If I had a redo on my 40 weeks (actually, 41 in my case) pre-baby, I’d prioritize one thing: Reading all the sleep books so I had a firm sense of my plan for teaching my son how to sleep right out of the gate. Full disclosure: I had no clue.
Don’t get me wrong: I had a lot of thoughts about sleep. Mainly, that it would be a huge priority to teach my newborn how to do it successfully, but also to allow him time to get his footing in the real world. In other words, we gave ourselves permission to rock him to sleep for the length of the “fourth trimester”—all 12 weeks of my maternity leave.
But that was the problem. Post-fourth trimester, we still weren’t 100 percent confident on which sleep method we wanted to use. Would we do cry it out? Or try the no-tears method? We spent many a subway commute, each with a different sleep training book in our hand, discussing the pros and cons of various ways. And before we knew it, our son was fast approaching six months. Hence, my reason for recommending advance reading pre-baby: When you’re logging two to three non-consecutive hours of shuteye a night thanks to sleep regressions and teething and dream feeds, that is a tough time to begin your research.
All this is to say that after reading countless books about shuteye (from The No-Cry Sleep Solution to Healthy Sleep Habits, Happy Child) the minute my son hit the four-month mark, I caved and decided to go with an expert: My husband and I hired a baby sleep coach.