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Book Review: The No Cry Nap Solution

beautiful-sleeping-baby.jpg All the moms I know love it when their babies nap. When babies get out of that newborn stage where they sleep anywhere and everywhere sometimes napping gets a little more challenging. Once the baby is a few months old and mommy has to go back to work, take care of other kids at home, actually get some cleaning and laundry done….you know what I am saying– it is wonderful when the baby sleeps for a good long chunk during the day so some of those things can get done. It is so relieving for many moms when babies learn to nap in their bed, on the floor, in a stroller, in a car seat…..point being when the baby doesn’t have to be held every time he needs to sleep. Some babies just don’t transition from that newborn “I’m going to be such a laid back, easy sleeping baby” to napping on their own very well.

Have you ever rocked and rocked your baby to sleep only to have him wake up 20 minutes after you lay him down? Do you get stressed out if your baby fusses or cries before falling asleep? Would you prefer to help your baby nap well without letting him cry? Do you wonder why your baby can only sleep for 45 minutes during a nap? Have you ever wondered when your baby needs to drop a nap? Will your baby only go to sleep if you nurse him to sleep? Does your baby/toddler have a hard time napping in general? Do you struggle with having a consistent bedtime/naptime routine? Do you wonder how much sleep your baby/toddler/preschooler needs over a 24 hour period? Do you feel like you’ve tried everything and you still need help getting your child to nap?

no-cry-image.jpg If you answered YES to any (or all!) of these questions, then you will probably enjoy The No-Cry Nap Solution. Especially if you are fond of gentle, gradual change that includes as little crying from the baby as possible. I found this book very easy to read and it truly did address many problems that parents face when it comes to children and napping. Elizabeth Pantley offers several step-by-step guides in her book and is very gentle in her approach to getting children into a good napping routine. Her approach is compassionate and also practical.

When I got the book in the mail, I first skimmed it to see what she had to say about situations that I am currently facing with 2 of my children. My youngest (16 months) still takes 2 naps a day and I am ready for him to go down to one. I wanted to see what she had to say about dropping the morning nap. She has a list of criteria to help you determine if your baby still needs 2 naps. After reading her list (very helpful!), I determined that Graham isn’t ready to drop his morning nap. Then I skimmed the chapter on how to know if your child is ready to drop naps all together. Again, very helpful–and she had a GREAT section on how to create a good “hush hour” for your non-napping children. She had some sample daily sleep/nap/activity schedules to help guide you as you create healthy sleep routines for your kids. Again, very helpful.

Then I read the book from the beginning. She covers why naps are vital for a child’s development (and a parent’s sanity), she has a nap plan worksheet to help you decide what steps to take next, and is very encouraging to keep trying while figuring it all out. This book is a good choice to read even for parents who want to help prevent sleep problems with their newborn baby. She offers several suggestions for parents to start practicing right from the beginning.

I have been a big fan of Healthy Sleep Habits, Happy Child by Marc Weissbluth, since I read it 5 years ago. I found that The No Cry Nap Solution has very similar theories and ideas as Healthy Sleep Habits. The No Cry Nap Solution is much more practical and easy to read than Healthy Sleep Habits. For parents who tend to have more of an “attachment parenting” style I think The No Cry Nap Solution is a GREAT choice. Even parents who are in more of the “BabyWise” or “don’t mind if your babies learn how to soothe themselves to sleep” camp will appreciate all the suggestions and information the book offers. I found that Pantley is more comfortable with allowing a baby to nap in a swing, stroller, bouncy seat, car ride (motion sleep) than I am. In the early newborn stage when babies fall asleep so easily, motion sleep makes sense because that is what babies are used to. I found from my own experience that swing naps or car naps were not as restorative as when my kids slept in their own beds. Pantley is much more gradual in her approach (than I have been) to getting kids to sleep in their beds rather than a swing or moving stroller during naptime. To Pantley’s credit, she does have a clear plan/outline for parents on how to switch from a motion nap to a motionless nap. It just takes longer than the Healthy Sleep Habits, Happy Child way.

I enjoyed reading this book and give it a thumb’s up review. If you have read any of Elizabeth Pantley’s other books and enjoyed them, then no doubt you will enjoy this one as well.

For discussion: What nap problems are you dealing with right now? Let’s comiserate together!

4 Responses to Book Review: The No Cry Nap Solution

  • Comment by Dawn
    January 8, 2009 @ 9:18 am

    Nice review!

    What caught my attention here was that Eli (18 mos) has been taking one afternoon nap for many, many months, and he sleeps great at night, too.

  • Comment by Amanda
    January 8, 2009 @ 9:58 am

    This is a great review! I love how you are honest about skipping around the book in the beginning. You were the one that recommended ‘Healthy Sleep Habits, Happy Child’ to me and I found that one incredibly helpful. So I will be sure to check out this book too. It was nice to know the comparisons between the two. Sounds like this one is not a hard core “cry it out” method.

    Annabelle has been down to one nap a day for a while now. Sometimes she only sleeps for an hour, but I let her stay in her crib a little longer. If she does have a short nap, then we are sure to put her to bed earlier. Overall, she doesn’t cry much at all when she goes down. Although, we have found that she goes down a lot better when I am there, than when I am gone. Even though Daniel is there too every single night.

  • Comment by Sharon M
    January 8, 2009 @ 1:03 pm

    So funny, I was JUST discussing this book with a friend of mine (who is more of an “attachment parenting” person) earlier today. Her kids are younger than mine, and she’s been having some difficulty getting her 10 month old to sleep through the night, but she was starting to employ some of these methods to get him to start sleeping better. I’m now especially curious about the section for older children who have phased out the afternoon nap time. I could use some quiet time in the afternoon, myself!

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    Comment by Emma
    January 9, 2009 @ 6:50 pm

    Thank you for the review. I’ll definitely have to check it out. My daughter Ella just turned 2 a week and a half ago. Because we are expecting baby #2 to arrive in a couple of months, I had attempted to potty train her at around age 20 months – right after several trips, to ensure that we stayed home for good period of time. Not that it mattered. I think I traumatized her. In retrospect, I might have been a bit forceful about it, thinking that enforcing consistency despite her many protests would be the key to success. She stopped telling me when she went (or about to go) and actually had a couple of days when she didn’t go #2 at all. My other regret was that I started training her directly on the toilet instead of her own (mini) toilet seat. Now, I’m just waiting for her to become comfortable again. Got some good signs this week, so I’m crossing my fingers.

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