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Editor’s note: In observance of Get Better Sleep Month this May, Attachment Parenting International (API) brings you a 4-part series on normal, healthy infant sleep. Here is part 4:

Often in our culture, it is true that parents find themselves in the very difficult place of making sleep-deprived family sleep choices without support. It is also true that in defending their choices that run counter to what is culturally prevalent, parents respond and react more defensively.

But if we follow evidence-based normal human development, early independence is a fallacy. We find instead that parents and infants are designed to be in close contact, breastfeeding and sleeping in intervals that begin at 2 hours and then slowly stretch out over time. If this were somehow maladaptive or unhealthy, we simply would not be here to tell the tale.

This fact leads us to grapple with our culture, our beliefs about it, and the parenting choices we make. Looking again cross-culturally, we can still find cultures that honor biological sleep needs and, perhaps as a result, have less need for infant sleep-training. I wonder if the sleep medication rates differ there, as well? Either way, a good night’s sleep need not be cookie-cutter to be beneficial.

API’s Response to 2016 AAP Statement on Infant Sleep: Infants and parents benefit from breastfeeding and sleeping near one another, reducing SIDS risk by 50%

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Editor’s note: In observance of Get Better Sleep Month this May, Attachment Parenting International brings you a 4-part series on normal, healthy infant sleep. Here is part 3:

Adult structure helps by recognizing and providing the time, space, and conditions for an infant to sleep and rest, but doing any more would be akin to trying to force teeth to appear in different places in the mouth at different times.

Cross-cultural studies of sleep have demonstrated time and again what we already know about biologically normative infant and child sleep patterns. Why do we continue to ignore it? Cosleeping and breastfeeding have been species-biological norms from time immemorial.

Light bulbs, alarm clocks, factories, and offices are new cultural inventions that require a whole new sleep-industrial complex to maintain. Taking it all into consideration, there is no question of adaptation. Listening to our babies causes us to take pause and ask ourselves: At what cost to our health and well-being do we continue to believe that our sleep is adaptive, and at what cost to our child’s health and well-being are we forcing them to do the same? What growth do they forgo?

Attachment parenting resists a one-sleep-fits-all solution and instead offers a multitude of potential sleep solutions that can accommodate working parents and infant development. All-inclusive sleep solutions with an infant will necessarily change and will necessarily be unconsolidated if we remain responsive to our babies in a healthy way.

Finally, part 4, we’ll encourage parents who are confronted with the conflicting infant sleep advice of our culture.
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Healthy infant sleep, Part 2: The dependence of healthy infant sleep patterns

May 23, 2017
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Editor’s note: In observance of Get Better Sleep Month this May, Attachment Parenting International brings you a 4-part series on normal, healthy infant sleep. Here is part 2: If we take a holistic view of the sleep question, we have to ask how successful and beneficial it is when we discover the “normal” situation of […]

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Healthy infant sleep, Part 1: Are modern sleep patterns healthier?

May 22, 2017
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Editor’s note: In observance of Get Better Sleep Month this May, Attachment Parenting International brings you a 4-part series on normal, healthy infant sleep. Here is part 1: I’m awake writing this during the biologically normative and healthy stages of first and second sleep. Research has revealed that right up until the advent of electric […]

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Cuddling therapy, anyone?

May 17, 2017
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Babies are born with needs for physical contact, affection, security, stimulation, and movement — urgent and intense — and yet, depend completely on others to meet them. Nurturing touch is a way to meet all of these needs at once. Mothers and fathers are encouraged to provide ample nurturing touch from birth on to promote […]

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Mothers’ thoughtful expressions: What is the best parenting advice you would offer another mom?

May 16, 2017
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The experience of being a mom can be challenging, exhausting, rewarding, and inspirational. There are plenty of trained experts and professionals who lend their guidance on ways to navigate through the complex web of motherhood, but oftentimes, the most grounded support comes from those who have been down in the trenches — so to speak: everyday mothers. […]

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Mothers’ thoughtful expressions: What do you cherish most about being a mom?

May 15, 2017
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Being a mom is like being a gardener — it’s hard labor that gets accomplished regardless of the conditions. It is the kind of work that requires fortitude, dedication, and an abundance of patience. We tend to our children, nourish them, watch them grow, and reap what we sow. All the while, we are continuously mesmerized […]

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Happy Mother’s Day!

May 14, 2017
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