Attachment Parenting and Sleep Consulting go hand-in-hand
I’m an “attachment parent” and a sleep consultant. I nursed my daughter until she was over 2 years old and I’m responsive to her needs but, she also sleeps through the night in her own room. So, what is attachment parenting exactly? Let’s talk about what this means because many people would read this and not understand how being a sleep consultant would allow me to be an attachment parent and nurse for an extended period of time. I was actually an attachment parent before I even knew what the term meant because that’s just what seemed right to me!
Attachment parenting is based on the principles that children build strong bonds with the people who take care of them, which results in well-developed socio-emotional growth and well-being for the child. In the early months and years of your child’s life it is important to learn your baby’s signs for their needs. Barry Lester from the Infant Development Center at Brown University explains that, “mothers who were able to perceive what their baby needed helped the baby develop more words by 18 months of age.” I fully agree, support, and practice this thinking!
What attachment parenting isn’t is abiding by your child’s rules, every whim, and not having structure. Obviously the first several months will be doing just that but after some time, attachment parenting still relies on parents to set limits, rules, and expectations because not setting structure for your child will overwhelm them. I admit am a very structured person but it’s funny because when I had my daughter I was committed to baby-led everything and following her needs. It didn’t work for us, but boy did I try. I tried for 8 long months in fact! Our situation was thrown off due to several factors that I realized later, one of which was a food allergy and resulted in an extremely unhappy baby (and mama). None the less, I tried and looking back, I realized that I did need more structure at that time for us to thrive.
This is where I come in for parents in need of less chaos at home! Sleep is a 24-hour process and not having the right routines in place for your child’s age can lead to sleepless nights. Not having the right bedtime routine can leave you trying to help your child get to sleep late into the night. Many parents will rely on co-sleeping and co-sleeping can be great IF it works for your family! If you aren’t sleeping well and your child isn’t sleeping well then that doesn’t sound like it’s working, but that’s just me.
On several attachment parenting sites there are questions about how to get children to sleep because the parents just can’t keep waking up at night or that co-sleeping isn’t working for their family and they don’t know what to do. You see, attachment parenting doesn’t mean being literally attached to your child. What it does mean is having a strong bond with your child and they know you are there for them. Being sleep deprived does not allow you to be fully there for your child!
The sites also advise letting the baby nurse without waking you. Um, you shouldn’t be co-sleeping if you can sleep through that. It means you are extremely sleep deprived and could sleep through a dangerous situation, such as rolling on to your baby. Your baby should at least be in a baby nest in your bed or a bassinet next to the bed to avoid a dangerous situation.
I fully support attachment parenting but I also support healthy sleep for you and your baby. And that’s why I do what I do because I want families to be their best and that means having a healthy attachment and happy sleep.
If you are curious about how I help families, schedule a 15 minute free call with me to chat. I’m happy to talk about how I can help you and your family sleep better!
BY COURTNEY LANDIN
POSTED: NOVEMBER 19, 2015