While I was pregnant for the twins, I worked full time until 32 weeks, then stopped work to be home to "rest." All of a sudden I was faced with hours of free time without being able to tolerate being on my feet for very long. (Couldn't even see my feet let alone stand on them) TV during the day was very boring. So I started to read; about pregnancy, delivery, breast feeding, the benefits of co-sleeping, the hazards of co-sleeping, infant care, scheduling, what to expect in the first 6 weeks, what to expect in the first 6 months, what to expect in the first year, how to start solid foods, when to start solid foods... I was a bit of a maniac.
This continued after the girls were born, only in a much more frantic and sleep deprived state. I think I read just about every book I could get my hands on that dealt with infants and sleep. Eric would come home from work at night and I would say, ok I think we need to start feeding them every hour for the 4 hours before bed and then maybe they will sleep longer....didn't work, so a few nights later I would say, I read that if we let them cry for intervals of 5 minutes at a time before going to them they will learn to go back to sleep on their own, didn't work. And so it went. I believe we finally had them sleeping through the night at around a year and we did have to let them "cry it out" a bit, but by that time they were ready and it didn't last long.
What I should have learned after the first 10 books is that whatever one book says, another will contradict it (such is life). Finally, I had to just choose a book that suited our family and go with it.
The best book I read about sleep was " Healthy Sleep Habits, Happy Twins" by Dr. Marc Weissbluth. It finally gave the advice I needed and could follow. (He also wrote a book for parents of singletons called Healthy Sleep Habits, Happy Child.) Hopefully, I will be more prepared when #3 comes and we won't have to survive a year before consistent sleep is had again by all. And I won't have to read a whole library before I am comfortable trusting my instincts!
So I will cross my fingers that we have a good sleeper on the way. In the meantime, my quest for the perfect parenting guide continues, as I am currently reading 2 new books on raising toddlers! I will let you know how it turns out. But be sure that if I don't think it is working, I will find another book!