Last updated on April 3rd, 2024

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Kim West, MSW, Mom of 2, creator of The Sleep Lady Shuffle

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William and KateA lot has been said about the royal baby. If you’ve been following the news, no doubt you’ve seen loads of articles and tips for the new parents. What stood out most to me, though, was a little article by CBCNews that focused on the royal parents and their intent to be hands-on with their baby. I have to say that I applaud them. Involved parenting is hard, but rewarding work, and helps to build your child’s confidence and sense of security.

A note from The Sleep Lady: “Children with a secure attachment pattern are confident that their attachment figures (Mom and Dad) will be available, responsive and helpful in meeting their needs and protecting them from any dangerous or frightening situations. One of the goals in creating a securely attached relationship is to establish a basic sense of trust in the child’s world. From the infant’s perspective, a safe and trusting world is simply-”when I need you, you’ll be there for me.” 

I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again: Consistency is important, as consistent responses, as well as a consistent schedule will help your child know what to expect and help build his confidence. Now, I realize that not everyone is able to stay at home with their baby-not even Princess Kate, whom I’m sure will need to be out of the house for her royal responsibilities-but there are things that all parents can do to ensure that they stay involved in their baby’s life and make the greatest impact:

Be Involved

It may sound simple, but just being involved with the daily activities has a huge impact on your child, especially when it comes to sleep training. It’s so important that both parents (and any older siblings) be on the same page regarding bedtimes, how to handle night wakings, mornings and naps. This goes back to routine and giving your baby a sense of security before he falls asleep.

Be Consistent

As I said, consistency is important. I would go so far as to say that it’s the key to parenting (and sleep coaching) success. So be mindful of your rules, your reactions and your flexible schedule.

Try New Things

It has been reported that Princess Kate is breastfeeding Prince George, but even she had a bit of a learning curve. This is true of nearly every activity when you’re a new parent. Remember that both you AND your baby are learning how this whole thing works. Give new experiences time, and don’t give up right away. Even sleep coaching takes a few days for you to feel like it’s working well.
Often, if you do some research about sleep coaching, you may find yourself better prepared for your new adventure or new routine.

Have a conversation

One of the best ways to spend time with your baby bonding is to simply converse with him. Yes, he won’t understand half of what you’re saying, but he will get used to your voice, and how a conversation is supposed to flow. This will also set up conversations as your child gets older and prepare him for change.

Consistent Family Time

While you can take time every afternoon for a walk outside, or meet for lunch mid day, often it’s difficult to set aside family time during the workday. This is why family dinner may be the perfect time to get involved. It’s been shown that when families eat dinner together, communication opens up, people eat healthier, and consequently, the relationship you have with your family is improved.
If you haven’t been spending dinnertime together (or if you have and just need some refreshing), I would encourage you to sign up for the Family Dinner Challenge. This challenge is the brainchild of Aviva Goldfarb, creator of The Six O’Clock Scramble. Her goal is incredible: to get 10,000 families to commit to eating together at least three times each week for the month of September. If you take the challenge, you’ll get all of the tools you need, including weekly menus, grocery lists, and a chart to track the dinners that you eat together. It doesn’t get much easier than that, especially if you’re busy!
Regardless of how you choose to spend your family time, make sure that you are involved with your baby as much as possible. You’ll find that you have a stronger parent-child bond, and that he’s happier, too.

What do you do to be involved in your child’s life?

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photo credit: DaveWJ100 via photopin cc

Author: Kim West, MSW, Mom of 2, creator of The Sleep Lady Shuffle

My name is Kim West, and I’m the mother of two beautiful girls, a Licensed Clinical Social Worker who has been a practicing child and family therapist for more than 21 years, and the creator of the original gentle, proven method to get a good night’s sleep for you and your child. My sleep journey began when I started experimenting with gently shaping my daughter’s sleep by not following the conventional wisdom at the time. After having success (and then more success with my second daughter!), I began helping family and friends and my step-by-step method spread like wildfire, exactly like an excellent night of sleep for a tired parent should!