Even before having a child, expecting parents start to have sleepless nights. Everyone from your family members, friends and colleagues – as well as complete strangers – will offer various kinds of advice, tricks, tips, potions, magic tricks, warnings or horror stories as it relates to a a baby’s sleep. The Offspring-Industrial Complex (OIC) is quite a machine that preys on expecting parents like none other – this one included. Luckily, my wife and I had friends that were even more prone to purchasing child-related products just for the fun of it, so we had the chance to pick-and-choose as well as re-use other people’s purchase (worked like a charm in college, and it works now too).
One book that was recommended to me by another father ahead of me was Dr. Marc Weissbluth’s “Healthy Sleep Habits, Happy Child“. This is what he had to say:
This is the science behind sleep. Organized like a sh*tty textbook but the data is very helpful to help you frame up your own approach to managing your babies sleep (critical in my opinion).
Now, this is a juggernaut of the sector and comes well recommended across the board. What *I* liked about it was that it was it straight to the point, was grounded in research, showed lots of data and empirical evidence and did not stray from its message (Babies and children need sleep, and lots of it). It also provided different perspectives on with respect to sleep habits, techniques and strategies…and even took some nice jabs at some of the more folkloric sleep gurus, which I appreciated. The book also appealed to the (long lost) engineer and science student in me.
I read the opening chapters of the book just before our child’s birth and then again later on. I also found myself referring back to the book every once in a while as she developed (e.g. 6 weeks, 6-7 months, teething time, naps, 12-18 months) as the book goes way beyond the initial weeks and months.
Lifespan: Several years as a reference book