At­tach­ment Par­ent­ing

Little Treasures - - SLEEP -

by La­cie Rader

At­tach­ment par­ent­ing styles vary from fam­ily to fam­ily but ev­ery­one who takes the ap­proach is to­tally op­posed to cry it out. Based around Dr Wil­liam Sears’ seven “B’s” – birth bond­ing, breast­feed­ing, bed­ding close to baby, baby­wear­ing, be­lief in the value of baby’s cries, bal­ance, be­ing wary of strict train­ing. “We an­swer each of our new­born’s cries by re­spond­ing with food, cud­dles and singing,” says La­cie Rader in At­tach­ment Par­ent­ing. “We do it con­sis­tently, promptly, at any time of the day, re­gard­less of our own cur­rent state or needs.” You may be ac­cused of cre­at­ing needy, anx­ious, sleep­less ba­bies. It’s not easy or al­ways en­joy­able, she ac­knowl­edges. Few par­ents go ‘all in’ with at­tach­ment par­ent­ing, but some of its core prin­ci­ples have be­come main­stream, es­pe­cially baby-wear­ing, ex­tended breast­feed­ing and co-sleep­ing, which should al­ways be done safely, us­ing a wa­hakura or baby bas­ket to give baby its own self­con­tained sleep­ing space within the fam­ily bed. An­other op­tion is a cot that at­taches to the side of the bed, so baby is al­ways within arm’s reach.

real par­ents say

“I took an at­tach­ment or gen­tle par­ent­ing ap­proach to sleep with my two boys. I fol­lowed their cues, learn­ing to recog­nise when they were sleepy and fo­cus­ing on our re­la­tion­ship. I couldn’t han­dle leav­ing my baby cry­ing. I read books by Pen­nie Brown­lee, Dr Sears and Magda Ger­ber. I also read up on safe co-sleep­ing. I’m in­ter­ested in in­fant brain de­vel­op­ment and how stress af­fects ba­bies’ grow­ing brains. Learn­ing about that helped me think about the long game and un­der­stand that ba­bies are not meant to sleep through the night at first. They have tiny tum­mies that need fill­ing up every few hours. Let­ting go of un­re­al­is­tic ex­pec­ta­tions about sleep while try­ing to get as much as pos­si­ble seemed to help. I some­times won­der if I made it hard for my­self, if I should have found a way for them to sleep on their own, in their own room, but it’s just for a short time. Both boys are big­ger now and go to sleep happily and sleep through. They like it if we lie with them. It’s no trou­ble. I like it. It’s peace­ful.” Lucy, mum of two, Auck­land

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