No Cry Sleep Solution by Elizabeth Pantley

Read this book BEFORE: you need to.  When you’ve been lacking sleep, it will be hard to read anything, let alone get through a book about infant sleep.


She gathered a group of 60 mamas as test mamas.


Part 1 – 10 Steps to Helping Your Baby Sleep All Night

Chapter 1 – Safety Check

  • SIDS – sudden and unexpected death of infant younger than one. AKA crib death; most occur between 1 and 4 months. Usually during sleep. 20% occur in child-care settings
  • Back to Sleep – babies who sleep on tummy more susceptible to SIDS. One theory babies fall into deep sleep and do not raise heads to get oxygen; other theory pressure on tiny baby’s chest compresses his diaphragm, preventing him form taking sufficiently full breaths.
  • If baby resists back, try napping in car seat, stroller, or infant seat where baby will be slightly curled – take safety precautions and never leave baby alone. Try swaddling newborn. Wait until baby is in deep sleep before turning over. If sleeps on tummy, make sure mattress is even, firm and fall and sheets are smooth and tightly secured. No pillows, blankets or toys in bed.
  • Once baby sleeps on back, don’t let her sleep in same position every time. Move head from one side to the other and vary position in crib – will prevent plagiocephaly (head from becoming flat). Avoid leaving baby lying on back in stroller, car seat or swing for long periods. Place baby on tummy while awake for tummy time.
  • No smoke around babies
  • Keep baby warm, but not too warm. Between 65 and 72 degrees F (18-22 degrees C). A hat can contribute to overheating.
  • Don’t use blankets or comforters under or over baby. Instead, sleep baby in sleeper pajamas layered with undershirt. Flame resistant, snug fitting.
  • No soft sleeping surface such as pillow, water bed, sofa etc.
  • No stuffed toys. Small “lovey” is fine.
  • Night lights, lamps etc away.
  • Working smoke detector
  • Not close to window, cords, draperies.
  • If baby sick/feverish, call doctor or hospital promptly. Keep baby’s regular appointments for well-baby checkups.
  • Never shake/hit baby (put in safe place and in someone else’s care or take breather
  • Never tie pacifier with string, ribbon or cord.
  • Follow safety precautions when baby sleeps away from home.
  • Never leave baby unattended in stroller, baby seat, swing, car seat.
  • Never leave a pet access to sleeping baby.
  • Learn infant CPR.
  • Keep baby’s environment clean.
  • Breastfeed baby whenever possible; decreased certain illnesses and infection, SIDs
  • Pay attention to own health and well-being.






Safety Precautions for Cradles/Cribs

1) Meets federal regulations. Look for safety certification seal. Avoid using old or used.

2) Mattress fits tightly, without gaps (no more than 2 fingers)

3) Crib sheets secure. No plastic mattress covered or plastic bags near crib.

4) Remove decorative ribbons, bows, strings.

5) No bumper pads before baby is old enough to get up on hands and knees. When baby can stand, make sure mattress is lowest. Inspect for dangers in hands reach.

6) All screws, bolts, springs tightly secured.

7) Corner posts safe and not sharp.

8) No hanging objects.

9) Portable cribs – make sure locking devices secured.

10) Baby within hearing distance of bed.

11) Suggested size and weight limits.

12) Safe sleeping while away from home.


Co-sleeping Safety

1) 1999 U.S. CPSC recommendation against co sleeping with baby under 2. Nearly 70% of parents share sleep with baby.

2) Bed safe for baby – mattress on floor, no crevices. Mattress flat, firm, smooth. No soft surfaces such as water bed, sofa, pillow-top mattress.

3) Fitted sheets secure

4) Raised bed- use mesh guardrails and no space between mattress and headboard or footboard.

5) No space between mattress and wall.

6) Infants placed between mother and wall or guardrail. Others don’t have same instinctual awareness. If mom doesn’t wake up easily, consider sleeping elsewhere.

7) Large mattress

8) Consider sidecar arrangement

9) Room is child safe

10) Don’t sleep with baby if have been drinking alcohol, used drugs or medications or an especially sound sleeper or suffering from sleep deprivation and find it difficult to awaken.

11) Don’t sleep with baby if large person.

12) Remove all pillows and blankets in early months. Breastfeeding moms can cut up old turtleneck if cold. Body heat adds warmth; check to make sure baby not overheated.

13) No night clothes with strings/long ribbons. No jewelry. Pin up long hair.

14) No Strong-smelling perfumes.

15) No pets in bed.

16) Never alone in bed if not perfectly safe.


Chapter 2 Learn Basic Sleep Facts

  • Sleep goes through waves and regulated by internal body clock called biological clock or circadian rhythm (“around the day” in Latin) set on 25 hour day so we must continuously reset; we do this with our sleep-wake routines and exposure to light and darkness. Natural afternoon drop in alertness, followed by period of wakeful energy that lasts until later in evening. Baby’s pattern is not same as an child’s, which is different than adult, w which is different than an elderly person.
  • Newborn baby’s sleep-wake cycles spread throughout day and night, gradually settling into pattern of defined naps and nighttime sleep. Begins maturing at 6-0 weeks of age and doesn’t work smoothly until 4-5 months. At 9-10 months, wakes up and goes to sleep at about the same time ever day and sleep spans are longer. Babies cycles much shorter and more numerous than adults. Babies spend more time in light sleep and have more brief awakenings.
  • Baby sleeps like a baby
  • Developmental- facilitates brain growth and physical development
  • Survival- can awaken in uncomfortable or threatening situations
  • Baby includes parent in brief awakenings – culprit for sleep problems. Sometimes baby wakes up and not same place when fell asleep.
  • Chart of Sleep Needs for Babies


  • Sleep specialist say up to 12 months of age, some children truly are hungry after sleeping for 4 hours. If they wake up hungry, feed them. To grow and thrive, baby may not only want but need 1 or 2 night feedings up to ~9 months.
  • Most babies awaken 2-3x/night up to 6 months and 1-2x/night up to 1 year. Some awaken once night from 1 to 2 years.
  • Baby considered sleeping through night when sleeps 5 consecutive hours, typically midnight to 5AM.


Chapter 3- Create Your Sleep Logs

Put scrap paper and pencil next to bed (not pen since pencil more reliable in dark). Clock you can see. In morning, immediately transfer notes to log.

Chapter 4: Review and Choose Sleep Solutions

Stick with them at least 2-3 weeks.


Newborns – Birth to 4 months

  • The things you do during the first few months will set a pattern for the next year or two or more.
  • Sleeps when tired; waking-sleeping pattern revolves around stomach. Awake when hungry and asleep when full. Cant force to sleep now or wake up when asleep.
  • Newborns have very tiny tummies. Formula digests quickly and breast milk even more so. They need to be fed every 2-4 hours and sometimes more. They will have tremendous growth spurts that affect not only daytime but nighttime feeding, sometimes pushing the 2-4 hours schedule to 1-2 hours around the clock.
  • For a new baby, a 5 hour stretch is a full night “sleeping through night” (12P to 5A).
  • A baby who slept in arms from beginning will always want to. When baby is asleep, put him down in his bed. Enjoy in your arms every once in a while as a treat. Especially important for those that co-sleep.
  • When a baby always falls asleep with breast, pacifier, bottle in mouth, he learns to associate sucking with falling asleep; over time, he cannot fall asleep any other way. If you want your baby to be able to fall asleep without your help, let them suck until sleepy but not totally asleep. OK to start over and try again a few minutes later. Repeat. Repeat. Repeat. *Reread over so won’t read this again in 18 months*
  • Put baby in bed when sleepy but not asleep. When baby doesn’t settle, rock, pat or pick him up and give back breast, bottle, pacifier and start over in a few minutes or his next nap.
  • If baby falls asleep sucking fingers, entirely different – not depending on someone else. Biggest problem is some babies don’t give up and eventually have to step in.
  • Many pediatricians recommend that parents shouldn’t let a newborn sleep longer than 3/4 hours without feeding, and the vast majority of babies wake far more frequently than that.
  • If baby is making sleeping noises – let her sleep. If she is really waking up – tend to her quickly.
  • Breastfeeding/Cosleeping mothers – sleep cycles become synchronized and experience mid cycle awakenings at the same time. Bed sharing infants face their mothers for most of the night, mother and infant are highly responsive to each other’s movements, wake more frequently and spend more time in lighter stages of sleep than while sleeping alone. Bed-sharing infants nurse almost 2x as often and 3x as long per bout as they do when sleeping alone. But they rarely cry. Mothers who routinely sleep with their infants get at least as much sleep as mothers who sleep without them. Your baby will come to expect a nursing at every brief awakening.
  • Begin by having baby take daytime naps in lit room with daytime noise. Make nighttime sleep dark and quiet. Use white noise if noisy at nighttime (fan etc). Can also differentiate day naps from night sleep by using a nightly bath and change into pajamas. Keep nighttime feedings quiet and mellow.
  • Bottle feeding – make sure everything is close at hand.
  • Diaper Changing – don’t have to change diaper every few hours; only when needed.
  • Try not to let newborn take too long of a nap so she doesn’t mix day and night. If baby has slept more than 2 or 3 hours, encourage her to stay awake and play. Wake during lighter stage of sleep – give baby diaper change, unwrap/undress her, burp them in sitting position, take off socks and rub feed, move legs and feet in exercise, prop baby in infant seat, hold baby upright and sing.
  • Most newborns can only handle 2 hours of wakefulness. Sleepy signs: lull in movement/activity; quieting down; losing interest in people and toys; looking “glazed”; fussing; rubbing eyes; yawning. Put baby to sleep when see signs.
  • Make baby comfortable: swaddle, cozy cradle (instead of big crib), create a nest (used to tight spaces), soft sounds (heartbeats), good smells (tuck something in your shirt to give mama’s smell), warm bed, make yourself comfortable, fill baby’s tummy before sleep.


Older Babies – 4 months to 2 Years

  • Only if it’s upsetting you – don’t worry about others opinions. However, if you don’t do it now, may be 2, 3, or 4 years old before sleep through the night.
  • A baby who is hungry, cold or has an ear infection, allergies or any other health problem may wake at night because of pain or discomfort. Rule this out before beginning.
  • Fill daytime tummy. For those eating solids, make sure they are healthful ones. Good nutrition is important for good sleep. Think “Comfort food” complex, healthful carbohydrates and nourishing proteins. Whole grain cereals, oatmeal, brown rice, yogurt, cheese, leftover meats. Pay attention to the foods you eat because they can affect your breastmilk. If toddler always on the run, offer bites while they play.
  • Create bedtime routine – bath, massage, books, songs, music, walk, rocking, breastfeeding, bottle feeding. Dim lights. Hour before bed peaceful. Routine helps set baby’s biological clock. Important throughout childhood.
  • During first year of baby’s life, a baby’s biological clock slowly matures and around 40th week, baby has started waking and going to sleep about the same time each day.
  • A nap less than one hour in length does not really count as a nap. – have your baby take regular naps. A well rested baby will respond better to nighttime sleep ideas.
    1. if baby takes 3 naps: midmorning, early afternoon and early evening
    2. if 2 naps: midmorning and early afternoon
    3. 1 nap: early afternoon
  • Help Baby Learn to Fall Asleep Without Help – maybe choose a (safe) lovely. Place between the two of you whenever you nurse your baby, give him a bottle, or rock him. Can “wear” it to give mommy’s scent. Only use at night at first. Buy extras in case you lose/damage. Music sounds/cues. Sleep words. Nap time different than bed time.
  • Pacifier use from 3 months to age 2 is acceptable. Prior, may interfere with breastfeeding and after 2, may be associated with dental problems/speech delays. Pantley’s Gentle Removal Plan – may take 2 or 5 attempts. Remove and if baby wakes, replace. Keep removing right before they fall asleep until they get used to sleeping without it.
  • Stop Feeding a Sleeping Baby & Shorten Night time Nursing Times/ Move the Milk
  • Move baby out of your bed and into his own – over a few weeks (only when you both are ready). Stay close but not too close. Create a miniature family bed. Traveling Crib. Sneak them into their bed after they fall asleep in yours. Create a “sleeping spot” in your room if toddler wakes in their own bed and wants to join. Create a sibling bed.
  • Help baby to fall asleep in her crib: comfort until baby’s almost asleep. Baby’s settled and sleepy. Comfort without pickups. Soothing pats. Verbally soothing baby. Comfort from outside the doorway.
  • Establish early bedtime.


Babies Older than 18 months

Cut pictures that pertain to sleep and show baby what is happening – a sleep baby book. Customize for your family. Make a bedtime poster. Bedtime Chart – put on pajamas. Have a snack. Brush teeth. Read 3 books. Drink water. Go potty. Turn on night light. Kisses, hugs, back rub. Sleep.   Mommy and daddy go to sleep.


Chapter 5 Create Your Personal Sleep Plan

Used ideas in Chapter 4 to created one that sounds reasonable for you family. Put on fridge or bathroom mirror and implement every day. Example in book.


Chapter 6 Follow Your Plan for 10 Days

Make baby’s sleep a priority for next month or 2 so avoid going out during scheduled nap times/ during your prebedtime routine & bedtime. Road to success is more like a dance.

Chapter 7 Do a 10 Day Log

After you’ve followed for at least 10 days, do another set of sleep logs, analyze your success and make any necessary changes to your plans. You’ll do this every 10 days until you follow your sleep plan.


Chapter 8 Analyze Your Success and Adjust Plan Accordingly

Figure out which parts of your plans are working and which ones need to be analyzed. Use 10 day log charts from chapter 7 and do a comparison. Medical reasons it might not be working could be teething, separation anxiety, developmental milestones and growth spurts, general illness and discomfort (including immunizations), gas and colic, ear infections, reflux, allergies/asthma, nightmares, night terrors, sleepwalking, talking, snoring, sleep apnea.


Chapter 9 Follow Your Plan for 10 More Days

Followed steps in Chapters 7 and 8. Every baby is different. If not working, take a break, get serious, a temperate alternative to letting baby cry it out (if baby older than 1, increase time you cuddle during day, teach baby difference between night and dark, explain expectations at bedtime, repeat if they wake during night, whisper words of comfort…)


Chapter 10 Complete a Log, Analyze Success and Revise Plan as Necessary Every 10 Days

Do another set of sleep logs, analyze your success and make changes. Keep this book handy.


Part II – Let’s Talk About You

Chapter 11 – Baby’s Sleeping (Finally!) but Mommy’s Not

Many parents find that once their baby is sleeping soundly, they continue their own pattern of frequent night waking. 8 hours is the amount of time that sleep experts recommend for most adults. Most sleep 7. At least ½ have trouble falling asleep and staying asleep. As we age, the amount of sleep we need and the amount of sleep we get tend to decline and sleep problems increase. 43% report disturbed sleep the week before their period and 71% have disturbed sleep during. 79% report sleep problems during pregnancy. Stresses of adult life contribute to our sleep problems. 50-90% of those older than 60 have sleep problems.

  • Stop worrying about sleep. Turn clock away from bed and don’t worry whether you are sleeping or not. Try not to worry about other things and give yourself permission to sleep. Baby will benefit from rested mom. Pay off your sleep debt – set aside 2 weeks to squeeze in extra sleep. Go to bed early when possible, take a nap when you can, sleep a few minutes later. Even an extra hour of sleep will help you.
  • Set body clock – if bedtime and awake time are different each day, your clock is out of sync (why many people have trouble waking Mon morning). Choose a specific bedtime and time to wake up, stick to it as closely as possible – 7 days a week.
  • Get organized – to do list or calendar can help you feel more in control. Keep a pad and pencil near your bed. Write it down and let it go for now
  • avoid caffeine late in the day (Stays in your bloodstream between 6 and 14 hours!). Tolerance levels vary so experiment. Baby can also be affected in breastfeeding moms. Tea, chocolate, some painkillers contain caffeine. Better prebed drinks are warm milk, herbal decaf teas.
  • Watch out for drugs and alcohol – some medications can have side effects, or even opposite effects as the ones listed. An evening glass or two of wine or beer usually wont affect sleep and might bring it on. But more than that can have a rebound effect, causing an episode of insomnia a few hours later, in the middle of the night. Alcohol can also disturb the quality of your sleep.
  • Make exercise a part of your day – maintain a regular pattern: 30-45 min of moderate aerobic exercise, 3-4x a week. Complete at least 3 horus before bedtime. Go out in stroller, indoor mall. Use indoor treadmill, stationary bike or other gym equipment. Jog up and down stairs. Bring baby outside and do gardening. At lunchtime at work, take a walk or climb stairs, take advantage of employee gym, take frequent brisk walks to copy machine, bathroom. Play an exercise video and exercise with your baby. Put on music and dance. Add exercise into day: use stairs instead of elevation, walk instead of drive, play outside, go on hikes, bike rides
  • Light: if you sleep better in dark, cover your windows.
  • Have your own bedtime routine: reading, listening to music, sipping tea. Avoid stimulating mind in hour before bead – email, housecleaning, watching TV. Dim lights hour before bed. Lower sounds. Eat right (don’t want to starve but don’t want to be too full your body can’t digest) and eat light before sleep. Avoid gassy, fatty, sugary or spicy foods. Foods for sleep: milk, eggs, cottage cheese, turkey and cashews.
  • Encourage relaxation and onset of sleep – repeat familiar mediation or prayer. Yoga stretches. Focus on breathing. Progressive relaxation. Begin at feet and move up body and relax each body part.
  • If you have chronic insomnia or other unusual sleep problems, see doctor!


Chapter 12 – Final Thoughts: Mom to Mom

Helpful websites:


Someone to talk to via home or internet can mean difference between depression and commitment. Find support.


Patience, patience and just a little more patience. “This too shall pass”


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