Friday, April 2, 2010

Book review: Sleep Tight

You'd think that I would have baby/kid sleep figured out by now, since I'm 10 months into my second child's life.  However, if you have seen my husband and I lately, as we stumble around in our sleep-deprived haze, you'd quickly realize that we know pretty much nothing.  And I have to admit, I'd started thinking that there was nothing that could be done to fix these problems and that we were just going to be exhausted forever. 

So I quickly said yes when I was offered the chance to review a book called Sleep Tight: Help Your Child Attain a Good Night's Sleep in Three Days, by Suzy Martyn. Honestly, I haven't read many sleep books since my kids were born. We've sort of been winging it and hoping for the best. But now I'm so tired from dealing with two kids all day that I really really need a good night's sleep to recharge, and not getting it has really been affecting my mood and energy. 

I was surprised by how much information was in this book, given its deceptively small size. The book is organized in a great, easy-to-follow manner, starting with four introductory chapters to prepare parents for fixing their kids' sleep problems (because honestly, we're the ones who need to be trained the most!), followed by tips for sleep routines for different ages and stages. I really appreciated this way of laying out the book- my kids are 10 months old and up, and since the chapters were clearly labeled, I didn't have to slog through lots of information on how to get newborns or babies 3-7 months to sleep- I could just go right to the appropriate chapter. 

After the age-specific section, the next part of the book deals with handling sleep challenges and includes a great question and answer section with common issues that come up for sleep habits of kids at different ages.  The book also contains an infant feeding sleep log, a very handy summary of sleep routines for different ages (birth-5 years) that breaks down number of daytime hours slept, number of naps, number of nighttime hours slept and number of meals. There are also indices at the back for sleep tips, charts, and question and answers, so you can quickly find the information you need.

Vivian used to be a good sleeper, but when she went through her first round of teething we got into some bad habits, like feeding her every time she woke up and was fussy and letting her sleep in the middle 85% of our bed.  After I read the book I felt more equipped to change some small things and more encouraged to work on establishing good routines.  The book had some tips for reducing these middle-of-the-night feedings, and for extending daytime naps- nothing drastic, just practical ideas that honestly never occurred to my sleep-deprived brain.  

Last night Vivian actually slept through the night for the first time in ages, after just a few days of working on her sleep issues. Unfortunately for us, Ethan ended up throwing up in the middle of the night, so there was still little sleep to be had, but we have great hopes for tonight! 

I think this book is a great one to read and add to your library, particularly if you're struggling with sleep issues in your household. It's a quick read and an easy book to refer to again later as needed. We've already found it to be very useful and I suspect that we will be returning to its pages for suggestions for future sleep issues! 

Visit Suzy's website for many more great parenting resources or to purchase this book.

Disclosure: I received a copy of this book to review for myself. I was not compensated in any other way and all opinions posted here are mine and mine alone.