Attachment Parenting & Sleep Training?

I’m hoping that I might be able to change some minds here today.

It won’t be easy, obviously, because when is it ever? But on parenting issues, there are so many emotional ties and hardened beliefs that enter into the equation that make swaying someone’s nearly impossible.

As parents, we bear an enormous responsibility. It’s not just about keeping our little ones alive, warm, fed and happy. We’re all looking to raise exceptional human beings. We’re responsible for the quality of our kids’ lives long after they’ve left the nest, and many of the decisions we make today are going to determine who they are 2030, even 50 years from now.

No surprise than that we take these decisions very, very seriously. I’ll admit that I find the idea of attachment parenting more than a little interesting, and I can definitely see why it appeals to a lot of parents. After all, most of us want to love our kids unreservedly, especially in those first few years. Our instincts are all about holding baby close, meeting their every need the moment it arises, and protecting them with the strength and determination of a Titan. (Although if I remember my mythology correctly, those Greek gods made some pretty questionable parenting choices, so maybe that’s a bad example.)

For anyone who’s not familiar, attachment parenting is a parenting philosophy that was popularized by Drs. William and Martha Sears in their 1993 publication, “The Baby Book.” The idea, in a nutshell, is maximum closeness and responsiveness. You wear your baby, you share a bed with your baby, you breastfeed on demand, and you answer their cries immediately. In theory, this creates a strong attachment between mother and baby, which results in well-adjusted children who grow up to be happy, healthy, contributing members of society. Read more

Why Does My Baby Wake at 3AM?

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That right there might be the single most common question new parents ask.

Is it a developmental milestone? A regression? Are they getting too much sleep during the day, or not enough? Maybe they’re just hungry. Maybe they’re too hot, or too cold. But one of the most common questions parents ask me is, “why does my baby wake around 3AM?”

Well, the truth is that it could be any of those things, and it could be a combination of several of them.

What that means, and what you’re probably already aware of, is that baby’s sleep is tremendously complicated.

 

Their bodies and brains are rapidly going through significant changes, and by the time they’ve got one issue under control, a new one pops up to take its place.

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Spring Ahead & Solve Early Waking

 

Well, it’s “spring ahead” time again, which means you’ve set the clocks ahead and probably aren’t looking forward to losing that extra hour of sleep.  I don’t love daylight savings in general, I think it can wreak havoc on sleep schedules for both children and adults. In fact, there is actually an 8% increase in traffic accidents the day after daylight savings, which just goes to show that it’s hard on people. We are already a sleep-deprived nation, so losing that extra hour only makes it worse (and more dangerous). HOWEVER, I do get that it’s a fact of life, at least for now, so we just need to be creative with how we handle it.

Well, I’m taking a different approach this year.  I tried this with my Early Riser last year and it worked like a charm!

So, what is this magic I speak of?  What do you need to do?  NOT MUCH!  That’s right, if you have an early riser, this will often do the trick… at least until “fall back” comes around again.  For example, if you child normally goes to bed at 7pm and wakes around 6am, check this out!

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4-Month Sleep Regression: Myth or Monster?

As a professional sleep consultant, I hear the term “regression” used in regards to just about every imaginable circumstance. Essentially, if baby doesn’t sleep well for a couple of nights, parents start dropping the ‘R’ word. Some people subscribe to the idea that there’s an eight month regression, a 9 month regression, a 1 year regression, as well as teething regressions, growth spurt regressions, and so on. Others see these as simple hiccups caused by extenuating circumstances.

But the four-month regression, everybody agrees on, and for good reason. It’s the real deal, and it’s permanent.

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8 Tips for Easing Separation Anxiety

 

My youngest daughter, Georgia just turned 2 and separation anxiety has really set in and it’s HEARTBREAKING.  It got me thinking, what can I do to ease the stress for both of us?

Here are my Eight Tips for Easing Separation Anxiety:

Raising kids is a high-stakes responsibility, and in this age of social media and easy access to information about anything and everything, parents are easily overwhelmed with feelings of guilt and inadequacy. As a sleep consultant, I see this all the time from parents whose babies aren’t sleeping well.

One of the other major contributors to the, “I’m doing something wrong,” sensation is separation anxiety; that oh-so-challenging part of a child’s life when they start to completely flip their lids whenever Mom’s not around.

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Survive Holiday Travel and Keep Baby Sleeping

With the holidays approaching, many new parents who have recently gotten their babies sleeping on a schedule are worried that they might regress a little over the holidays.

And I can assure you, those fears could not be more well-founded.

Between the travel, the excitement, the constant attention and then travel all over again, the holidays are the single easiest way to throw all of your hard work out with the wrapping paper and turkey bones.

But I’m happy to tell you that it doesn’t have to be that way! With some strategic planning and an iron will, you can keep that carefully orchestrated routine running just the way you did at home.

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Who is Courtney?

Hi! I’m Courtney Parker, Certified Sleep Sense Consultant, mom of 2 awesome little girls and wife of an airline pilot! I also have a science degree in biology (why must they call it zoology when it’s mostly about the human body?) and I looove my sleep! I also love all kinds of food (especially Thai and Italian) and have played softball all my life.

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Get Your Baby Sleeping on Vacation

Family running on beach at sunset, rear view

I admit it, I was pretty nervous about packing up the kids and trekking around B.C. for our two-week summer vacation last month. Even though I knew what to do to ensure my daughters had consistent naps and overnight sleep, I had a major case of the “what-ifs”. And if you know us, we’re no stranger to traveling with kids. Our oldest daughter had 13 stamps in her passport by the time she was 9 months old!

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