Ensure Safe Sleep
Attachment Parenting International‘s fifth principle of parenting is to “ensure safe sleep, physically and emotionally.” API’s explanation begins:
The truth is that most babies do not sleep through the night, yet it is a myth that is perpetuated from generation to generation. Babies have needs at night just as they do during the day; from hunger, loneliness, and fear, to feeling too cold or too hot. They need the reassurance of a loving parent to feel secure during the night. Many babies do go through a phase where they sleep for longer periods of time only to begin waking at night during different developmental stages. They may wake occasionally during nightmares, teething, illness, growth spurts, or during times of transition in their lives. Babies are very sensitive to their parents’ stress, which can affect their sleep patterns.
Parents can help their children learn that bedtime or naptime is a peaceful time; a time of quiet connection and snuggles. Even though young children may outgrow needing to eat during the night, they might still require comfort and reassurance.
To learn more about ensuring safe sleep, take a look at the resources below. If you have specific questions about this category or know of additional resources that should be on our list, please contact us.
- Benefits of Co-Sleeping, PhD in Parenting: A review of the research and links to other articles about the scientific support for safe cosleeping.
- The Benefits of Co-sleeping, Jennifer Cobrun: A brief summary of the science supporting cosleeping.
- The Benefits of Co-sleeping: More thoughts on why cosleeping is better for babies and parents.
- Cosleeping: Providing access to the best information on cosleeping.
- Cosleeping: Database information from the Holistic Pediatric Association.
- Cosleeping, Tami E. Breazeale: The Natural Child Project discusses some of the many views on co-sleeping and refutes many of the mainstream ideas about co-sleeping.
- Cosleeping with Toddlers: A review of the many different ways families cosleep (i.e., two beds in the parents’ bedroom, musical beds, etc.).
- Mother-Baby Behavioral Sleep Laboratory, University of Notre Dame: Notre Dame’s sleep lab conducts studies on co-sleeping and shares fascinating results, safety advice, and informational videos.
- Safe Sleeping with Your Baby, the Latest Research, AskDrSears.com: A review of safe cosleeping measures.
- Changing Patterns in the Family Bed, Dr. Jay Gordon: Dr. Gordon provides his gentle recommendations for co-sleeping parents making the choice to night wean a toddler with as little heartache as possible.
- Co-sleeping In The Media, Linda Folden Palmer: On the campaign of misinformation surrounding co-sleeping, and why the negative studies are flawed.
- Need vs. Habit, Tine Thevenin: When our children resist the transition from co-sleeping, Thevenin poses, we should let them take the lead.
- Co-Sleeping: Yes, No, Sometimes?, by Dr. Sears: Ask Dr. Sears is a great website for any questions natural/attachment parenting related. This subsection of the site presents an overview and general understanding of co-sleeping and addresses common questions and concerns regarding this aspect of attachment parenting. The site is extremely comprehensive and very nicely put together.
- SIDS: The Latest Research on How Sleeping With Your Baby is Safe, by Dr. Sears: This article covers research, reasons why the media has deemed co-sleeping unsafe to begin with, and safe sleeping alternatives and methods.
- Safe Co-Sleeping Habits, by Dr. Sears: Another great article on Ask Dr. Sears site, this one covers the do’s and don’ts of co-sleeping with your baby
- Co-Sleeping: Why and How, by Alternative Mama: This post addresses all the negativity co-sleeping receives by the media and the masses, and shares her personal insight, her reasons for being pro co-sleeping, as well as a list of dos and don’ts on co-sleeping with your child.
Crying It Out (“CIO”)
- CIO: 10 Reasons Why It Is Not for Us: Annie at PhD in Parenting explains why they don’t CIO with their own children.
- The Con of Controlled Crying, Pinky McKay: Natural Child Project tackles the topic of letting babies cry themselves to sleep and the benefits of responding to infants’ cries.
- Cry It Out: The Potential Dangers of Leaving Your Baby to Cry, Margaret Chuong-Kim: A psychologist discusses the “cry-it-out” method of child soothing.
- The Science of Shared Sleep, Lee Gettler and James McKenna: A discussion of the anthropological and biological need for cosleeping.
- Science Says: Excessive Crying Could Be Harmful to Babies: Dr. Sears discusses CIO and its potential impact on the infant brain.
- Sleep: Mothering magazine’s entire sleep section provides helpful advice and personal stories.
- Mistaken Approaches to Night Waking, Dr. Paul Fleiss: Dr. Fleiss discusses how misguided attempts at sleep training, rather than caring, attentive nighttime parenting can often “spoil” children.
- Sleeping with Your Baby: A Parent’s Guide, Dr. James McKenna: Dr. McKenna is the head of Notre Dame’s mother-baby sleep lab, and in Sleeping with Your Baby, he presents research and tips on safe and enjoyable cosleeping.
- The Baby Sleep Book: The Complete Guide to a Good Night’s Rest for the Whole Family: Martha & Drs.William, Robert, & James Sears: The Sears examine and offer gentle solutions to a number of sleep-based problems and concerns.
- The No-Cry Nap Solution, Elizabeth Pantley: Offering you a proven formula to allow your baby, toddler, or preschooler to get daily restorative rest.
- The No-Cry Sleep Solution for Toddlers and Preschoolers, Elizabeth Pantley: Giving you tools to help your one- to six-year-old child get in bed, stay in bed, and sleep all night by providing no-cry solutions.
- The No-Cry Sleep Solution: Gentle Ways to Help Your Baby Sleep Through the Night, Elizabeth Pantley & Dr. William Sears: Pantley and Sears help parents understand why babies wake, how to work with babies’ natural sleep rhythms, and how to implement the steps that will help babies (and parents) sleep longer.
- Sleep Problems: Dr. Sears, a prominent attachment parenting pediatrician, shares his recommendations for safe co-sleeping including information on how to co-sleep safely and when it would be unsafe to co-sleep.
- Studies on Normal Infant Sleep, Kellymom.com: Feel like you and your baby are the only ones up at 3am? Kellymom’s comprehensive list of sleep studies says otherwise.
- Night Terrors, Dr. Sears: Is your child plagued by night terrors? Dr. Sears explains possible causes, how to keep your little one safe and minimize trauma by responding sensitively.
- Should My Baby be Sleeping Through the Night? Kelly Bonyata: Providing logical and biological reasons for night-waking, “Kellymom” offers fact-based support for the night nursers, bed-sharers and temporarily sleep-deprived among us.
- What Are Sleep Regressions, Anyway?, by Ask Moxie: Ask Moxie is an advice blog run by a divorced WOHM mom who, as she claims, is a little on the crunchy side of things. She responds to readers’ questions and has a seemingly unending list of articles and advice on every parenting topic you could conjure up – including sleeping and sleep regressions. This link is to her popular article on infant/toddler sleep regressions, but on this same page are links to all of her other sleep-related articles and Q&As.
- Sleep by Mothering Magazine: Mothering Magazine’s website offers all the great information their print magazine used to offer. This link takes you to all of their articles and resources concerning sleep issues at any age.
- Baby Sleep Strategies by API: Attachment Parenting International’s website is a great go-to site for all things attachment parenting. They offer articles, support groups, resources, and even newsletter updates on the latest topics in the AP community. This link connects you to a number of sleep related articles and suggestions, as well as a list of external resources which you may find useful.
- Bedding Close to Baby by Hippie Housewife: This article discusses co-sleeping and how to encourage it, its benefits and transitions, as well as alternative forms of co-sleeping if it just isn’t right for you or your little one. Her blog features numerous articles on sleep patterns, problems, and co-sleeping as well.