baby sleep resources

5 Baby Sleep Resources for Sleep-Deprived Parents

5 Baby Sleep Resources for Sleep-Deprived Parents

Of all the words in the dictionary, probably the most consistent word association to the term “new parents” is “sleep”. 

Or rather, sleep deprivation. 

Newborns are notorious for keeping their exhausted parents up all night. When you have a new baby, people from all generations ask “are you getting any sleep?” 

Babies and sleeplessness seem to go hand in hand. 

And that’s normal, at least at first. Newborns need some time to adjust to this big, strange world. But it doesn't have to be your new norm as a parent beyond the first few months. 

In fact, the level of sleep deprivation that Western culture has normalized for new parents is dangerous. As a new mother who is healing from birth (a major medical event!), and is potentially dealing with breastfeeding, incision wounds, stitches, and hormone crashes, you need sleep to heal. 

You also need to sleep to protect against postpartum depression, anxiety and other mood disorders that are so common for new parents. 

So it’s important to arm yourself with the knowledge necessary to understand baby sleep, and know what to expect. 

5 Baby Sleep Resources to Change Your Life 

Here are some of the best resources available on newborn and baby sleep.

#1. Precious Little Sleep

When Poppy was a baby, I discovered the Precious Little Sleep podcast. It helped answer a few key questions I had about infant sleep that set us up for good sleep hygiene, proper wake windows and sleep training success. 

Since then, the show host has written an excellent book and, probably most useful, a Facebook group which has been a total godsend. 

One of the better run Facebook groups I’ve ever encountered, the PLS group is useful, respectful, and well-moderated. You need to have read the book prior to joining (the questions upon entry will ensure it), but if you’re serious about raising a baby with healthy sleep habits, this is a good idea anyway. 

This, plus a bit of Ferber (the next resource) is how I got Arlo sleeping independently for both naps and nighttime sleep by 12 weeks. 

#2. Solve Your Child’s Sleep Problems

If you’ve ever heard the term “Ferberize”, the strategies of “sleep training” in this book is what is being referred to. 

Besides the Precious Little Sleep podcast, this is the only baby sleep resource that we consumed when Poppy was a baby, because it’s all we needed; the information in the book and the approach to helping babies sleep independently had Poppy sleeping well and through the night in just a few short evenings by the time she was 4 months old. 

Despite some bad press that poor Dr. Ferber has experienced in the last decade or so, his book, Solve Your CHild’s Sleep Problems is the closest thing to a definitive guide on infant and child sleep as it gets. 

He doesn’t advocate at all for “cry it out”, and specifically recommends against leaving your child in their crib alone to cry and not checking in until morning. 

#3. Taking Cara Babies 

This resource wasn’t around a few years ago when I was tackling Poppy’s sleep, but the woman behind the brand, Cara, has built up quite the following in the last three years. 

She has a blog covering many different sleep topics, including newborn & older baby sleep, 3-4 month sleep, regressions, sleep associations, and more. The most in-depth information and how-tos are in her courses, but you can get a lot of the info for free in snippets on her Instagram

Her approach is very similar to Ferber’s but she covers a ton of other topics as well, and of course, she’s more modern than Ferber. 

#4. The Wisdom of Other Parents on Reddit 

I’m admittedly a big reddit fan, and spend a ridiculous amount of time scrolling through my favourite subreddits while nursing each day. 

It’s where we did most of the research for one of our most popular posts, The Big List of Things Every Couple Should Discuss Before Having Kids

So of course, I’ve spent a decent amount of time consuming the content on parenting subreddits, like /r/sleeptrain, /r/beyondthebump, and /r/parenting. 

The SleepTrain subreddit is the most relevant to sleep, but is not the most active sub. Even so, it’s rich in resources and parents who have been there, and you can comb through the archives to find answers to questions you didn’t even know you had. 

The other subreddits have some gold in them too. 

#5. Other Baby Sleep Books 

I recommended two books already, between Ferber and Precious Little Sleep. But the irony of recommending new, sleep deprived parents read entire books is not lost on me. 

I hope you’re reading this article and digging into these resources before your baby is born, but if you’re not and you’re just desperate, perhaps these other books will help: 

  • Healthy Sleep Habits, Happy Child by Marc Weissbluth. Weissbluth is probably the next most popular sleep resource, next to Ferber, and this is his book.
  • Twelve Hours by Twelve Weeks by Suzy Giordano. I didn’t use this resource, as it relies on scheduling your baby down to four feeds per day, and my baby loves to nurse. But an acquaintance used it to help three kids sleep through the night and swears by it.
  • The No-Cry Sleep Solution by Elizabeth Pantley. Don’t let the title fool you – the strategies here involve some crying. This is what you hear referred to as the “pick-up, put-down” method. Never used it but I know some parents have had luck with it. 

Get Ahead of Your Baby’s Sleep to Raise a Healthy Sleeper 

There’s nothing quite as all-consuming as newborn sleep when you’re a new parent. 

Desperate for sleep yourself, and desperate to raise a healthy, happy baby, you’ll almost certainly be combing the internet for resources on how to make your baby sleep more, better, and longer. 

Getting ahead of the curve when you’re pregnant or before you experience any major sleep associations or disturbances will help you make the right decisions for your family and baby. 

These are some of the most useful resources on baby sleep available. Snap them up early and dive into them to set yourself up for success. 

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