Solve Your Child’s Sleep Problems

Ferber, Richard, M.D. Solve Your Child’s Sleep Problems. rev. ed. Touchstone: S. & S. May 2006. c.550p. ISBN 0-7432-0163-9. pap. $14.95. CHILD REARING

Ferber (director, Sleep Lab & Ctr. for Pediatric Sleep Disorders, Boston Children’s Hosp.) is a sleep giant in the land of nod. In the 21 years since the first edition of this book was published, many “Ferberized” babies have cried themselves to sleep per the author’s famous “progressive-waiting” method. This revised version maintains that most sleep disruptions in one- to six-year-olds are caused by improper sleep association (e.g., being rocked instead of lying still). Suggested corrections, often backed with specific case studies, are considerate of children; ditto for advice on prebedtime routines. Further, Ferber’s stance on co-sleeping has softened. Though sympathetic to exhausted parents, Ferber reminds them that they “may have to tolerate some crying” to help their baby develop a healthy sleep schedule. Interruptions in sleep (e.g., bedwetting, nightmares), establishing schedules, and children’s natural sleep rhythms are all explored. Many consider Ferber the polar opposite of William Sears (The Baby Sleep Book: The Complete Guide to a Good Night’s Rest for the Whole Family), but both compassionate authors deserve space on the shelf. For all libraries.

This review appeared in Library Journal 15 Mar. 2006: 92+; the galley was shredded on May 16, 2012.

 

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