Why are Child Sleep Books So Extreme?

SleepWe’ve been having some sleep issues at home recently, so my wife borrowed a few sleep books from the library. One thing I have noticed is that they all seems so extreme! It’s basically all or nothing, with one book stating that you should leave your child to cry for up to 1 hour without comforting them.

We’re first time parents going through this with a 9 month old that has just learnt to stand in his cot, crawl everywhere and no doubt starting to get separation anxiety when put in his room alone. We don’t think that we need to be this extreme.

We plan on taking in some of the advice common to most books, such as a defined and repeated bed-time routine of dinner, bath, story, lullaby, bed. But we’re not prepared to just let our son cry himself to sleep, but taking him into his room and preparing for bed and allowing him to protest and cry about being there while being held, then once he understands that we’re not giving in he tends to calm down and give in.

Once we’ve got to this point we will lay him down in his cot and gently pat an reassure him until he’s almost asleep.

Are we doing this all wrong? Is the all or nothing approach of these books the only way to go? Are we too nice as parents?

I’d love to hear your real life experiences in the comments!