416 of 439 people found the following review helpful
on 4 September 2008
As a parent I've always been firmly in the Sears camp rather than the Gina camp, and this book seems to be considered as a sacred text by practically everyone I know with similar parenting styles. My 9 month old has been a poor sleeper from the start and so naturally I got hold of a copy. I do love the style of the book and it is indeed initially very reassuring. Unfortunately, it does seem very much geared to fixing specific sleep problems that relate to babies that are unable to fall asleep by themselves and hence need to be nursed or rocked again every time they wake. Unfortunately this doesn't apply to my baby, who wakes frequently despite being perfectly able to put himself to sleep quickly and easily initially. It also doesn't cover 'tension releasing' crying vs 'tension increasing' crying. After much agony I have discovered that my baby actually NEEDS to have a short cry in order to fall asleep. Now I understand that he actually needs to be put down awake to cry, he will be asleep in a few minutes, whereas previously with all of my 'loving' nursing, rocking and singing he would still be sobbing in exhaustion and hour later. If I'm honest I think I might have found this out sooner if I hadn't been brainwashed by all the attachment parenting books that letting your child cry practically was akin to abuse.
So, if you have a baby with the 'right' kind of problem, this might be the book for you. But as always, you need to remember that no one has written a book about YOUR baby yet.
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on 5 March 2015
this book has changed my life (and my baby's life) for the better. it is clear and easy to read and follow and is written with such kind, gentle encouragement and really helpful anecdotes from the author's own experiences. I was struggling to get my 11-month-old to sleep in her cot and she was up every 1-2 hours through the night. within 2 nights of following the programme in this book, she was staying in her cot all night, and within just a couple of weeks, she was sleeping for at least 10 uninterrupted hours. it really does work!
29 of 34 people found the following review helpful
on 15 April 2011
First, this book is for nighttime sleep - if you have problems with daytime sleep than you want The No Cry Nap Solution instead or in addition.
This book is useful in that it is a compilation of possible no-cry solutions and unlike many of the attachment parenting style books admits that sleep can be real problem rather than just telling you that cosleeping is a magic fix for everything and not telling you what to do if cosleeping is not actually involving much sleeping! However, if your baby has always had severe sleep problems rather than just being a reasonable sleeper who has got into bad habits, then you probably won't find the techniques help very much. If the statement in the 0-4 month section that babies of this age 'sleep when they are tired' strikes you as absurdly false then don't expect miracles!
The main solutions suggested are very roughly:
- Making sure the baby has plenty to eat during the day
- Make sure your baby is a comfortable temperature at night
- Develop a bedtime routine
- Have an early bedtime
- Have a loose daytime routine to help set the baby's biological clock
- Make sure your baby gets naps during the day
- Make sure your baby has positive associations with where they sleep
- Having your baby fall asleep in different ways, not just always feeding to sleep
- Introduce a lovey
- Make nighttime sleeping different from naps
- Develop keywords/music/sound as a sleep cue
- Use a dummy
- The Pantley Pull Off for removing feed to sleep association. This is the main idea in the book really as the rest is fairly standard advice. It pretty much involves repeatedly taking your baby off your breast whilst drowsy until they fall asleep not on your breast, but putting them back on if they cry and trying again. There's a lot more detail in the book. It seems to work for some babies better than others and takes a lot of patience. I gave up because it was clear that our baby was going to not sleep at all that night if I persisted.
I think that there are also techniques that some people buying this book might consider acceptable (e.g. we improved nights a lot by having my husband rock our baby back to sleep rather than me feed him even though there was some crying during the rocking) that it does not include.
125 of 149 people found the following review helpful
on 6 March 2006
I have a 6 year old son, that had a lot of sleep problems for his first 2 years. I have a 5 month old son, that had hardly slept more than 1 hour at a time since birth. In other ways, they're perfect children that I love totally : ) I have had the advice of health service counsellers (that mostly advocated that they should cry it out... well, that did NOT work and it made me go nutty to listen to the poor wee things cry). I have a lot of experience in finding ways to help them sleep, and have been re-inventing the wheel a thousand times (because lots of what I do has been done by parents for thousands of years, it just doesn't seem that anybody bothers to put it down in writing). I have been reading many books about babies´ sleep, and mostly they made me more insecure, because they said either:
1. Cry it out (and I couldn't do it).
2. Endure it and love your baby (and I desperately needed a tiny bit of sleep).
They were also often so big that a sleep deprived parent had no way of reading through them.
But, there came a book, with such a good amount of good advice, some things that I'd done with success, other things I hadn't done, other things I'd done but as it takes a few days to see the result I'd given up before seeing the good result.
Now I've got the courage to do the right thing, and already my younger baby is sleeping MUCH better. I wholeheartedly, lovingly, desperately, truly reccommend this book. I wish I'd had it 2 weeks before my first baby was born, but at least I'm glad it will help me and my second baby now, and a big number of loving, sleep deprived parents out there : ) What a great gift this book is : )
46 of 55 people found the following review helpful
on 12 June 2013
Recently an article in the telegraph declared its ok to let your babies cry it out because it teaches them to self-soothe. I am a child psychologist and I despair when I see articles like that. As Elizabeth Pantley points out your own children will instinctively run to comfort a crying baby. Most parents hearts tell them to attend to a crying baby not leave it alone in the dark to figure out how to fall asleep! However most parents, myself include have felt in the desperation of sleep deprivation that they will do ANYTHING to get some sleep and if that means leaving them to cry then you might just try it! I implore you not to because there is another way thankfully and you don't have to put yourself and your baby through that terrible experience! This book is both compassionate and practical. It's even easy enough for the most sleep deprived among us to be able to follow! My baby started sleeping through a month after reading this and I only had to do a couple of modifications. The best thing was I didn't have to do anything I wasn't comfortable with and I felt finally someone was giving permission for me to feel that I could follow my instincts with my child! My own mother kept telling me I was too soft but this book restored my faith in my own intuition as a parent. I am very grateful for the restoration of sanity that this book brought!
132 of 158 people found the following review helpful
on 9 October 2003
This book deserves to be a huge bestseller, much moreso than some of those other 'baby manuals' written by 'experts'.Elizabeth Pantley writes with compassion and authority without ever seeming overbearing or autocratic.As the mother of four children, two of whom slept well, and two of whom didn't, she is infinitely qualified, in my view, to advise and support other parents. If, like me, you are reaching the end of your tether with a baby or toddler who just doesn't seem to understand that daytime is for feeding and nighttime is for sleeping I strongly urge you to read this book.
The most important aspect of this book is that it is written with the utmost respect for parents who desperately need some sleep,but who cannot bear the idea of making their baby 'cry it out'.If you feel there has to be another way, a gentler way to ease your baby and yourself to a more restful night, you have found it.
Equally, the author, as far as I can judge, has succeeded in speaking to each parent individually by carefully considering as many different styles of parenting as there are parents. So whether you breastfeed or bottlefeed, co-sleep, cot sleep or nursery sleep, Elizabeth Pantley has useful, workable, supportive solutions to severe sleep-deprivation. There is even a really encouraging section for parents like me, whose baby doesn't immediately start to sleep through. I found this really helpful, because it gave me the necessary encouragement to carry on trying the different suggestions and find one that suited us.
I cannot recommend this book highly enough.
40 of 48 people found the following review helpful
on 17 October 2007
I can not recommend this book highly enough. It is an absolute must have for anyone who is exhausted but can not tolerate the idea of letting their baby 'cry it out'. Whilst some of the reviews here call it uninspiring - it is if you want a quick fix solution (such as control crying which may seem to work but at what cost to your baby!) as it may take a little time to evaluate where you are going wrong. Having said that I had already been giving the matter a great deal of thought (as you can imagine!) and so could put the ideas into practice straight away and I did get immediate positive results.
The very same night my baby slept better largely because I made certain that she got good naps throughout the day and put her in bed much earlier than I normally would. Since then I have seen a series of continual improvements and am now happy to report she is a good sleeper who LOVES to go in her cot at night and rarely wakes. This is less than 10 days after buying the book.
This book is common sense parenting.
If we had the luxury of time and a brain that wasn't addled with lack of sleep it is what we would be doing instinctively. Rather than taking the drastic (and in my opinion DANGEROUS) approach of letting your baby bawl its eyes out and feel desperately upset going to sleep, it gently helps you to expand your babies comfort zone so that he/she never enters a state of panic. It is possible to immediately see results if you are willing to accept that your baby is crying for a reason and work hard to find that reason, using the suggestions in the book.
I was told by my Heath Visitor that 'I MUST let my baby cry it out'. This angered me as I'm not the sort of person who likes being told what I must and must not do by someone who lacks imagination and doesn't know me, my baby or my situation! Also I believe babies cry - for a reason! Sure sometimes that reason is that they want attention, but why do they want it, address that and you address the problem.
My baby suffers with reflux an excess of stomach acid that builds during the day and in her case sometimes causes her discomfort and even vomiting at night which made the problem of sleeping/upset much worse. Had I been the type of person to just accept the status quo I would have followed my HV's advice and let her vomit and carry on control crying. WHAT???
If something goes against your instincts as a parent to that extent how can it possibly be right?
Instead I looked for my own solutions to help with the stomach problems and then just needed to work through the sleep problems - with Pantley's help!
I look at it this way - how easily can you get to sleep when you are upset, overtired, hungry, sore, ill, lonely??? Why expect your baby to be able to cope with things that you can't as an adult?
Instead learn to recognise what your child is trying to tell you and then deal with it.
Many of the ideas in this ring true - why? because it has been written by a mother who followed her instincts and found out what works and what doesn't. Sure she may not have a formal qualification as one of the other reviewers states (erm - who has a formal qualification in child sleep?) but as a mother of four she is more than qualified as far as I am concerned.
Whats more the book gives you the confidence that you are doing the right thing by not going down the CC route, and enables you to stick to your guns and tell other control crying advocates why that is a bad solution, quoting Pantley's research :-).
For those that want to follow a defined process and step by step guide it gives you that, for others like myself who have already thought this through you may flick through the pages and suddenly happen upon the solution that's right for you - a lightbulb moment when you think to yourself why on earth hadn't I realised/tried that before - because you're too tired that's why!
I am urging every parent, health care worker, baby formus etc I can to buy this book as I really do believe it is the foundation for good parenting.
I will also be buying all of Pantley's other books to make sure I make fewer mistakes in the future.
One last piece of advice - if you are going to try a new routine for your baby, do it bit by bit to access what is having a positive impact and so as not to panic your child. And, to give you the energy you need to try something new, let someone else bear the brunt of looking after your little one for a few hours night so you can re-charge your batteries. Don't worry if this is not possible as its not a pre-requisite for success, it just helps.
Good luck and remember the easiest solution is not always the best. Muster up what patience and energy you have left and read the book, if read and used correctly it will help you to change things for the better, I promise.
49 of 59 people found the following review helpful
on 17 February 2005
My husband and I both work full time. Our son is overall a well rounded baby (personality not body shape). Yes he's fussy, demanding, extremely active (and I do mean extremely), but he's also happy; laughing and smiling all the time. Right now, he wants to be held all the time and some days he's clingy and some days he's not. Bedtime was such a battle. He was fussy, squirmy and pretty much fought his sleep each time I put him down. It would take about an hour to get him to sleep just to wake up again 2 hours later.
1-2 weeks after reading the book, my 8 mos old, who sleep-shared with my husband and I since he was born, started to learn to fall asleep on his own without needing a bottle or to be nursed. The bedtime routine we established (that didn't work before) is now working through the help of the No Cry Sleep Solution book. It was wonderful to put him down still awake and watch him fall asleep without a fight.
3-4 weeks after reading the book, I was able to wean the night feedings.
5-6 weeks after reading the book, I worked on getting him to sleep in his crib. Doing what the book recommended, I set up his environment to what he was used to in our bed. I put him in....and to my surprise, HE DID NOT FIGHT ME. I watched him fall asleep (which was all of 2 minutes) and he stayed asleep all through the night. On weekends, he would wake up in the morning and just sit in his crib and play with his toys. I know because I can hear him playing and the toy jingling through the monitor. Sure he wakes up sometime during the night, but with only a short whimper and he's back asleep even before I walk out of my bedroom (and I am a snap to it mommy...I don't spare a second to go to my baby when he cries).
So many people around us thought for sure we were going to have a hard time getting him to sleep in his crib. We have been finger-wagged so many times from friends and family and kept telling us how we should let him cry it out. When my mother-in-law babysat for us a few nights after my son started sleeping in his crib, she couldn't believe how he went to sleep without a fuss and without a peep. She said she put him in and he was so wide awake and just kept looking around she just kissed him goodnight and walked away. She checked up on him 3 minutes later because she didn't hear a peep from him, and she found that he was already asleep.
I LOVE THIS BOOK. Mostly because it made sense from the first page to the last, and also because it gave me assurance that me not letting my baby cry himself to sleep is better than the cold cry it out method. Also, sleep-sharing had more rewards short and long term than putting a baby in his own cold crib at 3 months.
I am so proud of my son, husband and myself for PROVING EVERYONE WRONG!
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 19 April 2014
This book doesn't promise a quick fix, but we started to see small improvements very quickly. Although we still have a way to go before we get to the magical 5 hours of uninterrupted sleep, we now get woken every three hours for good rather than every two. Plus, after being told by every other book/website/health professional, to "put baby down tired, but still awake", and fretting because this seemed impossible with our 'fall asleep on the boob' baby, the book gave some simple yet practical tips which are making this a possibility.
10 of 12 people found the following review helpful
on 11 October 2003
If you are a sleep-deprived parent who desperately wants your baby to sleep better but can't face leaving them to "cry it out", then this book is for you. Our son at four months would fight sleep all evening, crash at 10pm, wake hourly during the night to feed, wouldn't nap in the day and was fussy and grizzly. We were at our wits' end. Then we found this book. This was two short months ago. He now has two naps a day in his cot and goes to bed at 7pm. He still sleeps with us in the night, but accepts his cot in the day and in the evenings. No tears have been shed by him or us! The author never claims to have "THE answer", just a list of ideas to help different parenting styles - co-sleepers, cot sleepers, breast-fed, bottle-fed. I could never leave him to cry, but couldn't face the thought of the situation going on endlessly - and here at last is a middle way, gentle ways to help your baby learn for himself how go to sleep on his own and stay asleep all night. And written in simple language for the sleep-starved who have no time to pore over weighty theories! A must-have for sleepless parents.