Here are 3 more questions you asked…and my answers.
Mary asks: Have any tips on dealing with separation anxiety in an attached baby? It’s not that I want to leave my child with strangers, but it would be nice if her grandparents could hold her once in a while…
Um. Not really. Because…we don’t really leave our baby. Ever. She goes with me everywhere. To church. To parties. To parks. Everywhere. If you see me, you’ll probably see her. On my hip. Leaning against my chest. Or in a carrier.
We actually just recently began leaving her for a few hours here and there with my in-laws (she’s 11-months-old). She didn’t cry or whimper even a smidge…and that’s because she knows them very, very well.
I have found that the more ACTIVELY involved a person is in my baby’s life, the more she responds positively to them (that’s obvious, I know). And by actively involved, I don’t mean once a week/month.
After all, I often think to myself: Would *I* want to be passed around, hugged, and kissed by strangers and acquaintances (even if they go by “grandpa” and “grandma”)? No, I would not.
Although I don’t have any fantastic advice to share, I do have a bit of encouragement. It gets easier as you child gets older. My 3-year-old, for example, has a much better grasp of relationships and time…and can more easily slide into play with relatives that she hasn’t seen in a little while.
Staci asks: Tell me how you get your girls to sleep!! I beg of you! I’m curious to find out the magical way to get babies to sleep through the night!
Ready for the magic formula? Pat your baby’s tummy. Sing Hush Bye Baby 3 times, while standing on one foot. Done. Just kidding!
Before I answer, I have to clarify some terms first. In our house, “sleeping through the night” simply means that everyone in our house is getting a full night’s rest. This happens almost every night in our house…except when Tim and I stay up waaaayyyy too late (which we are guilty of).
We have never followed any sleep books and we don’t support the cry-it-out method.
What we do is this:
- I breastfeed our 11-month-old often throughout the night (for the second half of the night – from about 2am onward, I sleep with her and thus I pretty much nurse in my sleep).
- We have intentionally created sleep environments in all bedrooms to accommodate a parent. It’s hard to have a baby that is sick or wants to snuggle at night…and then to have to lean over the crib to pat their backs or kiss their cheeks. Exhausting, if you ask me. It’s much better just to crawl into bed beside them. For us, anyway.
One resource that I would recommend is The No-Cry Sleep Solution: Gentle Ways to Help Your Baby Sleep Through the Night by Elizabeth Pantley. She shares a whole slew of ideas for a variety of different situations.
I also highly recommend this excellent post by PhD in Parenting – Gentle Baby and Toddler Sleep Tips.
Marcela asks: Tell me, what do you do when you are feeling down? What are some ways you handle stress?
I run. I talk to my husband. I pray. I make lists. And then I talk to my husband again.
YOUR TURN: Do YOU have any separation anxiety tips to share with Mary? Do YOU know any magical secrets for getting babies to sleep? How do YOU handle stress?