For infants and young children, an essential amount of needed sleep occurs during the daytime. Naps not only influence a child’s mood and behavior, they impact brain development and general health as well.
Many of the positive effects of getting enough sleep don't show up for years. For example, third-graders who get the recommended amount of sleep for their age are far less likely to be obese as they grow older.
In The No-Cry Nap Solution, Elizabeth Pantley presents current research along with feedback from more than 200 test parents who allowed her to peek into their family's nap habits. From this she distilled the most helpful facts and suggestions about sleep in newborns, babies, toddlers and preschoolers.
As Elizabeth explains, from the time a child wakes in the morning, he or she begins to use up the benefits of the previous night's sleep. As children age the amount of time they can stay happily awake increases. A newborn may stay awake an hour or two before tiredness sets in, while a 2-year-old can last five to seven hours.
As the day progresses, the need for rest grows, and as the need grows, the child may become fussier and harder to deal with. The scientific name for this is homeostatic sleep pressure, but Elizabeth's term--the Volcano Effect--is much more descriptive. Everyone recognizes the behavior of a sleepy child.
The No-Cry Nap Solution offers help for the three most important nap concerns: ensuring the child has enough sleep, in a safe place, in a way which works for the rest of the household. The book includes sleep charts, sleep logs and nap logs. All of these aid in developing a sleep plan which will work for you and your child.
Elizabeth Pantley's book also addresses many related topics, such as the use of a pacifier, SIDS, colicky babies, swaddling and smoking while breast feeding. A special question and answer section near the end addresses problems like sleeping away from home, adjusting to Daylight Saving Time, and routines which work for twins or children close in age.
As your child grows, he or she will transition from two naps a day to one, and then from one to none. The No-Cry Nap Solution offers suggestions for these transitions, as well as helpful ideas for handling the "nap resister."
Elizabeth Pantley's No-Cry series is a valuable resource for mothers and fathers, and The No-Cry Nap Solution is a welcome addition to her series.
Elizabeth Pantley is also the author of The No-Cry Sleep Solution, The No-Cry Discipline Solution, The No-Cry Potting Training Solution, and The No-Cry Sleep Solution for Toddlers and Preschoolers.
From The No-Cry Nap Solution:
--"A nap is a miraculous, life-enhancing activity. A nap can transform a crying , fussing baby into a cooing, smiling delight… A nap can rescue a grouchy, moody parent and allow the loving mom or dad to reappear."
--"Sleep is not like turning off a computer. It is a time when energy is restored, bodily functions are renovated, and damaged tissues are repaired… When children don't sleep, or don't sleep enough, many things can go wrong."
--From the father of a two-month old baby girl: "I'm amazed at how well swaddling her works for naps. It's ingenious. This has got to be one of the best ideas ever in the history of humankind. It's up there with the wheel and light bulbs, if you ask me!"