Top 6 Sleep Training Books To Read While You're Pregnant
These 6 Sleep Training books will come in handy when you don't have as much solo time or sleep as you do right now. Find the one that best fits your lifestyle and motherhood style. Regardless of what you choose, we know you'll do great!
Sleep Training Books may seem like a thing to tackle in the future but, let us tell you, despite the fact that training sleeps like it’s a lifetime away, you’ll never have as much time as you do NOW. By now, we mean now that you’re pregnant. Even if you’ve found it difficult to get a full night’s rest during your pregnancy, we guarantee having a newborn will throw a few wrenches in the number of hours of sleep you get now.
So how to prepare for fewer hours of sleep? Have a plan! If you know what you’re going to face once you have a child, you can prepare for getting your sleep back. Want to go straight to the tips? Check out our Sleep Training Series for this quarter.
If you’d like to get to the books and prepare, put your feet up, we know you need it. Ask your friend, partner, mom for a foot rub and crack open any of these Top 6 Sleep Training books to read while you’re pregnant. Every single one of these books was recommended by parents who are part of a Sleep Training community online.
We know what you’re thinking. Great, one more thing to worry about during pregnancy. We are not encouraging anxiety towards the sleep you’ll lose after you welcome your bundle of joy! We just want to recommend useful advice to face it when you’re ready. Remember, proper sleep training won’t start until around month 4, so even if you wait until after birth to read these, you’ll be fine, if you choose not to sleep train, you’ll be fine.
You’re doing great and you’re going to be a wonderful mommy.
Now, here are our recommendations for sleep training books to read while you’re pregnant.
1. Healthy Sleep Habits, Happy Child by Dr. Marc Weissbluth
Of course, we’re going to talk about this one, we read it in its entirety and found the tips to be super useful! Even the notes from the author about how when he says “mother,” “father,” “spouse” and other terms, it’s just his way of addressing roles, not specific to family dynamics and he understands there are many types of families. We love the inclusive aspect of that and the tips that all surround the idea of not letting your baby get overtired. That, with some specifics, help parents know what to look for when sleep training.
Healthy Sleep Habits, Happy Child is considered one of the classics of Sleep Training practices and was written by Dr. Marc Weissbluth, who did his fair share of research about sleep and children. He incorporates methods that include both nighttime sleep and nap-scheduling.
Highlights: something that we love about this book is that every section has stories of children with real sleep disorders and the methods of therapy that he recommends for those circumstances. It makes it more than just abstract tips, but rather gives a fuller image of what sleep training can look like. Some of the best parts of the book include the windows of change, key 1-2 hour rule, and other resources.
Complaints: Some parents complain about the structure of the book, the fact that it’s repetitive, how it can be confusing. Still, many give it five stars due to the information in it.
Why read this sleep training book while you’re pregnant?
Considering it doesn’t exactly get to the point quickly or offer an easy structure to find what you’re looking for, you may need more time and brain energy than (not a scientific term) than you’ll have when you’re parenting a newborn.
2. On Becoming Baby Wise: Giving Your Infant the Gift of Nighttime Sleep by Gary Ezzo
This book claims to bring hope to the tired parent and sleep to the fussy baby. It says, in its description “The Babywise Parent Directed Feeding concept has enough structure to bring security and order to your baby's world, yet enough flexibility to give mom freedom to respond to any need at any time.” Sounds like a dream right?
Just like the previous book on this list, the point is to make sure you can plan your baby’s day, guiding them through it, rather than be entirely dependent on their needs. You will, of course, be giving them what they need but in a way that works for you. It focuses a lot on breastfeeding and night feedings. According to the description:
“[...] The average breast-fed PDF baby sleeps continuously through night seven to eight hours between weeks seven and nine. Healthy sleep in infants is analogous to healthy growth and development.”
It seems that this book is passion-inducing. Reviews are either up in the 5’s or way in the 1 stars on Goodreads. One reason is that people say it pushes boundaries by structuring too much.
We found one review that was somewhere in the middle. The parent claimed to not be crazy about the method, but not hate it either. They said it was helpful even though they didn’t focus on it to a tee.
“I read this book and took it for what it was: advice. Not the Gospel! I have used what works for me---the general feed, wake, sleep cycle and [emphasized] full feedings starting roughly every 2 to 3 hours---and ignored the rest. No big deal. Just a general outline, and it's worked well for me. FLEXIBILITY is an essential part of this program, and they [emphasize] that.”
If you’re wanting to figure out how to focus sleep training on feeding schedules and enjoy an organized life, this could be the book to give you the tips you need later!
3. Solving your child’s sleep problems (the latest version) by Dr. Richard Ferber
This book has quite an ambitious title. So, what is the content? Unsurprisingly, it’s one of the Top 5 Most Common Sleep Training Methods' author Dr. Richard Ferber. Here’s the description on Goodreads:
“Does your child have difficulty falling asleep? Wake in the middle of the night? Suffer sleep terrors, sleepwalking, or nighttime fears? Have difficulty waking for school or staying awake in class? Snore, wet the bed, or headbang?
In the first major revision of his bestselling, groundbreaking classic since it was published, Dr. Richard Ferber, the nation’s foremost authority on children’s sleep problems, delivers safe, sound ideas for helping your child fall and stay asleep at night and perform well during the day.
Incorporating new research, Dr. Ferber provides important basic information that all parents should know regarding the nature of sleep and the development of normal sleep and body rhythms throughout childhood. He discusses the causes of most sleep problems from birth to adolescence and recommends an array of proven solutions for each so that parents can choose the strategy that works best for them. Topics covered in detail include: Bedtime difficulties and nighttime wakings, effective strategies for naps, sleep schedule abnormalities, a balanced look at co-sleeping, new insights into the nature of sleep terrors and sleepwalking, problems in setting limits, and sleep apnea, narcolepsy, bed-wetting, and head banging.”
Up until now, books on this list speak mostly about sleep training your baby. This book goes on to talk about your children who are older and are having issues going to sleep as well. Sounds really complete, and we’re not the only ones who think so! Reviews from parents go on about how the method is great and how they wished they’d had the courage to start sooner, how the fear of their child disliking them was difficult to push through but in the end she loved them just as much if not more. Basically, if you’re on the fence about helping your child (of just about any age) sleep train and sleep better, this is the book that might convert you. Plus, it helps that Dr. Ferber his Ferber sleeping method is one of the most respected ways to sleep train your child out there.
4. Happiest Baby on the block by Dr. Harvey Karp
The title of this book is one of the most positive out there. Sure, I want my child to have healthy sleep habits, I want to solve their sleep problems, I definitely want to become baby wise. But, overall, I really want to have the happiest baby on the block, and I want that baby to become the happiest child and happiest adult on the block too!
If you think the title is a lot, wait until you hear the description. This book describes itself as the one that “reveals [...] an automatic “off-switch” for their baby’s crying”. Could this be why it’s name-dropping good? According to Goodreads, L.A. parents- even A-listers- are using this book to sleep train. Even Madonna has the happiest kid on her block, apparently! So how does the book propose that you do it? In four basic principles.
First, the author claims that babies cry during their first three months because they miss the womb, or how he puts it, they’re “born three months too soon.” Second, he offers a “calming reflex” or the end to all crying, essentially. Third, the 5 S’s (swaddling, side-stomach position, shushing, swinging, and sucking) for calming. Finally, the “cuddle” cure.
We can definitely see why this is a lot more appealing than letting your child cry for their own benefit. Does it work? Well, I suppose you have to try it to find out if it works for your baby.
Here’s a parent for whom the method seemed to work:
“Even the most loving moms and dads sometimes feel pushed to the breaking point by their infant’s persistent cries. Coming to the rescue, however, Dr. Karp places in the hands of parents, grandparents, and all childcare givers the tools they need to be able to calm their babies almost as easily as…turning off a light.”
5. The 3-Day Nanny: Simple 3-Day Solutions for Sleeping, Eating, Potty Training and Behaviour Challenges by Kathryn Mewes
While this book isn’t strictly about sleep training, it’s promoting better behavior and training overall. We’re definitely of the thought that sleep training gets a bad reputation because of the crying but isn’t that different than potty training. This book claims to have step-by-step advice (which Dr. Weissbluth’s, for instance, doesn’t) for sleeping through the night, trying new and healthy foods, behave better, and potty train. All in all, it seems like this book promises to solve every problem you’ll face from now until your baby is a toddler and beyond! The craziest part? Author Kathryn Mewes says every new habit and behavior can be added within 3 days. So if you want to try the fastest method, maybe Mewes’s book is for you. The best part is it will prepare you for when your still unborn baby comes into the world and starts doing what all children do: try to stay up past their bedtime, struggle to potty train or start the terrible twos of pouting, yelling, “no’s” and “why’s,” you’ll have advice on how to deal with that.
6. Get Your Sleep On: A no-nonsense guide for busy moms who want to preserve attachment AND sleep through the night by Christine Lawler
If this title doesn’t make you feel seen, you’re probably a dad. Christine Lawler, the author of this book definitely targets an audience of millennial women moving into motherhood. The description itself speaks wonders to what you’ll find inside. Do you have 14 days+ however long it takes you to read it? Get back to your busy mom life with one of this mom’s easy-to-apply sleep solution options.
“Sleep training. People talk about it like it’s so easy. But how do you do it in a way that fits your style, protects your relationship with baby and actually works? Don’t worry, I’ll tell you. In this quick and easy guide, I’ll distill all the basics from the best resources out there on baby sleep. I skip the parent shaming and a ton of fluff that the other books are filled with, and I’ll give you the best cliff’s notes version out there so that in an hour or so you can be a sleep-expert, too. I'll explain why sleep is so important, and tell you the biggest secret out there about smooth sleep training (hint: it has nothing to do with how much crying you can tolerate). Parenting isn’t one size fits all, so I give you three solid options that can fit anyone’s paradigm and I'll walk you through a 14-day plan to revolutionize sleep for everyone. What are you waiting for? Let's get your sleep on!”
What do other busy moms think about it? Well, here are some of the reviews:
“As one who studied child development, I would have liked to have heard more about the research, though, I recognize this was not the author’s goal. So for a book written in layman’s terms for the general public, I think it was straight forward and to the point. I appreciated the author’s non-judgemental attitude toward different parenting approaches.”
“An exact plan for sleep training.
This is a great bang for your buck. The book lays out a plan for you and keeps things really simple and straightforward. I love that it didn’t take 6 hours to read and then still leave me asking “now what?” After reading it I know exactly what steps to take to sleep train my baby.”
Honorable mention: Taking Cara Babies
Though taking Cara Babies is more a video series/pamphlet combo, we know a lot of parents stand by this as the #1 sleep training method. Cara herself is a former nurse and her husband a physician. They developed a method that works for children all over the world and she is very reassuring through every step of the process.
She definitely talks about crying, and frequently stresses that she’d never suggest that you do anything that would negatively impact your child. We think this type of reassurance helps parents get more comfortable with the idea and you just can’t argue with the satisfaction rate her programs constantly show.
Getting overwhelmed? Try not to worry! Like we said, we really think you’ll be great no matter what you choose to do. Remember the support system that you have and enjoy your pregnancy. Maybe even take a babymoon to relax before the big (b) day.
Smart Baby Monitor, bird, techie, baby guru, and sleep-safety enthusiast. Cubo has a keen eye for detail, loves baby photography, and never sleeps on the job. You can find Cubo in thousands of nurseries around the world and here on the blog helping parents learn more about the topics they care about.