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The Gentle Sleep Book

For Calm Babies, Toddlers and Pre-Schoolers
Narrated by: Katy Sobey
Length: 8 hrs and 45 mins
4.5 out of 5 stars (85 ratings)

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Summary

The Gentle Sleep Book offers gentle, no-tears sleep solutions for exhausted parents of newborns to five-year-olds. 

A large percentage of parents find their young children's sleep - or lack of - challenging. This new audiobook from Sarah Ockwell-Smith, founder of BabyCalm, will be an indispensable guide for parents, whatever challenges they are facing with their child's sleep - from the day they bring their newborn home until their child is settled in at school. 

Examining everything from frequent night waking in babyhood through bedwetting in toddlerhood to nightmares and refusal to go to bed in preschoolers, this audiobook provides extensive scientific and anecdotal information plus plenty of gentle suggestions to help everyone get a good night's sleep. 

This is a gentle, evidence-based approach that doesn't involve leaving a baby to cry or shutting a sobbing child in his or her bedroom. 

©2016 Sarah Ockwell-Smith (P)2016 Hachette Audio UK

Critic reviews

"Sleep is not a battle. It's a balance, and in this book Sarah helps parents find that balance...the practical advice for real situations is very helpful." (Juno)

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Loved the book

I thoroughly enjoyed The Gentle Sleep Book by Sarah Ockwell-Smith. There's so much great info in there. It's well presented. As a Mum to two young children, I prefer to parent along the lines of attachment parenting and so this book was perfect for me.

I found the narrator to be a little robotic, though, so it was slightly off-putting at first, but I got over it!

7 people found this helpful

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This book is more about reframing your expectation

...s, rather than a wealth of practical tips. Sarah sets out a 7 point plan that looks to both evaluate what you're doing that could inhibit sleep, along with some quite common tips, likr no TV before bed, get them a comfort object, white noise and sounds.
But is keen to stress any changes take a month or more to bed in - if you're after corrective surgery to your kids sleep issues, this isn't it, if you want therapy about it, and some slow burn improvements this night help.

final point is that the "case studies" often struggled to find believable, they read as perfectly engineered examples to allow most of the 7 point plan to be useful...

I'm a dad, with a daughter that co sleeps, has white noise, no diet issues or poor feeding habits, has a transitional object, doesn't have the TV on for 2 hours before bed, has a mum that looks after herself and we know the normal level of sleep she should get... and she isn't getting it, so the 7 point plan doesn't really give us anything to go on

2 people found this helpful

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Gentle parenting support for better baby and children sleep

Gentle sleep tips - helps you adjust expectations and seek gentle practical ways to condition better sleep. Doesn't promise miracles but puts it in your hands to create a 6 week action plan with a few simple tools you can use. There are different chapters relating to ages up to age 5years that makes it even more specific - I have dipped into the ages I need but can revisit older as needed.

2 people found this helpful

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    1 out of 5 stars

Simply Anti-sleeptraining propaganda

I have appreciated ideas from some of the other books of this author, however, sadly, this one while presenting some research, at the end of the day is just an opinion of one particular induvidual. The damming conclusions on any sleep training methods are not based on any objective facts, and feel like scaremongering. When hearing opinions like this, what comes to mind is that this person has certainly never tried any sleep training method with any child, and plainly they don't know hwat they are talking about. The solution of bed-sharing and co-sleeping is presented as the best for all involved, which dos not take into consideration that sometimes it simply does not work, due to the child not accepting it as a good sleep solution.

1 person found this helpful

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The Not-So-Gently Judging You book.

so baffling in its self contradiction: baby has not even developed an intrinsic circadian rhythm but can somehow tell that it's being "disrespected" by its parents... There are snide little digs throughout this book that claims that it doesn't judge if you've used other methods but then proceeds to project and provoke the innermost fears of the mother - you're not displaying unconditional love if you'd like more sleep, you're just being selfish. Your baby is scared of the dark (??) and questions why you only love it in the daytime hours. You're "buying" your child off with stickers and praise for sleeping well...

Manipulation isn't something that babies are capable of, but Sarah certainly is.

I urge you to look at the studies behind sleep training that show over and over that there are no long term psychological impacts to the more controlled crying methods. And you are not selfish for wanting to preserve your sanity, your bond with your child, and to be able to care for them safely without the fog and the very real detrimental physical effects of sleep deprivation.

7 people found this helpful

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Great evidence-based book

I loved this an evidence-based approach to sleep for children - written as a guide rather than a prescriptive routine - that goes against some of the dogmatic formats applied in other books.

It provides a foundation of understanding so that you can make informed decisions on how best to approach sleep for your own individual child. Not a one-size fits all!

However there are also tips for encouraging optimal sleep for both your child and you, also supported by science and case studies/first hand experiences.

I thoroughly enjoyed educating myself with this book and felt like I got to know my child and what he was experiencing better, which can only be a good thing for our relationship.

1 person found this helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars

Excellent book, lovely audio version

I've read the book before and found it very informative and found the audio version very easy to listen to and it allowed me to revise what I had learnt before while driving in the car.

1 person found this helpful

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the best reassuring advice to avoid sleep training

Thanks for telling me that I was correct when I decided to ignor all these cruel sleep training methods and stick with my feeling of loving my child instead of abandoning her when she needs me most.

1 person found this helpful

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Assurance you don’t need to sleep train

I think this book is good if you are thinking about the idea or being urged to do sleep training by others but actually don’t want to. It goes in to scientific/psychological detail about why infants sleep the way they do and how it is natural. It is not a guide as to how to get your child to sleep without harsh sleep training methods, in my opinion, more just assurance that it isn’t necessary for your infant to sleep through the night.

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Pseudo science

Claims to be different from all the other children’s books by being led by science. Unfortunately she’s clearly been taught science by Malcolm gladwell, selectively picking random studies which fit her narrative rather than bringing together genuine insight. Disappointing and given the topic, dangerous and manipulative at its best.

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  • Declan
  • 31-03-17

Every New Parent Should Read This

Clear, easy to follow, sound advice.
I wish we were given this when our baby was born. Even more I wish every parent who was told to let their baby cry it out (I was, many times) read this and told those "advisers" how wrong they are.
Beautiful book that will change my family life.
Well done!

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  • Gilmara Lima Mendes
  • 03-02-19

Nice enough, but it didn't work for me

This is a nice book, with some scientific data, but as I have a high need child, most things presented here did not work for me. Maybe they can work for you.

1 person found this helpful

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  • Patrick
  • 12-02-18

It's fine but not much about 2-4 years

What did you like best about The Gentle Sleep Book? What did you like least?

There is some good information in this book, especially on babies and newborns. Information we wish we had for our first daughter and had figured out by our second.

There really isn't much content for 2 -4 year old despite saying "and Pre-schoolers". Which was why I had purchased it, so pretty disappointed. Lot of repeating. The last third seems as much self praise (or at least replied letters on how good the advice was, which filled a lot of time and wasn't useful) as actual advice. Started fast forwarding towards this point.

There seems to be differences between US pediatric practices verses UK pediatric practices, so how do you know what's best? And honestly the one thing she drills on is "go with your instincts and not what people are telling you". I agree with this concept.

3 people found this helpful

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  • Sierra Smith, BBCI
  • 23-08-17

A must read for anyone caring for children!

This was a fabulous book and so helpful. I'm a Birth Boot Camp Instructor and mom of 2, and purchased this for help with my youngest who is currently bedsharing. I will recommend this to my students as well, and honestly to anyone caring for children, especially those who are with them in the evening and at nap times. I must listen again to retain all of her helpful information.

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  • meliboc
  • 29-12-18

great

love it thanks for the tips. it has helped a lot. the voice of the narrator was soothing as well

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  • Gianna Marzella
  • 14-07-18

A waste of money and time.

If you want a book to tell you to accept that you will not sleep for the first 5 years of your life and there is basically nothing you can do about it, this book is for you. There are some basic tips that may slightly help with sleep but they are, in my opinion, so obvious that it is offensive to hear it from third party and have it presented as though this is helpful or new information.