precious little sleep book review

There are so many different methods out there to sleep train your baby, it can be confusing to figure out what will work best. Every baby is different so what works for one baby might not work for another. That’s what Alexis Dubief aims to help with in her book Precious Little Sleep.


She starts off describing different things parents could be doing to mess up their baby’s sleep. This section can either make you feel pretty bad about your parenting…. or superior, depending on how well you’ve been doing. But it is super helpful in knowing what thing you need to drop from the bedtime routine.


She goes on to talk about baby sleep “power tools” such as white noise and pacifiers and how to use them effectively depending on the age of your child. The tools are mostly all super effective from birth but she talks about how and when to wean your baby from them to keep them from being a bad sleep association (which by the way, she talks about positive sleep associations! I love this because I feel like in all my research about baby sleep everything was negative).


From here she goes on into part 1 of her sleep training method, she calls SWAP (sleep with assistance plan). This plan is meant for young babies, using these “power tools” to get them to sleep and then slowly weaning off of them to teach them to sleep without them. I didn’t read this book until Gideon was 9 months old so I cannot attest to her plan’s effectiveness, but from what I’ve learned through my own research, her sources, and my own experience with Gideon, I think her method seems pretty painless and effective and I think I would like to try it out with my next baby. It should be noted that this sleep training plan is not meant to be a quick fix, but more like slowly training your little baby to become a big baby that can sleep on their own. It takes weeks rather than days.


After this she goes onto part 2 of her plan: SLIP (sleep learning independence plan). This plan is meant for older babies who did not go through SWAP and is basically a modified version of either gradual extinction or full extinction, whichever you prefer or whichever works best for your baby. We did kind of use this plan and it worked very very well for our baby! We started off using a more “gentle” method which ended in more tears than this did… but he is a stubborn one.


Lastly she goes over night waking, night weaning, naps, regressions, daylight savings, and pretty much any other sleep deterrent you could think of.


Overall, Dubief is very comical in her writing which helps spice up what can otherwise be a pretty dull topic. Her methods are reliable and her advice is solid. Her book did take me a bit to get through, though I’m not sure if it was because of the length or because of being busy, but either way I wish it was a little quicker of a read for busy parents. She does have a helpful index though to get you to the chapter you need when you need it. I would definitely recommend this book to new parents looking for help in getting their baby to sleep! I will be passing it on to Sarah in months to come.

Have you read Precious Little Sleep? Did it help you? Let us know what you thought about it in the comments below and remember if you have a question (or book suggestion!) you can always Ask a Bestie!