Winner of Disney’s iParenting Media Award for Best Product
“Easy naptime solutions that really workwithout any tears.”
Kathy Lynn, President,
“Naps: Children need them. Parents want them.
Here are the tools to make them happen.”
Maureen A. Doolan Boyle, Executive Director,
MOST (Mothers of Supertwins), Inc.
Does your child:
- nap only in your arms, a sling, a swing, or the car?
- require elaborate rituals before sleeping?
- get fussy, act cranky, or have tantrums due to lack of sleep?
- take very short napsor none at all?
Naps are important to a child's mood, well-being, and development. The No-Cry Nap Solution offers you a proven formula to allow your baby, toddler, or preschooler to get daily restorative rest. You'll learn gentle, loving, tear-free techniques, developed by world-renowned parenting expert Elizabeth Pantley and tested by hundreds of families around the world, guaranteed to help you:
- Convince any child to nap every day
- Effortlessly settle your child for naptime in his or her own bed
- Turn short, fitful naps into long, peaceful ones
- Establish a nap schedule that works for you and your child
- Easily adapt nap routines to your child's developing needs
- Confidently deal with sudden changes, nap strikes, and travel
About the Author
is the president of Better Beginnings, Inc., a parent education company, and is a regular radio show and internet show guest and featured expert. Her newsletters and articles are distributed worldwide.She has been quoted in such magazines as Parents, Parenting, Woman’s Day, Mother & Baby, Today's Parent, and Good
Housekeeping. Elizabeth is the mother of four. Visit her website at pantley.com/elizabeth.
Read an Excerpt
the no-cry nap solutionGuaranteed Gentle Ways to Solve All Your Naptime Problems
By Elizabeth Pantley
McGraw-HillCopyright © 2009 Better Beginnings, Inc.
All right reserved.
Chapter OnePart 1 Nap Magic
Naps The Key to a Happy, Healthy Child
Naps take only a few hours of time, but they shape all twenty-four hours of your child's day. The quality and quantity of your child's naps influence his mood, behavior, health, and brain development. Naps can affect how cheerful your child is when she wakes up in the morning, whether or not she whines, fusses, and has tantrums all day, and how easily she'll go to bed at night. An appropriate nap schedule is a vital component for your child's healthy, happy life. When you consider all of this, you'll understand that your child's naps—or lack of naps—can affect all twenty-four hours of your day as well as your child's.
I thought I knew everything there was to know about naps, since I've written two other books and countless articles about children and sleep, but I was shocked and amazed at the new information I discovered while writing this book. I set out on this venture knowing that parents struggle getting their children to nap; it's a frequent topic that readers write to me about. Everyone knows that children need naps, but the biological reasons behind this will convince you, without a doubt, that you should do everything you can to provide your child with daily naptime. It is common knowledge that when a child misses a nap, he gets cranky, but you will be intrigued to learn the actual reasons why this happens. So, before we delve into typical nap problems and a plethora of ways to solve them, let's explore the background information that will provide an understanding and foundation for all the solutions that follow.
Naps: What Is the Magic?
A nap is a miraculous, life-enhancing activity. A nap can transform a crying, fussing baby into a cooing, smiling delight. A nap can convert a cranky, whiny child into a happier, healthier, and more adaptable little person. A nap can rescue a grouchy, moody parent and allow the loving mom or dad to reappear. Naps are magical breaks in the day that rejuvenate the entire family.
Napping is an important component of a child's healthy mental, physical, and social growth. Naps boost energy, focus, and the ability to learn. Naps benefit a child in a number of ways.
Naps are a biological necessity. Children have natural dips in energy during the day, even after a full night's sleep. A lack of response to this natural craving for rest results in a biological misfiring that leads to behavioral, emotional, and physical problems. Naps that correspond with energy dips allow the body and mind to function properly.
Naps reduce the day's fussiness, whining, and tantrums. A midday nap enables the body to release cortisol and other hormones that combat stress and tension. Without the release of these hormones, they build to uncontrollable levels and create inner pressure that erupts as unpleasant behavior. Children who do not get enough sleep have difficulty controlling their emotions. High-need children or those with more intense, active personalities can have an exaggerated effect from sleep shortages. Daily naps can be a lifeline for them and their families.
Naps increase learning capacity for babies. Babies who have adequate naps spend more of their waking hours in a relaxed, alert condition. They learn more, they enjoy life more, and their parents are provided with added quality time for engaging, teaching, and bonding with their babies.
Naps fill gaps from poor nighttime sleep. Napping can help a child recover from problems in the prior night's sleep. Any shortage of night sleep is damaging to your child's health and behavior, so naps are a critically important way for children to make up for less than a perfect night's sleep. Surprisingly, children who do sleep well at night receive as much benefit from naps as their night-waking peers, since nap sleep is different from night sleep in its configuration of sleep cycles and in its effect on a child's health and behavior. Extra night sleep doesn't achieve the same results as a good night's sleep plus naps.
Naps improve a child's mood. A child is typically happier following a daytime snooze, which is as good for the parent as it is for the child. Naptime can stabilize a child's mood over the course of the day, eliminating the frustrating highs and lows of mood swings and crankiness.
Naps improve brain development. Adequate sleep is crucial to proper brain development. Napping plays a role in learning by helping to convert new information into a permanent place in the memory. Naps allow a child midday pauses to store new information and make room for the remainder of the day's learning. Sufficient sleep is also thought to help young brains develop the ability to achieve high levels of abstract thinking.
Naps improve the bedtime routine. A child who needs a nap but doesn't get one will get overtired throughout the day yet become hyperactive and resist the idea of bedtime when it arrives. An overtired child may find it difficult to fall asleep at bedtime.
Naps increase attention span. Children who nap have longer attention spans and are better able to absorb new information. Conversely, children who lack appropriate sleep tend to be less focused, so much so that researchers believe that over 20 percent of children diagnosed with hyperactivity disorders such as attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) are actually suffering from sleep disorders.
Naps ensure proper growth and development. Growth hormone is released during deep sleep, and children who sleep well are assured their necessary sleep-assisted growth. Naps provide a child's body with downtime needed for rejuvenation and repair. Naps also fuel the dramatic developmental surges that occur when children learn to master major physical and mental milestones.
Children's naps give caregivers a needed break. No matter how much they love and adore them, adults sometimes need their little ones to nap just as much as their children need the nap. During naptime, caregivers can reenergize, do a few things for themselves, or handle tasks that cannot be done when tending to children. A nap break relieves adult stress and assures that caregivers can enjoy their little nappers more when they wake up.
Naps are beneficial for people of all ages. There is no time when your child must—or should—give up naps. Naps are healthy for all human beings. Even fervent nonnappers can learn to embrace the idea of naps and enjoy the many physical, emotional, and social benefits that they bring.
How Much Naptime Does Your Child Need?
The actual number of hours that your child sleeps is an incredibly important factor for his health and well-being. A sleep study completed by Dr. Avi Sadeh at Tel Aviv University demonstrated that even a one-hour shortage in appropriate sleep time will compromise a child's alertness and brain functioning and increase fatigue. Dr. William C. Dement, known as the world's leading authority on sleep, takes that one step further and says, "... the effects of delaying bedtime by even half an hour can be subtle and pernicious [very destructive]." These are amazing findings and call for us to look very closely at the total number of hours our children are sleeping. Every child is unique and has his own "personal best" amount of sleep. Your child's behavior, mood, and health can give you an indication if he is getting the right amount of sleep. If you suspect that your child may not be sleeping enough and if your child is not getting close to the amount of sleep on the following chart, he may be "chronically overtired," and this will directly affect his behavior, moods, health, learning, and growth.
As you will learn in the next section, the length of time that your child is awake from one sleep period to the next will also have a powerful impact on his temperament and behavior, so it is one more important consideration and earns a prominent place on the chart. You'll see that the span of awake time is very, very short for a newborn baby and this gradually increases over time.
This sleep chart is an important guide to your child's sleep hours. All children are different, and a few truly do need less (or more) sleep than shown here, but the vast majority of children have sleep needs that fall within the range shown on this chart.
Important Facts You Should Know About Sleep
When we think of sleep, we visualize a quiet child at rest, doing nothing. Actually, sleep is a complex process that is far from passive. It provides your child with the mental, emotional, and physical fuel needed to function each and every day. Sleep is a dynamic activity—a complex series of phases, each of which makes important contributions to health and well-being. The following chart shows the various stages of sleep and describes what happens at each phase.
Why Short Catnaps Are Not Good Enough
If your child's naps are shorter than an hour and a half in length, you might suspect that these catnaps aren't meeting your child's sleep needs—and you would be right. A short nap takes the edge off but doesn't offer the physical and mental nourishment that a longer nap provides. (If your child is a catnapper, you can find solutions in the chapter "Catnaps: Making Short Naps Longer.")
As shown in the chart, it takes between 90 and 120 minutes for your child to move through one sleep cycle. Each stage of sleep brings a different benefit to the sleeper. Imagine, if you will, magic gifts that are awarded at each new stage of sleep. In order for your child to receive all of these wonderful gifts, he must sleep long enough to pass through each stage.
Newborn babies have unique cycles that mature over time. A newborn sleep cycle is about forty to sixty minutes long, and an infant enters dream sleep quickly, skipping several stages. By the time a baby is six to eight months old, his sleep will have become more organized into the cycle pattern. (Newborn sleep is explained beginning on page 35.)
The following chart lists the benefits of a complete nap. It shows the "magic gifts" to be had during each stage of the sleep cycle.
Why the Timing of Naps Is Vitally Important
From the moment your child wakes in the morning, he is slowly using up the benefits of the previous night's sleep. He wakes up refreshed, but as the hours pass, little by little the benefits of his sleep time are used up, and an urge to return to sleep begins to build. When we catch a child at in-between stages and provide naps, we build up his reservoir of sleep-related benefits, allowing him a "fresh start" after each sleep period.
As shown on the sleep chart on page 8, as children age, the length of time that they can stay happily awake increases. A newborn can be awake only one or two hours before tiredness sets in, whereas a two-year-old can last five to seven hours before craving some downtime. When children are pushed beyond the time span that is ideal, biologically speaking, for them to be awake without a rest break, that's when they become fatigued and unhappy. As the day progresses and the sleep pressure builds, a child becomes fussier, whinier, and less flexible. He has more crying spells, more tantrums, and less patience. He loses concentration and the ability to learn new information. The scientific term for this process is "homeostatic sleep pressure" or "homeostatic sleep drive." I call it "the Volcano Effect." We've all seen the effects of this on a baby or child, as it is often as clear as watching a volcano erupt; nearly everyone has observed a fussy child and thought or said, "Someone needs a nap!"
As a child progresses through his day, his biology demands a nap so he can regroup. Without a nap break, the homeostatic pressure continues building until the end of the day, growing in intensity, so that a child becomes overtired, wired, and unable to stop the explosion. The result is an intense bedtime battle with a cranky, overtired child who won't fall asleep no matter how tired he is.
Even more, a child who misses naps day after day builds a sleep deprivation that launches her into the volcano stage much easier and quicker. If she is missing naps and lacking the appropriate nighttime sleep ... watch out!
This concept brings to light one more important point: quality naps can make up for lost night sleep—but extra nighttime sleep does not make up for missed naps, as made clear by the homeostatic sleep pressure concept. Therefore, no matter how your child sleeps at night—great sleeper or poor sleeper—his daily naps are critically important to release the rising sleep pressure.
Infants have a much shorter span in which their sleep pressure builds. They rapidly reach the peak of their volcano in one to three hours. This is why newborns sleep throughout the day and why young babies require multiple naps. Over time as a baby's sleep cycle matures, he will be able to go longer periods between sleeps. It is not until age four or five that a child is able to go through the entire day without a nap, and research suggests that even through adulthood, a midday rest break is beneficial in reducing the pressure. The following charts represent the building and outcome of the Volcano Effect.
Is Anyone Else in the Family Affected by Homeostatic Sleep Pressure?
The Volcano Effect is not something reserved for children! This biological process affects adults as well. Understanding this can help you interpret what is really going on in your home at the end of a long day when children are fussy and parents are grumpy— resulting in a whole mountain range of volcanoes. What's more, each person's moodiness feeds off the others', causing contagious crankiness. You'll find yourself losing patience and saying to your child, "I'm sorry, honey. Mommy's just tired right now." (This is a very telling explanation we don't often stop to analyze.)
Homeostatic sleep pressure can tell us much about the time of day that is often referred to by names such as the "fussy hour," the "witching hour," or the more desperate (and, amusingly, most common) nickname, defined for us by Dictionary.com:
arsenic hour (AR.suh.nik owur) n. the time of day when both children and parents have come home but dinner has not yet been served, seen as being difficult due to everyone being tired and hungry
When a daily nap routine is established, you may be delighted to find that you can avoid this daily meltdown and your evenings will become a more relaxed and pleasant time for all.
Avoiding Late-Day Naps
You can't force a child to be sleepy just because the clock says it is naptime. We all know what it's like to put a bright-eyed, wide-awake child in bed—there's no sleep to be had for anyone! However, it makes sense that the longer your child has been awake, the more tired he becomes. Sleepiness must build up to an ample level in order for your child to feel tired and fall asleep again. Therefore, you must allow enough time between sleep sessions to build up this pressure. This explains why a child resists a nap too soon after waking up in the morning and why a late nap too close to bedtime brings a bedtime battle.
Keep in mind that sleep pressure is not the only biological process affecting your child. The "magic gifts" are being given out all night long or all through a nap. If your child's sleep period has not been long enough, he won't wake up fully refreshed, at the bottom of his volcano. He will wake up somewhere in the middle or even toward the top. This explains the early-waking baby or short-napping child who is grumpy and fussy right from the moment he awakes. He hasn't received his full allotment of gifts—and he knows it!
The Biological Reason for the Second Wind
What happens if your child falls asleep, perhaps in the car or in your arms, for only five to fifteen minutes? He'll likely wake up appearing refreshed and full of energy and be unable to fall back to sleep. If you'll refer back to the "magic gifts" (sleep benefits) chart on page 12, you will see that the very first stage of sleep reduces feelings of sleepiness. Therefore this brief micro-nap has eliminated tiredness for the moment but has not allowed a child to gather his gifts from all the other sleep stages. One of those benefits is reducing his building sleep pressure, so the pressure is still there, just masked for a short time by the reduced feelings of fatigue. But as the day goes on, the mask is lifted to reveal a child more prone to frustration, fussing, crying, and temper tantrums.
Excerpted from the no-cry nap solution by Elizabeth Pantley Copyright © 2009 by Better Beginnings, Inc.. Excerpted by permission of McGraw-Hill. All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.
Table of Contents
Part One – Nap Magic
Naps: The Key to a Happy, Healthy Child
Important Facts You Should Know About Sleep
Create Your Sleep Logs and Your Nap Plan
Part Two – Newborn Babies
Growing into a Napping Rhythm
Nap Facts – Newborn Babies
Nap Tips for Newborns
Part Three – Solving Napping Problems
Cat-Naps – Making Short Naps Longer
Nap-Resisters – When Your Child Needs a Nap but Won’t Take One
Shifting schedules – Changing from Two Naps to One Nap
Shifting schedules – Time to Give up Naps?
Changing From In-Arms Naps to In-Bed Naps
Naptime Nursling – Falling Asleep Without the Breast, Bottle or Pacifier
Swinging, Bouncing, Vibrating or Gliding – Transitioning from Motion-Sleep to Stationary-Sleep
Helping your Newborn Tummy Sleeper go “Back to Sleep"
How to Use Swaddling for Naptime
Changing Car Naps to Bed Naps
Colic Care – Helping Your Baby Get Comfort from Naps
Special Situations: Questions and Answers
Could it be a Sleep Disorder? When to Call a Doctor
Part Four – Keeping Naptime Safe
Sleeping Safety Checklists
About the Author
For More Information
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
Thanks to this book my daughter is on a great routine, and finally a great sleeper! Many people told me that I should let her cry it out or that naps didn't effect night time sleeping, this book teaches techniques to help with nap time and they work! As a baby my daughter never slept well, maybe a 40 minute nap if I was lucky and hard to put to sleep at night and she would wake up screaming throughout the night. I read this book and as soon as I started putting her down for naps as recommended she started to sleep well, if she missed her late afternoon nap she was up in the night! This book really changed my views on nap times and finally the whole household is getting the sleep they need.
This book has been a life-saver for my husband and me! My son is almost 3 months old and has been having so much difficulty napping. His nighttime sleeping hasn't been too bad, but trying to get him to nap was torture for all involved. We couldn't get him to sleep on his own and if we did it would only last 20 minutes. He was constantly overtired and had severe mood swings. Being the primary caregiver during the day, I was left feeling helpless, inadequate, and drained by the time my husband came home from work. My sister-in-law gave me her copy of Pantley's other book "The No-Cry Sleep Solution" and once I saw that the Nap Solution book was available, my husband bought it immediately. Since reading this book, our son's napping has improved greatly. He is now able to sleep up to 3 hours at a time during the day. While he is not consistently napping the recommended amount of time during the day, he continues to improve. I would, and have, recommend this book to anyone who wants to help their child nap without using the cry-it-out method.
Did you know that studies have proven healthy sleep habits for your child now can directly impact their health for the rest of their lives? Or that a child not wanting a nap and not needing a nap are not one in the same? But let's get real: While our intentions may be great, real life doesn't always allow for step-by-step approaches to getting our kids the daytime rest they need (and the sorely needed breaks we get while they nap!). Crabby kids, relatives popping in unannounced right before nap time, teething, upset bellies, that doctor appointment you can't miss, that 15 minute car nap that ruined little Johnny's afternoon siesta that led to an even more difficult bed time fight because he was so overtired...we've all been there, done that, and were all ready to pull out hair out by the end of the day. There's a lot of great information in this book for parents of newborns through toddlerhood, and I made plenty of notes while I read. And there was also plenty of information that did not apply to our situation, some of which I skipped entirely and some of which I just skimmed (because I do plan on having another baby eventually!). But that is what is so great about Pantley's book: it's not a one-size-fit-all solution. Whether you co-sleep, nurse-to-sleep, stick to a by-the-clock schedule, or fly by the seat of your pants (like I do), you and your nap-fighting child will benefit greatly from the little bit of time it will take to sit down and read! A few very important lessons I learned while reading Pantley's book included: * My daughter needs 12 hours of sleep a night and 1 to 2 hours of nap time per day for 13 to 14 hours of sleep total. Oops! I had been cutting her short by about 2 hours. We have been working on remedying that situation and I am already noticing improvements. * Night time sleep can help make up for naps but naps cannot make up for night time sleep. * No matter what ANYONE tells you, newborns cannot be spoiled. So baby-wear, cuddle, and hug to your hearts content. * I am not the worst mother in the world. * What works for us is fine. A parenting expert says so. So if my daughter and I are happy with our she-holds-my-hand-until-she -falls-asleep-for-every-nap-and-bedtime situation, then so be it. It doesn't mean I am spoiling her and it doesn' mean I did something wrong. It just means that this is what is right for us. (I'm not sure why I needed an expert to tell me this to make me feel better, but thank you, Elizabeth. You don't know how much better this makes me feel.
This was my first Elizabeth Pantley/ "No-Cry" book that I read. I was a new mom and unsure of all the decisions I was making. In this day and age, the internet can be your friend or enemy. Elizabeth's advise put me right at ease, either reaffirming I was doing okay or gave numerous suggestions to help my daughter sleep. We co-slept/bed shared right from the beginning, not by choice but out of necessity. I had a c-section and my husband travels, so in order to attend to my baby, she slept with me. I did get a lot of slack from everyone, including her pedatrician. Therefore, I think, resulted for her to not nap well without me. When I went back to work, my daughter napped for 15 mins at best. I was beside myself and thats when I found the No-Cry Nap solution. Her suggestions and reassurance were able to calm my nerves and got my daughter to sleep. My daughter is 2.5 now, and is a great sleeper. (I never thought we would get here). We still co-sleep, and it works for us. My daughter is a happy, thriving and smart girl.
Buying this book was one of the best decisions I ever made! My baby woke up every hour or two at night and never napped for longer than 45 minutes during the day. I was so tired I could barely function and I needed help desperately and letting my baby cry it out was not an option! He is now sleeping a lot better at night and taking one and a half to two hour naps thanks to the tips in this book! Some of the other books I've read made me feel like it was my fault that my baby was not sleeping well and I actually felt like a bad mother after reading some of them. This book is different! The ideas will be helpful for every type of family and it's really easy to read. If you are a tired parent who want to get a good night's sleep (and if you're baby take good naps during the day he will sleep better at night) without being insensitive to your baby's needs you have to get this book! I will be suggesting this book to all my friends who are pregnant or planning on having a baby. I will be getting some of Elizabeth's other books, as I'm sure it will be just as helpful. Lindi Roux, South Africa
I am a first-time mother to a daughter who is 5 months old. She is a wonderful night sleeper, but a terrible napper. She is not your typical easy-going baby either.... so she desperately needs her naps! She takes "power naps," or as Pantley calls them "Catnaps," just fine... and I thought. "well, I suppose that's all she needs." Even though deep down I just knew she was still tired and would really benefit from a longer nap. I had never been able to get her to nap longer than 25-30 minutes in her crib, and no more than 45-50 minutes in my arms. And even when she did take a nap in her crib, she would often cry for a long time before falling asleep - when I say cry - I mean CRY! It killed me:-( And I usually ended up taking her out and just holding her. I was so tired of people (and authors) telling me to let her cry it out! I never felt good about that, and it never worked for us! For a baby to cry for more than 30 minutes... something is just not right. When I did some research and found Elizabeth Pantley's book/website, I thought, "FINALLY an author who writes about NOT crying!" After going all over town to various book stores... I finally found the "No Cry Nap Solution"... I read it all THAT NIGHT! Need less to say, my daughter soundly sleeps for two naps a day. Oh, and the naps are anywhere from 80 to over 90 minutes long EACH, which I never dreamed would happen. She naps in her car seat, which is in her stroller (and yes, I brought it in the house)... but it works! I feel like if I can get her body used to napping longer, then we'll work on the location LATER! Ok, I need to get some non-baby things done around the house while she sleeps.. but I just wanted to quickly send a big THANK YOU from my home to yours:-)
Are you the kind of parent who doesn't have the heart to let your baby cry it out? But also don't want your baby's needs to hold you hostage? Elizabeth Pantley's no-cry approach offers a much-needed third way. Her pragmatic, non-dogmatic common-sense approach allows parents to find compromise solutions that meet the needs of both parents and child. Our baby used to take extremely short naps and wake up obviously tired. Following Ms. Pantley's suggestions we purchased a baby hammock and used the preemptive jiggling approach, and as a result our baby is now taking longer naps. Thanks to Elizabeth Pantley's advice everybody is happy: baby is getting more sleep and parents have some much-needed downtime during the day.
I recently recieved this book. I should have had this one and a half years ago. My daugther, now 18 months old, has always been a sleeping beauty at night. Daytime was a completly different story. Short naps, often tired, no sleeping, or fighting to go to sleep, etc. Elizabeth Pantley explains in this book a lot of facts about how babies sleep. Suddenly I understood why my daughter didn't want to take her naps. It was such a relief. After this, she gave a list of well discribed, practical solutions. I could just pick the ones that suited me and my daughter and make my own plan. Believe me: It works!! The style of the book is great. It's just like reading a letter from a good friend. Without being intrusive she gives an explanation about the behaviour of babies, what they need and what you could do to make naps relaxing again. Because, we all know: A well rested and happy baby means a calm and happy mommy. Elizabeth, thank you very much for this life-saving book.
Elizabeth Pantley's No-Cry Nap Solution, like her original No-Cry Sleep Solution is packed full of ideas for worn out parents. Pantley is not one to give up on a problem and nor is she is one to go on endlessly about 'her philosophy' - Pantley is about practical, creative ideas which can be adapted to your own instincts as a mother. She is the reassuring maternal figure you're searching for as a bewildered new parent, the one who won't undermine your confidence and won't make you think your baby is some kind of failure. Pantley's books are as patient in their problem-solving as the sleepless night is long. The No-Cry Nap Solution covers all the usual infant and toddler sleep pattern information and then moves on to tackling some thorny napping problems - catnaps, nap resistance, shifting schedules, changing from in-arms sleep to in-bed sleep, changing car naps to bed naps, making the transition from motion sleep to stationary sleep, and falling asleep without the nipple/bottle/dummy. The book has really hit the mark with its smorgasbord of nap problems and I'd be surprised if you're experiencing a nap problem that isn't covered here. Apart from raising four kids herself, all that research Pantley has done with parents around the world has paid off! I read this book free of the fog of sleep deprivation, and there was a point I reached where I found myself thinking lighten up mothers, let it go, it all eventually turns out ok, you don't need to be so damn obsessive about your baby's sleep. And you know what, this thought could only ever be entertained by someone who is getting enough sleep in her life and you know what else? Pantley even has this covered - there is a section in her book with advice for those of you who decide to lighten up and let go with your motherhood routines. But be warned, the book probably won't deliver miracles. There are no instant sleep miracles with babies. The truth is babies don't sleep or nap in a way that fits neatly into the modern parent's lifestyle. Unless you're exceptionally lucky there are going to be some problems (and they will involve a little crying). But the good news is they won't last forever. If you want to gently manoeuvre your way through them then the No-Cry series is the one for you. And just as The No-Cry Sleep Solution was desperately needed by sleep-deprived parents, I suspect The No-Cry Nap Solution will be just as desperately needed by energy-deprived parents. Because I still remember how precious nap time was - how your child's nap was the only time in a day where you got the opportunity to re-charge. It is something very much worth striving for. Go for it, buy the book.
What did I like best about this book? Well, this quote from page 22 is probably it: "Address only those problems that are true problems to you, and don't create or imagine problems because someone else thinks you have them, no matter if that person is family, friend, or expert." It's a wonderful reminder that problems are only problems if you think they are and then it's up to you to decide what to do about them. Wow. What a relief! You don't often hear that...as a parent. Usually everyone is trying to tell you what's wrong with how you do things. My big concern was that my baby was nursing and then falling asleep for her naps. I thought this was a HUGE problem I had to fix. The thing was that I didn't feel like it was a problem; I just kept hearing that from various "expert" sources. Then, in the chapter on nursing to nap, Elizabeth says this: "If your baby falls asleep nursing, drinking a bottle, or sucking a pacifier and then you are able to put him into bed where he takes a nice, long nap, then nothing needs to change." (page 154) Another big sigh for me, as my baby was doing naps from 1 hour to over 2 hours in her crib or in our bed. Sure, sometimes the naps were shorter, but that was the exception and not the norm. And there was usually a good reason (such as a noise or the fact that she had had a longer nap earlier in the day and wasn't as tired). After a lot of great general information on sleeping, napping, etc. in the first part of the book, there are then sections for newborns and older babies, as well as the types of challenges you are facing. You will not need to read the whole book to find solutions; you only need to read what's pertinent to you and your baby. What a great thing for time-constrained people like us parents! The logs are great, especially the point of doing them every month or two rather than every week or two. This gives a more reasonable time for change and to see improvement. I did a log and came to the realization that the napping was going much better than I had thought. So, while it sometimes will help you spot the bad, the logging can also bring pleasant surprise. :) Still, I am trying some things and will do logs in a month or two to see if things have gotten better. Lastly, one of my favorite things is that Elizabeth gets you to think of the less obvious, like does my baby sleep better with socks on or off? I hadn't thought to that level and thinking about things like that makes sense (and helps!) This book, combined with the No-Cry Sleep Solution, have to be must-reads for any new parent to succeed in their new job of raising a happy, well-rested baby.
Another great book in the "No Cry" series. I enjoyed the No Cry Sleep Solution, and was equally impressed with the Nap Solution book. Pantley offers family-friendly, common-sense, gentle approaches to solving nap time difficulties. This book offers solutions to solving nap problems newborn through toddlerhood. We have a "naptime nursling" and Pantley's strategies are helping us to get him to fall asleep happily on his own. I always look forward to reading Elizabeth Pantley's books. Her books are user-friendly, enjoyable reads, and she mirrors the attachment-type, child-centered parenting approach that we have chosen for our family.
I am a big fan of Elizabeth Pantley's "No Cry" solution books. Not only is she a gifted author and instructor for parents, the whole no cry philosophy has always resonated with me as I am a BIG opponent of cry-it-out methods. I do not believe in letting my babies/children cry for extended periods of time in the hopes of teaching them some life lesson. I started using some of the ideas in the book this week and while he hasn't napped every day, he has napped more. AND if he does need to sleep late in the day I have started letting him. In fact I find he still goes to bed at the same time usually and never more than an hour later so the naps really don't mess with his nighttime routine too much which was more a routine for ME than for him anyway. I would recommend this book/approach to other parents in a heartbeat.
This is the 3rd "No-Cry" book by Elizabeth Pantley that I have read, and like the other two, I have gotten a lot of useful information out of it. I've read many books on baby and toddler sleeping , but I think this one explains the importance of naptime the very best, including the biological and behavioral benefits. It also explains the science of napping and the sleep cycles in detail, which is very important to understand. The book offers numerous suggestions for a very wide range of nap issues that parents might face with their children. It gives great advice for a lot of very specific problems (such as babies who only nap by falling asleep while nursing) that many of the other sleep books just do not address. I now feel armed with a lot of tools and ideas that I can try the next time my daughter (or next child) has a napping problem. I really wish this book had been available when my daughter was a newborn - it would have really helped me a lot back then. The book is written in Elizabeth Pantley's customary style: kind, gentle, patient and supportive. Her "No-Cry" approach has always resonated with me, and I think any parent with young children will find this book extremely useful and helpful.
Elizabeth Pantley continues to deliver fabulous parenting books! Her books are easy to read and relate to. They also offer practical solutions and methods. I love, love, love her books! And I have read all of them more than once :)
I was thrilled to hear Elizabeth had another book coming out in her landmark series... As a mother of four children all under the age of 8... I find her books refreshing and down to earth... This one is no exception... It is an excellent book for anyone who has ever wanted add a nap or improve nap time... All my children nap for a period of time then they go through a phase where they have trouble calming or relaxing enough to have an effective nap which in turn isn't to their benefit... The rest of their day is off leaving them moody and frustrated... Using the techniques in this book has brought back the much needed nap in my home... Thank you for this wonderful book Elizabeth...