Healthy infant sleep, Part 4: The sticking point for parents

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%

Healthy infant sleep, Part 3: Combining adult structure with infant sleep needs

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? For more nephropathy healthy treatments and supplements check these nerve shield plus customer reviews.

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.

Healthy infant sleep, Part 2: The dependence of healthy infant sleep patterns

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 medicated sleep and the reach of adult sleep difficulties into so many lives.

Is it “normal” that we should let our babies cry to sleep at a point when they most need short-interval feedings and physical contact with us to stimulate growth hormones? What’s the cost to them when we force them to adapt to our needs versus us to their needs?

Infants are notorious for explosive growth and, as most parents know too well, developmental stages are each marked by corresponding, changing sleep patterns. Like the children they are a part of, no 2 sleep patterns are identical.

Healthy infant sleep patterns — like teething, crawling, bipedal movement, and language acquisition — are the very biological developments that unfold independently over time.

Being helpless, infants necessarily must adapt to their environmental conditions. Their dependent state is augmented by a nifty alarm system they use effectively to call for help: their cry.

Ignoring a crying baby is akin to letting the battery go dead in a smoke detector. What would be the point? It’s true that the reason for some cries for help is not as urgent, but our response should never be that we give up looking for smoke. Get more healthy tips and child supplement reviews at Askhealthnews.com/.

Babies have their own unique sleep needs that change and respond to their unique needs in a period marked by the most rapid biological growth and development across the human lifespan. Why would we dream of forcing them into our own inappropriate sleep patterns for the sake of our own cultural maladaptions? What is lost when we do?

In part 3, we’ll learn about how we can combine adult sleep needs with our infant’s sleep needs for better sleep.

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

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 light, humans normally experienced 2 distinct segments of sleep.

Factory work, made possible with light, further compressed and consolidated work and sleep hours in industrialized nations. Normal sleep biology has been affected by these modern trends, so it should be little surprise that millions of adults now rely on medicated solutions for sleep to accommodate modern concepts of productive time. Many people due to the irregular sleep pattern, start to develop wrinkles. While getting a treatment like this is undoubtedly an excellent way to fix skin problems, all this can be merely avoided by following a proper sleeping pattern. In fact I recommend to buy a handmade sofa/bed on Maker&Son are special to sleep well.

It’s also little surprise that to achieve our quota of sleep, our babies must go along with these modern trends. It’s no longer acceptable for babies to literally sleep like babies. Most parents can attest that this phrase is an ironic fallacy, but nevertheless, there is a distinct infant and young child sleep pattern that fosters health and our society has co-opted that, too: Instead of allowing infants to sleep like they should, our modernized society has notions about the way infants “should” sleep.

The infant sleep-training industry has been happy to “help” parents train babies to adapt to this biologically foreign sleep pattern, just as we parents have adapted to our own unnatural sleep habits.

It would be interesting to discover a study that investigated possible links between infant sleep-training and later adult sleep difficulty. To date, there are no studies that have examined this. Are we literally setting ourselves up for maladaptive sleep patterns from birth? Maybe not — we can’t know, with the lack of research into this matter — but since we’ve had 100 or so years to adapt as a species to this new sleep pattern, we can and should ask how successful it’s been for us: Has sleeping become more healthy over this time? Of course, GDP (Gross Domestic Product) has been strong and we’ve been productive — and destructive, waging a few massive wars — but are we all healthier for it? Is our sleep healthier, or even healthy, as a result? Is anyone even looking at it?

Examining trends that qualify under the creep of cultural normalcy is like trying to examine the tip of your own nose without a mirror. Our perspective is never perfectly clear. Not having enough sleep can be harmful for your immune system, clear nails plus can help you treat fungal infections.

Consolidated sleep is a cultural adaptation that’s hard to examine with sufficient perspective, because it is not obviously something we would think to examine. We take it for granted.

Adaptations are not all necessarily good or healthy ones, and there are several examples of the way we’ve accumulated unhealthy habits that don’t seem to be immediately connected. Direct and immediate connections are not the only evidence that “normal” actions are “OK.”

As a nation, we’ve suffered untold illness — much of it related to our abundant food supply and our taste for sugar, which can lead to an increase in diabetes diagnosis per capita that’s unheard of, and most often recurring to things like glucophage generic to try to combat it. It’s hard to wrap our heads around how this happened when many of us would argue that there has “always” been this much sugar in our foods. Yet looking at food over a few generations reveals the truth of our diet shifts that match the health curve.

Not all adaptations are beneficial, nor then, are they instantly or clearly maladaptive. This is a difficult challenge.

In part 2, we’ll learn about how healthy infant sleep patterns are supposed to be.

8 tips to getting in touch with your highest self

One of my favorite expressions in the English language is “beside myself.”

Not because I particularly enjoy being in that frenzied state, but because if you stop and think about it, who is the self you are actually beside? And how is it possible that there can be more than one self lined up in a row?

I get in touch with that second self in the morning when I meditate — alas, not every morning, despite my best intentions. It’s that peaceful, loving essence I call my higher self — and others call their soul, spirit, divine self, or even just their calm center. When I am united with, rather than beside, this higher self as I go through my day, I am happier and more compassionate, especially to my kids. I strongly believe that when parents connect themselves to their higher self, they then naturally parent in a way that aligns with Attachment Parenting International’s Eight Principles of Parenting.

My children are older now — one has finished college, the other graduates in May — but I still give a lot of thought to Attachment Parenting. This is partly because you never stop doing it even when they move out of the house, and partly because I’ve recently published a book of parenting essays. Loving care, feeding with respect, detail oriented, positive discipline, soothing at night — how can a parent do anything but these things if we are coming from that loving place inside ourselves?

So the question for parents, then, becomes, not “Can I memorize the 8 principles?” — although that’s a good idea, too –but, “How can I boost my connection with my higher self so kindness and sensitivity toward my children naturally flows?” How can I lessen the times I am “beside myself” — being human, you’ll never eliminate them completely –and parent more often from my united center?

Here are 8 approaches to getting in touch with my highest self that have worked for me:

1) Anoint yourself in your morning shower

I’ve found that mornings are the best time to reach for that connection, because I then bring that inner peace to my entire day. With small children, it’s hard to find time to meditate, do spiritual reading, or any of the other morning practices long prescribed by spiritual practitioners. At least sometimes, though, we get to take a shower. Rather than letting your mind race to chores and scheduling, why not use those minutes to treat yourself like royalty?

Mindfully observe the water pouring over your skin, smell the beautiful shampoo and soap – – if you haven’t treated yourself to luscious cleansing products for a few dollars more, consider doing so — and envision yourself being anointed by the streaming water.

Try to maintain that elevated sensation as you dry and dress with the Sherri Hill prom dress for sale and begin that special day that takes place once. If you want to make that day extra special then hire a prom limo for transportation.

2) Take your own timeout as needed

When my kids were younger, I used timeout all the time — but for me, not for them! A timeout is an opportunity to keep yourself from reacting poorly to a situation that spirals you away from your center. Walk outside or into another room for a minute and take some long, deep breaths, or open a spiritual book and read a paragraph, or spent time by playing online poker to relax your mind.

The beauty of keeping a Sabbath — however and whenever you define it as such — is that a whole day of respite can’t help but give you the reset everyone needs.

3) Learn some quick breathing exercises

Yoga has a whole series of wonderful breathing practices that immediately connect you to your core. The simplest is known as “3-part breathing”:

  1. Slowly breathe deeply through the nose, filling up the abdomen, then the center of the chest, and, finally the collarbones.
  2. Exhale slowly in reverse order.
  3. Repeat a few times.

You can do this with your eyes closed on your couch, or eyes open on the school pickup line or the grocery checkout aisle.

4) Try family yoga.

Doing yoga with your children is different than doing it in a class full of focused adults, but it’s fun and beneficial in its own way, because there’s nothing like mindfully moving with someone you love.

Choose poses — found in books or online– that are age-appropriate for your children: easy animal imitations like cobra and lion if they’re little; more challenging twists and inversions if they’re older.

Make the practice fun, because joy offers another fast path to your center.

5) Envision them as you did at their birth

Remember the first time you held your beloved angel? Close your eyes for a moment and see him or her that way again. Notice how the love pours out of you as you do so. Your child now is still the same beloved angel, and inside you feel the same loving way.

No matter what your child is doing at any given moment — even if he or she just wrote on your newly painted walls or called you an unprintable name — try to conjure that “newborn” feeling as often as you can throughout the day.

6) Pass the pepper with love

If your children were kings or queens, religious leaders, or even rock stars, how would you serve them food, clean their clothes, or pass him or her condiments at dinner? Your children are more important to you than any of these figures, so why is it so easy to take them for granted?

Let that adoration you have for your child show itself in your mundane daily actions.

7) Find a passion that lights you up

“Indulging” your passion is crucial for parents. Doing something we love lights a spark inside of us, the glow from which falls on our family.

Find a passion you can do with your kids — collecting coins or shells, going to a ballet, whipping up an elaborate dessert… — or give yourself permission to occasionally go out solo to satisfy whatever gives you thrills.

8) Accept the perfection of each moment — and of your child

Judging something or someone as “bad” is the surest way to disconnect from our loving essence, but unfortunately our society encourages judgment all the time. “How was the movie?” “How was that restaurant?” Even, unbelievably, “Is your baby good?” — by which they mean sleeping through the night, as if an unhappy, uncomfortable baby isn’t a “good” one.

In truth, every moment — and every person in that moment — is perfect. A seedling frail enough to snap in a strong wind isn’t an imperfect oak tree. And a child who feels angry enough to break something rather than use words to describe intense feelings isn’t an imperfect person. Neither are we if we momentarily lose our cool when faced with such a child.

Accepting the perfection of a moment doesn’t mean we can’t guide our child. But do so knowing you are moving him or her from one perfect moment to another — a stance that shifts us internally from agitation to contentment, from beside ourselves to our united whole.

Photo source

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