Baby Led Sleep

I have two children right now. The Bean is almost three years and the Chickpea is almost eight months. Last night, and the night before that, and the night before that, I parented my three year old to sleep until he was soundly, deeply, out. On those same nights I nursed my eight month old in the rocker in her room, rocked her with her pacifier, and put her in her crib from Treasure Rooms sleepy but awake. Then I left her alone and walked out. Within a few minutes, a few quiet minutes with a little tossing and maybe a sigh she was asleep.

If you only knew a little bit more about Bean, you might understand the shock induced heart palpitations I experience when Pea falls asleep alone. Bean has never been what might be referred to as a natural sleeper. And the road that has led us down has been one I had never imagined before having kids. Now, having two very different children who are two very different sleepers I feel so convinced that sleep, like speaking, or eating solids, or learning to walk, is a developmental milestone. If you do nothing but follow their lead and meet their needs sleep eventually happens.

I guess you could say I am a proponent of Baby Led Sleeping. Before Bean was born I never put a lot of thought into sleep training, or letting a child cry himself to sleep, or “cry it out,” or co-sleeping, or nursing to sleep, or any of it. I had watched people put their children down in a crib, heard a little crying, and then the child was asleep. It felt a little bad to me but it wasn’t my child. I didn’t stop to think about any other way to do things.

When the Bean came along he had other things in mind. For the first few months we shared a bed with him and everyone I knew was supportive of having him with us. Then around three months the questions started. When would we move him to his crib? Was he sleeping longer stretches? Was he sleeping through the night?

I was in a foreign land all of a sudden. My baby wouldn’t sleep if he wasn’t touching me. Often I held him while he slept. Otherwise we were safely on the bed, with no blankets or pillows, and he was nestled in with me. When I tried to move him to the bassinette in our room he protested, loudly, and repeatedly. If I tried to put him down in his crib in his room his eyes popped open the second he hit the mattress and the crying began.

I read books about sleep. I found an AP friendly website with forum I could ask questions on. I slowly realized that my parenting was going to be different from other parents we knew. I was going to meet his needs in so many ways. I knew this is what made sense for us, but it seemed the most glaring and difficult piece of our puzzle was sleep. The Bean was not a natural sleeper. And I could not begin to imagine that leaving this sensitive, touch needy child alone in his crib wailing was a good idea. It broke my heart. I was afraid it would break his spirit.

There was research out there that supported my feelings but for me the most convincing thing of all was how I felt. It felt wrong to me. It felt like the wrong thing for my child. I wouldn’t do it. And so the months and then years passed. I nursed him to sleep, he woke several times a night and I always rolled towards him and nursed him back to sleep. Slowly, as he grew older and I got pregnant things changed. S l o w l y.

When my milk dried up he started snuggling me when he woke up at night. When the pea was born he weaned and I started laying on the bed with him and letting him twiddle a mole on my stomach to fall asleep. Some nights he would let my husband parent him through the night. Some nights he needed me. We just kept following his lead and meeting his needs.

Now here he is, almost three, and yes I still parent him to sleep. But, he sleeps. Most nights he sleeps in his bed, in his room, through the whole night. Some nights he wants me to come in for a bit to help him get back to sleep in the middle of the night. A few times he has let my husband parent him to sleep for the night. Things have changed. It has taken three years of patience and of doing things differently then anyone else we know here but it is happening. So, sleep is proving to be within his grasp and ours.

Now perhaps you can imagine my shock when Chickpea, just a few months old, still a chubby nursathon baby, fell asleep in her crib. I was putting her to sleep in the rocker like I always have. And the Bean was over tired and having a spirited child moment crying hysterically for me so I whispered to her that I would be back in a moment and I went to comfort him. A few minutes later I returned to her room and she was sleeping. I had to check to make sure she was alive. Then I had to run down the stairs with the video monitor and show it to my husband. Shock.

I was sure it wouldn’t or couldn’t happen again but I knew I should try. So each night I nurse and rock and cuddle her and then I put her in her crib. She falls asleep. She sleeps – not for one hour or two even but five! One night she slept for eight hours – eight glorious hours of sleep!

Did I sleep? No. Maybe that comes some other time. After three years of being up every two hours or so I am not sure when I will reset. But, the baby is sleeping. She may revert, she may go through phases, she may start waking a lot again. But she has given me a gift. She has shown me that my parenting intuition was correct. I can let go of the doubt about whether I did the right thing with Bean. I can stop wondering if there was truth in the assertion some people made that I “created” the Bean’s sleep patterns and needs.

What I created was a safe place for him to develop as his own speed. What I did was follow my child’s lead and trust that in a secure environment he would eventually come to sleep longer, more easily, in his own way. And he has done just that in his own time. The Pea is now showing me that the same method of nurturing can lead to an entirely different picture with a different child. I hold her, I nurse her, I rock her, I follow her lead, and she can fall asleep without me.

If you are parenting a child like the Bean please don’t worry. Please listen to your heart and follow your instincts and shut out the doubt and the doubters. Your child will sleep. The day will come. Trust me and try practicing Baby Led Sleeping. It is a gift and a blessing and a lot of hard work and you will never ever regret a second of it.

Sweet dreams my little Pea. Sweet dreams my growing Bean. Sleep like only you can sleep.

Author: API Blog

APtly Said, Formerly API Speaks launched in April of 2008 as part of Attachment Parenting International's larger effort to offer interactive content through their newly-redesigned web site: All contributors to APtly Said, as with so many of API's staff, are volunteers who donate their time and energy to promote Attachment Parenting world wide.

40 thoughts on “Baby Led Sleep”

  1. Thanks for the enlightening article. I find myself drifting more and more toward AP with my baby. But the last several nights she’s screamed whether I am close to her, nursing her, she’s in her crib, she’s naked, whatever when it’s bedtime. This is baffling to me!! Wish I knew what the solution to that was.

    Jessie–mom of a five-month-old

  2. When my first child was born, I thought I had this parenting thing all figured out because he was (and still is at 4.5) such a great sleeper. I thought I was doing it “just right.”

    Then along came my daughter, who needs to be parented to sleep and rarely slept more than about 2-3 hours at a stretch until she was over 2.

    I agree that sleep is a developmental milestone that children reach at different ages. Although parenting Lily at night for those two years was one of the hardest things I’ve ever done, now that I’m getting more sleep, I know it was what she needed and that listening to her needs, even when it was hard, was exactly the right thing to do.

    Now, she’s almost 3 and we rarely have to get up with her in the night. It’s wonderful to be well rested again (even if she is still an early riser and comes in around 6:30 every morning for her milkies)!

  3. AMEN! Loved your article!! It hurts my heart to hear about babies allowed to cry it out. My almost 2.5 year old son still gets parented to sleep….still crawls into bed with my husband and I every night….we wouldn’t have it any other way. Sleep is such an important thing, there’s no reason to make it stressful and scary. Number three is due on 8 more weeks, and I look forward to more night time parenting with her.

  4. I don’t know if I’ve conditioned my baby this way, or if this is just what he needs, but he generally won’t fall asleep unless he’s in his swing (and super tired), in the car (and pretty tired), in my arms, or with me nursing him and laying next to him.

    He’s 3 months old and will outgrow his swing soon enough, so that won’t be an option for much longer.

    I want him to be able to fall asleep without these crutches, but I’m starting to realize that maybe this is just how he’s programmed. Maybe he needs help falling asleep.

    For the last 10 years or so, I’ve been a horrible sleeper. I really hope he can fare better than I!

  5. Thanks for the article, it gives me more confidence in my decision. My daughter is 2, and still waking every 2 hours at night, but I want her to feel that I am there for her, no matter what time it is.

  6. for those of you who might be interested in reading more about AP friendly sleep the books that i found helpful (especially when the bean was younger) were No Cry Sleep Solution and The Sleep Book from the Sears Library. i will warn you that both of these books stressed me out a little bit when i read about how many hours of sleep my kid should be getting (neither of my kids seem to sleep that much) but aside from that it was nice to have some strategies that felt comfortable to me and also the permission to do nothing but follow my heart.

    hope that helps.

  7. My story is almost exactly the same except my oldest just started falling asleep on her own recently and she is almost four. It is great to see others who approach nighttime parenting the same way. I have felt very “alone” in my ideas. Also thank you for calling it parenting when others call it lunacy. 🙂

  8. I have 3 children and have always responded to their needs, night or day. My 5 year old sleeps very well in his own bed all night, while he sometimes comes into our bed. My 3 year old comes into our bed every night at some point and my 21 month old just started going to sleep in her own bed, but always comes into our bed within a few hours. It would seem foreign to me to ever let our children cry it out. I have a lot of friends with children who have had their babies in seperate rooms from the beginning and who have never heard of attachment parenting, so it’s nice to read about other people who feel the same way I do about parenting. People think I’m super mom because I practice attachment parenting, but to me it’s natural and I wouldn’t want it any other way.

  9. Thanks for this. Our 2 year old is a great sleeper, but ever since we moved our four year old into a regalar bed (at just over 2 years old), he has been a terrible sleeper. My husband is constantly fretting over how “everyone else’s kid’s sleep well” and wondering why ours doesn’t and when will bedtime stop being such a battle so we can get some sleep too? I’ll be sure to show him your piece. You just verified what I knew all along–our son is not a natural sleeper and there’s nothing wrong with helping him.

  10. It’s nice to hear everyone doing what works for them, not following some arbitrary schedule of events. My 6 month old sleeps with me all night, and does she ever sleep all night! People comment on how “good” she is, content and secure, but when they learn that she sleeps in our bed, they give the eyebrow raise, like they’ve discovered my grave weakness. Babies aren’t by rule made to sleep alone. Many of them tell their mamas they don’t like it, the difference with all of you who wrote before me is that you actually listen.

  11. Thank you. Our wee love is 9 months and is waking every 1 -2 hrs. We sometimes get 3 or 3 1/2 hrs at the beginning of the night – wow!! but she is either in her Amby Baby next to us, or in bed with me! I follow her. We tried (to my horror now) holding her and not feeding her twice, cos’ I was about to go crazy with sleep deprivation! but I know in my heart to follow her and hold her close. She is so, so dear – Thank You for this encouraging and touchign article.

  12. My son is 3 months old – thus far we’ve had no trouble with him at night – he spends every night with us. When he was brand new I held him all night, as he got a little older we were able to put him down in the cosleeper, swaddled, if he starts to wake I can reach over and pat him to sleep – he just wants to know we’re still there.

    Our sleep routine has evolved as he’s grown. He used to exclusively nurse to sleep, now most nights he gets ‘bounced’ to sleep (exercise ball) after being changed, swaddled, fed, and then bounced. Whether he sleeps through the night is one of the most frequent questions I get. Sometimes he does, sometimes he doesn’t. I don’t really keep track (or remember all the time!) Sometimes I nurse him and put him back in his cosleeper if he falls right back asleep, sometimes I hold him the rest of the night. I can’t imagine him being any farther away from me. I don’t put him in another room during the day, why would I do it at night?

    It’s for my own comfort as much as it is for his.

  13. Thank you so much for your heartfelt articles about Bean and his sleep journey. I am 18 months into a similar journey with my little girl, and finding and reading these articles has allowed me to breathe and let go of the anxiety and the criticisms that *I* somehow created miss B’s sleep struggles – she still wakes every 1-2 hours every night and needs to nurse back to sleep, and my heart tells me that she *will* figure it out, but not on my time or terms, on hers. Bean’s story gives me the hope and encouragement that a tired Mama needs when the journey has been as hard on her sleep as it has been on her baby’s.

    So, thank you. May both their sleeps continue to bless them with good rest and happy dreams!
    ~ judith, nighttime parenting mama to 18-month-old miss B

  14. Reading your story makes me feel like there is a light at the end of this long journey toward sleep. My daughter is almost 5 months old and will not sleep unless held or curled up next to me. She falls asleep nursing, and sometimes I can pull away without waking her up, but most times she wakes. She wakes every 1-3 hours and needs to be nursed back to sleep. This includes naps. I find myself in bed with her 12-14 hours a day. We’ve tried “everything” except crying it out. I agree that it just seems wrong and unnecessary. I am home with her and what we have an abundance of is time. We don’t have anywhere we have to be, the dishes and the laundry will always be there–now is the time to just be. I am giving her what she shows me she needs. I am constantly asked, how’s she sleeping? And all of my answers are problems– with us, not long, etc. But I have decided that it isn’t a problem unless I believe it is. This is just how life is right now, and it’s beautiful and full of wonder as I feel her warm sweetness sleeping peacefully next to me.

  15. This could have been written by me, about my own two children, the story is so similar to my own. And I have come to the same conclusion, that baby-led sleep is the way to go. It just feels right. Thank you for writing this.

  16. I’ve just found this blog after searching the internet for other mums who feed their baby to sleep. my boy is almost 10 months and we feed him to sleep every night at bedtime, and then again when we go to bed, and once in the night. We also tried rocking him to sleep or giving him water, but he was really distressed. feeding seems such a natural loving thing to do, and it’s right there, ready made comfort! It’s so good to know there are other parents out there doing the same thing.

  17. Reading your words brought me tears of validation and joy to know that I am not so alone in this decision I have made to follow my child’s lead when it comes to sleep. What a relief it was to read your article, thank you!

  18. I am surrounded my moms who enforce cry it out on their babies and love to tell me how their little ones sleep 12 hours straight and put themselves to sleep. Does this sound fantastic? Of course! However, I decided very early on in my 8 month old boy’s life that attachment parenting is my style. Sometimes (rarely) my little guy sleeps 10 hours straight on his own but most nights we are up several times. His night wakings have become long and difficult recently but I still refuse to let him cry it out. He needs me and he needs love and I will NOT let him lay in his bed crying, wondering why in the world his mommy won’t come to his rescue. In fact, he doesn’t cry in the night – he just has trouble falling back asleep. My inlaws are not understanding, my husband sleeps in his own room so that he is able to get enough sleep to function at work the next day, and my friends continually brag about their sleeping babies.

    I am EVER SO RELIEVED to stumble upon this page of comments of other attachment mommies who understand one another. Tears of relief fill my eyes right now as I absorb the feeling of affirmation that what I am doing is right for my son. He is an exceptionally happy and vibrant little guy so I know that my parenting is right for him. Thank you, beautiful mommies here on this page, for giving me the confidence to continue mothering my baby boy in the most loving way.

  19. Thank you for putting into words what my heart is telling me. I have a 7-month-old who has always been a difficult sleeper. From day 1, the only way she would fall asleep for most naps and bedtime was being bounced for at least 15-20 minutes (sometimes a lot longer) while in a sling or swaddled. At first I bounced her while standing and bending my knees, but that soon became very hard on me physically, so I soon discovered the bouncing ball (I use one specifically for babies instead of a yoga ball). That ball is a mixed blessing – while it has allowed me to get my daughter to sleep for many months, I sometimes curse it because it’s the only way she’ll fall sleep and it’s very tiring for me. Lately I’ve been wondering how much longer I can do this, because my back aches, my thighs ache, my arms ache, and it’s extremely hard to be so physical right when I’m at my most tired. As she gets bigger and heavier, it gets harder and harder.

    I originally planned to cosleep with her in a cosleeper bed or in my bed, but after a few weeks discovered that since we are both very light sleepers, we both sleep much better in separate rooms as well as separate beds, so in our case cosleeping didn’t work. Also for various reasons, I had to give up breastfeeding at 3 weeks, even though I was 100% committed to it at the beginning, so she’s been on formula exclusively since. Supposedly formula-fed babies are able to sleep longer stretches, but not this one!

    Most of her naps (2 or 3 a day) are 30-40 minutes long, and at bedtime she always wakes up half an hour after being put down and I have to bounce her back to sleep again. Some nights she’ll sleep 3-4 hours before waking up again (at which point I have to give her a bottle before she’ll go back to sleep), other nights she’ll wake up 2 or 3 times in between. Usually she sleeps more soundly after the middle of the night feeding and I get my best sleep between about 2 or 3 AM and 7 AM. If it’s the middle of the night feeding she’ll usually fall asleep in my arms as soon as she’s done eating, but any other time I have to bounce her back to sleep. She rarely sleeps more than 9 1/2 hours at night total, no matter what time I put her to bed.

    Because this is really wearing on my physically, I’ve been thinking a lot about what if anything I can do to change it so that we both get better, more uninterrupted sleep. The other night out of pure exhaustion and desperation, I decided to see what would happen if I let her cry it out, the Ferber way, checking on her every 10 minutes but not picking her up. I am against CIO emotionally, but at a physical level had to give it a try. Of course it didn’t work – after 45 minutes she was crying as hard as after 5; the second I picked her up at the 45-minute mark, she stopped crying, and she fell asleep after another 15 minutes of bouncing. I know the CIO experts would say that a one-night trial is not proof that it doesn’t work for her, but I don’t have the heart to do it again.

    After reading what you said about your kids, I feel better knowing that it’s not anything I’m doing wrong, it’s just how she is, and that I’m on the right track by just continuing to do what I’ve always done, and some day maybe we’ll turn a corner. It’s very hard to do it every day and every night, and there are so many times I just want to quit and stop bouncing her and just roll over and go back to sleep myself, but I know she will just cry until I pick her up and bounce her back to sleep, and I can’t bear letting her cry when she just needs to be held and bounced and loved.

  20. This is my life… thank you for helping to validate what so many of us do, and often question after a night of little sleep and kids ready to go go go at 6am!

    Our 5 yo DS, and 3yo and 2yo DD’s take turns throughout the night, and we sometimes feel like it’s ‘time’ to be a bit firmer but that feeling is always fleeting. Our 5yo now sleeps very well, after years of co-sleep and lits of nighttime parenting, and our 3yo is well on her way, only waking once a night, standing at my bedside for a quick nurse, and trots off back to bed. Our 2yo is right in the middle of sorting out what to do at nighttime, but we are always there if she chooses to come to our bedroom… often staying for the rest of the night.

    When we feel lik’it’s time’ we pick up our copy of “Nighttime parenting” By Dr Sears and remind ourselves that a full nights sleep will come once again… sometime.. lol.

    We love that our children have the confidence to ask for our help day or night, and can trust that no matter what the matter is (3am, 4yo, and a nightmare OR 3am, 5yo and drunk and in trouble) that they can come to us to help them if need be. We are setting up confident and trusting human beings, and are staying away from training them to be something they are not, or to feel something that they don’t feel.

    So far, so good!

  21. I am so grateful that I found responses reg sleeping with your kids. My daughter just turned 2 and has slept with us since day one. I have nursed her to sleep always, even naps. I just had surgery this Thursday and I have no idea if that has anything to do with it, yet she will not sleep in the bed. She keeps sayin she wants to sleep in her bed…. What just happened? Did she just all of sudden not need us to sleep anymore? I think I am struggling with it more then she is. Any suggestions? I guess she has just become so independent all of sudden. I am supposed to be happy that she is, yet I am really sad…. Does that make sense? Well, thanks for lettting me write a little about it. I guess, she is just growing up and I need to just follow her cues. Still very sad….

  22. Thank you so much! My little man is 9 months old and everyone is telling me how to handle his sleeping and waking up in the middle of the night. CIO is not my style and PUPD seems even more exhausting than just getting up every few hours for 10 minutes at a time. I have been accused of not letting my son self-sooth (?, he’s a baby!!). I needed this. I needed to hear this from someone else. I am tired, but aren’t all mother’s? I can’t get back the few minutes of cuddling every night when he’s 15 and doesn’t need me any more! Maybe that is selfish of me, but I feel better following his lead and not letting him feel like I have abandoned him.

    1. I have the same problem!!! My baby sleeps perfectly fine at night, but I can’t leave her alone when she’s napping. I feel like such a failure. I am a stay-at-home mom and after six months I am still struggling to get anything done around the house. I feel like the only thing I do is feed her, change her, bathe her and try to get her to go down for her naps. And when she’s awake and happy, I feel like I ignore her too much, cause I try to get things done. I barely play with her, cause every moment that she’s happy, I try to get some things done.
      My baby does have allergies and colics, so I know that’s also a factor, but still…
      What’s it like with you?

  23. I could cry. I’m laying here typing this in the dark laying next to my 8 month old son because he will only sleep with my next to him. It’s been a long 8 months, as he sounds just like how you described. If he’s much like your son (sounds like it), then he definitely will need help the next few years. If I can expect that, it doesn’t seem as hard. Thanks. 😉

  24. Somehow all of this isn’t as encouraging for me. I don’t know how I’ll do this if it goes on like this for years! But I don’t want to give up AP and end up harming my child. My 8-month old has become an increasingly light sleeper. We used to be able to put her down in her crib after nursing her to sleep a couple of times in the evening and I could catch up on work a little for the 1-2 hrs that she would sleep. Then I could even go to bed alone for an hour before my husband would bring her to me for the night. No more of that. The slightest suggestion that I might be moving her wakes her up. I don’t even try transitioning her to the crib at all anymore and end up going to bed before I’m ready most nights, just to make sure she sleeps. The only way she’ll fall asleep or stay asleep now is next to me or in a moving car. I go for a long walk with her in the ergo to get her to nap during the day and keep her like that while I sit at my computer and race to get something done before she wakes up. I work from home and every day is a struggle to keep my head above water. Even in the ergo or in my bed she is restless and wakes crying and arching her back almost every hour. Sometimes she isn’t even comforted by a breast and I end up walking around or swaying back and forth and sometimes getting impatient. It just seems like she keeps getting worse and we’re making negative progress. We keep saying we need to keep doing it this way for 9 months and then reevaluate. I find myself looking forward to that mark so I can just put her down and walk away a couple of times a day. Then I feel guilty for planning what seems like sudden abandonment. I just keep hoping she’ll make some progress before then so I don’t quit on her! Because I honestly don’t know if I can keep this up even for another month. I need a cheerleader!

    1. April –
      Your frustration is certainly understandable! We encourage you to post about your situation on the API Forum, where you will be connected with an experienced API Leader and other parents who may have faced similar situations. Click here to access the Forum. You can use the link in the upper right corner of the screen to obtain a user name and password, needed for posting. I hope you find this helpful.

      ~ Editor

    2. April –
      Also, if you haven’t already done so, you may wish to find out if there is an API Support Group in your area. Click here to see all of the groups.

      ~ Editor

  25. I am so glad that I read this. My 4 month old will only sleep while being held. both at night and during naps. I have no problem with it. It is difficult.. I don’t sleep well but he does.. usually. He has taken 2 naps in his crib but I put him in there after he was out-out. I keep getting the questions too.. has he slept through the night? Nope. He is STILL sleeping with you? Yep. All of it has shaken my confidence. This made me feel right in following my intuition. Thank you.

  26. My 3 month old is the same. He will only sleep next to me. If I get up in the middle of the night to use the bathroom he wakes up and cries until I am back. So I hold it all night just to get him to stay sleeping. I get all the comments too, but I don’t mind sleeping with him and my doctor is supportive. She says ‘he won’t still be in your bed at 15 so don’t worry!’ But everyone else tries to scare me that it is dangerous so every night I pray to keep him safe from me and it gives me much anxiety. I will never do the CIO method. It just seems so wrong to me. My other issue is that my mom takes care of him while I work and it’s hard on her to have to hold him for naps, sometimes she is able to put him down for an hour, so I question what am I doing wrong? Then she critizes me and says it’s my fault for holding him so much. I don’t agree with her but it’s frustrating to hear so much critisizing. I just can’t bear the thought of leaving him with a stranger so I just grin and bear it. My husband can only hold him for the 20 minutes he is happy then he cries and only wants me. I know this will pass when he gets older and interested in other things and that makes it easier. I do cherish every moment I spend with him because I feel guilty I have to work. But my house is a MESS!! I guess one day it won’t be. I read somewhere that we only have approx 900 weekends with our kids before they move out, so if I have to hold my little one and sleep with him, at this stage I will happily do so. I’m sure one day I will miss it.

  27. I absolutely love your post. My dd is 18 months now and she’s been exactly like Beans. I can see eye brows being raised every time I say I still nurse, my baby doesn’t sleep through the night, sleeps in my bed and won’t sleep if I’m not there… my nct group meets up now and then for an evening meal and of the 8 of us I am tge only one that almost never can make it.
    Apart from her sleeping, she’s a lovely girl. But a demanding one, easily getting angry and frustrated, not liking her buggy or long trips in a car, unwilling to try new foods…
    I used to blame myself for the way she is – I was thinking I ‘created’ these behaviours and problems with my parenting… i was asking myself what did I do to make her this way.
    Fortunately I met some very wise people who made me realize it’s just the way she is and nothing to do as a parent. And it really helped me to relax a bit more and enjoy my parenthood much more.
    She is intense, but she’s mine and I love her to bits. I am expecting a second baby at the moment and I hope he will be just like your Peas… 🙂

  28. Just wondering if the bean would nap alone. I have a baby like him and he will only nap on top of me. It’s lovely but I also would like to do other things sometimes.

  29. Thank you so much for writing this, my little man is 9 months old and just like Bean is not a natural sleeper. He needs to be cuddled and fed to sleep and can wake around 4 times a night just because he needs the reassurance that mumma is still there. I respond to his needs, whatever and whenever they are and in my heart it feels right but it’s so exhausting and the judgement from almost everyone is just so much to deal with that even I started to believe that I did this to him and to myself.

    I’ve always believed a child’s natural habitat is with their mother, it’s just biology right! But the looks from others and the little comments they are definitely enough to plant the seeds of doubt and when a friend gloats that their baby is sleeping 12 hours in her cot without waking while my little man will only sleep with me in my bed and is still waking frequently well that’s difficult to take with a smile.

    That’s where you came in as my little man was napping next to me I began my googling. I want to type, “someone save me this kid won’t f-ing sleep” but I settle on ‘attachment friendly independent sleep,’ keying it in my eyes are stinging that little bit from tiredness of an exceptionally early and exhausting morning and I find this and my mind and soul lighten a little.
    Thank you x

  30. Thank you. My little E sleeps wonderfully in her bassinet beside our bed at night but wakes up whenever I put her down to nap. I was beginning to believe that it was because we “hold her too much”. This has reaffirmed to me that my parenting style is to meet her needs and not to train them out of her or pacify them.

  31. Thank you for sharing! I don’t like to follow books, I prefer to follow my heart. I’m happy to see that I’m not the only one! I’m letting my baby show me what he needs in every way, including sleep. He sleeps for 40 minutes on the clock during the day. I used to think that I should do something to change this, because of course he need more frequent naps than he would if he slept for longer. But nothing seemed to work. And my husband said: maybe it’s just his own way…. wise husband I have… 😉

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