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Joanne Gallacher
By Joanne Gallacher

No cry sleep solutions


No cry solutions for you and your child

No cry solutionsParenting can be extremely hard and it was no exception for American author Elizabeth Pantley. After her fourth child was born, Elizabeth’s priorities changed and she realised what an important job parenting is. She said: “It started me on a mission to help other parents do their best job as well.”

Elizabeth has now written eight books and has advice on No-Cry Solutions for Sleeping, Potty Training and Tantrums - to name but a few. She also travels around the world helping parents - she says the problems they face are the same wherever you are in the world, so we asked her what are parents main concerns?

“The top three issues are sleep, temper tantrums and milestones - potty training, walking and things like that. Unless you’re in that spot where you cannot function any more because you’re not sleeping you don’t know how bad it is. It’s not a joke, it’s a serious issue and it can be very frustrating and difficult to deal with.”

However, Elizabeth does believe that some parents do not help themselves and told us: “A lot of the issues we create ourselves. That newborn baby is so delicious to hold in your arms while they’re sleeping or awake but by the time they’re two and they still won’t take a nap out of your arms, they’re heavy and you have things to do - you’re saying ‘My Goodness, what have I done. It’s helpful to know what you should or shouldn’t be doing so you can set up some good sleep habits. All of my books are on the No-Cry basis. I don’t believe children should be made to cry…..there are gentle and kind ways to help our children.”

Many experts believe children need to learn the difference between day and night before they can sleep properly. Elizabeth agrees - up to a point and said: “The interesting thing with newborns is that day and night is to do with biology. When they’re in the womb day and night is the same thing. They wake, they sleep and the environment is always the same.  It’s usually a quick shift. We can help that along by making sure that the days are bright and active and that bedtime is quiet, dark and peaceful so we’re not turning on bright lights for that midnight nappy change.”

The Mum-of-four strongly believes that babies should have bedtime routines saying: “From the time your baby is six or seven months old it can help to set an early bed time and stick to it every single day. People let the baby go to bed early some days and then on Friday night, there’s no work tomorrow so the baby stays up late so in essence your child has jetlag all the time. Biologically children have a set bedtime which is usually about six or seven o’clock at night.  Most children get fussy around this time of night.”

For some parents though, sleeping is not the biggest challenge they face - many have told Elizabeth that they struggled with potty training. So, when is the right time to begin?

Elizabeth believes: “If a child is physically and emotionally capable of going to the bathroom on his own that’s the time that potty training is easy and fun for everyone. It takes some time, it’s not something you can do in one day.  If we’re relaxed and peaceful it’s a lot more fun for everyone. This is not something to be stressed or competitive about, by the time they all start school they’re all in the same place.”

Unfortunately, potty training often coincides with tantrums which Elizabeth says is the number one issue with toddlers and said: “Most are caused by a toddler’s inability to control his emotions.  That’s enhanced when they’re tired, hungry or frustrated. The first thing you should ask is ‘Is my child tired, does he need a nap, is he hungry or is he frustrated? A lot of the tantrums will just go away, if they don’t, validate his feelings so say ‘I know you’re playing but we need to go and catch the bus’.”

What advice does Elizabeth have for parents who find dealing with tantrums stressful? She said: “Every supermarket all over the world has its share of childrens tantrums. Don’t worry about those who are watching you. People are much more understanding than you think.”

To take a listen to the full interview all about why babies cry then visit our podcasts page.


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Your comments

  1. I agree Judy - great article. Like your tips too. Might try them out.

    many thanks
    Em x

    Added by Emma 3rd December 2008 - 14:55
  2. Nice comments about tantrums.

    As you know, children usually start having tantrums when they have about a 100-200 word vocabulary. The big problem for your child is having some words, but not enough words yet. The result can be a tantrum.

    However, parents might want to start a trigger list for times when it isn’t just frustration. What was he doing? What time of day? What day of the week? What had she just eaten? Who was he with? Where was she? It may be that the carpet in Aunt Grace and Uncle George’s home upsets his system (I’m sure it’s not Aunt Grace and Uncle George), or if he’s late getting to nap time.

    Once you have a list of tantrum triggers (and perhaps see that we’ve helped trigger them by the napping in your arms example) you can help prevent them and life is a lot easier.

    Added by Judy Colbert 3rd December 2008 - 14:44

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