More resources for the terminally sleep deprived

If you’re struggling with sleep it may be hard to know where to get help.

Those around you will hopefully provide support and wisdom, but we know sometimes it can seem like you are surrounded by mums whose ‘perfect’ babies sleep through the night, or friends and relatives who advocate sleep advice that doesnt suit you or your family.

So here’s a list of resources we have found helpful in our search for the elusive full nights sleep. Many of these may be available from your local library, or Parents Centre, or trying buying them secondhand or online.

Helping your baby sleep by Anni Gethin & Beth McGregor

A great practical book on sleep based on recent research.  Lots of theory but several great practical chapters on getting baby to go to sleep.

The No-Cry Sleep Solution by Elizabeth Pantley

Lots of great practical tips and tricks for getting babies to sleep.  Individual approach rather than one size fits all – helpful for identifying what is important for your family and how to adjust your babies sleeping without distress for you or them.  The name is a wee bit misleading as this is not to say your child will never cry, it just doesn’t advocate leaving them to cry themselves to sleep.

Sleeping like a baby: Simple sleep solutions for infants and toddlers by Pinky McKay

Parenting expert Pinky McKay offers a natural, intuitive approach to solving your little ones’ sleep problems and gives practical tips on how to: understand your baby’s tired cues; create a safe sleeping environment; gently settle babies and toddlers; and, feed infants to encourage sleep.

The Science of Parenting by Margo Sunderland

Fascinating factual book on how we can best parent to help our children become happy healthy individuals.  All the latest research on brain development and it’s implications for parenting.  A must read!

The happiest baby on the block by Harvey Karp

Karp focuses on calming and soothing crying infants but his five techniques are great for helping get baby to sleep as well. Especially good for newborns and babies that have lots of unexplained crying.

The Baby Book: Everything You Need to Know About Your Baby from Birth to Age Two (Revised and Updated Edition) by Dr William and Martha Sears

This is a wonderful all-purpose baby ‘manual’ that covers all those important aspects of the first years, including info on sleep. They don’t have a one size fits all approach to sleep but advocate finding what works best for all the family.

Websites

Centre for attachment website

The Centre for Attachment (CFA) is a New Zealand-based agency dedicated to providing support, education and training for families, organisations and communities on optimal child development and attachment.  Offers some useful information on sleep in their Essential Information section.

Dream Parenting

A sleep solutions company run by mum Anna Martin. They specialise in solutions which involve the use of nurturing and responsive methods, to help parents with their child’s behaviour and sleep issues.

We haven’t used Dream Parenting personally but I have heard a few good things about them. Please let us know if any of you have tried them and how you found it?

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If you have used any other books / websites / other resources that you would recommend, we’d love to hear about them!

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As you wrestle with sleep, it is helpful to remember that:

  • it is a myth that one day your baby will sleep through the night, and that will be the end of sleep troubles. Your baby will eventually mostly get the hang of a good night’s sleep but even when your children are older there will still be the odd tooth, illness, bad dream, emotional disturbance that mean the pitter patter of little feet will be heard. It is a more realistic goal to aim for your child to spend the majority of the night, most nights in their own bed. It won’t happen 100 % of the time! So don’t set yourself up for impossible expectation. There will always be nights when your little one needs you a bit more than usual.
  • It is a myth that your baby will sleep through the night by 6 weeks (unless you are one of the very lucky few and even then it will most likely be temporary!) Many babies are still  waking at least once in the night at 1 year of age.

And finally remember the parenting mantra “This too shall pass!”. A very wise woman (my mother) once reminded me that when my baby is a teenager I will no longer be trying to get him to go to sleep, but rather to wake up!

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Posted on August 11, 2011, in Sleep and Crying. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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