The Happy Sleeper: The Science-Backed Guide to Helping Your Baby Get a Good Night's Sleep—Newborn to School Age

Heather Turgeon and Julie Wright. Tarcher/Penguin, $16.95 trade paper (352p) ISBN 978-0-399-16602-0
In this guide to encouraging healthy sleep patterns in children, psychotherapist Turgeon and parenting group leader Wright write for those parents who would rather be told that their kids should “get smart” than “get tough.” Solid information on children’s brain development and physiology supports a clear and systematic “attunement” philosophy that strikes a happy balance between “cry it out” and “overhelping.” Maintaining that kids are built to sleep, Turgeon and Wright claim that parental attempts to rock, bounce, and breast-feed babies to slumber can inhibit this essential skill development. Their methods focus on letting the child see the parent as a reliable presence, while still putting baby in charge of actually going to sleep. These include the “Soothing Ladder,” which encourages using minimal intervention techniques to help babies re-establish sleep after normal nighttime wake-ups, and the “Sleep Wave,” a simple but meticulous check-in routine. Different approaches are given for kids up to age six, making this a manual that will grow with the child. Turgeon and Wright’s compassionate but firm system reminds parents that even the smallest infants are already learners, and to be more cognizant of what they want to teach. Agent: Michelle Tessler, Tessler Literary Agency LLC. (Jan.)
Reviewed on: 10/20/2014
Release date: 12/26/2014
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