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The No-Cry Sleep Solution: Gentle Ways to Help Your Baby Sleep Through the Night

3.48 of 5 stars 3.48  ·  rating details  ·  5,350 ratings  ·  674 reviews
A breakthrough approach for a good night's sleep--with no tears

There are two schools of thought for encouraging babies to sleep through the night: the hotly debated Ferber technique of letting the baby "cry it out," or the grin-and-bear-it solution of getting up from dusk to dawn as often as necessary. If you don't believe in letting your baby cry it out, but desperately w
Paperback, 254 pages
Published April 18th 2002 by McGraw-Hill (first published 2002)
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The Baby Book by William SearsHow to Talk So Kids Will Listen & Listen So Kids Will Talk by Adele FaberWhat to Expect When You're Expecting by Heidi MurkoffThe No-Cry Sleep Solution by Elizabeth PantleyThe Happiest Baby on the Block by Harvey Karp
Most Influential Parenting Books
4th out of 260 books — 443 voters
Ina May's Guide to Childbirth by Ina May GaskinThe Baby Book by William SearsThe Thinking Woman's Guide to a Better Birth by Henci GoerWhat to Expect When You're Expecting by Heidi MurkoffTaking Charge of Your Fertility by Toni Weschler
Books for Expectant Parents
6th out of 188 books — 127 voters

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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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Apr 07, 2007 Lynne rated it 2 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: People who are really attachment oriented
OK, so here's the deal with The No Cry Sleep Solution.

I got this book because I really did not want to let my baby cry it out. I was pretty much attachment parenting from the time my baby was born until, oh, about 3 days after reading this book!

I did get a few good tidbits from the book, which is why it was not a "1."

First, having a really good bedtime routine is essential.
Second, Pantley's "gentle removal method" for stopping your baby from nursing to sleep works great. In fact, not only does
Her intent = 4.5 stars
Her writing = 3 stars
Her theories = 3 stars
Her experience = 1.5 stars
Astonishing advice = 0 stars
Her overall success = 2 stars

Why do these so called experts see parenting styles as black or white? You leave your baby to cry it out, you are a detached emotionally unavailable parent who should not have had kids but rather run a corporation. You respond to every cry, you are "attached" and your deserve a golden star your child will be perfect and you can write a book about it.
I read this book in conjunction with Ferber's Solving Your Child's Sleep Problems, just to get a range of perspective. I definitely liked the approach in this book better than Ferber's: it's based in attachment parenting principles, focuses first on whether the parent themselves sees a problem or just feels pressured to have a child that "sleeps through the night", and emphasizes that the process of getting a frequently waking child to sleep in longer chunks can be a long one that requires patie ...more
Feb 18, 2008 Stephanie rated it 2 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: moms of older children with behavioral sleep issues
While this book claims to be the third option for sleep-deprived parents (1 being: "cry-it-out," and 2 being "live with it"), I found that it was more like "live with it," with a couple of helpful pointers to make you feel like you are doing something. Or perhaps it works as the preparation phase before going on to the Ferber method.

First of all, like most self-help books, it could have been about 10 pages. I read over half of it before I got to her actual methodology. The first half is dedicat
All these sleep books are so annoying. They go on and on about nothing, taking forever to get to what I paid for, the miraculous technique that will supposedly get my baby to sleep and stop pushing me to the brink of insanity, and then it turns out to be some dumb piece of common sense that isn't helpful. Yes, babies need routines and consistent bedtimes, very good, I'm not an idiot and I've already got that covered. What I want to know is why does he hate me so much that he feels it appropriate ...more
Lisa R.
Jul 02, 2008 Lisa R. rated it 4 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: Parents of newborns
Recommended to Lisa by: Friends from an online group I belong to
I liked this book and found it to be helpful. That said, my baby did not have major sleep issues when I started it, nor was he an older baby (he was about 5 months). We were also instinctively using some of the book's recommendations already, so that made implementing it much easier.

We're not interested in letting our baby cry it out and this book helped us feel supported in that stance. It's true that many of the suggestions are commonsense, but we found this book helped to "tie it all together
Curtis Edmonds
There were a couple of times, reading this book, that I laughed. Not because it's a comedy (it isn't) but because the idea of doing a log for baby sleep patterns was... erm... well... let's just say it wouldn't have flown in our house.

Our twins were born in 2009, and I can't say much about the time when they were very little because I don't remember any of it and what I do I have blocked out. It was the most exhausting, demanding thing I have ever done or would ever want to do. The idea that I
Jan 30, 2008 Natalie rated it 4 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: all parents
Shelves: parenting
This is one of my favorite books on infant sleep. I really appreciated the tone of this book. The author offers many helpful suggestions for helping babies sleep depending on your parenting style and your babies temperament. So many other sleep books I've read try to tell you that their way is the only way and you must be doing something wrong if it isn't working for your child. It was refreshing to read something that gave ideas without the guilt trip.
Sep 05, 2009 Neligh rated it 3 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: people about to have a baby
The excellent podcast "pregtastic" has an interview with the author of this book on their website. It's episode 139 May 19, 2009 or you can click here:

William Sears writes the forward for this book in which he says:

"Sleep -or more accurately, the lack of sleep- is one of the most challenging aspects of parenting during the first year or two of a baby's life. The biggest hurdle is getting the baby to sleep through the night. Parents who are sensitive to th
While I appreciate the idea of a method in between "cry it out" and "deal with it", I was infuriated by Pantley's inclusion of a speculative description of the agony a child might be feeling as they cry it out (e.g., "His little body is burning with desire and utter loneliness" - I'm paraphrasing, but that is exactly the tone.) You can't use that manipulative, mean tactic AND say that (a) that you're offering a moderate option or (b) that whatever works for a family is what's best. I'm not wild ...more
This book is the opposite of the BabyWise series, that I used for my first born child. It recommends a way to get your baby to sleep without using the "cry it out" method. I love the idea because it's so hard to listen to your little one cry but the book was not for me and my second born child. The book advises you to put the baby to sleep, however you usually do (nursing, rocking, swaying, etc.), but lay the baby down JUST BEFORE the baby is truly asleep. If the baby wakes up at all, pick them ...more
Well, if you know us, you know that when we have babies we more or less practice "attachment parenting," which we didn't even know existed until we were already doing it. It just felt natural to have our babies co-sleep, to not use a bottle or pacifier, etc. Little did we realize that I would become the "human pacifier" and that our oldest would have a very hard time weaning herself out of our bed. Fortunately we learned how to not begin that issue with our next two, but it still remained for ou ...more
Apr 16, 2013 Amy rated it 5 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: Tired parents of little ones
Shelves: parenting-books
A beacon of hope to those mired in the fog of sleep deprivation.

There is an almost universal malady among parents of young children and babies and it’s called Sleep Deprived. You know if you suffer from this condition if your baggy eyes remind you to that you need to call Grandma June, your pillow hair resists all attempts at taming, you put the cereal in the fridge and milk in the cupboard, and slinged to your body is a bundle from heaven for whom all of this is worthwhile.

But you think, “Can’
The only baby "help" book I've ever read, because it's all I've ever needed.

I'm not buying into that "let your child scream themselves to sleep" thing. A baby is not a toddler, a baby is not a preschooler, a baby is not a naughty little child who is angry about having to go to bed. A baby is just that, a completey helpless human who relies on only ONE method to let you know MANY different things: cry.

I'm already biased going into this book to read it, that I don't believe in "cry it out" and I w
Lori Reed
Does your baby cry every night when you put her to bed? Does she wake up in the middle of the night and cry for you to come hold her? Go to her every time and risk having a spoiled child. Let her "cry it out" and you’ll cry too. What’s a parent to do? The No-Cry Sleep Solution is the answer to every parent's sleep problems whether your baby sleeps in a crib or co-sleeps and whether your baby is breast or bottle-fed. Using the many tips provided, you will create a plan based on your baby’s needs. ...more
I have a 9 month old daughter and for the last 9 months, she has been a great sleeper... as long as she is in my bed, or in my arms, or anywhere other than in her crib, or by herself. It is my own fault really. When she was a newborn, I rocked her to sleep and could not get enough of her newborn goodness, so I held her while she slept for hours at a time. As I began to realize that she needed to be able to, 1. fall asleep on her own and 2. sleep in her own bed, I discovered very quickly that I n ...more
I credit this book with the ideas that have gotten my son to sleep by himself. Okay, okay, he's still waking up once a night and I'm going into his bed, but that's the next hurdle to get over and I'm confident we will.

The key things I learned, either through the book (admittedly, I finished it 3 months ago) or through my process:
1 - be patient. They say do something for 10 days before giving in. Somewhere else I've read that something becomes a habit after 3 days for a child this young. So, don
There are some really nice ideas in this book, but I can't help wishing that my own baby could read the book himself, understand it, and act upon it, because I have to say, it didn't work for me.

As it turned out, we had already tried / were already trying many of the ideas in this book and to no avail. The only thing we hadn't already done was keeping a sleep log, which, in the end, served only one purpose - to frustrate and stress me out, which I did not need!

I've now been following the book si
80% of the advice in here is stuff we were doing already because we've read Caring for Your Baby and Young Child, Revised Edition: Birth to Age 5 and The Baby Book: Everything You Need to Know About Your Baby from Birth to Age Two. We were following this advice before, during, and after our daughter's sleep problems developed. Another 10% of the advice was just ridiculous grasping at straws. Then 5% is just waiting for the problem to get better (which the author explicitly says the book isn't in ...more
Allison Means
New parents still figuring out how to be parents: please consider reading.

As a new mom I've discovered an entirely different part of myself that I had no idea existed. I used to think I would be the "disciplinarian" when it came to children between me and my husband, but after just five short months I now know that is not going to the case, and I don't feel bad about it.

Another thing that I've learned is that people LOVE to give you advice on how you SHOULD be raising your child because that's h
As someone who is a big believer in not letting your child cry it out and who breastfeeds her child to sleep, this is definitely a book written for me. I am naturally not inclined to like this book because I abhor the idea of "training" of any kind, however she definitely offers a nice way to start working with your child should your child not be sleeping the five hours or more time span that makes up "sleeping through the night". What I like about Ms. Pantley is she asks you to be honest about ...more
I read this book a bit before my first daughter was born and just after, and I learned a lot. I was quite proud of myself at the time. I had a well-adjusted infant who had a set sleep and wake-up time. Sure, she would wake up in the middle of the night for feedings, but those were also on a schedule. And I justified those away by reminding myself that she was very low on the weight percentile scale. If she wanted to eat, she would eat!

Fast forward to almost a year later, and I'm done. Toast. I n
A re-read
Good info on baby sleep needs and what you should reasonable expect as a parent. The book is genius at explaining how to teach your baby to get to sleep on his own without having to make him cry until he passes out.
I like how the book presents info and ideas and lets you as
the assumed intelligent adult make the right specific decisions for your family. So many "sleep" books tend towards the "do it our way or else your child will be sleepy and bratty". I also like the little personal sn
This book was really boring. I spent a lot of it thinking "ok, get to the freaking point already!" I also skipped quite a bit in the beginning. That being said, it worked WONDERS for our little family. My son was 8 months old when I started this book. (9 months old now.) He woke up literally every 1-2 hours during the night, refused to go to bed before 10-11pm, and slept until 8-10 in the morning. I was going crazy, my husband was going crazy, and everyone was crabby. Literally within 2 weeks of ...more
I have no idea if the principles in this book work or not because I don't have a baby yet but they do make a lot of sense. I like the idea of small attainable goals for a baby's sleep patterns rather than the idea of letting them cry it out until they learn to sleep through the night. I can only hope it works.

That said, I didn't really love the way this book was written. The author was warm enough but almost half the book was about how the principles in the book would work. I bought the book. I
Ola H. Anan
انتهيت من قراءة الكتاب وسأقوم بالبدء بتطبيق الأفكار الواردة فيه قبل الحكم عليه إن كان فعالا أم لا. أنا متحمسة جدا لتجربة الأفكار التي وردت فيه , وهو مكتوب بطريقة ودودة وبمنتهى التفهم لمشاعر الأم التي لا ترغب في تعريض ابنها أو ابنتها لمأساة التمرين على النوم بواسطة البكاء.
Lindley Walter-smith
Weeks of desperate effort leaving our baby an even worse sleeper--and less secure about sleeping!--than when we started. Also, "no-cry" is a huge fib. That about sums it up.
Dec 22, 2008 Sera rated it 5 of 5 stars
Recommended to Sera by:
This book was extremely informative, because it provided great insight into sleep rhythms and other information that affects how well someone sleeps at night. My goal is to begin using the tips for newborns as soon as the baby comes home from the hospital. Let's see if the author's approach will work. Most of her tips make sense so I am feeling optimistic. Plus, I like to have a third option instead of picking between "suck it up" or "let the baby cry it out", since someone is going to be very u ...more
Kaia Calhoun
I would rate, and have rated, every infant sleep book I've read a 4 or lower. This book was my favorite of them all. Trouble is, despite my efforts to try, literally, everything these books have to offer, my kid simply wouldn't conform. A few examples:

1. All the books say to incorporate an earlier bedtime for best sleep results. Tried every bedtime from 5:30 to 10 and turns out 8pm is the best time for her. Not so early after all. However, because the book prompted me to track her sleep I did le
Erika RS
I really like the general framework of this book. It's essentially the scientific method applied to sleep.
- Figure out the current knowledge (Learn basic sleep facts)
- Observe (Create your sleep logs)
- Hypothesize solutions (Review and choose sleep solutions; create your personal sleep plan)
- Test (Follow your plan for ten days)
- Collect and analyze data (Do a ten-day log; analyze your success)
- Repeat (Follow plan ten more days; log again; revise plan)

If you read the book, that general framewo
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Parenting educator Elizabeth Pantley is president of Better Beginnings, Inc., a family resource and education company. Elizabeth frequently speaks to parents at schools, hospitals, and parent groups around the world. Her presentations are received with enthusiasm, and praised as realistic, warm and helpful.

She is a regular radio show guest and frequently quoted as a parenting expert in newspapers
More about Elizabeth Pantley...
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“1. Review Table 2.1 on page 48: How many naps should your baby be getting? __________ How many naps is your baby getting now? __________ How many hours should your baby be napping? __________ How many hours is your baby napping now? __________ 2. Do you have a formal nap routine? ____________________ 3. Are your baby’s naptimes/lengths consistent every day? __________ Prebedtime Routine Log Baby’s Name: _______________________________________ Age: _______________________________________ Date: _______________________________________ Key: Activity: active, moderate, or calm Noise: loud, moderate, or quiet Light: bright, dim, or dark” 0 likes
“1. Do you have a formal, consistent bedtime routine? __________ 2. Is the hour prior to bedtime mostly peaceful, quiet, and dimly lit? _____ 3. Does your bedtime routine help both you and your baby relax and get sleepy? _______________________________________ 4. Any other observations about your current bedtime routine? _____ _______________________________________ _______________________________________ Night-Waking Log Baby’s Name: _______________________________________ Age: _______________________________________ Date: _______________________________________ Asleep time: _______________________________________ Awake time: _______________________________________ Total number of awakenings: _______________________________________ Longest sleep span: _______________________________________ Total hours of sleep: _______________________________________ Sleep Questions 1. Review Table 2.1 on page 48: How many hours of nighttime sleep should your baby be getting? _____ How many hours of nighttime sleep is your baby getting now? _____ How many total hours of nighttime and naptime sleep should your baby be getting? _______________________________________ How many total hours of nighttime and naptime sleep is your baby getting now? _______________________________________ How do the suggested hours of sleep compare to your baby’s actual hours of sleep? Gets __________ hours too little sleep Gets __________ hours too much sleep 2. Is your baby’s bedtime consistent (within ½ hour) every night? _____ 3. Do you “help” your baby to go back to sleep every time, or nearly every time he or she awakens? _______________________________________ How do you do this? _______________________________________ 4. What have you learned about your baby’s sleep by doing this log? _______________________________________ _______________________________________ _______________________________________ _______________________________________ 4” 0 likes
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