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To think that attachment parenting hasn't really worked for me?

(34 Posts)
superstarheartbreaker Sun 30-Dec-12 10:54:00

When dd was born I liked all of the theory behind attachment parenting so I coslept, breastfed til dd was 3, tried slings (didn't get on with them ) etc. I didn't go back to work til dd was 18 months and am still in a PT role.
DD has had a sleep regression since Halloween which scared her. I have to lie next to her to get her to sleep and then she still comes into mine in the middle of the night. I wouldn't mind but she talks and I end up grumpy and shouting at her. I am tired and resentful and in all honesty I just want my own space. The trouble is when she's in bed with me the slightest sniffle disturbs me. I don't feel more bonded; I feel like I want to scream although I love her. This next week I am not working so will have to do sleep training. Any suggestions?

Cabrinha Sun 30-Dec-12 11:01:31


zlist Sun 30-Dec-12 11:04:23

First of all, I wouldn't blame this on attachment parenting. My son did something similar for a while around this age and I didn't do attachement parenting (in his own cot in his own room straight away/only BF for 14 months/used slings but only until about 12 months/I work pt and did since he was 3 month (EBM)).
She is old enough to understand now so I would involve her in the training. I would make the decision not to allow her in your bed anymore and take her back to her own when she wakes. Be consistent but kind. Don't talk to her other than repeating the same phrase about going back to bed. Some kind of star chart might work now in encouraging her to get to sleep on her own - personally I would make it progressive rather than full on sleep-training. Maybe start moving further away from her as she gets to sleep/then being just upstairts etc.

superstarheartbreaker Sun 30-Dec-12 11:04:41


zlist Sun 30-Dec-12 11:04:58

Ha! That's a point - I assumed that she is about 3/4?

fatfingers Sun 30-Dec-12 11:07:10

I offer my dd stars if she stays in her own bed all night. It always works and there are no tears.

ArfAPandaTreacle Sun 30-Dec-12 11:10:16

My son did this at the same age and he was not AP at all. Its not the fault of AP, its just a child being a child. Mine only just 'sleeps through' and he's 6.

I feel as though we 'prove' that CC doesnt always work, because we did that by the book and sleep was still torture.

fatfingers Sun 30-Dec-12 11:11:35

And I put her back in her own bed if she appears in mine during the night. I tell her to stay there until morning, which does make her cry but tears only last 2 minutes and she's asleep again.

peaceandlovebunny Sun 30-Dec-12 11:39:02

stop worrying. let the child sleep with you - stop fussing about switching beds. she'll move out by the time she's 15. and you'll have had up to another ten years of happy cuddles and sleep-filled nights.

attachment parenting isn't a system. its a way of life.

superstarheartbreaker Sun 30-Dec-12 11:52:45

But I don't like her sleeping with me; the twitching etc drives me potty. I also hope to get some sex sometime in the near future and yes I know it dosn't have to take place in bed but I kinda want to find a nice lover and snuggle with him. Plus dd pissed in my bed the other night which was just gross. I do love morning cuddles; morning cuddles are good!
Attachment parenting IS a way of life; I'm just not sure it's MY way of life .

superstarheartbreaker Sun 30-Dec-12 11:53:27

This cannot go on for another 10 years! Noooooooooooooooooooooooooooo!

AnnIonicIsoTronic Sun 30-Dec-12 11:55:26

My DS behaves exactly the same - and I've been blaming myself for having been too strict a parent & making him crave reassurance!

TandB Sun 30-Dec-12 11:58:33

Attachment parenting isn't a means to an end - it's a way of doing things because that's what you think should be done.

There will presumably be all sorts of hiccups and regressions throughout childhood - you can't blame all of them on the way you did things when she was a baby. Presumably it worked at the time, otherwise you would have had a re-think years ago?

IsItMeOr Sun 30-Dec-12 12:05:07

What sort of sleep training have you tried so far?

We've had some success with the GroClock which makes it clear whether it's supposed to be time for sleep or time to be awake.

Given she's quite old for sleep training, I'd be inclined to try introducing the clock with trying to get her to stay in her own bed (i.e. gently returning her to her own bed when she gets out).

There's also a book of bedtime "stories" (actually more like introduction to meditation) which some people have found helpful for the type of night fears you mention.

Hope some of the ideas here help.

BalloonSlayer Sun 30-Dec-12 12:06:18

Could you try saying that she can't come in with you if she comes to you in the night, but that you will get in her bed with her. Then when she goes off to sleep, get out again?

Would be a temporary improvement. I didn't do AP, just what I did with the others, and I always have to get in bed with my DS3 so he can get to sleep, and if he wakes. He is now 5 and rarely wakes in the night. It won't go on forever.

TeaBrick Sun 30-Dec-12 12:08:19

I'm having the same thing, ds is 4.5 and has only just started sleeping in his own bed after co-sleeping.
I am finding that the best way to get him to sleep in his bed is to stay with him until he's asleep, then if (when) he comes into my room, I take him back to his bed without comment, don't cuddle him or talk to him at all.
He did this 5 or 6 times on a run at first, but I just continued to take him back without comment, and he got bored and realised there was nothing in it for him. He now seems to be getting better after about 2 weeks, some nights are better than others, but even if he does wake me in the night, my quality of sleep in between is so much better without a wriggling child next to me, that I feel better than I have for years.
Explain what's going to happen, then stick to it.

TeaBrick Sun 30-Dec-12 12:09:11

Should have said that he also has a gro-clock, so he can't use the excuse that he didn't know it wasn't morning yet!

AWhistlingWoman Sun 30-Dec-12 12:10:25

Aw OP. Poor you. Sleep deprivation is horrible.

I did this when I was a child and I was most definitely raised in the 'non' attachment parenting style. I was left outside in my pram to be given an airing! possibly giving my age away there

My own children were raised similarly to yours but tend to stick in their own beds although this could change!

Please don't feel that you caused this, I think it is just something that children do. My mum broke me of the habit with a star chart, I got some little prizes for one night, two nights and eventually had to do some vast number of nights in my own bed to win a Sindy doll! I can remember this process so I must have been a similar age to your DD. Have you tried talking about what scared her?

strumpetpumpkin Sun 30-Dec-12 12:13:31

i was quite into ap when my eldest was little, and much less single with my other to and they're all equally well attached.
my youngest two have been recently trying to come in my bed during the night, which really disturbs my sleep
. I've been offering them housepoints to stay in their own bed all night with the promise of a prize after 10 housepoints. seems to be working so far.

MrsMelons Sun 30-Dec-12 12:15:09

We used the gro clocks too, it seemed to work for both. We also just put them back in their own beds without talking to them. If they were unwell or scared we would of course give them a cuddle but we try to leave the room once they are settled so they feel comfortable with us leaving but don't necessarily have to be fast asleep.

I never sleep well when the DCs are in bed with me as they fidget etc like you say.

Why on earth would anyone want their DCs in bed with them till they are 15 what a bizarre piece of advice - if the OP was happy with the situation then she woudn't be asking for advice surely.

Startail Sun 30-Dec-12 12:15:11

You need to put a time limit on a nice hug if she's scared and then quietly and firmly take her to her own bed.

It takes practice, but there is usually a point after about half an hour when an older DC is getting either very fidgety or almost a sleep and is quite amenable to having their own space.

It helped that DD2 still BF at that age and seemed to instinctively understand that this priverlage would be withdrawn if she stopped Mother getting too much sleep.

To be fair DD worked this out at about 2 and only came in at night when too many tigers entered her dreams or she was ill.

DD1 never co-slept as she wasn't BF and simply did not keep still. She would pull herself up on the bed head and bounce on the pillows between DH and Igrin.

MrsMushroom Sun 30-Dec-12 12:17:29

My DD did all those things and I never did Attachment Parenting. I just coslept, tried a sling and bf.

she's 4 now and still needs a cuddle to go to sleep. She still gets in my bed in the night. It's just having kids. Not Attachment Parenting.

peaceandlovebunny Sun 30-Dec-12 12:24:03

But I don't like her sleeping with me

each to his own, i suppose.

i went to netmums, or was it netgrans?, once. just once. i read a thread about children and sleeping. the contributors recommended locking the child in its own room and leaving him/her to cry. one reported proudly how for three nights her child had taken a blanket and cried himself to sleep by the locked door but after that he didn't bother them any more.

people find what works for them.

pickledparsnip Sun 30-Dec-12 12:24:25

My 3 year old son is exactly the same, and we do ap. He still sleeps in my bed and has a breastfeed before sleep. Only just night weaned, but he has started to wake up and badger me for milk at ridiculous times through the night. I get screamed at and usually hit too when I say no. Little darling.

Tried a very gentle parenting approach, with no punishments, just discipline. To be honest I don't think it works with him. He is a bloody rascal right now. I am forever losing my temper, and feeling like the least gentle parent ever.

Huge sympathy coming your way.

pickledparsnip Sun 30-Dec-12 12:26:07

I think I've resigned myself to the fact that sleeping is just going to be shit for a while. Sleep deprivation is horrendous though. Makes me an irritable shouty mummy.

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