a gentle, baby-friendly approach to establishing good sleep habits
and solving sleep problems


Sleep Guide for Babies and Toddlers is an easy-to-read guide which offers parents a practical, no-nonsense approach to establishing good sleep habits and solving their baby's sleep problems. It discusses various sleep strategies to suit different parenting styles and infant temperaments. The approach is parent- and baby-friendly, and shows parents how to help their baby sleep well without leaving her to �cry it out.� Even a parent whose baby does not have a sleep problem, will find this book informative and helpful in establishing good habits from an early age, and preventing problems later on.

The 100-page guide is printed full colour and is available in English and Afrikaans at R110-00 each (plus R15 postage and packaging; South Africa only).

Sleep Guide for Babies and Toddlers / Slaapgids vir Babas en Peuters is published by Protea Bookhouse.
ISBN 1-86919-116-1 (English) ; ISBN 1-86919-115-3 (Afrikaans)


Sleep Guide for Babies and Toddlers discusses the following topics:

Questionnaire For Parents

General Tips

Baby's Sleep Environment

Food Factors

How Much Sleep Does A Baby Need?

Baby's Sleep/Wake Cycles

Daytime Sleep

And Off To Bed We Go!

Falling Asleep

Night Waking

Toddlers: A Challenging Phase

Time For A Change?

Sleep Strategy

Sleep Chart

Special Discount for Baby Clinics

Baby Clinics / Health Professionals wishing to make these books available to their clients, may order 10 (or more) copies at a time, at 20% discount . (Books are posted to clinics and paid for after one month). If you would like to view the book first, you are welcome to order one copy. Please order telephonically or via e-mail. If you would like your clients to know about the book, but prefer not to keep stock at your clinic, I will send you a laminated A5 colour poster and flyers to hand out.

Feedback About Sleep Guide for Babies and Toddlers:

�Thank you for a great book!"

�Amazing tips!�

�Written with love and empathy.�

�It all makes so much sense.�

 �An amazing contribution!!�

 �Thoroughly researched and so gently written.�

�The most helpful book on baby sleep. Every mother should have a copy.�

�The book is so �friendly' and really easy to read.�

 �I made quite a few changes after reading your book, and my baby is now sleeping so much better!�

�Really nice and very useful for new moms.�

Questionnaire for tired parents�

I have been working with mothers and babies for fourteen years. Week after week I see exhausted mothers who thought their babies would �sleep through� by now. Sleep deprivation can have serious consequences for parents, including feelings of helplessness, anger, frustration and depression - as much as they love and adore their little sleepless one.

Many parents would like to establish whether their baby's nighttime antics can be regarded as a sleep problem, or just a normal part of her development. The questionnaire below, though not intended to diagnose sleep problems, may help you put things into perspective:

  1. Do you have to go and comfort your baby several times every night?
  2. Can your baby only fall asleep with your help? (feeding, rocking, pushing in pram)
  3. Does your baby have trouble going back to sleep after night waking?
  4. Does your baby wake up too early in the morning?
  5. Does your baby go to bed too early or too late in the evening?
  6. Is your baby demanding and irritable during the day?
  7. Does your baby (over 12 months) demand several feeds/bottles at night?
  8. Does your baby sleep significantly less than the recommended amount in 24 hours?
  9. Does your baby only take 5-15 minute naps?
  10. Are you chronically over-tired due to your baby's sleep pattern?
  11. Do you feel powerless and desperate about your baby's sleep pattern?
  12. Do you feel you are becoming obsessed with getting your baby to sleep and getting some sleep yourself?
  13. Do you blame something else every day (week/month) for your baby's sleep problems? (colic, teething, blocked nose, too hot/cold, etc.)
  14. Do you compare your baby with your friends' babies and wish she would sleep like they do?
  15. Do you keep quiet about your baby's �sleep problem� because you are tired of people telling you that you should just let her cry?

In modern Western culture, all of these issues are seen as �sleep problems� requiring �corrective treatment.� When we understand more about HOW babies fall asleep and WHY they wake up, we can keep these issues in perspective, have more realistic expectations, and subsequently feel less pressurised to �train� our babies. Parents who understand baby sleep and have a broader view of matters, usually feel less stressed and more content with their particular situation.

If you answered �YES� to one or more of these questions, read on! You and your baby may benefit from a deeper understanding of baby sleep.

THE GOOD NEWS: Most babies can be helped to sleep better.

Research has shown that the best results are achieved by adjusting the behaviour of the parents (rather than the baby's!), working out an individual strategy, and offering education and support to parents.

It is essential that parents are comfortable with the chosen strategy. There are many different strategies to help babies sleep through, and they do not involve leaving your baby to �cry it out�.

Extracts from the book

Your Baby's Sleep Environment

•  A co-sleeping mother gets the same amount of deep sleep as a mother with her baby in a separate room.

•  Playing �musical beds� is more common than you think, and is considered quite normal. In case you are unfamiliar with the term, this is where one or more children come into the parents' bed during the night, and mum or dad moves to the spare room or one of the children's beds till morning. You never know where you are going to wake up! Don't worry - it's a phase that will eventually pass.

•  It's a good idea to put baby to sleep in the same room as where she is going to wake. If she falls asleep in front of the TV/on mum's breast/in dad's arms, and is taken to her own bed while she is asleep, she may wake later feeling confused and insecure. (Imagine for yourself waking up in the middle of the night, and instead of lying in your bed, you are lying on your front lawn!)

•  If your baby is having sleep problems, it may help to let her sleep in the same place every time, day and night. If she is sleeping very well, let her sleep wherever you want.

•  Most experts say that the house needn't be kept overly quiet when baby naps, but do give baby a chance to have some peaceful sleep at least some of the time. You can teach older children to respect �quiet time� if your baby tends to startle and wake from noises. (We have a simple rule in our house: �You wake her, you take her.�)

•  Background music can help to drown out unavoidable noise in your environment.

Baby's Sleep/Wake Cycles

Many books on baby sleep contain long chapters about sleep patterns, short wave and long wave, REM and non-REM sleep and goodness knows what else. When my babies weren't sleeping well, I could hardly stay awake long enough to brush my teeth, never mind read page after page about sleep! Even if I could stay awake to read some, I could never remember enough of it to be much use to me at night (porridge brain!). Quite frankly, I also found it a bit boring.

However: once you understand how your baby's sleep is different from yours, and what is actually going on while she is sleeping, you can interpret more easily where baby is in her total night or daytime sleep cycle, and this will help determine what your best response may be. You can work with your baby and not against her. So here goes � hope you can stay awake!

•  A baby's sleep cycle lasts approximately 45-50 minutes, after which she wakes briefly and goes back to sleep, or wakes fully. An adult sleep cycle lasts 90 minutes.

•  The first part of the night is spent mostly in deep sleep � baby is quiet and floppy and won't wake easily.

•  The second half of the night (1 am+) is spent alternating between light sleep and REM (dream) sleep, which presents many opportunities for waking. Babies spend a large percentage of their sleep in REM sleep � when her eyes (and arms and legs) move a lot. This does not necessarily mean she's in pain or not really asleep.

Falling asleep

Many sleep experts tell us that babies start to sleep better when they learn how to fall asleep by themselves (in other words, they don't need another person to be present while falling asleep). This means that every time they wake at night (which can be every hour), they can fall asleep again without needing someone to help them. Sounds great on paper, doesn't it?

BUT: human babies are not designed to fall asleep by themselves, and it should be seen as a milestone that takes time to reach!

There are different ways of helping babies learn to fall asleep. Leaving babies to cry it out or to �self soothe� is recommended by some books but this method is usually traumatic for both parents and baby, and is discouraged more and more in light of recent research. A gradual process is always a better option.

Sleep consultations via e-mail

Individual consultations via e-mail are offered to parents who have questions or need some extra help and support after reading the book. The fee is R250 per consultation, which includes answering your questions, helping you identify your baby's problem(s) and working out an individual strategy.

Please supply the following information and e-mail to [email protected]:

  1. Your name
  2. Baby's name
  3. Baby's age
  4. Language of preference: English / Afrikaans
  5. Any relevant information about your baby that you feel is important
  6. Describe your baby's sleep problem
  7. Any specific questions you would like to add?

Once your information has been received, you will be given banking details and a reference number. Your answer will follow a few days after payment is received.