One of the things that I’ve had most thoughts of trepidation over, and I’m sure it’s the same as most prospective first-time parents, is how on earth we’re going to cope of vastly reduced amounts of sleep once the baby is here. The ladies in our NCT group have even made a group called ‘Zombie Mummies’ in anticipation, for goodness’ sake!
In addition to this, of course we all want the best for our babies, and as they don’t come with a manual, and advice given by former generations seems so, well, harrowing (leave them to cry it out etc etc) I’ve been feeling at a bit of a loss as to how to cope with the whole baby sleep thing.
So I was really interested when Pinter and Martin asked me to review one of their new books, Why Your Baby’s Sleep Matters, by Sarah Ockwell-Smith.
It’s not a weighty tome by any means; in fact, it’s quite short (160 pages) and is divided into small chapters which makes it a fairly easy read. The thing I liked most about it (and this is probably the teacher and psychology graduate in me!) is that everything Sarah writes is backed up by evidence-based research. Not only that, it’s not preachy in any way. It’s not a manual for ‘how to parent’; it presents the research and risks and benefits of different approaches and leaves you to make up your own mind.
It’s taken me a few weeks to read, but this is mainly because I’m a busy bunny and after reading each chapter, I’ve had a good think about what I’ve read, talked about it with hubby and discussed which approach we think we’d like to take. Of course this may change once baby is here and we consider things in light of having an actual human to look after!
Topics covered include why babies are programmed to wake during the night, how they nap, how feeding can affect babies’ sleep, co-sleeping and bed-sharing, sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS), coping with exhaustion and, usefully, how to deal with well-meaning but stress-inducing advice from friends and family without upsetting them too much!
Definitely worth a read!
Disclaimer: I was sent a copy of Why Your Baby’s Sleep Matters by Sarah Ockwell-Smith for the purposes of this review, but all opinions are my own.