Attachment parenting tends to be one of those terms that parents either cringe at or they show a strong interest in learning more about. For myself and my husband we kind of just ‘fell’ into an attachment parenting kind of life.
Parenting your baby during the night is not about a set of rules and sleep strategies. Parenting your baby at night time is all about connection.
As a new parent I was shocked to find myself feeding my new baby literally around the clock. Eight weeks into being a new mama I was desperate for sleep. I called in the big guns, a local midwife! ‘The reason your baby will not sleep is due to her sleep associations. Your baby has a dummy AND you breastfeed her to sleep.’ These were her exact words stated to me as I was crying and feeding my eight week old daughter. To sleep.
We all have them.
Do your expectations as an adult meet up with your expectations that YOU have for your baby? Your child?
Expectations as an adult tend to go a little like this… To be loved. To be respected. To be acknowledged and also nurtured.
Why then do we feel that our baby or older children would not also have these same expectations?
I ask this because I feel that some of us are still on the same ‘old school’ page of Crying It Out (CIO). With our little people we may feel even that punishment is more sufficient instead of teaching. Perhaps we have an expectation that our children should ‘respect our authority’ then we will return the favour and in turn ‘respect them!’
I know that this might jostle a few feathers and I am ok with that, because if it does, then I am SO pleased that you are here. I am so excited that you are using the new year as an opportunity to take stock, take action and create change within your home, after all this is where the magic really happens..
As new parents you will find yourselves shocked to the core in the realisation that yes, your new baby will feed around the clock. The average new baby will sleep for 16 out of 24 hours BUT all babies are very unique. You may find that your newborn will sleep up to 19 hours or as little as only 8.
You need not worry though because it is not about ‘how may hours’ he or she will sleep, you may simply have either a wakeful baby or a sleepy one. A cat napper or a baby that leisurely sleeps the day and night away (now wouldn’t that be lovely!).
In those first few weeks post-partum your new baby will wake, feed and then fall asleep again. Only to wake no more then 2-3 hours later, yes, for yet another feed! As your new baby grows so does their appetite, you will find that your baby will want bigger feeds as opposed to more frequent feeds, they will tend to be more active between feeds also, which will then (fingers crossed!) allow for deeper and longer sleeps!
Your Infant needs a loving, responsive interaction always. This is an essential foundation for connection and building trust. Your touch is just as important and as fundamental as the food that you provide for them.
Mindful parenting is an essential part of being a parent. Mindful parenting is a lifelong practice. It is about becoming less attached to the outcome and more mindful of what is unfolding in yours and your children’s lives.
Some core characteristics of mindfulness are:
Observation – Being mindful aims to shift your focus of attention away from thinking to simply observing, observing your thoughts, feelings and the sensations around you.
Being non-judgemental – This is an important aspect to adopt as we all can relate to trying to control what we’re experiencing at times. When being mindful no attempt is made in evaluating your experience or to say ‘that it is good, bad or terrible, right, wrong, or a failure.’
“This takes time to develop because accepting all of one’s experience can be a challenge. But by bringing about a kind, gentle curiosity to your experience is one way of starting to become non-judgemental.” Quote taken from the Centre for Clinical Intervention.
Our littlest love has been unwell on and off for the past couple of weeks.
Trying, exhausting, relentless nights.
Breastfeeding like a newborn baby.
Up and down all night, soothing and cuddling, feeding and loving.
Imagine for a moment that aliens have abducted you and you are entirely dependent on two of these strangers in a strange world with a strange language. You are completely dependent on them for all of your needs, hunger, thirst, and comfort.