As the weeks trickle down and we get closer to the arrival of baby boy #2, I’m starting to think about/dread those first few weeks with a newborn at night. Truth be told, Harvey is a champion sleeper but before we got to that blissful "sleeping through the night phase," is the hard beginning, and I remember thinking it was impossible at the time. I’m a very “by the book/follow a process” kind of person and I turned to literature to help me through. Per the advice of fellow new moms at the time, I started reading The Sleep Sense Program while I was awake at 2 am to get him to sleep through the night, and On Becoming Baby Wise: Giving Your Infant the Gift of Nighttime Sleep to attempt rough daytime naps with a detailed schedule. Both provided great tips and tools that I have pushed down other moms’ throats and will definitely put in place when the next little guy arrives.

Both of these books layout sleeping strategies for specific age periods. Sleep Sense provides stellar tips that help with sleeping overall (for example: don’t use sleep crutches, sometimes you should let them cry, etc.), along with what to expect and strategies to incorporate during months 1-3 and then 3 months to a year. This book just made me more aware of what baby needs, why baby does what he does at night and how to deal with it. It’s essentially a guide that teaches you all about infant sleep at night during the first year.

Baby Wise is based on a much more tactical approach to infant sleep, that provides very detailed schedules, and flips tried and true traditions on their head. When it comes to routine and schedule – I am a BIG believer, so this book was right up my alley. The Baby Wise mantra is Eat, Wake, Sleep – meaning babies shouldn’t be nursed or fed to sleep. Instead, you feed them right when they wake up from a nap or in the morning, spend time playing (awake) with them and then put them down for a nap, without any aid. Repeat. This is hard for some parents to accept and for all babies to adhere to – obviously in the middle of the night for example, there’s no wake time encouraged. It’s wake up, eat, back to sleep. Baby Wise teaches you what to do during the day to ensure that nights go as smooth as possible. It’s a lifestyle for baby, and it worked for us. Every baby is different, as is every parent’s approach to sleep. All I know is this – these two reads gave me a structure to follow and helped me through a rough time. It should also be said that my 2.5 year old started sleeping through the night at 10-12 weeks old and has slept 12 hours each night ever since. Absolutely zero exceptions. Now – is that because of these books, routines, etc.? Perhaps not, but there’s no way to prove they didn’t help and that’s enough for me. 

Allie Mann