“No-Cry Sleep Solutions” by Elizabeth Pantley

no cry sleepThe “No Cry” series for parents offers lots of practical tips for parents who are struggling to parent their child through some developmental phase.  I especially appreciate her “The No-Cry Sleep Solution” for my little insomniacs! (Although the cover has an image of a baby, the tips work well for older children, too!)

On her website, Elizabeth Pantley writes:

Nighttime Fears

It’s normal for a child to imagine monsters or other things that generate a fear of the dark. Even if you explain, and even if you assure him that he’s safe, he may still be scared. You may reduce his fears when you:

♦      Teach your child the difference between real and fantasy through discussion and book-reading.

♦      Find ways to help your child confront and overcome his fears. If dark shadows are creating suspicious shapes, give your child a flashlight to keep at his bedside.

♦       Leave soothing lullabies playing, or white noise sounds running to fill the quiet.

♦        Give your child one, two, or a zoo of stuffed animals to sleep with.

♦        Put a small pet, like a lizard, turtle, or fish, in your child’s room for company.

♦        Take a stargazing walk, build a campfire, or have a candlelight dinner to make the dark more friendly.

♦         Ask your child what will make him feel better.

Preventing Sleep Disrupters

Some things have been found to reduce the number or severity of sleep-disturbing episodes. Since they are all based on good sleep practices, they are worth a try:

♦             Follow a calm and peaceful routine the hour before bedtime.

♦             Maintain a consistent bed time seven days a week.

♦             Avoid books and movies that disturb or frighten your child.

♦             Have your child take a daily nap.

♦             Provide your child with a light snack an hour or two before bedtime, and avoid a heavy meal, spicy food, sugar or caffeine during that time.

♦             Remember to have your child use the potty just before she gets in to bed.

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