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?