Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Book Review: The 90-Minute Baby Sleep Program

Not my image



This book has changed my life. 

True story. 

(I seriously hope Im not jinxing myself by writing about this...)

From the very beginning, Baby M has been a very spirited, fiery baby. That will translate to full of personality, charismatic and passionate when she's older. Many of our early days were spent walking the floors, bouncing and yes, sometimes crying. The word that we used most often to describe her during weeks 2-10 was "fussy." I hated this. It broke my heart, not knowing what was wrong or how I could help. When I would talk to friends and family about it, they just said that babies cry and at that age, fussiness is normal and expected. I understood this, but I felt like there was more to it.

M rarely slept during the day. Rarely. Naps were like a golden gift when they did occur. My mom told me I never slept as a baby, so I thought M was just coming by it honestly. But I kept thinking, "Arent babies supposed to sleep?" All of the books said babies her age sleep 15-20 hrs a day. Ha! We were lucky if M slept 10 hours a day. She would fuss and fuss until she eventually wore herself out.

Being a first time mother is exhausting and very, very hard. I called my mom in tears more than once, lamenting that I must be a bad mother or doing something wrong. Why else would M be so fussy and seemingly unhappy? Dont get me wrong- she wasnt always fussy or always crying, but I remember once saying that she was probably fussy 50% of the time.

And then, the day after Thanksgiving, my husband gave me a gift. An early Christmas present. We were having an especially difficult day. A very "Black Friday" indeed. The gift was this book. I had put it on my Amazon wishlist after reading about it in an email from thebump.com. I read the book that day and decided to try the suggestions the following day.

That Saturday, our world began to change. We implemented the plan in the book and our days became so much better, our baby so much happier. Our days are now structured on a flexible schedule. I am so much happier, better able to deal with any fussiness and less stressed. I can actually get things done around the house and I feel comfortable running errands. Most importantly, M has flourished! She wakes up in the morning smiling and laughs and "talks" all day long. She's a little ham, making J and I laugh all the time. No longer is she a "fussy" baby, but a happy baby. And as her momma, I couldnt be happier about that!

Now, Im not saying we dont have bad days or that M is never fussy. What I am saying is that those happen infrequently. Out of a 7 day week, we probably have 1.5 bad days now. Before, it was more like 3-4 bad days a week.

The main points of the book include:
*Start the timer from the moment the baby wakes up.
*~90 minutes later, the baby will be ready for a nap.
*The point that was most key for us--- because she is so young, the baby will need help falling asleep.
*When the baby wakes from her nap, start the timer again.

M wakes, eats (every 3-5 hours), plays for an hour-hour and fifteen minutes and then goes down for a nap ~90 minutes after waking. This is our schedule all day long. The times vary depending on what time she wakes up every day, but the routine doesnt. I didnt realize that she just needed help falling asleep. It was a "lightbulb" moment, when I read that. So now, when she starts displaying her sleepy signals, I swaddle her arms, place her in the side lying position in my arms, give her her paci and either walk with a bounce or sit and pat her bottom until she falls asleep. She naps for 45 mins-2.5 hours at each nap. All along, she just needed more sleep and a little help getting there.

This book may not work for everyone, but it worked for us. Now, if she would just sleep through the night...

*I was not compensated in any way for this review. This is my own, personal opinion.  



7 comments:

Jessica Lynn said...

I don't have any children yet, but I'm going to keep this book in mind when i do. Thanks for the review, you may have possibly saved part of my sanity when I have a baby!

Monica said...

Abbie was a little like that as an infant - although I think she was a little colicy also. There were lots of tears on both of our parts. And honestly, I think that's a pretty normal part of motherhood. The good news is that those high-spirited babies turn in to really fun little girls!

Cat said...

Thanks for the recommendation! I might need it soon. I'm glad you found a solution!

Kate said...

SO glad you found something that works for you! I remember those first couple of weeks well...and not so fondly! Luckily for me we were living with my mom then so I had tons of help and someone to comfort ME when I needed to have a cry too! :-) Good luck with the night sleeping! It's such a blessing when you can finally get a full night's sleep!!!

Chantal said...

Thanks for the recommendation! It actually sounds a lot like Baby Wise, which I hope to follow once she gets a bit older. Our girl sleeps a lot during the day and starts getting fussy around 10pm, which is rough on us. She cluster feeds all night! But she's not even a week old, so I'm not concerning myself yet.

Mrs. Duh said...

I'm so glad you found something that works! I don't have children yet, but I'm going to remember this book for when I do!

Becca said...

Yay - So happy for you guys :) Great review, too! My SIL used Baby Wise and now Toddler 411 (or something like that) for my nephew. He sounds a lot like M - And is the smartest, sweetest, most intense little guy ever. So much fun as a toddler!! My son has remained a pretty laid back kid and seemed to schedule himself like this on his own. The thing that helped us sleep and stay asleep was the white noise machine and @ around 9 months, feeding him more during the day and lighter at night. It's always changing :) xoxo