An Overview Of Sleep Training Books & Methods



Just about every parent has an opinion on sleep training — so when it came time to decide how we wanted to approach the matter with our daughters I tried to read up as much as I could to get a better understanding of the different philosophies while I was pregnant. I can’t suggest this enough!! You then have a foundation and understanding of how baby sleep works!  We ended up combining several different methods and not following one strict routine and that’s what we found worked best for us, but really like most adventures in parenting you have to do what works best for you! Today I’m sharing an overview of the different sleep training books I’ve read or heard about!

First I’m going to answer some of your questions from Instagram about our sleep training experience…. 

Let me preface this by saying I think we lucked out in the sleep department – I think a combination of our routine, research, trying to keep a schedule and sheer luck both of our girls were sleeping through the night very early on, by 4 weeks. Sure, there were regressions but overall I am very grateful! And while I know what we did won’t work for everyone, maybe it will help you! 

When: In general, most sleep experts and doctors agree you can start sleep training between 4-6 months. We sleep trained both girls at 4 months. But, prior to that we used methods from a few books to get them on a nap routine – the biggest thing that made a difference was putting them down for their nap after a certain wake period before they got over tired. This is a GAME CHANGER! Up until 6-8 weeks we let anything go…..naps on our chest, sleeping in any room etc. But then we got on a schedule with their wake time and it proved work so well for both our girls. We really used the method described in Baby Wise for this and I swore by this sleep/wake chart. Print it out! Use it!! 

We also used a sleep coach (Little Z Sleep) to help us through Flora’s 4 month sleep regression… you can read more about that experience here. I didn’t fully understand the 4 month sleep regression until we had Flora. She woke up every 45 minutes at night for a few weeks and it was bringing me to the point of exhaustion. It’s then that I chatted with Becca, and took her advice to move Flora to her own room. 


But, the new guidelines are to have your baby sleeping in your room for at least 6 months, ideally 1 year. What’s a mama to do? Follow your gut and talk to your doctor. That’s what we did!  You also may want to read this article

I have two other tips in regards to sleep training – before we formally started training the girls we did these two things: 

  1. Every night starting around 6 weeks when I began to pump we gave them a bottle of pumped milk before bed. That way we knew they were getting a full 6 oz of milk and were full! It also allows anyone to put baby to bed. 
  2. We followed the ‘pause’ taught in Bringing Up Bébe (one of my favorite reads).  From the very beginning, waiting 5 minutes before rushing in to pick up a crying baby to ensure they are really awake. This is also a game changer! 

The Happiest Baby On The Block: This book is wildly popular for a reason and we used the five s’s (swaddling, side/stomach position, shushing, swinging and sucking) Dr.Karp swears by the first few months of both our daughter’s lives– they worked like a charm most of the time. There are videos you can watch on YouTube, just search five S’s. And Dr.Karp even has a bassinet now, The Snoo

Baby Wise: Baby Wise focuses on creating a schedule for your family based on everyone’s needs, not just the baby’s with an emphasis on feed time, wake time and nap time. We used the basic philosophy in tandem with other approaches after our babies were 2 months and still do today. It helps break the ‘nurse to sleep’ cycle that you want to avoid to create good sleeping habits for your baby. 

Bringing Up Bebe:  Though not a sleep training book, l loved reading this French take on parenting book while pregnant and still reference it frequently — our biggest sleep takeaway was using the “pause” — waiting at least 5 minutes before rushing into the baby’s room when she cries.

Healthy Sleep Habits, Happy Child: I loved this comprehensive overview on sleep training and like that the book covers all ages, not just the newborn phase. We used the nap time routine outlined in the book.

Solve Your Child’s Sleep Problems: Probably one of the more controversial books of the bunch — Dr. Ferber’s method encourages you to let your child “cry it out” with periodic checking. People swear by this method and we definietly incorporated some of the philosophies when sleep training both girls at 4 months. 

The No-Cry Sleep Solution: Praised for being the kinder, gentler alternative to the “Ferber Method” — Elizabeth Pantley’s book is loved by many parents who can’t bare to let their baby cry it out.

The Happy Sleeper: Another no-cry method, this book is based on the philosophy that babies are designed to SLEEP and don’t need to be trained! 

And… for more on baby sleep check out the articles below! 

Huge List Of Reader-Sourced Baby Sleep Tips, Baby Sleep & Wake Chart (we swear by this), and…The Simple Trick That Helped Our Baby Sleep Through The Night

Baby Sleep



An Overview Of Sleep Training Books & Methods


  1. Kristen says:

    Thank you this is so valuable! My almost 3 month old is sleeping through the night (9:30pm-6:00/7am) which is obviously amazing, but only taking 30ish minute naps during the day. Unless we’re walking in the stroller where he could sleep for hours but nothing gets done and I’m exhausted 😅 Going to just try and keep to the wake/sleep chart and hope that the naps start to lengthen.

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