Every once in awhile, I read a parenting book where the author strikes me as a potential mentor...the kind of person that I'd love to go out to coffee with to ask all of my child-rearing questions. Elizabeth Pantley, author of The No-Cry Sleep Solution: Gentle Ways to Help Your Baby to Sleep Through the Night, strikes me as that kind of person.
The tone of her book is warm, encouraging, hopeful, and seasoned with experience. As a mother of four, she speaks with candidness and compassion about the challenges of sleep during the early years of parenting.
In her introduction, she talks about how there are "two basic schools of thoughts when it comes to babies and sleep...'cry it out' or 'live with it.'" And she went on to say that, "I wanted neither."
She explains that she tried the 'cry it out' method once when her daughter was young and "...after two hours of torment...I was convinced that this was a simplistic and harsh way to treat another human being, let alone the precious little love of my life. To allow a baby to suffer through pain and fear until she resigns herself to sleep is heartless..."
Thus, the premise of her book is that you can indeed have the best of both worlds - more sleep without tears.
Pantley offers thoughtful, research-based recommendations for helping babies sleep longer and more peacefully. She has ideas for almost every situation you can think up from the newborn all the way through the toddler stage - the all-night "nursling", the colicky baby, the teething stage, co-sleeping babies, crib babies, and beyond.
I especially appreciated that the book didn't provide a 3-step process or one-size-fits-all solution. Instead, it offered a "menu" of options to fit families with different backgrounds and approaches.
In sum, I truly believe this is the best book on "sleep" that I've encountered thus far. Pantley offers reasonable, compassionate, and gentle advice to parents in need of a good night's sleep. I highly recommend this book to all new parents and parents-to-be (no wonder the book has an almost five-star rating on Amazon.com - out of 626 reviews!). I add my full five-star rating without reservation.
WIN IT! One winner will receive an autographed copy of The No-Cry Sleep Solution: Gentle Ways to Help Your Baby Sleep Through the Night by Elizabeth Pantley. To enter, simply leave a comment and your e-mail address on this post prior to Saturday, January 5, at midnight. The winner will be announced and contacted on Sunday, January 6. * Winner must provide a U.S. mailing address.
* UPDATED* The winner is #10 fulmer fam. Congratulations!