Still Awake: Responsive sleep tools for toddlers to tweens
- Expert contributions from more than 20 professionals from all over the world who work in sleep and related fields with this age group
- Advice for parents of children who are adopted/fostered, or who have chronic health problems and disability
- Perspectives from parents from around the world and from different cultures
Review Hide Reviews
A breath of fresh air in the noisy word of "sleep experts"
Lyndsey is a former paediatric nurse, IBCLC, PhD student, author and founder of the Holistic Sleep Coaching Program, and full disclosure, as a fellow "mother in science/research" i have a major academic crush on Lyndsey. I was first introduced to her ground breaking public engagement work on infant sleep when i was knees deep in a rollercoaster sleep journey with my first child. Having tried (unsuccessfully) to sleep train (it ended up in both of us in floods of tears), i vowed never to go down that route again, but had no idea how to "fix" my child's sleep or correct the "feeding to sleep" that everyone told me was wrong. I stumbled across Lyndsey's Instagram page, and it immediately validated me, i took a huge deep breath and realised that my child was not broken, he did not need "fixing" and i could keep whipping that boob out for as long as it still worked for us. Lyndsey's book "let's talk about your new family's sleep" became a staple in our household whilst preparing for our 2nd child, and we are now proud bed sharers and yes...i still breastfeed both my children to sleep! I was therefore super excited to receive Lyndsey's latest book to see what little nuggets of info and advice we could apply to our family situation. "Still Awake" is a comprehensive, evidence based book all about sleep from toddler to tween. Considering we all sleep, I was shocked to see how little I actually knew about normal biological sleep and how to optimise it! If you are looking for "quick fixes" for sleep problems, then this definitely won't be the book for you, but if you want to have a deeper understanding of the HOWs and WHYs of normal childhood sleep then I'm not sure you can get a better book. Lyndsey approaches sleep from a "holistic" perspective and looks at sleep as part of the bigger picture in yours and your children's lives, something that feels extremely unique in the very noisy world of self proclaimed and unregulated "sleep experts". The tips on how to improve your own sleep as parents is invaluable, because, lets face it, most of us prioritise ourselves last out of everyone, but the focus on not just supporting your child to have better sleep, but also you and your co-parent was so refreshing.. Every chapter I read had some brilliant tips to help gently support sleep and streamline bed time, and we have already included many of these tips in our routine. For our almost 4 year old, we love "silly time" and have incorporated some running about, tickle fights and bouncing on the bed before our wind down time of bath, and playing with Duplo whilst listening to an audio book. He is actively involved in his bedtime now by choosing what to listen to or what book to read, and chooses which night light he wants, we also encouraged him to choose a teddy to cuddle, and he now has a dinosaur he is particularly attached to. Since implementing these super simple strategies, he has been waking less frequently, and is settling back to sleep much quicker. Was it these little changes, or was it just the increased confidence in the "normal" that made the difference for us? Who knows, but the changes were simple, easy and have helped us all to have a chilled out bed time. A really interesting part of this book is the addition of small inserts by other professionals, known as "expert view", which gives a different perspective, and often beautiful personal stories surrounding specific sleep or parenting topics. The layout of these is my one and only little bug bear about this book, as the "expert view" boxes are often placed in the middle of paragraphs or subsections, so they often made me loose my concentration on the context of the section i was reading. My favourite chapter is the one on feeding to sleep and night feeding. I have always wondered whether i have caused a problem by feeding both my children to sleep from the day they were born to the present day, and this chapter made me sigh with relief. Rather than framing it as a problem, or a "rod for your own back", Lyndsey acknowledges the often important and complex relationship that surrounds night feeding and feeding to sleep, but mostly highlights how it is biologically normal, and totally OK to continue to feed to sleep as long as it still works for you and your child(ren).. Although this book is based in scientific research and biologically normal sleep physiology and psychology, it is extremely accessible and a very easy read, even for a sleep deprived parent! It even covers areas such as LGBTQ support and parenting children with complex medical needs with compassion and understanding - so there is genuinely likely something for everyone. To me, it feels like one of those books that you read over and over again, and i have folded so many pages down for quick future reference (sorry to anyone who hates a corner fold), but first, i have a line of parent friends who are gagging to borrow it, so i'll have to wait a while to have a second delve. Overall, it made me feel validated and that's the greatest gift you can give any tired, and worried parent.