I am participating in a book review campaign with One2One Network. I received this book from Harper Collins for the purposes of reviewing it. I have not received compensation. All opinions stated are my own.
As a mother of two, there's something I'm addicted to that I don't get enough…..good sleep. If you've read my blog at all, you know that the Captain, age 4, still wakes up in the middle of the night and comes into our room to sleep on the floor. Sometimes he wakes us up, sometimes he doesn't. He has always been a horrible sleeper, so this is the best it has been and it's still not good. As a first time mom, I didn't even CONSIDER that my darling angel wouldn't be an awesome sleeper. I remember reading another sleep book or two when he was a few months old. I was exhausted, hubby was exhausted, and the Captain was…..well, he was Captain Fussybuckets! We tried a lot of things with him and some worked, some didn't. I really, really wish I had "The Happiest Guide to Great Sleep" book by Dr. Harvey Karp BEFORE the Captain was born.
When I was pregnant with Baby D, a friend recommended pediatrician Dr. Karp's "The Happiest Baby On The Block" and the tips I learned from him were so beneficial to starting Baby D off right. With all of that said, I do think that the Captain is just a lighter sleeper and his mind is always thinking so it's hard to settle down, regardless of circumstances. Baby D is a different type of sleeper. He sleeps long and hard and sometimes can't be woken up by a marching band (just kidding) when the Captain can be woken up by a creak in the floor! But Dr. Karp has tips for getting great sleep, no matter which type of baby you have!
Dr. Karp answers common questions about sleep in his book, gives tips like the 5 S's (swaddling, side/stomach, shushing, swinging, sucking) while the baby is in your arms to help calm him/her, talks about myths of sleeping, and much more. He is like a friend helping new (and experienced) parents through the first few weeks, months, and even years.
One thing that Dr. Karp talks about that I knew already from my own experience, but wish others knew….was that babies get overtired and that makes it super difficult to wind down. I've heard that if Baby wakes during the night, you should "wear them out" during the day and keep them up longer. This isn't always true. You need to pay attention to sleep cues and put Baby down before it escalates into sheer exhaustion because that could make it harder to get to sleep and stay asleep! We definitely experienced this with the Captain and even Baby D sometimes.
Dr. Karp talks about one to five year-olds in the second half of the book and addresses common sleep problems. Something I found interesting was that he says that if a child is dependent on his or her paci for bedtime, that was perfectly acceptable until…get this…around their fourth birthday. This makes total and complete sense to me since I was a finger sucker until, ahem, 7 years old. (Yes, yes, you read that right. I sucked two fingers to go to sleep until I broke my arm the summer before 2nd grade and I could suck my fingers no longer.) Anyway, back to the book, Dr. Karp says it's perfectly fine and normal as long as there are no problems from using the pacifier that long. This was reassuring to me because while Hubby and I would like to wean Baby D from the paci, he shows no signs of making that a peaceful event for any of us. He uses the paci strictly at nap and bedtime and doesn't suck on it all night. Pacis are his "loveys" and well, that's fine. He won't be taking them to college, so it's okay. :)
If you are expecting, have a newborn, toddler, preschooler, are the caregiver or grandmother or have a sleeping child in your midst at any time, this is a great reference book for you. "The Happiest Baby Guide to Great Sleep" is a great reference book that is a super easy read. It is written in a way that you can easily access certain issues and read over it quickly to get the answers you need. I highly recommend it!