Let me start this out by saying that I think basically any form of sleep training will eventually work with most babies. The trick is selecting the one that resonates best with you and going for it…
I’m starting the book overviews with The No-Cry Sleep Solution: Gentle Ways to Help Your Baby Sleep Through the Night by Elizabeth Pantley. Elizabeth Pantley is a parent educator, mother of four and undertook a lot of research with “test case families” to develop her approach.
The No-Cry Sleep Solution is the anti-“cry it out” tome. It’s flexible, inviting and accessible, but I will give you one warning: Reading this book will make you fear and loathe “cry it out” methods… and your baby crying in general. For three weeks after I read it, I panicked every time Ruby cried, wondering what it was doing to her psyche and self-worth. That’s a lot of pressure.
This book is a great option for people who are co-sleeping and interested in attachment parenting. It’s also a great option if you’re skittish about crying it out.
Pantley provides an overview of sleep in babies and several logs for parents to observe what’s going on, making a plan and assessing progress. She then presents 10 steps to positively change your baby’s sleep habits, starting with doing a safety check.
The No-Cry Sleep Solution includes several different “sleep solutions” in a sort of “menu” for readers to choose from. These include checking baby’s nighttime comfort and introducing a lovey. One of her main solutions to improve a baby’s sleep habits is changing the “sucking-to-sleep” association so many babies (especially breast-fed babies) have… teaching them to fall asleep without sucking.
After you log your baby’s current habits and select the solutions you want to try, Pantley has you put your plan in place it for 10 days, and then reassess and adjust.
The No-Cry Sleep Solution is a very gentle, child-centered approach to lengthening the time your baby sleeps. As such, I expect (and Pantley basically admits) that it doesn’t work as quickly something like “cry-it-out.” I think most parents of babies can find something valuable in this book, and I recommend it, even if you’re going to pursue a different approach.