Print this page Share

The Dream Sleeper: A Three-Part Plan for Getting Your Baby to Love Sleep

ISBN: 978-1-118-01842-2
288 pages
March 2012, Jossey-Bass
The Dream Sleeper: A Three-Part Plan for Getting Your Baby to Love Sleep (1118018427) cover image


Dream Team's new way to a good night's sleep for babies and parents

With a simple and easy-to-follow plan for today's fast-moving (and often sleep-deprived) parents, this book offers a new, modern approach to teaching babies how to sleep independently. The authors' proven methods, prepared with a team of esteemed pediatric advisors, show anyone how to coach their baby to sleep through the night on his or her own. The importance of preparation, consistency, and patience is explained in a down-to-earth style.

  • A primer on the science of sleep
  • Instructions for setting up the sleeping environment and creating sleeping and eating schedules
  • Advice on identifying sleep associations and creating a support system
  • Checklists and strategies to implement the three-part plan

With respect for many styles of parenting, this step-by-step program includes methods for helping baby get a good night's sleep.

See More

Table of Contents

Foreword by Amy DeMattia xi

Meet Our Dream Team xv

Preface xix

Acknowledgments xxi

Introduction: A Perfect Little World—Until Sleep Deprivation Knocks at Your Door 1

PART ONE Get Ready!

Great sleep teaching begins with choice, change, and flexibility, not a quick fix.

1 What You Should Know Before You Start 7

The benefits of getting good sleep and a look at different philosophies on sleep. How to know whether your baby is ready for sleep teaching—and whether you are too.

2 Sleep Science 101 19

How sleep develops in children and the truth about night wakings. The science behind the reasons sleep is a learned skill—and the reason that going with your child’s natural sleep tendencies doesn’t work for a lot of babies. Also includes an overview of safe sleeping practices. An important chapter for all parents struggling with their child’s sleep issues.


The six critical steps in guiding your baby toward sleep success.

3 Setting the Stage 37

Setting up your baby’s room to encourage better sleep and how to deal with unique or challenging sleep situations such as sharing a room.

4 Identifying Your Child’s Sleep Associations 57

Sleep associations are one of the biggest barriers to sleep. What sleep associations are, the negative associations common in young children, and the more positive associations parents should try to incorporate into their baby’s sleep time.

5 Creating a Daytime Sleeping and Eating Schedule 65

A guide to setting up the ideal eating and sleeping schedule, broken down by ages (birth to two months, two to four months, four to six months, six to fifteen months, fifteen months to three years).

6 Fixing Potential Feeding Issues 79

Examining and then maximizing your child’s feedings to quell fears of nighttime hunger and make sleep easier and more straightforward.

7 Setting Up a Support System 99

Reasons that parents should be equal participants in the sleep teaching process and ideas for getting aligned.

8 Keeping Emotional Issues in Check 109

Tips for managing your expectations of your child’s sleep, being the best sleep teacher you can be, and handling the guilt associated with hearing your child cry.


Where the real work of sleep teaching begins—and continues.

9 Creating Your Lesson Plan 123

Picking the best day to begin, choosing a bedtime, deciding which room or place will work best to sleep-teach, teaching multiples, and emotionally preparing toddlers.

10 The First Twenty-Four Hours 143

The meat of our proven approach for putting a baby down for the night, interpreting different types of cries, determining how to respond to your child while he or she learns, and what to expect throughout the first night.

11 The Next Two Weeks (Including Naps) 173

The challenges associated with napping, what to do when a schedule isn’t working, and how to make modifications to your overall sleep plan.

12 Keeping It Going 195

Various issues that affect sleep, even in children who love sleep: dropping a nap, dealing with sickness or teething, travel disruptions, when to move your child to a toddler bed, and more.

Appendix A: Frequently Asked Questions 213

Newborn and Baby 213

Toddler 218

Feeding 221

Sleep Teaching 223

Crying 229

Napping 231

Odds and Ends 232

Appendix B: Sleep Teaching Overview 239

Appendix C: Worksheet Templates 241

Worksheet 1: Sleeping and Eating Log 241

Worksheet 2: Contract for Sleep Teaching 243

Worksheet 3: Your Child’s Sleep Schedule 246

References 249

About the Authors 251

Index 253

See More

Author Information

Conner Herman & Kira Ryan founded Dream Team Baby with the help of an advisory board including a neurologist, pediatrician, nurse practitioner, psychologist, and behavioral therapist. Together they created new ways of getting children to love sleep.
See More

Press Release

April 12, 2012
The Dream Sleeper: Get Your Baby to Love Sleep

"Finally, a realisitc and modern approach to helping baby sleep from two of the best sleep experts around.  The Dream Sleepr is an invaluable guide with advice from real (and formerly sleep-deprived) moms, plus great anecdotes and tips for navigating all the baby sleep challenges both new and experience parents face.  I wish I had this book when my babies were learning to sleep!” Carley Roney, Co-founder and Editor in Chief of TheBump.com



SAN FRANCISCO, CA - From almost the moment parents welcome home a new baby they are asked, “How’s the little one sleeping?”   While the responses may vary, often the answer is, “not through the night,” causing parents to have to sift through the seemingly endless array of sleep solutions – both on & off line.  Hoping that the chosen approach will have everyone in the family feeling (and sleeping) better?  

THE DREAM SLEEPER: A Three-Part Plan for Getting Your Baby to Love Sleep (Jossey-Bass, March 2012, 978-1-118-02842-2;Paper;$17.95) sets a peaceful new precedent and is sure to become a “must-have” among sleep books.   Written by two real moms (along with their pediatric advisory board) who have a proven track record for helping parents all over the country get their baby to bed, this book helps newborns and toddlers learn to love sleep.

Savvy, compassionate and authoritative, THE DREAM SLEEPER appeals to all parents who face sleep challenges and connect with them in an engaging, yet relevant way.

As one satisfied parent said, “Since Owen was born, I couldn’t get much rest and was getting frustrated, so I read every book that was out there, and the only consistent message I got was sleep is good for the baby.  I just needed someone to tell me what to do – and that is was going to be ok.  The Dream Sleeper experts did just that and got us through the rough patch relatively quickly.”

The book is divided into three parts – for parents only interested in learning about sleep mechanics, for those interested in a more flexible approach to sleep improvement, and for parents ready to make change immediately through a step-by-step sleep teaching approach.

In today’s parenting culture, parents judge parents now more than ever. Dream Team Baby seeks to bring parental confidence and positivity back into sleep and sleep teaching. Dream Team Baby helps to restore balance to families’ lives and set children on the road to a lifetime of great sleep.

See More

Buy Both and Save 25%!


The Dream Sleeper: A Three-Part Plan for Getting Your Baby to Love Sleep (US $17.95)

-and- The Purpose of Boys: Helping Our Sons Find Meaning, Significance, and Direction in Their Lives (US $17.95)

Total List Price: US $35.90
Discounted Price: US $26.92 (Save: US $8.98)

Buy Both
Cannot be combined with any other offers. Learn more.
Back to Top