Developmental psychologists Lewis and Granic wrote Bedtiming after they discovered optimal developmental periods to sleep train your child between the ages of 0-4 years (see when to sleep train and when not to right here). So how did they find these periods? Children have similar cognitive development stages at certain ages that correlate with emotional stages. During certain emotional stages children are more vulnerable than others (e.g. separation anxiety). Sleep training your child during the less vulnerable periods will lead to better sleep training success, especially with more sensitive children. Makes sense, right?
Lewis and Granic believe that when you sleep train is more important than how you sleep train. This varies from what some other experts believe--that the longer you wait to sleep train (especially if it is after 3 or 6 months) the harder it will be because habits will be more ingrained. I'm not totally convinced that the when is more important than the how, but I'm not convinced against this idea either. I'd just like some more proof in the form of research. Either way, it's worth it to try training in the periods they suggest. It can only help right!
The authors believe that most of the sleep training methods out there are useful and that parents need to choose what works best for them and their family. I couldn't agree more about choosing what works for you and your family...as long as you are all happy and getting your rest.
The book quickly goes over some of the pros and cons of the most common sleep training methods. This section isn't very extensive, but useful if you haven't heard of some of the popular sleep training approaches before. One of the important things mentioned in this section is that no research (even by the academy of pediatrics) has shown one sleep training approach to be better than another. The most important thing is consistency in whatever approach you choose.
There is a section in this book about sleep setbacks but it isn't very extensive so I won't go into anymore than to just say that it is there.
Overall, this was a pretty good book. It felt like I was reading a school text book in some areas which may or may not be good depending on what kind of books you like to read. The information was interesting though, and would probably be most interesting if you read each of the developmental sections when your child reaches them or right before she reaches them. Reading the sections all at once was a bit much for me.