by Pinky McKay
Babies need their sleep, but sometimes it seems like the hardest thing in the world to get them to drift off. Parenting expert Pinky McKay argues that controlled crying and other current trends are restrictive and can add to the stress faced by parents.
A more natural, intuitive approach to settling your child, Sleeping Like a Baby will help you understand normal infant sleep at each stage of development, from birth to three years. Pinky will teach you to:
Sleeping Like a Baby is a must-read for stress-free, guilt-free parenting and offers down-to-earth and heartening advice on helping babies (and their parents) to sleep better.
This book contains comprehensive discussion on co-sleeping, including how to continue co-sleeping while reducing night-feeding, and how to ensure co-sleeping is safe for your baby.
This book has a strong strong attachment parenting philosophy, including breast-feeding, co-sleeping and massage. The sleep & calming techniques are gentle and do not involve any crying. Pinky McKay is strongly against controlled crying, strict routines or any form of sleep training that involves leaving babies to cry.
“I have read your book and loved it!!!! I have questioned my approach to parenting/feeding/sleeping etc... torn between what everyone says is right. I revisit sections of your book regularly- when I doubt myself.”
“Thanks to you I have had three wonderful *glorious* nights sleep and am starting to feel normal again after many months of XXXX waking up two and three times a night.”
I read most of your book last night. It was great, easy to read and still gave all the important research in an accessible manner. I hope it is a big success for you so that there will be lots of babes cared for in such a respectful way.
Tracey Gibney – midwife, Lactation consultant (IBCLC).
“Sleeping Like a Baby is an important and essential guide for any parent. Instead of misinformation and control-based strategies, Pinky McKay provides parents with scientific, holistic and heart-centred insights into infant sleep, settling and bonding that will serve families well from day one until adulthood.”
Most parenting books advocate routines, rigid schedules and parent-driven interactions for dealing with baby’s sleep. However, there is no evidence to support these strategies; instead, evidence in the realms of attachment and neurology indicates that the only healthy way to parent our babies at night time is with attunement and warmth. Babies have 24-hour needs. Diminishing those needs because it is night time is not only silly, it’s potentially harmful. In Sleeping Like a Baby, parents find the wisdom they need to navigate the evening hours with strategies that increase soothing and settling while maintaining the bond and protecting baby’s well being.”
Lauren Porter, BA, MSW
Co-Director, Centre for Attachment. New Zealand
“The words “Sleep” and “Baby” in a book title usually fill me with a sense of dread. So often they are little more than dictatorial regimes that feed on the anxieties of new parents, yet fail to acknowledge that night waking is a normal and even essential part of infant development. Self-styled gurus – often neither parent nor health professional - promote strict regimes that not only do not take the individual needs of baby and parent into account, but can and do interrupt successful breastfeeding.
Sleeping Like a Baby by Pinky McKay is not one of those books. Instead of structured programs and inflexible timetables, Sleeping Like a Baby validates the needs of infants and suggests practical ways to balance these needs with those of the rest of the family.
Reading Pinky’s book empowers mothers and fathers to follow their instincts yet offers a range of options to consider. At no time are readers made to feel they “must” or “should” follow particular routines.
More than just a book about sleep, this book makes reassuring reading for all new parents and ideal preparation for parents-to-be.”
Yvette O’’Dowd. Breastfeeding counsellor
“I stopped listening to my health nurses advice (she recommended that I buy a Gina Ford book, and I didn’’t agree with a lot of what she wrote), and the advice of many other well-meaning people!!
Instead - I got Pinky’’s "Sleeping Like a Baby" and it’’s seriously been like a breath of fresh air. I feel so much calmer and nowhere near as tired. I feel somehow that I have been given "permission" (crazy I know) to do what in my heart I always felt was right. My baby now gets many, many more cuddles, as much eye contact as he likes, we have beautiful baths together, naps peacefully during the day (well, nearly all the time - but I am not being so caught up in making sure he sleeps the regimented "required" sleep time...and we both seem very happy with that!) and he sleeps soundly next to me in his portacot at night. We (baby, hubby & I) are all a lot happier, and just feel more calm and peaceful.
It’’s soooooo nice not feeling like I have to live up to this "ideal" - I have given myself permission to raise my child with love and warmth and lots of mummy intuition! I believe that my baby now feels more heard and listened to.
What a wonderful book - thank you so much Pinky, you are a true angel!”
“I came to know about you and your books through my maternal child health nurse. She told us about your philosophy of respect for the child and learning to know one’s own child, rather than rely on experts to lead one blindly through the maze of parenting. It was something that rang true with my. We had just moved back to Australia from the USA and I lived in a part of the mid-west where harsh baby training regimes were taught everywhere including churches and pediatrician practices. I was a lone voice who refused to slot my baby into a box and above all, I refused to let him scream for me just because it was play time or sleep time, not feeding time. It just didn’t feel right.
My little boy is now 8 months old and has been a baby who has needed a lot of me. He wasn’t colicky or windy or screamy but he needed to be with me or my husband all the time – day or night. We had lots of breastfeeding difficulties in the first four months and were finally able to ditch the nipple shield at four months and it was the proudest achievement of my life as EVERYONE had told me to give up. Anyway, I carried him in my wonderful hug-a-bub or my trusty Ergo carrier for the first six months and slept with him by my side and fed him every two to three hours day and night. (Told you he needed lots of me!). I was starting to lose my confidence. Even though I had picked my parenting confidantes wisely so that they shared my belief that I needed to meet the needs of my baby both during the day and night, I was starting to lose hope that I’d ever get any sleep again. The advice of the baby trainers and the cry it out brigade is pretty insidious and it was starting to creep through my defences.
I resisted, even when two weeks ago, he went back to waking every hour and needing me. I was sick (had an ear infection and I now I know how those poor babies feel!) and my doctor was telling me I had to let him cry so that I could sleep. (Shows how much he knows about mothering! There is no way I could have slept while my baby was screaming for me!) I thought that there was something not quite right with my little one and I WAS RIGHT. Four teeth made their appearance all at once. The poor little thing needed to suck to relieve his pain and he needed the soporophic properties of my milk to help him back to sleep. Well, those teeth are now through and he’s feeling good again. I put him to bed at 7pm on Friday night and he was still asleep when I went to bed. I woke in a panic at 3am and then lay awake until 4.30am until I had to pump a bit before I exploded. At 5.30am he stirred and I couldn’t wait any longer – I fed him and I felt much better and went back to sleep until we both woke up at 7.30am. How cool is that!!!!!!!!!!! The next night was back to the old pattern but now I’m awake again at 4.30am just expressing a bit of milk and my little one is sleeping like a baby. I can hear him grunt and groan and move around but he is putting himself back to sleep. I’m so proudof him and I’m so proud of myself and my husband.
Our little boy is bright, happy, fun, spirited, inquisitive, extremely energetic and a really loving little boy. He loves to be in the stroller now and makes goo goo eyes at everyone they see. They stop and talk to him and he rewards them with lots of laughter and smiles and hand waving and bouncing. He sits in his Ergo carrier when he needs to be closer to us and watches the world go by and drifts off to sleep if he needs to. He goes to sleep in Daddy’s arms as Daddy walks up and down the stairs. It used to take 20 sets of stairs, but now, as soon as he lays in Daddy’s arms and we turn out the hall light, he’s asleep in two sets of stair climbs. After his bath, if I’m helping him go to sleep that night, he’ll feed furiously for 10 minutes then throw his head back on the pillow and go to sleep. Then when I put him in his cot, he rolls on his tummy, puts his bum in the air, sighs deeply and drifts off to dreamland. He used to be a car seat screamer, but now he only squawks for 5 seconds when we put him in. He’ll play or listen to music or sing with Mummy or go to sleep. He loves to crawl, climb and creep. His latest trick is to climb the stairs at breakneck pace.
So, what I guess I’m saying to you is thank you for helping me to do what I knew was right for my little baby boy. I now know in my heart that I’ve done the right thing. He’s needed us to help him settle into the world and to find his way. He’s such a sensitive little soul that I think the world was a bit overwhelming for him. Now, he knows that the world is a fun place to be and Mum and Dad are there to enjoy it with him every step of the way. It brings me so much joy to know that we’ve met this first parenting challenge. It was not easy as his need for contact, security and our presence was just so strong. But, the things that made him hard work at the beginning (ie strong will and iron determination) are now the things that are helping him make his mark. I’m so glad that I followed his lead.
Sorry this is such a long winded email, but I wanted to put into words why it matters to me so much that I persisted with what I knew was right. The journey isn’t over yet and life isn’t perfect…but it’s sure darn close!”
Warmest wishes and thanks,