Sleep help, attachment, CIO

Posted by Tara Mitchell on

Hello my loves,


It is one of the biggest concerns, questions we get. Will sleep help affect attachment? Is it extinction.


Your little ones are born to seek attachment to you, you their entire world. We understand this deeply as Mothers and as Women who have dedicated our adult lives to ongoing education and practices to support and guide families to stronger, fulfilled more connected relationships.


We wholeheartedly advocate for strong attachment. We do not at all use extinction. 


Our program has a number of methods to suit each family but mostly we understand your little ones are WHOLE beings and so everything we do is thought of in a holistic manner to support and make changes in healthy ways.


Attachment hinges on responsiveness to a child’s needs, it is the caregivers ability to be attuned, emotionally available, responsive to a child’s signals that determines healthy attachment. You may employ all of the practices such as breast-feeding, bed sharing, enduring constant waking, baby wearing but these things don’t determine a stronger attachment if a Mother is touched out, resentful, emotionally unavailable and unable to be present. 


Now don’t worry you are no doubt doing your best so if you are touched out, irritable etc this isn’t the end of attachment. This is simply to say these things are not the determinants and you CAN have incredible sleep habits and remain wholeheartedly attached. Healthy sleep is a pillar to a caregivers mental, emotional and relational health. Sleep matters when it comes to attachment, you matter! Many Mothers report feeling closer to their baby, more attuned, emotionally available and greater ability to be present once sleep is sorted.  These are the determinants of healthy attachment.


Babies, toddlers, HUMANS are meant to cry, this is not only a form on communication, expression it is energy in motion, emotion. 

Out of the practice of “Gentle parenting” a belief has been formed that little ones cannot cry, it will raise cortisol and damage them. Tears are expected in fact they are essential in all humans, however it is our ability to respond and be attuned during this process that means you DO NOT have to worry that it is damaging your baby. Two more things to consider around the extreme versions of “attachment and gentle” parenting is that we are the only species that try to regress our young firstly and second there are NO studies to prove responsive sleep help equates to negative outcomes, there are plenty to prove it doesn’t cause any harm.


You are making change and change feels uncomfortable for all of us, it is our brains job to keep us safe and safety is not necessarily about what is better for our well being but it is what we know. It is our brains job to ensure we don’t make changes. That is why we stay in jobs, relationships, circumstances even when we are unhappy. The discomfort/tears that come with change do not mean that it is wrong, it means it’s not familiar and the new takes time to adjust to. It IS our job to have a solid plan when making change, one that is effective, supportive and works with our little ones. This is what we provide. Yes your babe may cry when you first make change, but it is not CIO, you will be supporting your babe and you must take a look at this as a whole picture. A loved little one that has learned habits through repetition and association that don’t serve in their best interests and in fact negatively impact the emotional, physical and developmental well being of both child and family.  Now it’s time to offer them the guidance and support they require to healthier, sustainable habits.. WHAT A GIFT.


If you are really triggered by your little ones upset at any point not just around sleep I want you to remember it is normal that their crying elicits a visceral response in us, we were designed that way. It is the way they are safe in this world, the way they form attachment and learn to regulate. What a perfect design. However if you are so triggered that you feel the need to shut down the expression of any negative emotions it is important to look at where that is coming from. Is it what you are attaching to the crying?  A story from your past, a post you read on social media, an un processed trauma? What is it that we believe about their negative emotions? Do we have a healthy, relative response? Children need to know they are safe to express both negative and positive emotion. A part of love is boundaries and being sturdy guides for our little ones. We want our children to feel and know ALL emotions are safe to be felt. 


We have put together a program that we believe is the best way to make sleep changes with as minimal upset as possible through a range of considerations and methodology.


What a gift sleep is to your entire family.


Tara x

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