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A Good Night's Sleep Review by Brandi Tesreau

By Anna Wahlgren

Do you suffer from extreme fatigue because of an infant who just won't sleep through the night? If you are at the end of your rope and have tried everything imaginable, don't lose hope just yet! Anna Wahlgren, Swedish mother of nine children, has written A Good Night's Sleep to help you understand why your child is waking and how to successfully train him or her to sleep for 12 hours a night.

The first few chapters of A Good Night's Sleep are devoted to helping you understand why your child may not be sleeping well. Anna Wahlgren explains that all newborns are aware of their own vulnerability and suffer from survival anxiety. You, as the parent, are responsible to ensure a sense of security and to help your child find peace of mind--an approach that Anna Wahlgren says is contrary to the Controlled Crying Method.

There are three goals you will be working toward once you've decided to give the "Good-Night's Sleep Cure" a try: first, giving your child peace; second, giving your child security; and third, enabling your child to enjoy sleeping well. To reach these goals, you will become your child's guide, establishing fixed times and schedules based on your infant's needs. You will learn to calm your child where he is and to handle your baby firmly and decisively in order to make him feel secure.

As you can imagine, the bedtime routine plays an important role in successfully getting your child (4 months and up) to sleep through the night, and much of the book is devoted to explaining the steps in detail. In a nutshell, the routine is based on a 4-step method--having fun, arranging the child in the sleep position, buffing, and jingling. When these steps are followed strictly and consistently, your child should sleep through the night in just a few weeks or less. Wahlgren includes many parents' testimonies of how the "Good-Night's Sleep Cure" has changed their lives.

In my opinion, a 250-page book about getting your child to sleep through the night is too long for a sleep-deprived parent. The book was full of details and what-if scenarios, which are helpful, but I think the information could have been organized better. A quick reference chart or outline of the bedtime routine and amounts of sleep needed by infants based on age would be great. Being the visual person that I am, I would even prefer to actually watch someone perform the bedtime routine steps, especially since I had never heard of buffing before.

All of my children now, thank goodness, are old enough to sleep through the night, so I am not able to test Anna Wahlgren's theories personally. Even though I am not completely on board with the concept of infants suffering from survival anxiety and don't share the author's view that my child is "the product of millions of years of evolution," I would have been more than willing to give the "Good-Night's Sleep Cure" a try about five years ago when my infant daughter continued waking throughout the night. I think I would've done almost anything just to get some sleep! So, if you have an infant who doesn't sleep through the night and you've exhausted all other options, the methods described in A Good Night's Sleep just might work for you. Copies can be purchased on Amazon for under $20.

Product review by Brandi Tesreau, The Old Schoolhouse® Magazine, LLC, December 2011