Best Baby Sleep Books – Updated 2020
Looking for the very best baby sleep book on the market?
Desperately seeking more sleep, for your baby and you too?
Before we get to the list of BellyBelly’s favourite, best baby sleep books, there’s something very important I want to share with you.
Because finding a great baby sleep book can be a minefield.
Just like you don’t need a licence to become a parent, you don’t need a licence to write a book either.
As you probably well know, new parents don’t get much time to relax, let alone read a pile of books!
So it’s very important to seek out the most reliable and effective baby sleep books, so you can use your precious spare time wisely.
Reading dangerous or unrealistic baby sleep information is not only a waste of your time, but it’s going to make you (and probably your baby) feel like crap too.
The problem with most baby sleep books
As my first baby grew into a toddler, I reached the point where I felt like a failure.
The reason I felt like a failure is because she still kept waking through the night, and didn’t sleep through like society’s desired ideal.
I thought she should be sleeping more.
I really thought I was doing something wrong, and questioned myself as a parent.
Maybe I just hadn’t learnt the right things? Or perhaps I’m just crap at this whole parenting thing?
Please believe me when I tell you: some parents do have babies that sleep for long periods overnight, yes.
But this is not the norm.
Periods of sleeping through will likely stop and change at a certain point, in line with developmental milestones or wonder weeks.
The Truth About “Sleeping Through” The Night
Studies have defined the average ‘sleeping through’ period for an infant as being five hours.
This fact is often overlooked by many baby sleep “whisperers” and authors.
Despite that, such authors tend to do pretty well for themselves.
This is probably due to heavy predatory marketing, lots of money, a good publishing house… and an alluring promise of lots more sleep.
For example, baby sleep book titles like:
“How To Get Them To Sleep From 7 To 7!”
“Get Your Baby Sleeping All Night In One Week!”
Don’t we all desperately want that? “Shut up and take my money already!”, right?
But at what cost?
It’s Important Who You Trust With Your Baby’s Brain
You may not think qualifications are important to consider.
But consider this: would you ask your rev-head brother to fix your car engine or would you ask a mechanic?
Or, would you take your cat to the vet, or ask your cat-loving neighbour to diagnose the problem for you?
No matter how much they love cats, it doesn’t equal the right advice.
Therefore, your baby’s brain, as well as yours, should be in gentle, loving hands of well respected baby sleep authors.
Choosing a great baby sleep book will pay off, both in the short and the long term.
Especially where you and your baby’s emotional and physical health are vulnerable.
Every baby sleep book you choose to read can seriously alter your journey and experience.
Always remember this: sleeping through for a baby is only five hours on average.
It’s not biologically normal to sleep ALL night – these nighttime arousals have a survival function.
They’re believed to be protective against SIDS.
What’s The Best Baby Sleep Book?
A fantastic baby sleep book is worth its weight in gold – it will save your sanity!
After almost two decades of running BellyBelly, here are my 9 most favourite baby sleep books, in no particular order.
They all have fantastic advice and information, written by authors who have a wealth of quality experience and knowledge.
Our fans often read a combination of these books, and pick the best bits which work for them. There’s no ‘one best’ baby sleep book, rather, a selection of amazing books you’ll learn so much from.
#1: The Gentle Baby Sleep Book by Sarah Ockwell Smith
Sarah Ockwell-Smith is a mama of four young children, and has qualifications in psychology.
Following the birth of her firstborn, Sarah trained as a HypnoBirthing antenatal teacher and birth and postnatal doula.
In addition, Sarah has undertaken training in baby massage, hypnotherapy and psychotherapy.
Sarah is also the founder of BabyCalm, an award-winning company offering support and classes to new parents.
In The Gentle Baby Sleep Book, Sarah covers everything you can imagine about baby sleep in the early years.
No matter if you’re concerned about frequent night waking during babyhood, or don’t know what to do about bedwetting in toddlerhood… this baby sleep book has you covered.
The Gentle Baby Sleep Book will help everyone get a good night’s sleep.
And it’ll do this with both extensive scientific and anecdotal information, as well as plenty of gentle suggestions.
If you value a gentle, evidence-based approach that doesn’t involve leaving a baby to cry, this baby sleep book is for you.
#2: Best Sleep Training Book For Breastfed Babies
Sweet Sleep by La Leche League International, Diane Wiessinger, Linda J. Smith & Diana West
Sweet Sleep is the first and most complete book on nights and naps for breastfeeding families.
It’s a how-to guide for making sane and safe decisions on how and where your family sleeps.
Sweet Sleep includes words of wisdom and reassurance from mothers, all backed up by the latest research.
It’s 4 a.m. You’ve nursed your baby five times throughout the night.
You’re beyond exhausted.
But where can you breastfeed safely when you might fall asleep? You’ve heard that your bed is dangerous for babies. Or is it?
Is there a way to reduce the risk?
Does life really have to be this hard?
No, it doesn’t. Sweet Sleep is within reach. Get it here.
#3: Discontented Little Baby Book by Dr. Pamela Douglas
When looking for the best baby sleep book, you might like to consider this revolutionary new approach to caring for your baby from a respected Australian GP.
Did you know there are things that you can do to help your baby cry and fuss less in the first 16 weeks?
Did you know that many parents’ nights are unnecessarily disrupted?
Are you longing for a deeper connection with your newborn?
The first months after a baby’s arrival can be exhausting, and attempts at quick fixes are often part of the problem.
But a number of obstacles are accidentally put in the way of a healthy night’s sleep, and much can be done to help your baby cry less.
The Discontented Little Baby Book gives you practical and evidence-based strategies for helping you and your baby get more in sync.
Dr Pamela Douglas offers a path that protects your baby’s brain development so you’re your little one can reach his or her full potential.
She also offers simple strategies to help you enjoy your baby and live with vitality while facing the challenges of this extraordinary time.
With real-life stories, advice on dealing with feelings of anxiety and depression, and answers to your questions about reflux and allergies, The Discontented Little Baby Book really is a compassionate revolution in baby care.
#4: Best Sleep Training Book For Breastfed Babies
Boobin’ All Day, Boobin’ All Night by Meg Nagle IBCLC
Part memoir, part sharing of women’s stories, part research, part boobin’…
“It feels so right to breastfeed my baby to sleep but everyone tells me not to.”
“My baby will not stay asleep when I put her down. What can I do?”
“My breastfed toddler continues to wake at night. Is this normal?”
Our instincts are there, but for many of us, instincts are confusing and hard to trust at first.
You want some more sleep and everyone seems to be telling you different things and offering contradicting advice.
Boobin’ All Day, Boobin’ All Night is not a guide that gives you step by step instructions for getting your baby to sleep longer, because every baby is an individual, and every baby wakes for important reasons.
This book will help you learn how to trust your own instincts and follow the lead of your breastfed child… while offering different suggestions on how to get more sleep without having your baby cry, protest, or self-settle.
In this boobin’ book, Meg includes why breastfed children wake frequently and why it is so important to answer their cries, how to get more sleep and feel more rested without doing cry-it-out or sleep training techniques, and so much more.
#5: Sleeping Like A Baby by Pinky McKay IBCLC
Australia’s baby calm expert, Pinky McKay, totally gets it.
Pinky is an International Board Certified Lactation Consultant (IBCLC), a Certified Infant Massage Instructor (CIMI) and a best-selling author.
Most importantly, she’s a mother of five children.
In her books, Pinky combines good science with wisdom and experience, but most importantly, what’s best for baby’s health and wellbeing.
‘Sleeping Like a Baby’ gives practical tips on how to:
- Understand your baby’s tired cues
- Create a safe sleeping environment
- Gently settle babies and toddlers
- Feed infants to encourage sleep
This baby sleep book is a great starting guide and support for new parents.
It provides a solid foundation, and is ideal to team up with some of the other books in this list.
Sleeping Like A Baby offers down-to-earth and heartening advice on helping babies (and their parents!) to sleep better.
A must read baby sleep book for stress-free, guilt-free parenting.
#6: Helping Your Baby To Sleep: Why Gentle Techniques Work Best by Beth Macgregor and Anni Gethin
Another fantastic Australian baby sleep book, written by highly qualified authors.
Anni Gethin is a health social scientist, with special interests in early childhood development and health equity.
She lectures in public health and social science, and is a mother of three boys.
Beth Macgregor is a mother and psychologist, who trains health and welfare workers in infant mental health, child development and child protection.
She’s an active member of the Australian Association for Infant Mental Health.
After reading this brilliant baby sleep book, you will:
- Learn why babies wake at night and need help to settle
- Understand how early parenting choices affect a baby’s growing brain
- Examine why “sleep training” is risky, both in the short and long terms
- Discover how to create an effective sleep routine and safe sleeping environment
- Explore common baby sleep problems and how to cope with them
- Find out how tired parents can build a support system (and stay sane)
#7: Sleeping With Your Baby: A Parent’s Guide to Cosleeping by Dr. James McKenna
Doctor James McKenna is another phenomenal professional who has written baby sleep books based on a great deal of research.
He’s a prominent researcher whose expertise includes infant sleep, breastfeeding and sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS).
Doctor McKenna also specialises in the evolution of human behaviour (especially parenting and infant development) and more.
Notably, he’s recognised around the world as a leading authority on co-sleeping.
There’s something Doctor McKenna wants parents to know.
He wants you to know that babies are dramatically safer, and healthier, when put to bed in a safe, family sleeping environment.
Discover the important steps to creating a safe family bed, with the latest information on the scientific benefits of co-sleeping.
#8: The No Cry Sleep Solution by Elizabeth Pantley
This book is one of our fans’ favourite baby sleep books.
Elizabeth Pantley is a well-known parenting educator and mother of four children.
Her book, The No Cry Sleep Solution, is a 10 step process to help parents help their babies to sleep.
Tips from The No-Cry Sleep Solution:
- Uncover the stumbling blocks that prevent baby from sleeping through the night
- Determine and work with baby’s biological sleep rhythms
- Create a customised, step-by-step plan to get baby to sleep through the night
- Use the Persistent Gentle Removal System to teach baby to fall asleep without breastfeeding, bottlefeeding, or using a pacifier.
“I think the best thing about Pantley is that there is no guilt if you do choose to do things in your own time”. — Tuesday’s Child
“I’ve found it gave me the ability to find a routine they were naturally trying to fall into”. — Kamarine
#9: Three in a Bed: The Benefits of Sleeping with Your Baby by Deborah Jackson
Three In A Bed is another fantastic book based on co-sleeping.
Only since Victorian times has it been standard practice for parents to put their babies to sleep alone, away from the parental bed – often in another room.
Three In A Bed reveals how babies who sleep with their parents benefit by getting virtually a full night’s sleep.
Deborah explains the advantages of co-sleeping, including its benefits for breastfeeding mothers.
She reviews the history of babies in the bed and, through interviews with parents, explores attitudes to co-sleeping.
Three In A Bed discusses the issue of cot death and contains hints on safe sleeping in the family bed.
Deborah answers common objections, and discusses dealing with the moment when the baby leaves its parents’ bed.
Three In A Bed also offers practical advice on how you can sustain your sex life.
All of these baby sleep books truly are the best you will find for 2020 and beyond. Some of them have been around for a long time, however the wisdom and common sense is most definitely backed with quality research. When you finish reading any of these baby sleep books, you’ll feel so much more empowered, prepared and skilled to handle your baby’s sleep challenges. All the best for sweet dreams and peaceful sleep!