Healthy Sleep Habits, Happy Child, by Dr. Marc Weissbluth (HSHHC) is hands down my favorite child sleep book. There are many others that offer great methods and programs, but none come close to flat out convincing a parent that doing, and sometimes sacrificing, whatever it takes to instill excellent sleep habits in a child is one of the most important things one can do as a parent. It will particularly resonate with those who like to come at things from a logical and statistically significant stand point.
I came upon this book when trying to implement various other methods with my first child. While many books made great points, none could convince me that they were 100% qualified to talk about what they were talking about. Also, I found that parents all over the spectrum, from co-sleepers to families who put their baby’s in their own cribs from day one, had positive things to say about Dr. Weissbluth’s methods.
HSHHC is also extremely thorough. It begins by discussing how sleep is different during the day and at night and how essential timing of a baby’s wake time is in order to achieve a successful nap, and goes on to actually tell a parent how to deal with many typical sleep issues.. Of course, like any book, a parent can read it and still find them self struggling when their baby is not reacting as the book said it would in a given set of circumstances, but overall it is a quality work that appears to be medically and scientifically sound. If there is one single sleep book I would recommend to a new, or even more seasoned, parent it would be this one.
Ultimately, I think the book’s highest value comes from chapters 5 and 6. In this portion of the book, Dr. Weissbluth discusses what a parent can do for their child from age newborn to twelve months in order to preclude many common sleep issues!
I owe Dr. Weissbluth a lot. He got me started down this path of helping others bring sleep harmony back into their homes, and I am so grateful he choose to spend his time doing longitudinal studies amongst children the world over to prove what I now know to be the truth-sleep is as important as the amount of food infants and children eat, it is restorative, it is important, and it is to be respected.