Wednesday, January 07, 2009

Baby Books

I really enjoy reading baby books. Books about babies. I would like to master the skill of baby care, at least for my babies. I don't think its really possible to figure them out as a whole, since they are all so very different, but I have come across some books that have had some helpful gems that have made taking care of my babies a little easier, I think. So, I thought I would share.

The first baby care book I ever read was Babywise. It is somewhat controversial, but my friends who had babies at the time adhered to its principles and it seemed to work out well for them, so I was determined. The subtitle of the book is "Giving Your Infant the Gift of Nighttime sleep." Who wouldn't want to do that? Besides, if you give that gift to your infant, you're also giving it to yourself.

It worked out pretty well for Hope. She did not fall into the pattern they said she would with her napping - she was a short napper, so I tended to drive myself a little crazy trying to figure out what I was doing wrong with her schedule that made her not nap longer. It turns out some kids are just short nappers. BUT, she did sleep 8-9 hours at night by 11 weeks, which was wonderful, and 11-12 hours by 4 months. The book also encourages you to let your baby learn to put themselves to sleep from day 1. By 3 months Hope had learned to cry for 10 minutes and fall asleep on her own. So, I decided to call it a fluke until I had another baby that it worked for. Anna is now 7 1/2 weeks, and is doing well on a schedule, so we'll see if the plan works for her as well. I am doing a lot more holding, cuddling and rocking her to sleep than I did for Hopey. I think its because I know I'm not going to have to rock her to sleep for life just because I'm doing it now. :) Anyway, I would recommend the book, but would loosely hold to it. It does make it seem like its plan is the ONLY way, and that you have to do it just right to get the desired outcome: a sleeping baby.

Another book that has been helpful is "Healthy Sleep Habits, Healthy Child." I read it when Hope was an older baby (in hopes to help her sleep longer than 45 minutes at a time). The most helpful advice from this book was to give the baby short awake times. It talked about how easily they get overstimulated and then have a hard time going to sleep, so to only let them be up for 1-2 hours at a time. I have definitely found this to be true for Anna. After about 1 hour and 15 minutes she's getting fussy and is ready for another nap. This book is a lot more sympathetic to different baby types, but still has a lot of helpful sleeping tips for babies.

Has anyone else read any helpful baby books? If so what were they and what did you like about them?

13 comments:

Amber Dawn said...

Semmi-Lusia had cholic as a baby and the only thing that would calm her down enough for her to go to sleep was the 5 S's from Happiest Baby on the Block. The book is sort of evolutionist in thought, but the methods he uses really worked for me.

Melissa Navarro said...

I used the 5s's with Josiah too---I didn't read the book, just watched the DVD :)

Amanda said...

I have decided to write my own baby book called Baby Wise Drop Out and Tummy Time Failure :-D. I have broken almost all of the "rules" at least once if not once a week. Luckly though Katelyn is such an easy going baby that she put herself on a good schedule and she loves to sleep like her mommy. We pray that baby number two (no I am not pregnant, just saying) is as easy as she is!

Carmen said...

Hi,
I am like you and really enjoy reading baby books...books about babies, so while I had a baby I began a website called 'baby books guide' to help parents navigate their way through the maze of baby books there are out there. I think you would enjoy reading the reviews on there from myself and other parents.
I agree with you totally that some books, such as Babywise come across as the only way to do something and we must all be weary of this. It just isn't possible for there to be a one fit solution for all babies...especailly when it comes to sleep.

Tasha said...

Thanks for the update Steph. I told two friends of mine who recently had babies about your post!

Heather said...

I just read the Baby Whisperer before Eliana was born and found most of it helpful- a more balanced approach. I read Baby Wise years ago and one by Dr. Sears (the other end of the spectrum) and then I just take bits and pieces and work it for our family.

Stephanie said...

Thanks for the recommendations everybody! I've heard the principles of Happiest Baby on the Block and I do think that the S's help with getting them to go to sleep. Does that book talk about scheduling too? I'll have to read it. I also have heard Baby Whisperer is good, talking about the different kinds of baby temperaments there are.

Heather - I think you're right about taking bits and pieces of things. I've found the more I've read, the more helpful tips and thoughts I've come across.

Thanks again!

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