on March 31, 2009
My 23-month-old (still breastfed) son has just now started sleeping through from 8:30 pm to 7 am, every night. He's sleeping well because he's happy, comforted, comfortable, and secure - not out of exhaustion & frustration. We never did "let him cry it out", and were convinced there had to be a gentle, loving way to help him learn to sleep well - there is, and this book shows you how. I think this book has a lot to offer every sleep-deprived parent - co-sleeping or not, breast or bottle-fed - without making value judgements.
I can't say enough about the "No-cry sleep solution". I'm certain that I'd still be waking up 4-5 times a night with my son now (as I did for the first 20 months of his life) if it weren't for this book (the original or "toddler" version - I've read both). If you're looking for a loving & gentle alternative to chronic sleep-deprivation of the worst order, without any crying (for you or your child), this book is a great choice.
This book was recommended to me by an expert board-certified lactation consultant who I know & trust very well. She specifically commented that this book is compatible/realistic in expectations regarding breastfed babies, where she didn't feel that some other books, like "Baby Whisperer" are (and I agree with her on that).
Just to show how far we've come in three months, thanks to this book: I'm still breastfeeding my son, just not during the night. He understands this, and is OK with it (he says "Milk in the morning" with a smile as we get him ready for bed in the evening). After we finish cuddling & reading in the evening, he *asks* to go into his bed, where he clearly feels cozy and happy. He asks to hold hands with me for just a few minutes, then he lets go (while still awake), and I sit with him until he falls asleep, usually 10 minutes or so. He's asleep by 8:30 pm, and wakes up at 7 am, calling out "Mummy? Good morning Mummy!", rested and smiling (he *always* used to wake up crying, and was still quite obviously tired, but I think he just didn't know how to go back to sleep). We cuddle & he nurses first thing when he wakes up, and then we're ready to start the day. Now I'm sleeping enough that I can even get up and - gasp - have a shower and be dressed before he wakes up, so our morning routine to get out of the house is a lot faster & easier. And my husband and I are back in our own bed together, yay! I'm a much nicer & more patient Mummy with a decent night's sleep, and my son is very happy & well-rested now too.
on May 25, 2002
I was desperate and this book saved me. My 15 month old was waking up every 2 hours every single night. He wouldn't nap more than 20 minutes. I was seriously sleep-deprived.
I let my first baby cry it out 4 years ago - it took 5 weeks and she would cry for hours at a time, and I cried too. And then we had to do it over again after teething or a cold or a vacation. I still regret it, but back then I didn't think I had any other choice. But now there was no way I would go through that torture again, so I suffered through 15 months of sleeplessness instead.
A friend gave me The No Cry Sleep Solution 4 weeks ago and we have made incredible progress! My baby falls asleep so much easier and wakes up only once. He takes a 2-hour nap, too.
I love that this book doesn't assume that all babies - or all parents - are alike. It gives a tremendous variety of ideas to choose from. It covers every possible aspect of baby sleep - from routines, to habits, to the sleep environment, to creating sleep-cues, to reading your baby's sleepy signals.
The chapter on Basic Sleep Facts taught me all I needed to know about my baby's sleep problems, without being overly long or technical. I like that the reader creates a personal sleep plan from the many ideas in the book, and I like that the author doesn't dictate one right way. You can be a co-sleeper or a crib-sleeper, a breastfeeder or a bottle feeder, use a pacifier or not - she respects all your choices and gives you ideas to work within the range of your own comfort zone.
The tone is compassionate and caring, like reading a letter from a kind and wise friend. I plan to give this book as a shower gift and new baby gift every chance I get. No one should suffer through sleepless nights OR crying it out - this book is the absolute answer to gentle baby sleep -- and better mommy and daddy sleep, too. (There's even a chapter on how adults can get better sleep too.)
If your baby is keeping you up at night this is the smartest [money] you could ever spend. ZZZZZZZZ
on January 14, 2014
As many parents who have a child with sleeping problems know, there are two basic schools of thoughts when it comes to "teaching" your child how to sleep - the "cry-it-out" school, and the attached parenting school. I have a strong conviction against using any methods that would cause the baby to cry unnecessarily, and have been reading many books from the no-cry "camp." What has been disappointing and distressing to me as a parent is that there are quite a few books from the no-cry camp that do not really make any concrete suggestions and tips as to what parents need to do to assist the baby in sleeping longer and sleeping un-interrupted. They go into extensive length either to explain to you why "cry it out" methods are harmful for the babies, or to encourage you to use your parental instincts to do "what feels right." As first-time parents who are starving to sleep, however, your instincts are foggy at best, and your mind just cannot tell you what needs to be done.
Pantley does a great job in first laying out in very straight-forward, but factual terms, the way babies sleep. It was extremely helpful to learn that a lot of the "problems" we are experiencing are actually quite normal, and as parents, our expectations need to be adjusted according to the developmental stages of the child. Pantley then goes on to provide an arsenal of tips and solutions, and offers a template where you can pick and choose the tips and strategies that fit your parental style, into a gentle, progressive, and thorough plan that would assist your child to eventually grow into a healthier sleep pattern that works for the baby and the family.
While it is still a bit of a struggle for my wife and I to help our child sleep through the night, the tips listed by Pentley are very helpful in moving us along. Things are slowly improving, and our baby, who was devastated through 19 days of sleep training, is now a happy child who is slowly but progressively learning how to sleep most nights. I would highly recommend this book, along with Anni Gethin's "Helping Baby Sleep," and Pinky McKay's "Sleeping Like a Baby" to any parents who are looking for a gentle, peaceful, and loving way to grow with your child.
on March 30, 2015
The No Cry Sleep Solution is my go to book for exhausted parents.
As a mother of four, a long-time doula, as well as a doula trainer, I have found The No Cry Sleep Solution to be revolutionary in a long line of sleep books I've perused over the years. It strikes a healthy balance between the needs of the child, as well as the needs of parents. Between the extremes of "just go with it, this too shall pass" and "train that kid to sleep by letting them cry it out", The No Cry Sleep Solution offers us a gentler choice. It is like a sigh of relief for all sleep deprived parents, no matter how they feed their babies (breast or bottle) or where they choose to have them sleep (co-sleeping or in a crib in Baby's own room).
There is work involved. Elizabeth Pantley doesn't claim this method to be easy. But it is well worth the effort. Sleep deprivation is shown to be unhealthy for parents, and the Cry it Out method has mounting evidence showing it is not the healthiest choice for a developing infant, physically or emotionally. So somewhere in the middle we find the solution. With Pantley's constant encouragement and compassion, it can be done. Everyone sleeps, and babies don't cry unnecessarily. Win/win.
I have added The No Cry Sleep Solution as required reading for my MotherWit Postpartum Doula Training. Almost all parents have questions about "sleep training". Before they potentially embark upon harsher methods out of desperation, we encourage parents to explore a gentle approach to getting their need for a good night of sleep with realistic expectations. This book fulfills those needs.
MotherWit Doula Care
on March 24, 2004
Just to say how great the "no cry sleep solution" is. I did not discover the book until 2mths ago and what a difference it has made to my sons sleeping habits! My son has been an awful sleeper since birth. He is now 22mths and has gone from;
*having no regular sleep pattern, being breastfed to sleep and waking up to six times a night to be fed
*regular naptime, bedtime routine, falling to sleep with a story and sleeping most nights from 9.30pm to 7.30am.
I could not believe it (especially as he has been a poor sleeper for such a long time). I found the book very interesting to read and the ideas simple to implement. There is a section that tells you how to log progress and I found this a real help with keeping me focused.
I am so happy to find a book which actually looks at the needs of parents and children (rather than just encouraging parents to 'leave' the child to struggle with sleep). My only regret is that I didn't find the book earlier and could have saved myself, husband and most importantly, son from struggling with sleep issues for so long.
on June 3, 2014
This review is from: The No-Cry Sleep Solution Enhanced Ebook (Kindle Edition with Audio/Video)
As a health care professional who looks after very young babies for a living I thought I knew plenty about getting kids to sleep.So long as they were fed, changed, winded, cuddled enough and tired enough a small baby should have no problem going to sleep right? WRONG! My great ideas all changed a few short weeks after giving birth to my little guy. I soon realied that all that heartbreaking crying in the evening was due to the poor little fella being desperately overtired and I didn't have a clue about night time routines or ways to get him to take naps. As a professional and a human being I can't think of anything more inhumane than leaving a tiny baby to cry himself to sleep. When I saw this book recommended by Ina May Gaskin I knew it would be nothing but gentle and I was right. Ms Pantley's ideas are so sensible, she creates realistic expectations and doesn't promise miracles but with a bit of hard work and using her ideas it is possible to get your baby to sleep better. I'm especially glad that she doesn't advocates demand feeding for breastfeeders. So many sleep training books promote scheduled feeds and as a midwife I know that this practice can be detrimental to a baby's health.
on November 15, 2002
A refreshing alternative to the "quick fix" and damaging cry-it-out approaches that have been so popular of late. This is the first book I've read (and believe me, I've read a shelfload in the effort to get some shuteye) that works *with* a baby's natural and necessary tendencies instead of against them. Pantley offers real-life solutions, with real-life feedback from real-life moms. She acknowledges the uniqueness of all babies as well as the patterns that are typical to most, and offers a menu of possible things to try. This is the book for the informed parent who wants to know *why* her baby is having trouble sleeping, wants to know how to help her without damaging the parental/child bond, knows there are no ultra-fast magic methods -- and won't fall for the checkout-lane "get your baby to sleep in five easy (cruel and heart-wrenching) steps." This is important stuff and can't be dealt with in 50 pages...so it's well worth your time to read the parts of the book that are relevant to your situation. Highly recommended...by a (now) well rested family!
on November 11, 2002
Finally, a book that really can help the sleep-deprived parents out there teach their babies to sleep better without leaving them alone to cry themselvs to sleep. There is a better way! This book is a detailed, informaive text on normal sleep and baby sleep patterns. It is non-judgemental regarding breast/bottle feeding and other decisions that parents may make. It offers detailed information on developing a customized sleep plan for your own family and each individual baby.
We had tried letting our daughter "cry it out" before with terrible results. Not only didn't it work, but she got so stressed out by it that she suddenly refused to nurse anymore. Needless to say, we were never going to do that to her (or any other child of ours) again. This book offers an alternative. No longer must we choose between sleep-deprivation and "crying it out." Elizabeth's approach is based on a gradual relearning of "sleep-associations" so that your baby will learn to get herself back to sleep without your help, but emphasizes that the baby can learn at her own pace!
For all those desperate parents out there, please give this book a try. You will be sleeping before you know it!
on November 3, 2002
Ask any parent what the biggest challenge is in raising babies and young children, and most will say, "getting enough sleep." The most common question of new parents is, "is he or she a good baby," which actually means, "is he or she sleeping well?" As the mother of some very good children, who were not good sleepers, I can certainly vouch for the pain of sleeplessness and the frustration of the equation of 'good' with 'sleep.' With my first child, I sought help wherever it was offered, and visited two separate sleep clinics, specialists, took a wide range of advice offered by other parents and read every book on the subject I could find. They were all united in their advice - the only thing which works is to let your child "cry it out." There were a wide variety of techniques for doing this - with differing intervals between comfort sessions ranging from letting them cry all night to going into to pat or talk to your child every few minutes, slowly increasing the interval, but they all amounted to allowing your child to cry. In my desperation I tried "controlled crying" as it was commonly called, and partly because neither my husband nor I had the stomach for it, and partly because my son was rather stubborn, it didn't work at all for me. In fact it made things considerably worse. The only thing which did work was a lot of reassurance (to undo the damage of my aborted experiments) and time, since my now 5 year old son is sleeping through the night almost every night, and even puts himself to bed.
I didn't know about Elizabeth Pantley. Her book, The No-Cry Sleep Solution is the only book I've come across which doesn't advocate crying as a solution to sleep problems, and which still provides a set of potential and practical attachment based solutions to help ease your child into better sleeping patterns. Most of the ideas are based on both Pantley's considerable experience as a parent, a lot of research and testing with other parents, and a hefty dose of common sense. None of her ideas are meant to work overnight (and believe me, neither does 'crying') - they are long term and permanent solutions with enough flexibility to handle things like illness, teething and vaccination. None of the suggestions offered in this book will traumatise you or your child, and if you are consistent and persistent, your chances of success are high.
The book has chapters on safety, including SIDs precautions, general sleeping precautions, precautions for cradles and ribs and for co-sleeping. There are chapters containing basic sleep facts, creating sleep logs and working out your own particular patterns of sleeplessness, along with a range of suggested solutions for newborns and older babies. The solutions chapter is the heart of the book, offering a range of different techniques such as ensuring that you put your baby to sleep, sleepy but not sleeping, in his or her own bed (sounds obvious but I suspect this was the heart of my problem, since my children both fell asleep at the breast, in their slings, against me and in my bed most of the time). Other ideas include learning to understand the difference between sleep noises and cries, helping your children distinguish day from night, having appropriate naps, increasing bedtime comfort and most importantly, having realistic expectations.
For older children, solutions include feeding more during the day, sticking to really clear, predictable routine, establishing an early bedtime and perhaps most importantly, techniques for helping your child learn how to fall asleep without your help (but also without hysteria), including providing sleep cues, changing sleep associations and gradually removing your assistance. All of Pantley's ideas are reasonable and her reasoning doesn't conflict with the basis for the "crying" school - it is just a lot slower, a lot more loving and a lot more likely to succeed (since crying is so traumatic for most children that it makes them come to associate their beds with fear rather than comfort, at least that has been my experience). The key to everything in this book is to start off by observing and charting your current situation and then planning where you want to be (creating a personal sleep plan) and how you will get there. There are a range of templates and charts that you can use to make your plans, along with plenty of moral support, anecdotal evidence from Pantley's series of test mothers and personal advice on coping and improving your own sleep.
The No-Cry Sleep Solution is a wonderful book for helping your child gently and calmly learn to sleep through the night. It doesn't promise quick fixes or miracles, nor does it provide a single didactic methodology, but if, like me, you are an attachment oriented parent who doesn't want to put your child through the crying ordeal (or who has tried and failed), you will rejoice at finding a range of options for improving your child's sleep. Of course the best solution of all is to do the "right" things from the start and avoid the sleep problems altogether - in this case, buy the book when pregnant (or as a fantastic gift for a pregnant friend or new parent), and make sure that you create the right associations and patterns from the start.
on July 17, 2002
Before I got this book I was a walking zombie. I work and have 10 month old twins and between the two I was waking up every hour every night. I was desperate for answers but there was no way I was going to put my precious babies in their cribs to cry to sleep. This book was an answer to my prayers. When I read the first few sections it became obvious what my problems were, and the solutions given helped me overcome them. It took 3 weeks of consistent work, but they are now sleeping incredibly well. The key ideas that worked for me were: a bedtime routine, reading their sleepy signs, using white noise, not running to them when they made a sound, feeding them more during the day, using the "Gentle Removal" for both their bottles and pacifiers, and working with their daycare provider to help them have consistent naps. This book has so many ideas and the logs and questions help you determine which ones are best for your family to use. I would highly recommend this to parents of twins who don't want to go the crying route to better sleep.