A guest post from Melissa Sher:
Dear Baby Book Publisher,
I know the drill. Slap a picture of a sleeping baby on the cover of a parenting book, and it will sell. Some are good. Some are okay. Some are so bad that the authors are in trouble with the American Academy of Pediatrics.
I know all of this because I’ve bought most of them over the years. And I figure, if they can do it, so can I. I’m a mom. My kids sleep. Sometimes. Here are my ideas for a new crop of baby sleep books just waiting to become bestsellers:
1. Solve Your Child’s Sleep Problems … In the Car: Dr. Richard Ferber wrote what many consider to be the bible of sleep manuals. He also heads the Center for Pediatric Sleep Disorders at Children’s Hospital in Boston. In my book, I advise parents to put their kids in the car and take a road trip to see Dr. Ferber in Boston. When you’re on the road, the kids will eventually fall asleep and parents can pull over and get some shuteye as well. (For Boston-based readers, I suggest driving to visit Dr. Marc Weissbluth in Chicago.)
2. Happiest Kid at the Plaza: Dr. Karp wrote Happiest Baby on the Block. Kay Thompson wrote Eloise. My book combines the two. I suggest staying at the Plaza Hotel, ordering room service and then letting your kid run wild. At the end of the day, your little Eloise should fall into bed from exhaustion — but if she refuses to go to sleep, at least she’ll be staying in character.
3. Good Night, Sleep Tight, Don’t Let the Bed Bugs Bite: Did you ever read Kim West’s Good Night, Sleep Tight: The Sleep Lady’s Gentle Guide to Helping Your Child Go to Sleep, Stay Asleep and Wake Up Happy? My book is nothing like hers. In mine, I encourage parents to share articles and local news stories about the bed bug epidemic with their children ages three and up — at bedtime. Before the lights are turned out, children are told, “Good night. Sleep tight. Don’t get out of bed until 7 a.m. or the bed bugs will bite.” Trust me, those kids won’t get out of bed until morning.
4. On Becoming Babysitterwise: Hire a babysitter and go out for the night. Don’t mention that you’ve been having trouble getting your kid to sleep. The sitter is on the clock and getting paid. She’ll figure something out. As with On Becoming Babywise, mine will be the first title in a series. The second volume is called On Becoming Grandparentwise.
5. Secrets of the Baby Snorer: The Baby Whisperer has her techniques for calming a baby — and I have mine. If your partner snores, have them sleep in the baby’s room. Baby will think they’re playing a game, then eventually she’ll lose interest and drift off to sleep. You will not only have a sleeping baby but, since you’ve sent your noisy spouse off to the nursery, you’ll get some quiet in the bedroom.
I look forward to hearing from you. (Do you think buying clothes for my book tour is premature?)
Photo: National Media Museum/Flickr