Sunday, April 14, 2013

What's a Momma Gotta Do To Get Some SLEEP?

This is the question I ask myself each morning as the alarm clock blares in my face and I open my eyes feeling like I have been asleep for mere minutes. I typically have a baby in/on my face, while my husband enjoys her adorable little toes jammed into his rib-cage. Yes, you are picturing it correctly-we look like a capital "H"; we are sleeping with one eye open so as not to tumble to our death over the edge of the bed, while Little Miss has the entire middle of a Queen-sized bed to her 22 pound self. I know.... you aren't supposed to sleep with a baby in your bed and yadda yadda, but the one night you get 3 extra minutes of sleep because you simply laid the baby next to you in bed, is the beginning of the end. You tell yourself that it was just this one time, that it won't happen again, that you haven't created a monster....But deep down, you are only fooling yourself. 

It wasn't always this way for us. Believe it or not, Little Miss was once a 2-,3-,4- and 5-month old who slept 10-12 hours EVERY single night (don't hate me, read on). Then, around 6 months, she stopped. I figured with her rapidly developing brain and new interactions with the world around her, she would experience a few regressions with sleep here and there, but never once did I figure she would stop her glorious sleep pattern indefinitely. No joke, she has MAYBE slept through the night without waking a handful of times since she was 6 months old, and she is going to be one in less than 2 weeks. My son, on the other hand, began sleeping through the night at 6 weeks old, and we haven't had a problem since...he is now 7 (you can hate me for this one). Needless to say, my latest review campaign came at, seemingly, the most appropriate time (although it would've been even more phenomenal 6 months ago): The Happiest Baby Guide to Great Sleep: Simple Solutions for Kids from Birth to 5 Years by Dr. Harvey Karp.

My new book!

In our constant attempt to do what is best for our children, we oftentimes turn to books by professionals who  have worked with these little people on a larger scale. They can track trends and keep up on the current research, and we trust their opinions because, lets face it, we barely have time to shower everyday, let alone perform research and keep track of hundreds, and thousands of children. I guess that is why they are the doctors, and luckily, they are generous enough to share their findings and professional opinions with us. One such doctor is Dr. Harvey Karp (pictured below). He is the author of "The Happiest Baby" books, DVDs and products (you can access information on the entire collection here). If you are a parent, or do anything that has to do with young children, you most likely have heard of him unless, of course, you live under a rock.
Dr. Harvey Karp
Some key information provided in his new paperback, include:
  • How to encourage better (and longer) sleep - even for brand new babies
  • The magic of white noise, and which kind works best (low, rumbling)
  • The 5 S's of turning on the "calming reflex"
  • Everything you need to know about swaddling
  • "Powering down" at night - limiting the use of electronics/bright lights and over stimulation
  • Non-stressful tips and tricks for getting your little angel(s) to sleep, minus the meltdown

Dream come true, right? Chances are, if you have been missing out on sleep, you are wondering how to get your hands on this little gem too (the answer? right here). 

I love that this book is easy to navigate, with key points presented at the beginning, helpful tips scattered within, and a "crib notes" review section at the conclusion of each chapter. This makes it easy to start and refer back to the point in the book that is most relevant to you, your child, and your their crazy sleep habits. At the conclusion of each section (birth-3 months, 3 months-12 months and 1-5 years) there is a decent sized Q&A section too! On top of that, the first chapter focuses on the science of sleep, and more importantly, baby sleep because, yes, it differs from our own, and "sleeping like a baby" is actually NOT synonymous with 8+ hours of sleep at night. Plus, trying to mend the sleep issues in your home without understanding how a baby sleeps is like trying to build a house without the blueprints; bound to end in disaster.  


Sometimes parents, grandparents, friends and even strangers bombard us with their unwarranted opinions, and follow-up with "...I did that with my kids and look, they are still alive and doing fine" (which is always up for interpretation). I was pleased to find several "myth-buster" sections in this book which address some of these commonly held opinions. One myth: Do not wake a sleeping baby. I always thought that was such a big no-no, and come to find out, lightly arousing an infant before laying them to sleep encourages their ability to self-soothe. 

I have to say, after reading the first part of this book (which focuses on babies aged birth to 3 months), I wished I could turn back the hands of time and start healthy sleep habits the right way, from the get-go. Thankfully, there are other sections of the book that focus on older babies through young kids (up to age 5), the issues that can arise at those ages, and some easy, painless solutions. 

I, unfortunately, fall into the category of the parent that has accidentally made their child dependent on them to fall asleep. Do we have a bed-time routine? Absolutely! It involves her and I and lots of cuddling, and it is so rock solid that she will not even allow another person to put her to sleep at night. She has stayed up WAY past her usual bedtime a time or two awaiting my arrival home and our routine to take place. While I never intended for this to happen, I am almost positive that I am one of her sleep cues. I have already applied the advice from Dr. Karp to power down and introduce white noise and a lovey into our nighttime routine. I'm hoping that eventually (they say it takes 21 days to form a habit) these will serve as new cues that dreamland is just around the corner. So far, it has cut down the time it takes her to fall asleep by about 15 minutes, and with minimal effort on my part-Success! I look forward to tweaking our sleep-time routine with my new set of tools to help Little Miss become a confident, healthy, independent sleeper.

If you are having sleep issues with your child, or are hoping to create healthy sleep habits in your new (or older) baby, I highly recommend getting your hands on this book! It is very quick to read, easy to understand, and as I said before, you can skip around to get exactly what you need out of it. Again, you can learn more about this book and purchase your very own copy here. I give this book a 10 out of 10!

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Disclosure: I am participating in a book review campaign with One2One Network. I received this book from Harper Collins for the purposes of reviewing it. I have not received compensation. My participation in the campaign enters me into a drawing for a gift card. All opinions stated are my own.


  1. Wish this book was around 14 years ago! Well written my friend!

  2. This looks like a great book! I need this for my 14 month old daughter who still sleeps with me haha! New follower from Mom Bloggers Club. Stop by and visit me at

  3. Amen, Sister! Sleep and I, we are like long-distance BFF's. We don't get to spend a lot of time together (not nearly as much as we'd like) but when we do it's oh-so-sweet and it feels as though we've never been apart. Thanks for the post!