When I was having trouble getting my first child to sleep, a smug neighborhood acquaintance delivered the book "Healthy Sleep Habits, Happy Child" to my doorstep. It was 500 pages long. Immediately, I realized she hated me as much as I hated her. I didn't even have time to shave my legs -- how the hell was I going to get through this opus of an advice book?
I did try to skim it, and the gist of it turned out to be "ignore your child." That is the gist of all of these books. I'm totally okay with that! No judgment! But we were living in a tiny apartment in Brooklyn where I couldn't escape his little demon screams. Also, the sound of a child whimpering made me realize I wasn't the tough parent I always thought I would be. I caved -- and fast.
To all of you parents who managed to sleep train your children and are thus happier and more well-rested than I am -- good for you. For those of you who didn't, I made some more realistic interpretations of the covers of these fix-all sleep training books. You may identify.
1. The Baby Whisperer Solves All Your Problems, Tracy Hogg
What the general public sees:
What the sleep-fail parent sees:
2. Twelve Hours' Sleep By 12 Weeks Old, Suzy Giordano "The Baby Coach"
3. Solve Your Child's Sleep Problems, Richard Ferber M.D.
4. Healthy Sleep Habits, Happy Child, Marc Weissbluth, M.D.
5. The No-Cry Sleep Solution, Elizabeth Pantley