Based on my family’s experiences, I’m a big proponent of encouraging healthy sleeping habits early on in a newborn’s life, and today I’m talking all about the best baby sleep training books.
The topic of “sleep training” is a hugely controversial topic in the world of mom blogs, mom friends, not-so-friendly other moms, those nosy-and-annoying distant relatives, and even scientists and pediatricians. I’m quickly learning that almost every baby related topic is somehow somewhere controversial. So there’s that.
I’ll start by saying that obviously I’m not a doctor. I am not at trained baby sleep expert. I’m not even an expert or experienced mom. Hello, my baby is only 6 months old. I’m pretty much brand new to this gig.
But I did have the experience of getting my newborn baby to sleep through the night at 8 weeks old, and I have no shame in admitting that I love putting my baby to bed at an early hour each night. I love having the evenings alone with my husband. And I absolutely love having uninterrupted sleep (most) nights knowing that my little baby is happily snoozing away, nice and safe, in her own crib, in her own room.
So if you’re not on the baby sleep training train, that’s completely fine! I applaud you as a mama, and respect all of your opinions and the decisions that you’ve made for your family. Okay? Okay. Let’s keep it moving.
My 3 Favorite Books for How to Sleep Train Your Baby
My absolute favorite book on how to successfully, safely, and lovingly sleep train your baby is On Becoming Baby Wise: Giving Your Infant the Gift of Nighttime Sleep. It has become my go to baby bible of sorts, on all things related to healthy sleeping, eating, and developmentally appropriate play routine. It did such wonders for our family, and had such a positive impact on Gemma’s growth, development and happiness that I honestly want to preach it to every new or expecting mom I encounter. But… I can’t, and I don’t. Because Baby Wise is controversial. Like everything in parenting, right? Yea, well there are legitimate Baby Wise haters out there. So I tread lightly on the topic, and actually share more about what I think of Baby Wise as a whole in this post. But if you’re here and still reading I’m going to say it’s safe to assume that you’re at least interested in my opinion, so I’ll simply say: read it. Buy a copy, borrow a copy, heck if you want me to mail you my copy, let me know. Read it in depth, or skim it. Jump to the sections that are relevant to you. Read it and then decide for yourself if there’s anything you want to use from its teachings.
Another book that I highly recommend if sleep training your baby is of interest to your family is Secrets of the Baby Whisperer: How to Calm, Connect, and Communicate with Your Baby. Initially I thought this was a straight up sleep training book. But after reading it, I was most excited to have new tactics that helped me calm and soothe Gemma when she was crying. In addition to those calming strategies, Tracy Hogg teaches the E.A.S.Y. routine which is great for families who want a routine, but don’t like the idea of a “schedule” in the Babywise sense. If I had only read this book, I don’t know if it would have resulted in Gemma sleeping through the night, or once and for all conquering nap time. But because I had my mind made up on Baby Wise already, I was able to use Tracy Hogg’s 4 S wind down as part of our nighttime routine and fall back on the E.A.S.Y. routine when we weren’t able to quite yet keep a schedule. Give this book a read, especially if you don’t think you’re ready to let your baby cry alone, or you’re not liking the idea of a ‘schedule’.
The third book that I’m going to recommend as a ‘must read’ is Twelve Hours’ Sleep by Twelve Weeks Old: A Step-by-Step Plan for Baby Sleep Success. This comes with a caveat: I read it, and didn’t follow a single piece of advice from the book. I had already read Baby Wise, and started implementing it’s day to day routine. This book seemed to contradict almost everything I had just begun implementing. But I liked it for a couple of reasons. First, it’s by design a ‘quick read’. The author states up front this is a no nonsense book that you could sit down and read in a day. It’s true. I skimmed the book during one or two naps in a single day. For that alone, it’s worth a read. And also, at the end of the day I’m glad I read something that offered different schedules and different principles than Baby Wise. For example, at the time I read this book, Gemma could barely stay away for 90 minutes in between naps. This book suggested a large middle of the day awake time of something crazy like 3 or 4 hours. I knew at the time it wouldn’t work for us, but again, the perspective was good.
Bonus: An Easy to Read e-Book That You Can Get RIGHT NOW
Above I share my 3 favorite books for learning how to sleep training your baby, but I am going to throw in a curveball here. If you’re anything like me as a brand new mom, you may have found this blog post in the middle of a complete mommy meltdown. And if that’s the case you’re probably feeling like even with Amazon Prime’s 2 day shipping you just don’t think you can survive another day without starting some sort of sleep training right. this. second.
Do yourself a favor and jump over to The Sleep Sense Program by Dana Obleman. The Sleep Sense Program offers a full on sleep consultant package where you actually work 1:1 with a trained baby sleep expert, but you can purchase the downloadable Sleep Sense ebook for $29.
Remember how I said that the used exersaucer I found online for $25 may have been the best money we’ve spent on Gemma related things? I may take that back. Because The Sleep Sense Program (ebook) was the very first thing I read related to sleep training and healthy sleep habits. And it worked. Like really, really worked.
I read the ebook a day after having my first full on mommy meltdown. I had bought every sleep book I could find but 2 day shipping is still 48 whole hours away, and sometimes an over tired emotional mom can’t wait 2 days. I read the entire ebook in one sitting, and started removing sleep props that same day. 3 days later, my daughter slept through the night and we really haven’t looked back since.
A Complete List of The Best Sleep Training Books for Babies
- On Becoming Baby Wise: Giving Your Infant the Gift of Nighttime Sleep
- The Sleep Sense Program by Dana Obelman
- Twelve Hours’ Sleep by Twelve Weeks Old: A Step-by-Step Plan for Baby Sleep Success
- Secrets of the Baby Whisperer: How to Calm, Connect, and Communicate with Your Baby
- The Happiest Baby On The Block
- Solve Your Child’s Sleep Problems: New, Revised, and Expanded Edition
- The Baby Sleep Solution: A Proven Program to Teach Your Baby to Sleep Twelve Hours a Night
- Healthy Sleep Habits, Happy Child: A Step-by-Step Program for a Good Night’s Sleep, 3rd Edition
- The No-Cry Sleep Solution: Gentle Ways to Help Your Baby Sleep Through the Night
- The No-Cry Nap Solution: Guaranteed Gentle Ways to Solve All Your Naptime Problems