Feeling Tense? Find Peace Amidst the Chaos.

It’s 3pm and my husband and I are beginning the office swap. There are conversations to have, phones ringing, toddlers fussing, and a pre-teen asking if she can watch TV in exchange for watching the baby. I have 15 minutes to transition from mom to professional. I have to fill my husband in on the school work, the plan for dinner, and what is going on with the kids – and he is still two hours away from the end of his workday. The irony of this all is that we chose this long before any virus forced us into it!

Laptop on crowded desk with infant toys, coffee, and planner

Our competing needs clash every day. And it isn’t just the competing needs of my husband and me. In the mix are also the needs that our children have for love, attention, affection, and time. This often crashes into our need to provide financially for our family, and our need for professional and personal fulfillment. Every day, I wake up to the challenge of balancing the needs of two working parents and a family of five children ranging from 1 to 11.

It is a life full of opportunities to recognize my limitations as a human being.

One of my favorite songs is “I’m no SuperMan.” And I often find myself singing it as I go through my day. Occasionally it is accompanied by an equally valid and important mantra from St. Joan of Arc, “I was born for this.” These two phrases are my mantra as a mom: I am no Superman or woman and I was born for this. The first step in balancing all of this competition for time, space, and attention is to recognize that I have needs that are just as valid as my children’s and husband’s.


I can love my work and love my children. I can be excited and sad about the same things. By cultivating a mindfulness practice in my life, I can walk in that uncomfortable both/and place.


When I am working with clients, it becomes clear that most adults don’t know how to name their needs, often having wrongly learned that their needs are just ‘wants.’ They believe themselves to be selfish. When we show up in our lives believing that we are selfish, we see everyone else as selfish. We  then stop being able to read the needs of the people we love the most. The reality is that if we cannot name and honor our own needs, we can never hope to honor those of children. To help you think about what your needs may be, I have compiled a list.

Examples of Adult Needs:

I need to use the bathroom

I need to hydrate – (drink a cold icy glass of water, or in the winter maybe a hot cup of tea)

I need to eat

I need to move my body

I need to go outside

I need to go walk / run

I need to see a friend

I need to breathe deeply

I need to stretch

I need my spouses/ loved one’s support

I need to know that someone is proud of me

I need empathy

I need a hug

I need to complete a task

I need to be alone

I need to take a shower

I need to learn something new

I need to talk about something that is bothering me

I need to laugh, sing, dance

I need to play

I need to reminisce

I need to pursue my career

I need to use my talents & skills & gifts

Steaming hot cup of tea in woman's hands with soft light streaming through window

Like most adults, I used to believe that my needs were just ‘wants’ and sacrificing for my children was the most important thing I could do; it made me an A+ mom. I put on the SuperWoman cape every morning and melted into a heap of tears, wondering how I could be better tomorrow. More patient. More kind. Give more of myself to my children and husband. Having 5 children means I have spent a significant amount of my adult life questioning how I could be a better mom, how I could perfect this doing it all.

And then I woke up to the reality that I couldn’t; I absolutely could not do it all. I had needs, and no amount of ignoring them would make them magically disappear.

One of my needs was to return to work. I needed a break from being ‘Mom’ all the time, every waking and sleeping moment being about these five amazing little beings. Through great providence I was offered a position that would allow me to return to my career, still be home with the kids, and even have the time to homeschool them.

Returning to work came with a slew of trade-offs. They included guilt, shame, fear that I was/am messing everything up, less time to cook, clean, and be everything to eYoung child asleep in starfish position with foot on dad's headveryone. But the transition also came with room to breathe in a whole new way. It brought conversations that went beyond does your baby sleep in the starfish position or the dreaded H? (note mine do both and perform baby gymnastics all night long…) And why don’t they make washing machines that can handle cloth diapers?

I remember my first day at my new job. This was the first time I had gone to work in seven years; I had on high heels, slacks, a blouse, and I was carrying a computer bag – not a diaper bag. It was freeing and scary all at once. I can still remember walking down the street, waiting for the crosswalk sign to change and feeling the wind in my hair. I existed outside of being just a mom, and it felt amazing! I also remember getting home at the end of that first day, which had lasted five hours, including the commute. Oh the tears as I raced inside to give my babies kisses before they went to bed! I couldn’t get the work clothes off fast enough, raced to snuggle down next to them and breathe in their sweet baby smells. It felt amazing.

In a world of either/or, I am living something uncharted – both/and. I can love my work and love my children. I can be excited and sad about the same things. By cultivating a mindfulness practice in my life, I can walk in that uncomfortable both/and place.light blue animated brain in the shape of a heartSometimes living both/and – allowing competing needs to exist – unleashes a fear response. Those thoughts of I am screwing everything up arrive on the scene. And when I experience fear, it triggers a physiological response known as the sympathetic nervous response (SNR).

For me I know my SNR is engaged when I am short of breath, or my shoulders think they are earrings. My jaw struggles to open and shut with ease. When I notice these body sensations, I remind myself to stop what I am doing. I ask myself, what am I scared of? Is there an active danger I need to be aware of?

 

Curious toddler peering over wooden ledge with look of amazement on her face, black and white photoIn that moment of asking, I become a better mom, a better wife, and a better human being.

In that moment, I cultivate curiosity.

Fear and curiosity live in opposition to one another; there is not room in the mind for both. When I ask questions about my surroundings, my beliefs, and my experience, I signal to my body that there is no immediate danger. It’s okay to disengage that SNR. Sometimes I need to stop and tell my husband or my kids, “Hey, I’m feeling keyed up and I’m not sure why, so can you help me out?” Sometimes the help I need is for them to stop making so much noise. Or perhaps I’m asking if they notice any of my triggers that I may be missing.

When we can recognize our body’s messages to stop and take in our surroundings, we can plan. Maybe I need to attend to an email that is bouncing around in my brain, or maybe I need to recognize that I am off until Monday, and my work will be there when I turn on the computer. Balancing family life and professional life requires awareness and tools for the clash of needs that is inevitable. The SNR  is one of our body’s greatest tools, and yet so often we seek to numb when we experience it, moving frantically through our life, desperately seeking an escape. That makes perfect sense. After all, the SNR just communicated that we were in danger and we needed to take action and move.

Those physical symptoms of heart racing, palms sweating, and holding my breath are the stop signs in my life. They are an invitation to slow down. They are an invitation to pause. They are an invitation to be mindful. Mindfulness for me is about filling my mind, filling it with the information about my surroundings, my emotions, my needs. And it provides me with the ability to move forward with purpose and intentionality.

dandelion stalk with single seed still attached on vibrant green blurred background

Part of that intentionality is leaning into the discomfort that comes from competing needs and desires. I have learned to embrace Brene Brown’s Mantra, “discomfort over resentment,” since returning to work has included many moments of discomfort and conflict. Children beg to be read to, played with, and taken out for bike rides – but I have case notes to fill out and studying to do for the licensure exam that expired while I blissfully rocked away in the nursery.

It’s uncomfortable to tell my kids no, I can’t play that game right now, because I have to finish studying this chapter. But I never want to resent playing that game with them because it means not achieving my dreams. In the world of both/and, the same is true for accepting the discomfort of saying “no” to a new potential client because I want to spend my days building block towers and playing heated games of Risk. I never want to resent my work because it stole these precious moments of my children’s young lives.

There will always be competing needs. Balance means embracing the invitation to mindfulness that comes with both/and, accepting that I have real needs, and seeking a plan to meet my needs so that I am prepared to meet those of my children.

mother and four children sitting on a blanket, having a picnic in the park

Community Means Cherishing One Another: API is here for you.

 

Anieken Udofia mural of diverse group of children watering garden togetherOur days are filled with compassion–and passion–as our world grows in awareness, shares, speaks out, and supports change for equity and justice for our Black families. We are moved by generations of families, fathers, mothers, children, together acting to examine and make systemic change against racism.

Making a change is a road fraught with failures and doubts, including for parenting decisions and actions. In the midst of that, practicing sensitivity, connection, and understanding and nurturing others, including our own children, is also immeasurably rewarding. The ultimate key to navigating the challenges and ensuring the immediate and long-term change is support. Taking time, becoming vulnerable, reaching out, and finding, or even creating, support may be the most difficult and most important effort we make.

That’s why we’re here to help you find support, help you offer support if you can provide it, help you connect and make change–at home, in your community, and in our world. We can work and support each other to change how we parent and through it, even reform the disparities that exist in our communities.

API has many resources on talking with your children about racism, the effects of racism, and more – selected from thoughtful and informed parenting leaders. Use them in your home, in your support group meetings, and in your community. We will continue to add to this resource and invite you to share your Attachment Parenting resources as well.

Text Choose Compassion overlaid on drawing of outstretched hands

At this time that we are still sheltering, and as families face new waves of COVID-19 outbreak around the world, we continue to manage children’s disappointments, expectations, and agendas.

 

We invite you to let us know how YOU are doing through two surveys:

For parent group leaders, our leader survey will help us support you and give you the tools you need to serve your community.

If you’re a parent, we would very much like to hear from you too. How are you doing? Let us know by completing this 1 minute parent survey so we can provide support that fits best.

Only by reaching out to one another, by being honest with ourselves and with each other about how we’re doing, can we work toward communal health and the healing of social rifts.

Now is the time to lean on one another. API is here for you. 

Parents Rock and Roll!

A study in distraction and encouragement as we roll with it

How are you? Have you been “rock and rolling” lately? Did a song begin to play in your mind? Maybe you didn’t think of music, but something else entirely. The term “rock and roll” is packed with meanings and it’s possible that you’ve experienced many of them in recent weeks.

The rambunctious, often loud music, called “rock and roll” actually spans, and spawns, many varieties of music. Chances are good that some of the music you enjoy listening to has some connection to rock and roll.

If you’re listening to more music these days, it’s a good thing, because music tends to be a universally enjoyable and uplifting phenomenon. And we could all use some uplifting lately.

The music benefit happens whether you’re listening to it, playing it, singing it or dancing to it or all of the above – the more you can do with music, the merrier. And just being creative about what you do and having fun doing it is rock and roll.

Back to the question, maybe you didn’t think about music, but about how often you’ve taken a “rock and roll” attitude to life these days. Recklessness isn’t the goal, rather, it is that you’ve seized-the-day in a full-bodied, vibrant, possibly bold, loud approach to life, like the music. Living full and keeping it family friendly go together like rock and roll. 

You might be the kind of person to say “let’s rock and roll” with a twinkle in your eye, meaning that there’s some fun to be had even if you’re doing something hard. If you’re the type to give a focused or serious look instead, you might mean that whatever you’re about to do is something you’ll give your full attention and energy. You’ll go all-out. You’ll get it done; and well. 

In any case, your mental image might be that of a superstar giving an oversold stadium performance with great talent, flair and zest. Giving it your best and exchanging encouragement along the way (applause) is totally rock and roll.

The term itself seems to wink and hint that “rocking” can lead to “rolling,” maybe even that “rolling” is a corrective balancing or recovery response to the “rocking.” Or maybe it’s just natural that rock and roll accompany each other everywhere. It’s not hard to believe that our stone age ancestors rolled rocks. We might say that the Stone-agers were the original rock and rollers. 

Incidentally, wind can make water, including condensed water (clouds), “roll.” Waves even have a rhythm, which is said to “rock” objects like boats.  

Boating gives us the phrase “don’t rock the boat” probably because rocking the boat could cause it to roll, empty its contents and even sink. So rocking may be fine for boats if it’s gentle, but rolling generally isn’t desirable.

Rolling is a critical tactic for kayaks, however. Kayakers roll in order to resurface if they get flipped underwater. Flipping is always a possibility for kayakers in whitewater rapids. Volumes of water gush wildly through channels going over and around…wait for it….rocks. Being able to “roll with it” in a kayak is definitely rock and roll. 

Are you seeing a pattern here? All of the action so seems to originate in the rocking with the roll serving as a counterbalance, or response. It’s that physics law that every action has an equal and opposite reaction. 

In childhood, though, it seems like the rock and roll relationship is reversed. 

The rocking motion in childhood is the universally quintessential calming activity. Parents innately understand the benefit of rocking to the point that you’ve probably caught yourself swaying even when you’re not holding your child. 

It’s probably no coincidence that rocking and swaying are both calming at the same time their motion works to establish and develop a child’s vestibular and proprioceptive motor skills.it makes sense that a still, calm and relaxed body can more easily absorb and build templates of – “learn” from- stable, mature motions. Rocking our children is both calming and growth enhancing. It’s a two-fer, like rock and roll. 

Literally rolling our bodies is also great for motor development – and great fun. In childhood, rolling is a thrilling physical activity that’s usually more exciting than rocking. Rocking can be a great way to wind down from active play that includes rolling.

It probably isn’t covered in developmental psychology textbooks, but somewhere around the teen years, there’s a rock and roll switch-up. Around this time in life, rocking becomes the action verb, maybe even a music choice, and rolling become s passive. Flip it like a kayaker and rock and roll. 

Chances are good that you’re feeling some kind of rock and/or roll in your life these days. We hope that you found this a pleasant distraction, a virtual splash of humor, exhilaration, song, rhythm, light and air. May you embrace challenges like a superstar at an oversold stadium full of adoring fans and a champion kayaker at the start of your favorite rapid. May rocking and rolling always bring calm and or joy. Here’s to rolling with it: Parents Rock and Roll. 

What are your favorite “rock and roll” parenting moments?

Just for Fun:

Rock and Roll Tunes

  • I Love Rock and Roll (RIP Alan Merrill) 
  • Roll with It
  • Only Rock and Roll
  • Rock This Town
  • Rock Around the Clock

Rocking Baby Tunes

  • Row Row Row Your Boat
  • My Paddle’s Clean and Bright
  • Rock a Bye Baby

BabyBabyOhBaby video resources courtesy of Stark Productions for API to support families, free of charge through the end of September!

API is grateful to Stark Productions for thinking of families at home at this time and providing resources to help us nurture, connect, and help foster secure attachment.

Please read more about these amazing videos and the making of them at Babybabyohbaby.com, and enjoy them at no cost to you:

BabyBabyOhBaby Breastfeeding

BabyBabyOhBaby Infant Massage – with chapters, and downloadable stroke guide

BabyBabyOhBaby Infant Massage – Just Music and Babies (Accompaniment / Downloadable)

Bonus feature: Parents find that their babies love watching the the babies!

 

These videos are created in memory of Beatrice Stark, the producer’s mother.

In Memory Of Beatrice Stark.png

If you’re thinking about breastfeeding, BabyBabyOhBaby: Nurturing Your Gorgeous & Growing Baby By Breastfeeding will make your decision much easier. If you’ve already decided to breastfeed—and we hope you have—our video takes the mystery and doubt out of breastfeeding by giving you practical, real-world information.

Our panel of experts are all real moms and babies who show and tell you what to expect. Much more than a how-to film, BabyBabyOhBaby: Breastfeeding is a heartfelt, honest and reliable introduction to one of the very best parts of motherhood.

This video is a practical guide to breastfeeding. It is not a substitute for medical advice. If you have questions or difficulties, consult a La Leche League volunteer, your health care provider or an International Board Certified Lactation Consultant.

BabyBabyOhBaby Breastfeeding

 

“BabyBabyOhBaby: Bonding With Your Brilliant & Beautiful Baby Through Infant Massage” is an entertaining and informative introduction to infant massage, providing a step by step guide with chapters devoted to each part of the body, easy to follow demonstrations, and “real world” examples of mothers and fathers practicing these ancient techniques with their own babies.

Infant massage is a loving way to communicate with your baby, to bond and build trust and confidence for both baby and parent. When you give your baby a massage, you’re showing them just how much you love them, one stroke at a time. By introducing your beautiful baby to the joys and benefits of massage during infancy you’re giving a gift that can last a lifetime.

This video is a practical guide to infant massage. It is not medical advice. You should review your massage program with your doctor before beginning. Infant massage is not medical treatment or therapy. If your baby shows signs of discomfort or distress during the massage, STOP. Consult with your doctor prior to resuming.

BabyBabyOhBaby Infant Massage – with chapters, and downloadable stroke guide

BabyBabyOhBaby Infant Massage – Just Music and Babies (Accompaniment / Downloadable)

 

The Little Gnome Who Had to Stay Home – A Story Medicine Tale To Share with Our Children

This story was written by Susan Perrow for use with young children (suggested ages 3-5 years) who are required to stay home during the current COVID-19 pandemic, or who have had their freedom severely modified (e.g. perhaps they can attend school but can’t attend special assemblies, festivals, parties or events).

The song at the end has been left open for teachers and parents to create more verses with ideas from the children. The story can be changed/edited to suit different situations – e.g. mother tree could be father tree or grandmother or grandfather tree, or you may want to omit the part about ‘gnome school’. The main character could also be changed (e.g. instead of using a gnome the story could be about a mouse stuck in his little house, or a bird that must stay and rest in the nest).

The Little Gnome Who Had to Stay Home

Little gnome was confused.
Why did he have to stay home?
Didn’t everyone know how little gnomes love to roam!
He couldn’t go to gnome school, he couldn’t play with his friends in the forest, and his friends couldn’t visit him.
Little gnome was stuck in his tree-root home.
At least he could look out his window through the rocks and the tree roots. He was surprised that there was so much to see. Little ants were scurrying by, brightly coloured beetles were climbing up and down the fallen leaves and floppy eared rabbits were hopping in and out their burrows.
But even with all these things to watch, little gnome was growing impatient. Why did he have to keep on staying home? It didn’t make sense to him why he could not roam.
Then Mother Tree whispered to him:
‘Things are not as they used to be – but trust me – soon you will be free – trust me, trust me.’
Little gnome knew in his heart that he could always trust Mother Tree.
Mother Tree carried the wisdom of the whole forest!
Mother Tree knew all about everything. The birds and the wind were her friends and messengers.
They visited her every day sharing the news of the big wide world.
Little gnome could hear when the birds came by. He could hear them singing high up in the branches of Mother Tree.
Little gnome could see when the wind was visiting. He could see the branches swaying this way and that. He sometimes had to close his window to keep out the leaves and dust stirred up by this busy friend!
Everyday Mother Tree continued to whisper to him:
‘Things are not as they used to be – but trust me – soon you will be free – trust me, trust me.’
So little gnome had to trust, and little gnome had to wait. Soon he knew he would be free again to leave his home amongst the rocks and tree roots. Soon he knew he would be free to roam once again in the beautiful forest.
And while he waited, he was surprised how many things he could find to do in his cosy little tree root home.
Little gnome can dance
Little gnome can sing
Little gnome can paint and draw
And do somersaults across the floor.
Little gnome can dance
Little gnome can sing
Little gnome can clean and cook
And curl up with a picture book.
Little gnome can dance
Little gnome can sing
Little gnome can ………………………….
And ………………………………………………..
Little gnome can dance
Little gnome can sing
Little gnome can ………………………….
And ………………………………………………..
Little gnome can dance
Little gnome can sing
Little gnome can ………………………….
And ………………………………………………..

From the author:

I have chosen to write this story with a ‘mirroring’ structure – the story simply reflects the situation and expands upon it with images that help share a message that is too strong to state directly with little children. I haven’t promised any timeline because that would be irresponsible as no one knows it at this stage. The story’s aim is to encourage acceptance of the current ‘social distancing’ situation, and to help motivate the children to find and enjoy activities that they can do within the home.

For anyone new to ‘story medicine’, stories can help navigate the emotions that come with different kinds of loss and challenging situations. By allowing rather than resisting the truth, and by dressing it with the fabric of the imagination, stories can help the process of weaving the truth into everyday life, especially with young children.

This story will be included in the ‘loss of health and well-being’ section in my next book, entitled, ‘Stories to Light the Night: A Grief and Loss Collection for Children, Families and Communities’ (due to be published late 2020 by Hawthorn Press, UK) – the book will have more than 80 stories in different sections ….. stories for the loss of a loved one, loss of place, loss of family connection, loss of a pet, loss of health and well-being, loss of trust, and environmental grief and loss.

Printed with permission.

Thank you to Susan Perrow.

www.susanperrow.com

Parenting During Times of Stress: What to Watch for with Your Children and How to Help

Whether it’s a natural disaster, individual family trauma, or as now a pandemic, families can struggle when daily life is thrown upside down due to these events and the stress evades our every action and all our thoughts. Children are not immune to this and even infants and toddlers know that something worrying is happening. They will respond to the stress we are exhibiting which in turn raises our own struggles as parenting a stressed child is all the harder. It becomes a negative cycle and impacts all family members. So, what should we watch for in our littles to know how they are experiencing this and what we can do to limit the negative impact on them? By now we know how to wash our hands in order to keep our family physically healthy but how do we keep our young children (and thus ourselves) psychologically healthy?

Research shows that one of the best protections for children is having a parent (or caregiver such as grandparent) who is reliable, consistent, and caring and who protects them from the disaster/trauma. The parent has to become the shield against this outside force. And that shield needs to be a loving and caring relationship from which the child learns to feel secure and to know that no matter what is going on, they are loved and protected. A child who lacks this knowledge over time starts to distrust the world. They are angry and sad because the world is a worry to them. This eats away at their emotions and over time comes out in both short-term and long-term (depending on how long their security is insecure) negative behaviors and emotions.

This is not to add to our stress or scare anyone at all but simply to remind us that as parents we must be aware of our behaviors and psychological responses in front of our children. They are watching us and absorbing our emotions as well as our actions. How we engage with social media or television, how we speak with others by phone, how we yell at drivers in other cars, grab toilet paper off shelves, or how we snap and shout as we are worried about the impact of this virus, are all infused into our child’s learning about the world.

If they are learning that the world is a scary, virus-infected place that is unsafe and makes adults angry and confused and less able to engage with them in warm and responsive ways then they are going to act out in both the short-term through visible negative behaviors and long-term in more maladaptive physiologic and psychologic responses to life. We need to remember that we cannot change the virus, the stock market, or political responses to all of this but we CAN make sure we equip our families with the loving relationships and positive parenting strategies needed to weather the world right now.

Let’s break this down by ages of what to watch for and how to start helping offset what is happening in the world:

Parenting During Times of Stress: Infants and Toddlers (Ages 0-2)

Pandemics, natural disasters, trauma…these can all turn family life upside-down. Learn more on how to parent during times of stress with this whole series from Dr. Kate Green: Introduction, Infants and ToddlersAges 3-5Ages 6-12, and Ages 13+.

As parents we often believe that infants and toddlers are immune to what is going on in the wider world. We watch news on television that makes our body tense with worry and fear while our baby is in our lap or our toddler playing beside us. We nurse the baby while phone scrolling through health warnings and country-wide shut downs. Our cortisol (stress hormone) levels soar as we worry about our family’s safety from the virus or how to financially provide and support everyone while staying home or from crashing stock markets. With all of this very real stress we may overlook seeing our little ones intensely watching us and absorbing that stress which exudes from our bodies. We may not notice how they also hear the scary tones and language from our media and the adults around us or mimic our anger or sadness. When we shout at our phone in frustration, we may soon see our toddler kick over their block tower a few minutes later or six-month-old arch their back away from nursing. They are learning from our physical actions and from the messages our body and emotional output are exuding.

Behaviors we may see–

  • May be clingier than usual and especially when you are on the phone or speaking to others.
  • May cry at bedtime or not want to be put down (this is normal but you may see more intensity in it).
  • Regression back to physical behaviors already learnt such as having toileting accidents, wanting to nurse more, not wanting to walk alone…
  • Fearful of strangers, noises, or anything new (above normal).
  • Changes in diet such as not wanting to try new foods or only wanting to nurse (toddlers).
  • Waking more in the night.
  • Fear of bath or sitting in a known high chair (fears of known experiences).

What we can do–

  • Practice patience and tolerance (for them and ourselves).
  • Limit their (and our) exposure to social media and news/television. Come up with an action plan for when and how long we will engage with media and make that during their sleep times.
  • Keep regular bedtime routines as usual but be sensitive to their need for increased proximity to you. This may be a time to cosleep if not doing so already and never use cry it out methods as this is linked to long-term trauma and even post-traumatic stress disorder. Cosleeping is a wonderful way to promote skin to skin contact and provide reassurance and support.
  • Keep or develop soothing bath time routines. Use lavender oils in the bath (diluted per age of child), and play and sing during bathing.
  • Use massage to help sooth fractious infants and integrate this into the regular routine of the week as it will help promote sleep and even growth.
  • Try to maintain feeding routines for you if breastfeeding babies and for toddlers it helps to organize their day and allow for predictability which they thrive on. Infants should nurse on demand of course and toddlers fed when hungry but a general routine for older twos helps provide a sense of security and flow.
  • Engage in play with your infant and toddler. A rousing game of peek-a-boo and silly faces to induce belly laughing will get the endorphins (happy hormones) rising in both you and your child.
  • Essential oils that are calming can be used in a diffuser around the home.
  • Allow for clinginess – carry little ones when they want to be held and stay close to them if they are wanting this. Providing this support will NOT spoil your little one or make them clingier later on. It will give them the security they are asking for and in fact will make them more independent as they grow older. A sling is a great accessory to helping with this.
  • If you have to leave your infant or toddler then let them know you are going and reassure you will be back soon.
  • If more than a short separation, then leave a blanket or shirt that smells of you with them and for toddlers a photograph is nice (laminate).