When we brought Little Piñata home, we hadn’t read a single baby book! We truly thought that we would wait at least 1-2 years to be matched with a birth mother, so we were shocked when our wait was just about 5 months! On our drive to the hospital to meet him (about 3 hours away), I started reading aloud from “BabyWise” to Mr. Piñata. We finished about one chapter before we got home. However, we were really blessed with a good sleeper! That first month he truly slept 18-20 hours a day, so I spent a lot of time catching up on reading about babies and what to do with them. I got most of my books from the library and bought my favorites. Here’s a recap of my view on each of them.
1. “The Happiest Baby on the Block“ by Harvey Karp
This book was the first one I read and was very helpful. Even though we were blessed by an overall happy baby, the “5 S’s” were so good to know those first few months and we used them quite a few times! Mr. Piñata and I also watched quite a few of his YouTube videos to be sure we were doing the “5 S’s” correctly. :-)
2. “On Becoming BabyWise” by Gary Ezzo and Robert Bucknam
I know BabyWise can be controversial. I liked the idea of Parent-Directed Feeding and give this strategy credit for baby P having his days and nights confused for less than a week. They recommend feeding your baby full feedings every 2.5-3 hours, then having them spend time awake before a nap, then repeating the schedule all day. This made sure he had enough calories during the day to help him go longer stretches at night. I would definitely say we did “BabyWise Lite” though, as we took what we liked and ditched what we didn’t.
The part we didn’t follow until much later was their suggestion of letting a baby “cry it out.” Since we didn’t feel comfortable with him crying for naps at a young age, we never followed that suggestion and let Little P guide us more on when we was ready for his naps.
3. “Healthy Sleep Habits, Happy Child” by Marc Weissbluth
This book has information about sleep for children at every age, so I’ve still only read the parts referencing infant and toddler sleep. The book came highly recommended to me by many other moms. It’s helped me get a better understanding of child sleep patterns and we use a lot of the principles. I would highly recommend this book to all parents as it gives information on sleep whether you eventually chose to have your child Cry-It-Out or soothe themselves to sleep, giving validity to both choices.
4. ”The Baby Book” by Dr. William & Martha Sears
This is what I would refer to as “The Attachment Parenting book.” Although there was lots of good information in here, by reading it I also realized that Attachment Parenting was not for us. Of course there are parts of AP that I really love such as baby wearing, as even now at 16 months I often wear Little Piñata when we’re out and about. But co-sleeping never worked for us. I’m still glad I read this book as there were lots of other helpful hints in here too, such as tips on baby massage, bathing baby, etc. I would definitely recommend it as a good resource.
5. “What to Expect the First Year” by Heidi Murkoff
This book was so helpful to us, as we truly had no idea what we were doing when we brought Little Piñata home! They break the first year down by month and give information on things to expect such as milestones, habits and tips for feeding,etc. I know you can “google” just about anything these days, but it’s nice to see things in print that are normal for your child each month of the first year. I didn’t get to read about the first month ahead of time, but I did get to read about the following months before they arrived, and it made me feel a lot more confident and less like I was flying by the seat of my pants.
This book was just entertaining to me. I got it from the library because it had great reviews on Amazon where people raved about how their babies slept through the night very young, so I was very curious about it.
Although this book may work for some, there was way too much scheduling for us. Never once in his 16 months of life have we fed him at the exact same time or put him in bed at the exact same time each day. It was too strict for us. But, there were parts that made me laugh out loud, such as the part that said we could ruin our child’s sleep if there was even “one slit” of sunlight coming through his windows. We did eventually succumb to room darkening curtains, but there are several “slits” of light coming in and he seems to be doing ok.
7. “The No-Cry Sleep Solution” by Elizabeth Pantley
Can you tell that sleep is really important to me? I read every book on infant sleep I could get my hands on. :-)
Pantley follows attachment parenting guidelines, so if you do AP, I would highly recommend this book! It was easy to read and seemed very helpful. It’s more about helping with existing sleep problems, which Little P didn’t have when I read it so I didn’t find it especially useful for us at the time. But I think others would benefit from it if you’re having any sleep issues and don’t want to do cry-it-out.
8. “Secrets of the Baby Whisperer: How to Calm, Connect, and Communicate with your Baby” by Tracy Hogg and Melinda Blau
This book was by far my favorite of the baby books. After feeling like I didn’t want to do BabyWise at 100%, but that attachment parenting wasn’t for us, I really appreciated the balance of this book. Hogg encourages a similar schedule pattern to BabyWise, but also gives really helpful tips on getting to know your baby and his/her personality. I loved how she encourages parents to get to know their babies as individuals and not as people we talk around (and not to). I recommend this book to all new parents because it was so easy to read and also practical. She never encourages cry-it-out which we agreed with at the young age (although we have implemented it once he got older).
Did you read any of the above books and what did you think about them? What were the most helpful books you have read about infants and sleep? I know I must be missing quite a few!