My latest read is a fascinating approach to getting your children to sleep, and keep on sleeping well. Diana G. Blanco has assembled a lifetime of experience and years of research into "Smooth Baby Sleep," her latest foray into helping children and parents actually lead better lives through the usage of her parenting principles. I actually reached out to Diana because she is a parent of twins, and we all know that a twin mom knows that if she is going to preach, it better take multiples into account if we're going to take it seriously.
What makes "Smooth Baby Sleep" better than the rest is simple. First, Diana tells us all about herself. A former corporate executive, Diana was also a terrible sleeper growing up. Because of this, she had an early curiosity about parenting that turned out to be a passionate hobby she educated herself on relentlessly; that is, until she had her twins. After her twins arrived (two months premature), her motherly instincts kicked in and changed her life. It was the push she needed to give up the boardroom to excel in the babies' bedroom.
Another feature that keeps the reader moving is that Diana recognizes that there is no such thing as a single, proven method. What I mean by this is that Diana makes it clear early on that this book is going to empower the reader to use her guidelines (complete with charts and templates!), but use their own situation to formulate their own plan suited to their own needs. She is a firm believer (as I am) that every parent may have a good tip to pluck, and this is why you should not discount the opinions of others. Diana is currently a parenting, family, and life coach; so you know she is taking her own advice by using her experience and taking the finer points out of years of helping people through tough (and tired) times!
Probably the best part about the book, and what I found the most clever aspect, is that Diana knows that tired parents want answers yesterday (a direct quote)! Diana has conveniently split her work into convenient chapters. For those who want the answers right away, and want to read about Diana's credentials later, they can just jump around and use the help in parts. When they get ahead of their schedules after some help, they can go back and develop a more involved plan with the downloadable templates. There is even a chapter on unique situations, for those dealing with multiples or autism, and other suggestions for those schedule breakers like Daylight Savings, traveling and nightmares.
Without giving up any secrets, let's just say that the chapters present a clear and precise way to find your situation, attack the problems affecting your family the most, and then re-immerse yourself later when the immediate stress is relieved. While the parts are wonderful, I encourage parents to read the entire book when the opportunity presents itself. I know I always prefer to know the "why" behind the how, and if nothing seems to be working for you, knowing the "why" might just help you re-focus your plan.
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