I have added a new page, Resources, detailing various products I recommend. I wanted to clarify a few things on that page as to why I suggest a few books over others.
What I Recommend
For babies under 3 months old, I recommend The Happiest Baby on the Block by Karp. Once your baby is over 3 months, you probably won’t find it that useful. At that point, if your baby is not sleeping well he/she likely has a sleep association and that book won’t help you much. In fact, it helps you create sleep associations, but it’s a lifesaver if you have a challenging sleeper and honestly, in those early weeks, you do what you can to survive.
For babies from birth to 10 months, I recommend Healthy Sleep Habits, Happy Child by Weissbluth. It has a lot of good information and action plans for exhausted parents at the end of each chapter. It is broken down by age, too.
For babies/toddlers 10+ months, I recommend Solve Your Child’s Sleep Problems by Ferber. It has a lot of very useful information on circadian rhythms, sleep assocations, but also a variety of other information on bed wetting, nightmares, etc.
If I had to only choose one book, it would be Weissbluth’s. This is because it probably has the most practical information in a format that’s an easy read. He leans towards CIO (cry-it-out), but offers several other options and the rest of the information is useful, even if you don’t agree with CIO. Ferber’s book is a very close second and really good, but maybe more than you ever wanted to know about biological rhythms. It is far more detailed. I also think Weissbluth’s book seems to apply to younger babies a little better, in my opinion. I think when babies get very overtired, it’s difficult to follow some of Ferber’s recommendations on fixing some problems, if you have a challenging sleeper.
Why I don’t recommend “On Becoming Babywise”
I don’t recommend the On Becoming Babywise book not because it doesn’t have good and interesting information in it. It does. But, I just think that you either have an easier sleeper and the book will seem like it’s 100% accurate or you will have a challenging sleeper and it will be worth nothing or your baby will be in between and the book just is somewhat useful. For example, my second son started sleeping in long stretches without actually following everything exactly. I think it was just in his nature, thus I concluded that the book is likely playing on the fact that most babies will naturally do it anyway during the timeframes outlined. Also, most importantly, I do not advocate letting newborns and very young babies cry for up to 20 minutes and if you are going to follow this book to the letter, that’s what you are supposed to do. I did not. I am not against crying methods (see my philosophy), but I don’t believe it should be done at a very young age. I do think the book gets a bad rap for being too strict and people say it advocates letting your baby cry to get to the next scheduled feeding. It does NOT advocate that and CLEARLY says to feed your baby if he/she is hungry.
Why I don’t recommend “The No Cry Sleep Solution”
The reason I don’t recommend The No-Cry Sleep Solution is, again, not because it does not have useful information. It does. But, once you know about sleep associations you have most of the information you need to have from this book. At this point, you will either easily be able to break those sleep associations in “gentle” ways by just discouraging the sleep associations and using some of the methods I’ve mentioned on this site. Or, you will have a challenging baby and sleeper and get frustrated that this book will not work. This is just my opinion, but it seems a little unrealistic for the really challenging sleepers and you don’t need the book to tell you that if rocking the baby is a problem, then stop.
I hope you find some of the other resources I’ve outlined useful and please email me if you have any questions about them (info [at] babysleepsite (dot) com).