Review of Nighttime Parenting: How to Get Your Baby and Child to Sleep

This week we are discussing infant sleep methods. Yesterday we discussed The Baby Book style of attachment parenting. Today we will review another book by Dr. William Sears, Nighttime Parenting: How to Get Your Baby and Child to Sleep.

Like The Baby Book this book discusses attachment parenting, and promotes the benefits of co-sleeping as well as how to get a baby to sleep and stay asleep.

But, the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) strongly discourages co-sleeping to reduce Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS).

This book recommends:

During the day:

Carry baby in a sling and cuddle often. By fulfilling the baby’s daytime needs for routine and closeness, you will help her develop more consistent nighttime patterns.

Before bed:

Use one of a number of calming-down methods depending on your circumstances such as, bathing, massaging, nursing, fathering down (infant’s head nestled in crook of Dad’s neck), rocking, wearing down (as in wearing baby in a sling, not horseplay), motoring down (yes, in the car).

Once baby’s asleep:

Don’t sneak away until she’s in deep sleep. Look for limp limbs. The baby will often awaken if you set her down during the first stage of sleep.

During the night:

The parents should sleep close to baby so they can continue to monitor her needs. Comfort, rock, change, or nurse baby when she awakens.

You can purchase your own copy by clicking the links below:

Nighttime Parenting: How to Get Your Baby and Child to Sleep


  1. I have read this book. It makes sense to me. Except I really have a problem with children sleeping in parents bed since how are parents to have a relationship with a kid in their bed?

  2. Since the info. given does not say at what age Dr. Sears feels this should be stopped- I am not sure if this method is good. IMO, this method maybe good for the first 3 months?But after that- a baby needs to learn to sleep on their own- as if this goes on for years- it seems it will be even harder and more tramatic on the child to switch.I've seen this happen first hand with a child who was 5 and ready to start school. The parents wanted their child sleeping in their own room and getting to sleep at an earlier time since the child had to be up for school. (before the child did not go to bed until the one parent who slept with the child did.) It took about 3-4 weeks to get the child to sleep on their own. (However, I was the child's nanny from infant to K- and the child took good naps on their own in their crib and later on in their bed.)IMO, waiting this long is a dis-service to a child. One of the most important things a parent can teach a child is good sleeping habits early on.

  3. I agree with the idea that babies need a lot of cuddling and love. No way to spoil them. I agree with developing routines. Dinner, bath, read a book then to sleep (infants perhaps a feed before bed and then during night).But, the sling idea is a little unnecessary. Kids need to explore. Infants too need tummy time and to play. Fine to use a sling occasionally but not around the house. Just silly. Kids need to explore to learn.I do not think kids should ever sleep in bed with parents unless they are on a vacation where only one bed is available. I think it ruins the parents sex life and it's almost impossible to get them to sleep alone later. Bassinet for first two months ok so mom doesn't have to travel far in middle of the night.

  4. The term "co-sleeping" is a general term for proximate sleeping. It can be bed sharing or room sharing. Room Sharing is promoted for safe infant sleep while bed sharing is discouraged.Also, there has been a recent development in slings. Very young infants – less than 3 months should not be put in slings. Too much risk of suffocation. If using a sling, make certain that the infants head and face are always exposed and that the adult can monitor the babies head position. You don't want too much slumping because it occludes babies airway.

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