a gentle, baby-friendly approach to establishing good
and solving sleep problems
A MUST HAVE FOR PARENTS!
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
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!"
�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
Do you have to go and comfort your baby several times every
Can your baby only fall asleep with your help? (feeding,
, pushing in pram)
Does your baby have trouble going back to sleep after night
Does your baby wake up too early in the morning?
Does your baby go to bed too early or too late in the evening?
Does your baby (over 12 months) demand several feeds/bottles
Does your baby sleep significantly less than the recommended
amount in 24 hours?
Are you chronically over-tired due to your baby's sleep
Do you feel powerless and desperate about your baby's sleep
Do you feel you are becoming obsessed with getting your baby
to sleep and getting some sleep yourself?
Do you blame something else every day (week/month) for your
baby's sleep problems? (colic
teething, blocked nose, too hot/cold, etc.)
Do you compare your baby with your friends' babies and wish
she would sleep like they do?
Do you keep quiet about your baby's �sleep problem� because
you are tired of people telling you that you should just let
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
THE GOOD NEWS: Most babies can be helped to sleep
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
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
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
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
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
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.
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,
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
- Your name
- Baby's name
- Baby's age
Language of preference: English / Afrikaans
Any relevant information about your baby that you feel is
- Describe your baby's sleep problem
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.
Articles by Erica Neser (will open in Word)