Who has tried Good Night, Sleep Tight-The Sleep Lady's Guide - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 12 Old 07-29-2005, 03:07 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Please respond if 1) you have read the book 2) you have really tried her method. Would love to hear your responses and opinions. Just got the book in the mail and read her introduction. We are getting to the point where it's necessary for us to make a change. Ds is 21 months and needs more sleep. He is doing ok right now but still nurses 3-4 times a night and needs lots of help falling asleep.

I know there are a lot of well meaning folks who have read her website (or not and just heard of her) and have opinions but I am more interested in those who have actually read the book. Thanks!
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#2 of 12 Old 07-31-2005, 08:28 PM
 
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Yikes, how to say this gently. I read lots of the book -- picked it up out of curiousity from the library. My personal opinion? It's frightening. Parts of it still haunt me many months later. At one point in the book she tells you to just let the baby cry in their crib, with or without you there, and if they throw up from crying (or she says they might make themselves throw up to manipulate you) then you just "clean up the mess without making eye contact and let them continue." That's not a direct quote, but the gist of it.

She also talks a lot about how if a baby (younger than one year) wants to nurse in the night for comfort, not hunger, than the mother "has been duped!" Like, you should never ever nurse your baby for comfort. I found that just yucky.

I read this book along with Healthy Sleep, Happy Child, and found both to be insensitive and much too rigid when it came to sleep ideals. For some reason the sleep lady's book seemed even more weird and just mean.

Mama to 3 kids. We live in a yurt!
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#3 of 12 Old 08-03-2005, 10:21 PM
 
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I read it too, and implemented some of it in my own way, but started thinking about the throwing up part, I got so mad at her (the author) that I just said F-it, she won't need me to help her sleep when she goes to college... Sometimes when dd (now, she is 15 mos. old) is resisting sleep (she becomes rigid in my arms when I try to position her to rock her) I'll let her alone in her pack n. play in my room while I read and ignore her for awhile. My message to dd is, "I'm serious now." But when she gets fussy, I get her and rock her (unless she does actually lie down and go to sleep). We co-sleep through the night together - but she sleeps on her own for the 1st two hours while i have tea with DH.

My dilemna is what to do with the book. I hate to throw it out, but I don't want anyone else reading it and taking it seriously. I'm going to try Elizabeth Pantley's NCSS for toddlers - or just deal with what I've got. DD will sleep eventually.

Hope this helps.
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#4 of 12 Old 08-05-2005, 07:12 PM
 
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bumping this thread - hoping to get more opinions from additional mamas who've read the book... is there *anything* worthwhile anywhere in the book?
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#5 of 12 Old 08-06-2005, 09:53 PM
 
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I usually don't read this forum or dare to post, because after a post or two I get accused of advocating CIO and slink away a charred and smoldering husk. Which is so ridiculous because I would never recommend CIO and anyone who knows me finds that idea quite amusing.

This book saved my life. You might not find everything to your liking, but take what you can use and don't take what you can't use, obviously. No Cry Sleep Solution was really not any help for me. Both the books are pretty much what I already knew, but Sleep Lady's book gives plans, layouts, etc. There is A LOT of great value in the book: the importance of routines, how most children "who just need less sleep" are really not getting enough rest (something I always believed and have met great opposition over), etc. I like that there are age-appropriate chapters, so you don't have to sift through the whole book. I would not recommend using her method for a six-week-old, but then again to be honest I did not read that part. No Cry Sleep Solution also advises against letting your newborn learn only to fall asleep while nursing or rocking, so there are many similarities.

I also found NCSS to be less well-written and its cutesy tone annoying. Its information is good, though.

My son is 14 months tomorrow and went from waking every hour, or even more frequently, to sleeping four hour stretches at the worst and seven hours, then four, at the best. Not including naps! He needed to be nursed, or walked back to sleep, and it was all but impossible to put him down or slip away. Within only a few days he was so much better, and I no longer feared I would be featured on the news. I did NOT torture him or make him feel unloved or interfere with his attachment in any way. I did not "just leave him in the crib to cry." I also think the author's comments on vomiting were taken out of context. I can think of several quotes that uphold her view that "the point is not to torture your child." She certainly says that you should pick your baby up if s/he needs it. She also says that while CIO will work (which is true), it isn't what she advocates or advises. The idea is to be gentle, and kind, loving and firm, which you have to do with children, starting in toddlerhood, anyway.

I think those who claim that any kind of sleep training, at any age, will do harm do not fully understand what Bowlby's attachment theory is really about. My guy was always a joy, always smiling, laughing, full of beans, but is now even happier during the day, which I wouldn't have thought possible, because he is getting better rest.

All kinds of other positive "side effects" emerged as well. My ds always startled so easily; he couldn't turn over in his sleep without waking up and crying. Now he moves all over the place in his crib, in his sleep. If he wakes, I go to him quickly and kiss him, and he sits back down and lies down and has barely woken at all. I did not have to force him to do this- it wasn't even my idea, it just happened. In fact, we were so amazed because it didn't seem we were doing anything and the improvement was immediate!!! I think we had fallen into a bad pattern of "rescuing" him from everything. It was making him very fussy and over-sensitive.

Some children *don't* sleep eventually. I know two in our family who sleep very little, wake very frequently, and are irritable all the time- they look tired; they are school-age. It is rare, but it does happen that a child needs help learning to sleep. I recognized my son in Dr Spock's description (and he never had a cry it out philosophy, btw) and *knew* it wasn't going to be outgrown, or that it would go away once he walked and tired himself out, etc. My daughter needed no help sleeping, ever. She was "easy."

The book is not really supportive of co-sleeping, though it does address the issues around it and it does give advice for getting your baby to sleep better even while in the family bed. The author makes clear her opinions on this stuff are not based on arbitrary thoughts but on her limited experience with people who have had problems and sought her help, and found the solution was through nightweaning, or no longer co-sleeping. She recommends nightweaning after a certain age if you are trying to get your baby to sleep all night, and if that's what you're trying to do, that makes sense. If your baby slept all night spontaneously, you probably wouldn't wake them to nurse them at one or two years, would you? I don't consider that an anti-breastfeeding philosophy. Different women will have different breastfeeding relationships with their children. There's no one right way.

I evaluated what I needed from my ds after a few days of the "sleep lady shuffle" and found I didn't need to go the whole way with it. My life has gone from total chaos to an actual rhythm. It's really nice. I bought the book two weeks ago today.

Sweet Dreams!
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#6 of 12 Old 08-07-2005, 11:51 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Thank you for the thoughtful responses so far. We haven't continued in the book yet because we found another thread on MDC named "All-Night Nursing Solution" and tried it. Here's the thread I won't get into details here about it but all I can say is at first I didn't think it would work but in a week's time ds is only waking 2 times a night to nurse. He is a happier baby, and he was a happy baby to begin with! What a change! He is getting up earlier and going to bed earlier, and going down A LOT easier, a problem we had in the past. I wouldn't advocate this to any child not cognitively able to understand it, which ds is able. Sorry to be so cryptic, I just didn't want to bring in another discussion on this thread??
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#7 of 12 Old 08-07-2005, 12:00 PM
 
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Liz, I am wondering if you are familiar with Healthy Sleep Habits, Happy Child. I have the book and refer to it often for sleeping times, etc. not for CIO. I was curious how it differed from the sleeplady's book. Basically, I'm wondering if I should purchase the sleeplady's book if I already have this one- is there new information. Thanks!
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#8 of 12 Old 08-09-2005, 11:31 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by leomom
Liz, I am wondering if you are familiar with Healthy Sleep Habits, Happy Child. I have the book and refer to it often for sleeping times, etc. not for CIO. I was curious how it differed from the sleeplady's book. Basically, I'm wondering if I should purchase the sleeplady's book if I already have this one- is there new information. Thanks!
No, I haven't read it. I only got the sleeplady's book because of an article in a year-old Parenting mag at the bank. I hated the article, too, but was so desperate for rest and rhythm I looked at her website, and then bought the book.
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#9 of 12 Old 08-09-2005, 04:38 PM
 
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We are very opposed to CIO, so I heavily modified the Sleep Lady Shuffle for us. It wasn't a miracle, but it did help.

I have no problem helping my son fall asleep (I don't feel the need to put him in his crib awake and have him fall asleep alone)...but it had gotten to the point where he had to be bounced so excessively to fall asleep that I was basically jogging in place. It was frustrating him and injuring me.

The Sleep lady's method got us to the point where I put Ben in his crib, stay in the room while he unwinds, then rub his back to sleep.

We actually hired Kim West (the Sleep Lady) as a consultant, and she was willing to work with us within our 'we will not let him cry' framework. I also disagree with the vomitting comments, but the weird thing is, all of my son's doctors have made the same comment....Ben is a severe refluxer, so vomitting is our enemy...we never let him get that upset, although in his case he in no way uses vomitting to manipulate (and frankly I disagree that any kid would).

Anyway, Kim West WAS respectful of our choices, basically said that progress would be slower if we didn't let him cry, but we were fine with that.

It still helped us a lot, because now I only have to rub his back to sleep rather than jogging in place for 45 minutes while holding a 23 pound baby (but boy did I lose a lot of weight that way!)

Ben has always slept in his crib, was on a breathing monitor for 7 months (we were so scared it would pick up our breathing if he was in bed with us), so we didn't deal with that change. But the method did help us, and without tears.

I think she is nothing like Weissbluth. Gosh I hate Weissbluth.
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#10 of 12 Old 09-12-2013, 10:19 AM
 
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I used her method for my son and it saved me!!!! My son was 1 year when he learned to go to sleep. He is now 3 years old and still loves his sleep. When he is ready to sleep, he doesn't fight it, he is excited for it!!!! What a miracle!!! I thought this was a very gentle approach. my son did have some times where he cried because he was tired, and didn't quite know what to do to sleep at first- and didn't like "change". But he knew I was there for him. I cared for him. He wasn't alone. If he needed ANYTHING I would be there immediately to comfort him.  GREAT method. I actually borrowed the book. I have a daughter now and am desperate to get the book in my hands again so we can start getting some sleep at night. 

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#11 of 12 Old 09-28-2013, 01:44 PM
 
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If I have the sleeplady thing correct, you start by just sitting by the crib and shush or pat, maybe pick-up/put down but leave them to fall asleep on their own.  What if they sit up or stand up? Do you pick them up? Leave them standing?  I *might* want to try with my 12 mo. old girl (who's always been rocked to sleep in my arms, I 100% with the woman who felt like she was jogging sometimes) but I'm afraid I'll end up with hours of crying as she has no clue what I'm trying to get her to do.  I picture her standing there, tired and crying and I have no idea what I'm supposed to do in that situation except just shush her and sit there.  I do NOT want to let her cry like that, even with me there.  If I'm trying to do attachment parenting, should I wait until she's older and can understand my word better?  Anyone have any wisdom they'd like to share? 

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#12 of 12 Old 09-29-2013, 07:22 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by leomom View Post

Liz, I am wondering if you are familiar with Healthy Sleep Habits, Happy Child. I have the book and refer to it often for sleeping times, etc. not for CIO. I was curious how it differed from the sleeplady's book. Basically, I'm wondering if I should purchase the sleeplady's book if I already have this one- is there new information. Thanks!

 

I have read both books and for me the major difference is that she says to clean up the vomit when the do it and he says wait till after they go to sleep. 

 

I had a lot of luck with Sleepless in America.  Even for a small child, the information is really helpful.  I do think it covers CIO at some point, but it also covers other methods of sleep- training.  Mostly, the information about setting up your days to have good nights changed EVERYTHING for us.  My daughter was three and and still waking up multiple times in the night for hours.  It was torture.

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