Tuesday, April 20, 2010
Thoughts on Attachment Parenting and other theories.
Two nights ago Stella had a tough night. She slept through until 4am and had a good feed and went back to bed, but at 5:15am she woke up again and wasn't able to go back to sleep on her own. I let her try for a little bit but she managed to work herself into a good cry. So out of bed I got to go sooth her. With 5 minutes of a perfect mommy bounce and 10 more minutes of cuddling and rocking we're golden and back to bed we both went.
A couple nights ago when Stella had trouble sleeping I reserved some books at the library about infant sleep. By the time we actually got the books, Stella's sleeping problems had resolved. I did still take a look through them. One was very scientifically minded called "Healthy Sleep Habits, Happy Baby". The second was Dr Sear's book. The Sears family are big supporters of "Attachment parenting". A theory that emphasisizes responding to your baby's cues and parenting on demand. A lot of the scientific book bothered me, they stressed that not letting your baby get adequate sleep was the same as feeding them a junkfood diet. The also stated that it was important to be very rigid in terms of naps. I've never really agreed with this because I want Stella and I to be flexible and be able to do the activities we like. One option that Dr Sears gave for napping was too always nap with your baby; a lovely idea, but not always practical.
So what did I learn? Stay away from books. What we do works for us. Stella won't be spoiled if I let her have a nap on me, or I cuddle her when she's sad or scared in the middle of the night. She's an independant baby who loves interacting with people and still likes her independant play time.
So I'll cuddle my baby in the middle of the night, there are a finite number of nights I'll get to do that. She won't be little forever and we'll have other ways of bonding as she gets older. But having her sleep on my shoulder makes us both happy.