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BOOK LOVE: The No-Cry Nap Solution by Elizabeth Pantley

Posted Mar 21 2009 4:00pm
It's been forever since I've posted a book review! Honestly, how dare I leave you hanging? Well, it is pretty indicative of the time I've had lately juggling work and yes, children. Some of which deals with the very issues discussed in today's book-- NAP TIMES--because I do work from home at least 2 times a week with an 18-month-old, who, um does in theory like naps, it's just a matter of WHERE she takes them. But, let me give you the low down first.

It's no secret I love Elizabeth Pantley (see my last review ). I'm so into the whole Listen-to-your-kid Theory as well as the Each-kid-is-different Thing and the There-is-no-one-parenting-solution Thinking. Seriously. Who said one way is right? But I am even bigger into someone who just tells it like it is from experience. And (as I have said before), Elizabeth has 4 kids. She's gotta know something right? But hey, I'm likely preaching to the choir here. In short, it's a simple thing, Elizabeth is into non-crying solutions that MIGHT* help you get your child to take a nap without the kicking, screaming, whining, and more crying that you typically imagine when you tell your kid it's nap time. And yes, that does happen sometimes.

*We preface that with a Might because really, as Elizabeth says, each kid is an individual, there is no one solution that is perfect. Just do what you can. And she offers up at least a handful of solutions that might work for you...

Which brings me to my nap time issues (Come on! You knew they were coming!)... The Peanut. Love her. Even the whining, hanging on my leg. The constant need to TELL me when she is upset (even if it is a half hour later). Gotta love her ability to express herself, right? Anyway...

She's a better sleeper overall than her brother was. For him, I'd sit for hours rocking, patting, snuggling, singing (yes, Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star was his favorite. It will be etched in his brain for eternity), until FINALLY he would fall asleep. Only for me to twitch and he'd awake and we'd start all over again. And this "routine" was consistent for both naps and bedtime until he was about 2 years old. And then, I gave in and let him just sleep in our bed from the start (we'd tried having him start out nights in "his" bed until I went nuts from sleep deprivation around 4am and then brought him to ours)... to which he dropped to sleep in about 15 minutes with little night waking. Of course, he spent most nights in our room until he was 4-years-old, but hey, I got sleep, he got sleep, and we weaned him from night nursing with not one more night of screaming, "Want MA! WANT MA! Want MA!" But, I digress, this is about The Peanut.

She likes sleeping, goes down pretty easily and hardly ever cries. So, what's the problem? She wants to be held the entire time. ENTIRE. TIME. I've learned to accommodate this when I work from home. Have the right chair, my laptop in front of me, phone close by to hush the ringer, and well... it works for now. But, my God, she is almost 2! I want to be able to put her down and say, take a shower. ALONE.

In comes, The No-Cry Nap Solution. I'd love to tell you I have read the book from cover-to-cover and that it is working swimmingly. And that my daughter is in fact sleeping in bed right now. But the truth is, she's on my lap. Sleeping of course. And I am not that much closer than I was a week ago. But, at least now I have some plan in mind. And that is what this book is perfect for. It tells you the Whys (why naps are good for all ages, why sleep can keep you sane--literally, and why napping should be an important part of your child's development), and gets you started on some paths that might work for you. One of which is the sleep log. Again, something I did for my son... and am in the process of doing now for my daughter. Granted, I'll admit, I'm not diligent to a fault. I'm taking a more high level approach so I stay sane. But, this book gives you that flexibility. It has worksheets, short chapters (hey, we don't have time to READ do we?), and there are a number of options to choose from. Most of which--I'll likely try and mold into what works for me. Even if it sadly means holding my daughter til she is 3 for naps during the day (unless of course I can lie with her and nap myself!). Because, that is what works for me. And, from Elizabeth's point of view, I think she'd be okay with that too. As long as it is not stressing me out.

But hey, please check out the book. It really does offer a ton of solutions and information on napping. It's all pro-choice, pro- NON-crying, and pro-child. I mean, she offers solutions, but let's you know it is okay if it isn't going swimmingly (like in my situation). Kids are kids. Adults are adults. And she's here for you. And she is. Take a look at her web site. Isn't it Da Bomb? More info there as well.... printable sleep logs, cheat sheets, free articles, and you can even write her for advice on your specific situation. It's lovely. As is the book. Can't ask for a better form factor for parent-to-parent advice.
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