The 5 Toddler Sleep Training Books You Should 1000% Read

Author Image By Paula McLaren - Norland Nurse NNEB RSH •  Updated: 01/04/24 •  Sleep / Sleep Training

If you are looking for toddler sleep training books I’m willing to bet that you’re overwhelmed with the sheer number of options to choose from.

And with most of the sleep training books focusing on baby sleep… 

Which one is right for you and your toddler?

And how can you ensure the sleep training book you pick will offer you solutions that are achievable and fit with your parenting style?

Well, you’re in luck. 

With over 40 years as a Norland Nanny, I’ve done more than my fair share of sleep-training toddlers.

I’ve studied countless books and research papers to help identify which method will work best with each child I’ve cared for.

And today I want to share that knowledge with you so that you can make the most informed decision when choosing toddler sleep training books for your family.

Toddler Sleep Training Books Featured Image

A Note Before We Begin

I always offer parenting and training book recommendations with caution, because without any previous childcare knowledge, it can be hard to decipher the advice on offer, as one book will rarely solve all your child’s sleep issues in one go.

Reading lots of books and trying multiple methods to see what works for your family is the best technique when sleep training a toddler. 

Avoid following methods that are not working just because some expert says they should.

Having said this there are a few toddler sleep training books out there that are worth taking a look at from which you can pick out the golden nuggets of wisdom.

The 5 Very Best Toddler Sleep Training Books

Having researched sleep training extensively and specializing in sleep issues as a Norland Nanny, here is a comprehensive list of what I consider to be the must-read toddler sleep training books on the market.

1. No-Cry Sleep Solution for Toddlers by Elizabeth Pantley and Harvey Karp 

Unlike many sleep training books, the No Cry Sleep Solution is specifically designed to help parents who are battling with toddler sleep and offers a lot more than just sleep training for bedtime. 

Elizabeth Pantley tackles all manner of sleep issues such as naptime problems, special sleep issues for twins, repeated nighttime visits to parents’ beds and so much more. 

If you are looking for a book that tries to look at toddler sleep issues from all angles then this is the one for you. You should also bear in mind that Elizabeth’s approach is gentle and child-centred so there will be no ‘crying it out’ in her solutions.

The No-Cry Sleep Solution for Toddlers and Preschoolers

Gently guiding your toddler to better sleep becomes less of a battle with this book. The No-Cry Sleep Solution aims to provide you with researched, kind methods that respect your child's needs. 

Implementing the tips provided feels relevant and doable, as each chapter follows through with advice matched to common situations. 

What's truly beneficial is the understanding of sleep you gain. It's a relief to have your experiences validated and then addressed, flipping the script on bedtime struggles.

You're not just reading; you're learning and applying new strategies each night.

  • Endorsed by many parents over the last 18 years for its effectiveness
  • Focused on gentle techniques
  • Includes valuable research insights
  • Offers specific advice for 1-5 year olds
  • Follows a gentle child-centred approach
  • Covers a variety of bedtime issues such as night wakings and getting your toddler to stay in bed
  • May not work for every child
  • Some information might overlap with books you've previously read
  • The solutions require patience and time
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2. The Gentle Sleep Book by Sarah Ockwell-Smith

The Gentle Sleep Book covers a wide range of ages from 0-5 years but I have included it in my list as I know from personal experience many parents who have used it and found it invaluable and refer to it as their ‘Sleep Bible’.

I believe this book is ideal for parents who are more relaxed about toddler sleep training but still want to raise a child with healthy sleep habits.

The Gentle Sleep Book: Sleep Solutions for Parents of Newborns to Five-Year-Olds

Sarah Ockwell Smith provides a holistic insight into childhood sleep in this book. She explains that very often our expectations are way too high when we expect our little ones to sleep through the night and that we aim for this perfection when they are not developmentally programmed to do so.

In a lot of ways, this is a book that makes parents who are battling with sleep issues feel ‘OK’ with what they are doing whether that be co-sleeping or nursing to sleep.

If you are happy to take this more relaxed approach to sleep training then this is probably the book for you.

  • Offers a gentle approach to sleep training
  • Offers reliable evidence-based advice
  • Deals with night wakings as well as bedtime issues
  • Offers advice for each developmental stage
  • Covers how to deal with daytime nap issues too
  • Mentions that bed sharing is OK... which is not for everyone
  • The solutions take time... however, there's never a quick fix
  • May be considered more of a parent self-help book than a sleep training book
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3. Solve Your Child’s Sleep Problems by Richard Ferber

The sleep training classic Solve Your Child’s Sleep Problems has been revised and updated to deal with bedtime battles, nighttime waking, sleep terrors, and bedwetting in our modern world.

Though the book is vast, it’s a well of wisdom and you will find it addresses situations many other books do not. 

Patience is key when implementing the techniques laid out, but persistence transforms nights from waking nightmares into peaceful slumber.

If you think Dr Ferber’s methods are all about letting your little one cry it out, think again. This book has so much more to offer and can give you valuable insight into childhood sleep. (It’s actually what I have based my tried and tested toddler sleep training method on)

Solve Your Child's Sleep Problems: New, Revised, and Expanded Edition

Putting an end to sleepless nights often seems like an uphill battle. 'Solve Your Child's Sleep Problems' acts as a trusty aide in this challenge. 

Each page reflects real parenting trials and triumphs, providing comfort that you're not alone in the quest for sleep.

Importantly the advice given isn't just theory; it's peppered with relatable scenarios. Dr Ferber’s knowledge provides important basic information, equipping you with what you need to tackle sleep training head-on.

  • Offers a step-by-step approach for various sleep issues
  • Includes real-world strategies that are flexible for family needs
  • Provides a comprehensive understanding of children's sleep patterns
  • The techniques may not align with all parenting styles
  • Some methods might take longer to see results
  • The book's size could be cumbersome for quick reference
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4. It’s Never Too Late To Sleep Train by Dr Craig Canapari

Written by a pediatrician, It’s Never Too Late To Sleep Train evolved from a father’s first-hand experience of sleep training his child coupled with years of clinical expertise.

The reason it’s 4th on my list is that the method is focused on letting babies cry it out.

Now, I am not an advocate of the cry-it-out sleep training method… HOWEVER…

A lot of parents have had great success with this book and its techniques and I would not be doing my job if I did not share ALL my knowledge of sleep training a toddler with you.

So if you’ve tried every other option for sleep training and nothing has worked, this book might be the one to change all that.

It's Never too Late to Sleep Train: The Low Stress Way to High Quality Sleep for Babies, Kids and Parents

In many ways, this book is written for the parents who are at the end of their tether. Those who have realized they do not have control over their little one's sleep and need serious help to get things back on track.

While exploring the different sleep training methods available, Dr Craig Canapri focuses on cues and consequences which are both very important to young children and he is on your side against bedtime battles.

As one reviewer puts it Dr Craig Canapari’s advice is ‘clear, funny, actionable, and yet flexible enough to work in various modern family configurations and parenting philosophies'

  • Expert knowledge
  • Peer-reviewed and approved
  • Simple easy to follow strategies
  • Aimed at helping children who are often considered outside the optimum age group to sleep train (6 months to 6 years old)
  • Focuses on bedtime sleep training and not night wakings
  • Some may find some of the methods harsh
  • The author does swear occasionally throughout the book
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5. My Toddler Sleep Training Techniques

Finally, if none of these books fit with what you’re looking for, or if you’d like some free sleep training advice, read my blog post about sleep training a toddler.

In the post, I talk about why it’s important to sleep train toddlers and the benefits of creating healthy sleep habits…

As well as help you learn exactly HOW to sleep train your toddler and identify the best sleep training method for your family. (Including my personal tried and tested technique!).

I even cover the best ways to handle common sleep training challenges you may face.

All this for free.

A pretty good deal if you ask me.

You can check out that post here: Sleep Training A Toddler: Instantly End Bedtime Battles!

Calm sleeping toddler boy in blue bed sheets cuddling a brown teddy bear

What To Look For When Choosing Toddler Sleep Training Books

Choosing a parenting and training book is very different from choosing a storybook.

Whilst storybooks inspire a child’s imagination, a parenting book must teach you methods of action that make your life smoother and easier.

For this reason, it’s important to choose toddler sleep training books that meet the following criteria:

1. Age Appropriateness

Many sleep training books cover a wide range of ages and often start from newborn. However, that should not prevent you from picking a book that talks about all ages of sleep.

Instead, check the contents and see what toddler sleep issues are covered in the book.

You never know… The sleep guidance for younger children may come in useful if you have another baby!

2. Reading Level and Clarity

Select books you can understand easily and that do not waffle on and confuse. Look for clear-to-follow and actionable advice that makes sense to you.

If you’re in a bookstore, read a few pages. If you’re ordering online, see if you can read a preview… or check the reviews and see what other parents are saying.

3. Methodology

Examine the sleep training methods identified in the book. Not all sleep training methods are right for every family. 

If you are dead against the cry-it-out method, then make sure you choose a book that follows a more gentle approach.

Whatever methods the book advocates should align with your parenting style and comfort level.

4. Author Expertise

Consider their real-life experience too and note whether they back up their sleep philosophies with reliable research and facts. Their background in child development or sleep research is a big plus.

Have they studied childhood sleep at university? Have they worked with children? Have they ever tried to sleep-train more than one child? Or are their books based on studies or real-life experiences?

5. Reviews and Recommendations

Peer recommendations can be invaluable when choosing a toddler sleep training book.

Have any of your friends or relatives got a book you can borrow? Do they have a favorite sleep training method they prefer to use with their children?

If you’ve found a book you want to try… what does the online review section say?

6. Format and Accessibility

When choosing toddler sleep training books, also consider which format you prefer to access it in.

It doesn’t matter whether the book is digital, audible, or printed – as long as you can easily access it and will actually ‘read’ it, any format will do.

7. Diagrams and Illustrations

Illustrations can often help explain tricky concepts. If you are a visual learner, check for useful images that clarify the text, or look for YouTube videos about a specific toddler sleep training method instead. 

Remember, finding the right toddler sleep training book can make sleep training more manageable. Choose wisely to support your child’s healthy sleep habits and your parenting style. 

And as always, remember that every child and family are different, and finding what works best for YOU is key. Don’t be swayed by popular or faddy methods. 

Looking to get your little one to sleep quickly and effortlessly? Check out my Bedtime and Nap Cheat Sheet and master the art of making daytime naps and bedtimes as seamless as possible.

Frequently Asked Questions About Toddler Sleep Training Books

Looking for more information about toddler sleep training books? You’re in the right place! 

Here are the most frequently asked questions answered just for you.

Q: What are the best strategies for sleep training toddlers?

A: The best sleep training strategy is the one that works. Whether it is the ‘cry it out’ method or a gentler approach that involves slowly phasing out sleep associations… always choose the one you feel most comfortable with. You are more likely to stick with the program if you believe in it.

Q: How can I help my toddler learn to sleep through the night?

A: Establishing a consistent bedtime routine which involves going to bed at the same time every night and creating a cosy sleep environment can greatly help your toddler sleep through the night.

Having a stable daily routine with enough age-appropriate daytime sleep that also functions within clear boundaries can stop your toddler from becoming overtired and help them feel secure and more likely to settle peacefully at bedtime.

Q: At what age can I start using sleep training books to guide my toddler’s sleeping habits?

A: Most sleep training books suggest starting as early as 4-6 months, but you can adapt techniques to your toddler’s development and developmental readiness. If you’re struggling with your toddler’s sleep habits, the best age to start guiding their sleep in a healthier direction is right now.

Q: Are there any sleep training methods that are particularly effective for toddlers?

A: Methods like the ‘Ferber Method’ or ‘Chair Method’ can be very effective for toddlers, since they balance independence with the reassurance of your presence. While I am not a fan of the cry-it-out method for young babies… with toddlers who refuse to stay in bed, this method can be used as a last resort.

Q: What techniques can I use to ease the transition during sleep training for my toddler?

A: You can use techniques like a special sleep-time toy or gradual waiting to help your toddler adjust to the new sleep routine.

Q: Can sleep training books offer guidance on naptime routines for toddlers?

A: Yes, toddler sleep training books usually provide insights on establishing a consistent naptime routine that complements nighttime sleep. For more information about sleep training for naps, read this post: Sleep Training For Naps.

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Author Image Bio
Paula McLaren is the founder of Teething to Tantrums and a highly qualified childcare expert with over 40 years of experience as a Norland Nanny. She holds a BA (Hons) in Early Years Development & Learning (0-6 Years) and the prestigious Norland Diploma. Paula has worked as a night nanny, run a successful daycare center in London, and helped raise countless children using her tried and tested developmental and guidance methods.

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