The No Cry Sleep Solution
Test Mommy Alison and Baby Dylan – San Fransico USA
How old was your baby when you used The No-Cry Sleep Solution?
Two months old.
How old is your baby now?
Do you have other children?
One eight-year-old daughter, Aislinn (pronounced “ash-lynn”).
When you first met Elizabeth, what was your sleep situation?
Since Dylan was only two months old, I really didn’t have a sleep situation…yet. Dylan was waking every two hours to nurse, and that was fine for me. My concern was what his sleep situation would be once he became older.
What solutions were most helpful to you?
The most helpful tip Elizabeth gave me was to get Dylan into a bedtime routine. When he was two months old, I would get him ready for the evening around 6:30, dinnertime. He would nurse, and the family would be sitting down to dinner. At 7:00ish, he would have a nice warm bath — he loves bath time. After the bath, a half an hour of play with the family, then a snack, and then bedtime.
At the time, we were co-sleeping, so my main concern was getting him to fall asleep on his own. I would rub his back and use his keywords. He would settle down and go to sleep. The one hurdle I had was getting Dylan to sleep in his crib. How I did this was by wearing a T-shirt to bed for about a week…until it smelled like me. I stuck the T-shirt under him, like a fitted sheet. This really helped. We kept the crib in our bedroom for a couple of months, and after that, we moved it into his room. Now he has no problem falling asleep on his own!
Do you have any tips for parents just beginning The No-Cry Sleep Solution?
Be patient! All good things come with time. I think people forget that.
What one most important piece of advice would you give parents of a night-waking baby?
Again, be patient! The best advice/info I received from Elizabeth was that it is biologically necessary for babies to wake during the night. They need their nutrition 24/7. (Granted, there are some babies who sleep through the night.) However, this information kind of hit me as if a light bulb went on above my head. It really helped me to understand that babies do not “manipulate” us during the night. They can be hungry, cold, wet or thirsty. Hey, I’m 34, and I get up once a night to use the bathroom or get a drink of water.
Looking back, what idea from the book most affected the way you approached your baby’s sleep?
I don’t think it was so much an idea from the book that affected my approach to Dylan’s sleep as it was the fact that Elizabeth used attachment parenting in rearing her own children. I mean, here she is with four children and a working husband — and is a mother who works as well. If she could do it, so could I. Her way is also a very loving and nurturing approach to parenting, and that feels really right to me.
Did you ever try a cry-it-out method? What happened?
I sure did. I used CIO with Aislinn, my older child, and to this day I regret it. It never helped, and I hated to hear her cry.
What surprised you most about Elizabeth’s program?
I wasn’t all that convinced that Elizabeth’s approach would work, but found that it was much better than CIO. And even more, now I have a son who can fall asleep on his own anywhere and an eight-year-old who still has problems falling asleep at night.
What makes Elizabeth’s ideas so unique?
That it is so common sense, slap-yourself-in-the-head, no-duh type of deal. It is so natural. I believe that too many times, experts read too much into situations and give much too complicated solutions to problems. Elizabeth’s ideas allow our maternal and paternal instincts to blossom. Her ideas are very loving, caring and nurturing, whether you bottle-feed or breastfeed, co-sleep or have your children sleep in their own beds, or practice attachment parenting.
After you baby was sleeping through the night, did you have any times when she/he suddenly started waking up again? What did you do?
Any time a tooth came in, Dylan woke more than once a night and I just followed “the Pantley Way” — nursing, rocking, keywords — and he always went right back to sleep.
How did your husband or partner help throughout the process?
My husband is a classical pianist and gone most nights. However, he was very supportive of these methods, and because I followed them, it made it much easier for him. If I want to go out with the girls for an evening, getting Dylan to sleep at night presents no problem for him. He goes through the regular nighttime routine, gives Dylan a bottle, and tells him it’s time to go night-night and off he goes to Slumberland!
Did you have any friends or a support group during your sleep plan? How did they help? How did Elizabeth help you?
I must say, my friends are very envious of me! One friend said she didn’t think she could stick with the plan. Her daughter is one day older than Dylan is. To this day, her daughter will not go to sleep unless someone lies down with her, for both naps and bedtime. She will scream if no one is there with her. Another friend decided to use CIO instead. The child is still waking at night. These friends are both so envious that I can lay Dylan in his crib fully awake, at naptime or bedtime, and he’ll fall asleep on his own.
How does it feel to sleep all night?
It feels great. It took time, but it was well worth it!
Excerpted with permission by McGraw-Hill Publishing from The No-Cry Sleep Solution (McGraw-Hill, 2002).
You are welcome to reprint the article on your website or in your newsletter, provided that you reprint the entire article, including the complete byline with author’s name and book title. Please also send a notice or copy to [email protected]. Thank you.