Book Review: 12 Hours Sleep by 12 Weeks
When we were expecting Finn, some friends of ours recommended the book, “12 Hours Sleep by 12 Weeks Old” by Suzy Giordano. While Finn did not sleep through the night at 12 weeks (or until well after 1 year), I found a few things in the book helpful, particularly the schedule recommendations and tips for weaning night feedings. So, as Penelope was approaching 3 months old, I decided to re-read the book.
Overall, I think the author has a lot of helpful, practical information and resources in the book, and yet it is presented in a way that is not overwhelming. I also really like that it is designed to be a quick read. I would recommend it for families that want to help build healthy sleep patterns for their baby.
Here are the specific things I liked and found helpful.
The Limited Crying Solution
The author outlines her philosophy of “The Limited Crying Solution” on page 7 as her recommended method to use during training. It is more of a middle ground between the “cry it out” method and the “no cry method”. I definitely found this helpful, especially for when Finn was a baby, because I couldn’t bring myself to let him cry it out forever and ever, but obviously going in right away so he didn’t cry at all was unrealistic.
Empowered as a parent / set boundaries
One of her “Four Foundations of Baby Sleep Success” (pages 16–18) is “You must feel empowered as a parent”, and as you are empowered by that realization, you must also realize that you cannot protect your baby from everything. One of the quotes I particularly appreciated said, “You are entrusted with your child for a short period and need to help him build skills during that time.” I like this overall philosophy that we are entrusted with our child, and we need to give them tools and skills to get them ready for the world. This definitely resonated with Dylan and my overarching philosophy of raising our kids.
Order of training
On page 52, she outlines how to get started with her sleep training method. I think the idea of sleep training a baby is a bit overwhelming from the get-go. I really appreciated that she outlined an order of training to help the parent know exactly where to start, even that day, and to not feel overwhelmed.
The order of training she recommends is to work on
- Feeding during the day
- Feeding during the night
- Sleeping during the night
- Sleeping during the day
In conjunction with the order of training, she also outlines the Requirements for getting started (page 53) based on your baby's weight, amount of food consumed per day, and age.
Daytime & Nighttime Toolboxes
A large crux of her sleep training is based off of the utilization of a Daytime toolbox to help stretch the time between feedings, and a Nighttime toolbox for soothing baby without picking him or her up (pages 54–56). These items are not necessarily anything mind-blowing, but I think as a new parent, it helped me to have a few items to bring to mind quickly to try to help distract or soothe my babe.
Eliminating night feedings
I found this to be the single most helpful part of the book when we had Finn. He held onto his 3am feeding forever. For quite a while, I really do believe he was hungry, and it was the right thing to do to continue that feeding. However, there came a time when I knew in my heart that he could make it through the night and just wanted it for comfort primarily. So, I used the author's techniques to help wean him from that feeding. I honestly don't know how I would have approached eliminating his night feeding if I hadn't read this book.
Two additional notes—
- She gives her information about eliminating night feedings in both ounces (for bottle feeders) and minutes (for breast feeding moms) so her techniques can be used by anyone.
- She also includes a few sample schedules, which are nice for more visual learners to see what a day would look like.
Tell me, have you read 12 Hours Sleep by 12 Weeks Old? If so, what did you think? Any other sleep training books you would recommend, especially to new parents?