3/31/12

The Baby Sleep Solution - Book Review



A huge plus of The Baby Sleep Solution can be seen just by glancing at it. It is short, and short is a tired parents' dream. Sure, it skips over all the science behind the sleep and doesn't go much into problem solving techniques, but many people are OK with this, especially when they are trying to go from no sleep to some sleep.

Suzy Giordano not only has 5 children of her own, but she has been helping babies, from singletons to quadruplets, learn to sleep for years. Her book provides a step by step approach for children 18 months and under that is easy to follow. She works on spreading out feeds and moving them to the day while focusing on teaching babies to go to sleep and stay asleep on their own. She uses a method called the "limited crying solution" which she considers a realistic middle ground between cry it out and no cry methods. All in all, she says it'll take about 1-2 weeks to have your child sleeping through the night (what she considers 12 hours).

Some people claim that it is impossible and not healthy to have a healthy child sleep 12 hours by 12 weeks. But if you look at the reviews and talk to people who have done this approach, you will find out it is very possible(Giordano reports 100% success with babies she has personally helped) and Giordano claims it to be perfectly safe (she reports no health problems with any of the babies who have followed her plan). You will hear opposing views on its safety depending on who you talk to (pediatricians included) so you will have to decide for yourself as well as always monitor your baby's health. The negative reports of this book are often from people who read the book and didn't like what it had to say or those who didn't read the book but are against sleep training at this age (or at any age). Some people do try the methods and they completely fail for various reasons, but they seem to be more the minority. Most people seem to have good if not great success with her methods, particularly if they are bottle-feeding. Breastfeeding makes things a bit more complicated.

If you don't want to push to have your child sleep 12 hours by 12 weeks, you can just do as many hours as you feel comfortable. That is the nice thing about any sleep advice, you do what you feel comfortable with. You can do the same thing with the daily feeds that she suggests doing 4 hours apart. Some people  have just as much success feeding more frequently. The thing is, once you start changing things up a bit from what is suggested, you may get different results.

Because it does skip over the science behind sleep and has few troubleshooting tips (i.e "what should I do if..."), I don't think it would be a bad idea to get another book at some point that goes over these issues. Which book you get will depend upon what methods you like, but if you are wanting just information on how sleep works, Solve Your Child's Sleep Problems or Healthy Sleep Habits, Happy Child, are great ones to get. If you want more troubleshooting information about sleep, you can check out the index on this blog or get a book like The Baby Whisperer.

FYI,  this book used to be called Twelve Hours' Sleep by Twelve Weeks Old

If you've used the methods in this book before, please share your experience.

4 comments :

  1. Laura @ My Baby Sleep Guide - Says...

    I have read this book and currently follow the baby whisperers methods for the most part. I need some help that I can't really find answers to. Here are a couple things to let you know my baby is 4months, she always falls asleep on her own. She is a short napper 45mins and I haven't been able to fix that so she does do some napping in the swing for naps only.
    She started sleeping 7:30-7:30 with a dream fed around 13weeks. The dream fed hasn't always worked great for her. I actually stopped doing it for a while because when I would she would wake up around 1am and when I wouldn't she would sleep 7:30-4am. I tried it again when she was a little older and it seemed to really work she would sleep through the night. I have been slowing working to a 4hr schedule she was on a 3-3 1/2hr schedule and started to waking up at night again. I thought that she needed to a 4hr schedule because she turned 4months today and that is what the baby whisperer says. I thought that might be why she may be waking. She has been waking around 1:30 give or take 15mins and will usually go back to sleep with a paci, but then wakes again at 5:00 and really wants to eat. I think she went though a grow spurt about 2 weeks ago and I did feed her in the middle of the night for 3 days and she wanted to eat a lot more during the day. For the most part she can wait 4 hrs, but doesn't seem to eat more. She has never been a good or big eater. She has a very spirited(baby whisperers definition) personality and wants things her way. If the milk isn't coming out fast she is done eating. She usually just eats till she is satisfied and doesn't nurse any longer. Her nursing last 8-13mins. I rented a scale and weighed her before and after feedings. It seems that besides the morning she just eats around 4oz. She will eat 6oz's in the morning because it has been so long since she ate. So I know she can eat more she just won't do it. I think she would if my milk flowed fast the whole time. My milk supply seems low for her 3 or 4 feeding, but if she won't nurse more I can't get my supply up. I'm not really sure how to pump to up my supply when I'm only doing 5 feeds counting the dream feed. I'm so confused last night I did a dreamfeed around 10:30 and she ate really good. She was back up at 2:00 and was doing her hunger cry she went back to sleep with a paci till 3:45, but was really restless and woke up again I gave her her paci and she went back to sleep to 5:00, but then woke up really hungry so I fed her and she slept solid till 7:40am. I have a video monitor so I can watch her. This has kinda been the pattern for the past couple weeks one night she will do good and then wake up 3 nights in a row.

    Do you thing it could be the dreamfeed? I know some babies don't do good with a dreamfeed. Or is my milk supply low. I work 2 days a week and if I pump for my 3 and feeding I usually only get 4 oz's which isn't horrible, but she needs to get more then that with 4 feeds. I don't really want to go backwards, but I guess I can go back to 3 hrs, but my gut says no. Any suggestions on how to up my supply? Do you think if the dreamfeed was dropped she would eat more during the day? She seems to be doing a little habitual waking the past 2 nights she woke up at 9:30pm and I had to give her her paci and the 1:30 waking has been happening for a while. She was just doing so good sleeping solid through the night and if she did wake up she would put her self back to sleep without crying. Any of your thoughts would be great. Maybe it will just pass. I could feed her in the middle of the night, but she hasn't needed that for weeks. Have you tried supplements to up milk supply or pumping?

    Thanks so much for your time. It means so much that you take time out of your day to help.

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    1. RachelStella @ My Baby Sleep Guide - Says...

      Laura,
      I would consider that the pacifier is turning into a prop, she has too long or too short of waketimes for her age (I think the baby whisperer suggests a little long for many babies this age), your milk supply is low and she is truly hungry at night, the dreamfeed. I would rule out the hunger first. Feeding every 3-3.5 hours if she will eat will help with her supply and help her get more during the day for now. Some people's bodies do not do well with milk supply when feeds are too very apart. Try to eat in places she is less distracted. Maybe give her a toy to look at while she is eating to try to get her to take fuller feeds. You likely have an extra oz or two available that you are unable to pump during your pumping sessions. If you are working two days a week you are more at risk to have supply issues so you may have to do a bit more to keep up your supply right now than if you were home 24/7.

      There are quite a few things you can do to increase supply. I had a list of them somewhere but I'm not sure where it is at and if I wait to find that before posting to you it might be a really long time! Babycenter has a babywise group. If you join this group and do a search you will be able to find lots of information about how to keep up your supply while on a routine. If you look at just nursing sites you will often be told to just nurse around the clock which can certainly help, but their information isn't always so helpful (and sometimes mean) for people that would like to implement some sort of routine.

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  2. Kerry @ My Baby Sleep Guide - Says...

    My husband and I had great success using this method. Our son responded with longer night sleeping as soon as I started to stretch his daytime feedings to every four hours, and I really didn't have to work hard to get him to drop the night feedings. He was also an easy baby, so entertaining him until eating time was easy and often he filled the time by sleeping.

    My concern was that because I was breast feeding, I worried that it might compromise my milk supply and Henry's growth. I took him to the doc for an extra weight check a couple of weeks into the four hour feedings and he was doing fine, so we stuck with the routine. He's 2 now and still a great sleeper! We now have an 8 week old daughter, and I'll use this method again.

    I agree with your point about naps, and I believe I let Henry nap as much as he wanted. I don't think this method is for everyone, especially if you don't like to keep a feeding schedule and if you're not ready to have the baby sleep in his own room.

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    1. RachelStella @ My Baby Sleep Guide - Says...

      Thanks so much for sharing your experience Kerry! It's really helpful for other parents out there interested in this approach. I have you have the same success with your daughter!

      Rachel

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