Title: The No-Cry Sleep Solution: Gentle Ways to Help Your Baby Sleep Through the Night
Author: Elizabeth Pantley
Publication Year: 2002
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Review: If one is exhausted and really needs to do something to help their child sleep so that they can sleep, I think this book is the right place to start. It is absolutely not a book about crying-it-out or any supposedly more humane modification. It is a book that is extremely respectful of the child and the relationship between parent and child.
However, it is so respectful that I’m not actually sure it can be much more effective than doing nothing. Even the author admits that any change that occurs will be a gradual change, over a period of a couple weeks or months, over which time changes would occur naturally.
I was actually fairly ambitious when I read this book. My husband and I co-sleep with our 1 and 3 year olds and while we are more or less satisfied with our arrangement most nights, there is definitely room for improvement. I constructed my own “sleep plan” as described in the book, which mostly consisted of logical steps (trying to feed the baby extra before bedtime, keeping the environment calm, developing a routine, etc.)
However, I had a really hard time sticking to the plan, so I can’t say whether or not it would have worked had we continued it for longer than we did. There are logs that one is supposed to fill out every 10 days, and I did fill out the first 10 day log, though mostly just to say we haven’t been following our plan. There had been slight improvement based on our sample size of two nights 10 days apart, but then our kids caught colds and after that the stomach flu, then we were out of town for 3 nights, and well, I eventually just stopped even pretending like I was trying to follow a “plan.”
So, in summary, it didn’t work for me, but I wasn’t really unhappy with our sleeping arrangement to begin with, so I wasn’t truly motivated to make changes. I can handle one or two 5 minute night wakings from the one year old and our 3 year old sleeps pretty consistently through the night so I know that even doing nothing, things will eventually turn out alright.
I don’t want to seem like I’m disparaging this book too much though. I’m more or less opposed to sleep training of any form and I was really encouraged by this book. I think it is full of really good (if somewhat obvious) suggestions, and is definitely worth trying before resorting to a cry-it-out approach. (Personal Rating: 8/10)