Best Baby Sleep Books for Exhausted Parents

Struggling with sleep deprivation, catnaps, and nighttime wake ups? See the best baby sleep books that can help your baby in just a few days!

Baby Sleep BooksPeek into my home at two in the morning when my son had been born, and you’d have found a scene all too common among many new moms.

You would’ve seen my husband and me awake once again from middle-of-the-night wake-ups. We’d have been delirious, trying to soothe our fussy baby through different ways.

And on many of those nights, you’d likely have found us holding the baby in one arm and reading a sleep book with the other.

I read a ton of baby sleep books during that crazy period, from the obscure to the popular. That’s what you do when you’re desperate for sleep and wondering if your baby is the one in a million who can’t seem to sleep well through the night. The one where the typical sleep tips just didn’t apply. (Apparently, he’s the only baby who didn’t sleep during a stroller or car ride.)

Except… I couldn’t find a solution with most of them. They felt jumbled and lengthy for a mom too exhausted to read. They were too detached and didn’t account for the realities of family life.

In short, many of the baby sleep guides I read didn’t seem to understand the depth of my exhaustion.

The best baby sleep books to read

But… a few books did. In fact, after I had read these, my search for baby sleep books dwindled. I also began to experiment with my own sleep methods and see the results I had hoped for. These are the best baby sleep books I recommend with full confidence.

These books are fantastic resources that will cut the clutter of advice you hear and give you exactly what you’re looking for: sleep.

Disclosure: This article contains affiliate links, which means I will earn a commission—at no extra cost to you—if you make a purchase.

1. Happiest Baby on the Block by Dr. Harvey Karp

The Happiest Baby on the Block

The first book I stumbled on that gave me immediate results was the Happiest Baby on the Block. It was through this book that I learned about the “fourth trimester,” or the period after giving birth when newborn babies adjust to the outside world.

The book describes the “5 S’s”:

  • swaddling
  • side or stomach
  • shushing
  • swinging
  • sucking

All this time, your baby had grown accustomed to your womb. He tucked himself into a fetal position and slept with the constant movement you made as you were up and about.

These 5 S’s mimic that environment to calm him right when he needs it.

And it worked like a miracle. My baby would stop fussing if I swaddled him, placed him on his side, turned on white noise, swung or rocked him, or nursed him to sleep. For any mom desperate for sleep during the newborn stage, the 5 S’s can work wonders.

Now, the downsides. All these S’s are external sleeping aids, needing you to do it for your baby rather than allowing him to soothe himself. I would suggest using the 5 S’s during the first three to four months, and not as a first resort. Instead, give him the opportunity to develop his own self-soothing skills first.

For instance, don’t resort to putting him to sleep in a swing the first time, every time. Instead, lay him down drowsy and awake to see if he’ll fall asleep. If he doesn’t, then go ahead and try one of these methods. But don’t make them your first go-to move.

If he relies on them too much, you’ll have to wean him off of these external sleep aids. But for the tired parent ready to try anything that can work, the 5 S’s can be your lifesaver in those desperate moments. They worked like a charm and kept me from going crazy with sleep deprivation.

Learn more about The Happiest Baby on the Block.

2. Secrets of the Baby Whisperer by Tracy Hogg

Secrets of the Baby Whisperer

It didn’t take long for me to see that my baby would fall asleep with nursing. I even prided myself for being the only who could put him to sleep—I had “mama’s touch,” I assumed.

Trouble is, he’d only fall asleep through nursing or rocking. Nap times became horrendous—I’d spend several minutes rocking him to sleep only for him to wake up the minute I laid him down.

This also made nap times short. Forget about two-hour naps—each time he stirred, he wouldn’t know how to put himself back to sleep. I’d either resort to rocking or nursing him all over again, making both of us miserable and sleep deprived.

Then, I read The Baby Whisperer. In the book, you’ll learn that rather than feeding your baby to sleep, you’d feed him after he woke up.

At first, I was doubtful. Nursing was, after all, one of the ways I could put him to sleep. But when I saw how much he relied on external sleep aids to fall asleep, I knew I had to try a different way.

I then changed our sleep routine. Rather than feeding him to sleep, I fed him after he woke up, which allowed him to at least try to fall asleep on his own. He stopped tying nursing with sleeping and instead expected to eat when he woke up.

Get The Baby Whisperer to learn about this important routine.

3. The Sleepeasy Solution by Jennifer Waldburger and Jill Spivack

The Sleepeasy Solution

The Sleepeasy Solution speaks to parents of infants through five-year-olds about sleep problems. Once our pediatrician told us we can start sleep training our son, we needed to do some research.

After having read tons of books about sleep, this was one of the few that was straightforward and simple to follow. You’ll learn about sleep training your baby, getting your toddler to stay in bed, nighttime fears, and separation anxiety in babies.

I recommend reading this book once your baby is past the newborn stage and is ready to sleep train and learn healthy sleep habits. Whether you’re breastfeeding or bottle-feeding, you can also wean your baby from nighttime feedings.

And you’ll likely refer to it again when you switch to a toddler bed or deal with separation anxiety. This is one of those books you’ll keep on your shelf as a reference throughout your child’s early years.

Read more about The Sleepeasy Solution.

Conclusion

Despite reading countless books about babies and sleep, I remained desperate for answers. Not until I read these baby sleep books did I find them. Our bedtime routines improved, and our sleep schedule more predictable.

And hopefully they’ll also give you the solution you’re looking for. No more middle-of-the-night carrying the baby in one arm and reading with the other. Instead, you’ll get the sleep you and your baby have always wanted.

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2 Comments

  1. Nicole Edwards says:

    Hi, wondering if you have any tips on when and how to know if your older kid (age 5) should keep or drop their nap…or if it should just be shortened or left alone?!

    1. Nina Garcia says:

      Hi Nicole! You’d be surprised how some kids can and WANT to keep napping 🙂 You may be one of the lucky ones with a five-year-old who would still gladly nap. One of my kids is the same! At this point, your older child can either keep napping or not by his or her choice. Typically, you could tell if they still “need” a nap if they’re cranky without one. But if they can function just as fine without it, it’s likely safe to drop it. Just make sure they’re getting enough sleep at night as well.