting, and common mistakes parents make when trying to get their baby to sleep. He also explains how daytime sleep and nighttime sleep differ from one another, and why both are important to your child’s development.