In this blog series I’m going to go over attachment based sleep training approaches, but first we need to go over what the difference between healthy and unhealthy attachment is and discerning your child’s wants and their needs.

So what exactly does a healthy attachment look like?

  1. Your child is secure and confident that their needs are going to be met.
  2. They know mom is there for them and will meet their needs

This can look different for every parent and child, so stay in tuned for what YOUR child needs. Always think: How can I meet my child’s needs without doing more than that? Doing everything for your child does not build a healthy and secure attachment.

Now let’s look at how we can discern between our kid’s wants and needs.

A 1 week old baby in a crib while parents are learning how to get a newborn to sleep from an infant sleep consultant

There’s so much research out there and so many competing and opposing ideas on how to raise kids, and it can be overwhelming. To help counteract that:

  1. Be as well informed as possible
  2. Be conscientious and make informed decisions based on what YOU think is right
  3. Move forward with confidence

If your baby starts crying and you start panicking on what your baby needs, first take a deep breath, and remember that crying does not always signal an unmet need.

If your baby is fed, dry, and safe, then it’s OK to let your baby cry it out and self sooth.

Your baby will start to learn that mom is there when I NEED her, and when you leave them to work things out on their own and self sooth, they will build on this independence all their lives.

The amount of intervention that our kids actually need from us is way lower than we give to them sometimes.

Attachment is founded on the millions of interactions we have with our kids every day, not just one or two events.

Being in tune with what your child needs and them being able to self sooth and work things out for themselves are interconnected. If you know your child can do those things and yet they’re still crying or they’re not acting the same, you can immediately tell something is wrong.

It’s so important to remember that it’s not our duty as parents to prevent our children from experiencing discomfort.

Our job is to keep them in a loving and safe environment, meet their needs, and help them learn that they can rely on themselves.

When you keep these important aspects in mind and implement them, sleep training your child can run a lot smoother.