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In this post, I am reviewing the e-book ‘Baby Sleep Solutions’ by Katrina Villegas. The in-depth review will provide an overview of the contents of the book, the strategies suggested, and the effectiveness of the strategies laid out in the book when practically implemented.
Personal Struggle with Sleep Training
All throughout my pregnancy, I had many friends and colleagues advising me on reading about sleep training techniques. But I refused to read about it. Why? I had a belief that sleep is such a natural activity for babies that once the baby learned to distinguish between day and night, it would automatically start sleeping through the night.
I didn’t think there was any specific intervention required on my end. Moreover, I felt that if at all there are days when the baby took longer to sleep, I could sing a few lullabies or roks the baby in a cradle, and the baby would doze off peacefully.
But all of my sweet assumptions about the sleeping patterns of a baby fell entirely apart within two months after my baby was born. My baby-girl would not fall off to sleep till about 4 am no matter how hard I tried. I would sing lullabies. I would walk around with her. I would swaddle her. I bathed her before bed. But everything failed miserably.
By the time my baby girl was eight weeks old, I was sleep-deprived and extremely frustrated with myself for not learning more about sleep training.
My experience with other online solutions
When I started looking for solutions on the internet, I found many sleep training courses run mainly by American women. The testimonials of most of these courses were great, but there were two issues –
- They were expensive. (As Indians, we don’t earn in dollars, and spending a few hundred dollars on a course seemed to be a high price to pay)
- They were in the form of audio and video recorded sessions. (This meant that I would have to watch multiple online tutorials in a sleep-deprived condition which would only make my health woes worse!)
What I was looking for was an affordable, handy book that I could read whenever I found some extra time on hand. Unfortunately, when I was looking for this information, I couldn’t find a book that met these requirements.
However, I wish I had found the book that I am about to review today, two months after my baby girl was born. I feel it would have been the perfect solution for the exhausted and struggling mama I was at that time.
Baby Sleep Solutions by Katrina Villegas: Full Review
Overview of the book
The book is divided into six neat chapters that will explain the strategies in a simple-to-follow language.
Towards the end of the book, you will find a ton of extra, helpful information about daytime naps and tips on modifying your baby’s sleep schedules as per its growing age.
What I like about this book is that it is extremely handy and a perfect companion for a sleep-deprived mom who has no time to skim through all the fluff. The chapters are concise yet packed with information.
Moreover, the book is written in such a way that you can read it while you are pregnant or even when your baby is a bit older, and you’re struggling to put your baby to bed.
Suggested Sleep Training Strategies
Throughout the book, the author has stressed the importance of building positive sleep associations by building two effective routines:
- Naptime and Bedtime routine and
- The Eat, Wake, Sleep Routine
The naptime and bedtime routine is a routine involving 3-4 quick activities that you do over and over every single day before naptime or bedtime. Repeatedly and consistently performing these activities helps the baby develop an association between these activities and sleep.
Secondly, the Eat, Wake, Sleep routine ensures that the baby does not develop an association between feeding and sleep. Thus, this strategy ensures that the baby falls off to sleep on its own without feeling the need to latch on to the mom’s breast or cry for a bottle.
What’s impressive about the book is that the book clarifies at the outset the success of these two routines depends entirely on the baby learning to take full feedings. This means that by employing the sleep training solutions provided in this book, you are not only teaching your baby the right way of falling off to sleep, but you are also actively developing correct eating habits.
In fact, as per the poll data of 300 people who employed only the tactics mentioned in this book collected, it was found that a whopping 80.4% of the babies were sleeping throughout the night, i.e., for a full 12 hours before the age of 6 months!
Oh, and what I must highlight here is that, unlike most sleep training courses, this book does not employ the cry it out method.
According to the author, you would not need to employ the cry it out method (except for a maximum of one night of letting a fully-fed baby cry for a few minutes) if you follow the strategies in the book.
Can the sleep training solutions work in a typical Indian home?
To begin with, the principles laid down in the book can be applied no matter where you stay. However, I understand that books are written with a western audience in mind often suggest using monitors, sound machines, and light-blocking curtains.
The mention of these products can often throw off a typical Indian in whose homes you will not find these products. Moreover, for years together, Indians have successfully practised co-sleeping with the baby right from the newborn stage.
Our ancient wisdom laid out the manner in which the mother could safely co-sleep with her baby. In fact, our culture also prescribes a specific type of mattress and bedding for the baby and the mother. Thus the use of a crib or having a separate room for the baby is rare. In fact, using a baby monitor is almost unheard of.
Given these disparities between Western and Indian cultures, can you still employ the practices suggested in the book?
In my opinion, yes, subject to a few modifications/ground rules-
- In India, we do not put babies down to bed as early as 7.00 pm. You could, thus, modify the suggested routines as per the standard Indian bedtime (9:30-10.00 pm). The principles will work regardless of your preferred bedtime.
- You can co-sleep with your baby once the baby falls off to sleep. However, while putting down your baby to bed, ensure that nobody else stays in the room with the baby.
- There is plenty of white noise in Indian homes in the form of fans, traffic noises, the noise of people performing household chores in other rooms, etc. Thus the principles laid out in the book will work even if you do not use a sound machine.
However, let me reiterate that the techniques recommended in this book are sound and highly effective no matter your specific circumstances.
The book is a must-read for working moms who want to inculcate healthy sleeping habits from an early age using gentle but effective strategies that positively contribute towards the all-around health of the baby and the mom!
As someone who has suffered the consequences of not learning how to sleep train, my baby, I highly recommend you to buy this wonderfully informative and affordably priced e-book by Katrina Villegas.
The earlier you buy this book, the better it would be for the overall health of your baby and the health of the entire household, who otherwise deals with the harsh after-effects of sleep-deprivation and exhaustion.
In particular, the book is a must-read for working moms who want to inculcate healthy sleeping habits from an early age using gentle but effective strategies that positively contribute towards the all-around health of the baby and the mom!