I came across Elizabeth Pantley’s The No Cry Sleep Solution Book in my search to improve Ben’s naps and bedtime. Though some parts are applicable for newborns, there are quite a number of tips that are helpful for older children. Here are some of the things I’ve learned from the book that seems applicable to our little master.
A Good Nap = Better Mood
Ben is better behaved, enjoys his meals and activities after a nap. This is why we do our best to let him have his nap most especially when we have visitors over or attending an event. He is also more focused in his classes whenever he gets at least an hour of sleep. One time we woke up too early from his nap that he was crying in his swimming class. We also find it very hard to feed him if he’s sleepy.
Longer Naps lead to a Good Night’s Sleep
This is a bit weird but true. In Ben’s case, the needs his morning and afternoon naps to have a good night’s sleep. There were a few instances when we weren’t able to put him for his afternoon nap and he just ended up waking up crying an hour after putting him to bed at night because he was too tired.
Ben loves being breastfed to sleep so right now that’s how he is expected to be put back to sleep. This is alright for me for now since I don’t have plans of weaning him yet, but I long for the nights when I can just tuck him in and he eventually sleeps on his own.
Also, I find that he seldom wakes up during those nights when he would nurse then turn his back on me to fall asleep on his own.
Routine, Routine, Routine!
Ben’s bedtime routine involves a bath, switching off the lights, saying goodnight to the picture posted on our bedroom wall, then reading his bedtime story with soft instrumental music in the background. We try to be consistent, which is hard when we’re tired. The book recommends round 3 short activities that involve soft sounds and dim lights to set the mood.
Holding a crying baby is different from Crying it Out
I always remind Bry that there is nothing wrong when Ben doesn’t stop crying right away when he wakes up in the middle of the night and he is one who tried to comfort him. Sometimes it really takes a while for them to settle but at least we do our part.
A Note on the Pantley Gentle Removal Plan
I read in the book that to try diminishing the sucking-sleeping association, one can try nursing until the baby is sleepy (but not yet asleep) then take her off the breast as he/she starts to comfort suck. There will be resistance so you will have to end up doing this a few times until the baby finally gives up and falls asleep without sucking. I tried this with Ben but wasn’t quite successful. He just gets super cranky and there’s more crying. Not sure if I just didn’t try hard enough or it just doesn’t work for us.
Sweet Dreams, Everyone!