Parenting Book Reviews

Table of Contents


Pre-pregnancy Books

Pregnancy Books

Nutrition in Pregnancy

Pregnancy for Fathers

Baby Name Books

Birth guidebooks

Vaginal Birth After Cesarean

Infants & Toddlers


Sleep Problems

Child Rearing & Discipline

Preschool-aged children

Young school-aged children

Teenaged children

Learning disabilities and ADHD

Medical Information & Nutrition

Life Style Choices

Death and Children

Boys/Girls: "Gender" issues

Miscellaneous Books

Other Media

Sources & Acknowledgements

Paula Burch's Home Page

Sleep Issues in Infants and Children

Richard Ferber: 
Solving Your Child's Sleep Problems. Paperback, about $10.
by Richard Ferber, MD, copyright 1985, ISBN: 0-671-46027-7,
ISBN:0-671-62099-1 Pbk.
[sources incl. amazon]
	Everything from sleeping through the night after the age of
	three months to night terrors, sleep walking, and even
	narcolepsy. A wonderful book for a sleep-deprived new parent. 
	Does NOT recommend "just let the child cry herself to sleep."

	This was the one book that our Pediatrician recommended one day after
	Karen was born.  She said that it was long, but worth it.  I read it
	in the early weeks before there were any problems.  Karen hasn't had
	any sleep problems, but I think that had a lot to do with the fact
	that I knew what to be aware of and what to avoid.  I wholeheartedly
	recommend this for anyone who is interested in an in-depth look.  I
	think that he's also written some articles which condenses the
	information to a more reasonable length. One bit of generic advice
	that I have used is to get the book from the library first.  If you
	like it, then go ahead and buy it. 

	I should really start a topic for GOOD HINTS FROM BAD BOOKS: there are
	some child-rearing books that I've gotten one or two great ideas from
	whose overall opinions I violently disapprove of.  Another example:  I
	like Ferber myself, but even parents who dislike Ferber should really
	read the first chapter, explaining normal childhood sleep patterns and
	development.    -- Betsy Hanes Perry

Helping Your Child Sleep Through The Night
Joanne Cuthbertson & Susie Schevill
ISBN 0-385-19250-9
paperback, $10
[sources incl. amazon]
	Even better than Ferber in discussing the effect of such
	things as illness and teething on sleeping, and the
	instructions are even more easily followed, with numbered
	steps. You still need to read Ferber to learn about how sleep
        works, but Cuthbertson & Schevill provide a useful
        amplification and slightly different veiwpoint. I think that
        all parents need to read both books, and most need a copy of
 	one of them around the house in case of future problems. 

William Sears: Nighttime Parenting. La Leche League International.
[sources incl. amazon]
	I borrowed _Nighttime Parenting_ from my La Leche League library.
	There is a lot of talk about Ferber on the net but little mention of
	this book, which I felt was written more from the perspective of a
	parent than a doctor.  Like any book, he has his own ideas, mostly
	advocating family beds (he calls it "sharing sleep"), but for those who
	feel that Ferber is not for them I highly recommend this.  The problem
	that I had with Ferber is that he claims that the main reason for sleep
	problems in infants is that they are nursed or rocked to sleep, then
	wake up and can't get back to sleep without being nursed or rocked
	again.  But we clearly have a waking infant who falls asleep on his own
	beautifully.  Anyway, just thought I'd mention that resource as I
	rarely see it here.

Vicki Lansky. Getting your child to sleep (and back again).
[sources incl. amazon]
	Useless--you'll do far better with a single short question on Helpful advice such as "try rocking the baby" :-)

Marc Weissbluth: Healthy Sleep Habits, Happy Child
[sources incl. amazon]
	I read this book, and found that what Weissbluth
	recommends is letting a child "cry it out"--for three or four
	hours at a time, if need be--starting at ages as low as two 
	months. This approach may be necessary for some families, but
	I personally couldn't do it. I found Ferber's book to be
	vastly kinder and more humane, besides explaining things much
	more clearly. If you have a problem with the idea of letting 
	a child cry for more than a few minutes, I would strongly
	advise that you try Ferber's book first, and progress to 
	Weissbluth's only if Ferber's methods do not work 
	for your family. --Paula Burch


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