Sleep & the Attachment Parent ~Tahyna MacManus


It’s 4:30am, I was only up two hours earlier and again two hours before that.
My two year old daughter Echo lays in between my husband and I calling out to be comforted to sleep.
I have to be up at 5:30am to catch a flight for work, I decide to stay awake.
The next day is a haze and I down about six coffees to keep my head in the game.
I call my husband Tristan who is just as exhausted.
He has to do bedtime that night with Echo and already, I feel anxious for him.
She’s a tough little cookie to get to sleep.
He sends me a text at around 8:30pm. Echo is finally asleep.
Repeat. (With variations) but essentially it’s a repeat. With either myself and Tristan or one of us working whist the other (usually me) searches for sympathy.
Echo has never been the greatest sleeper and to be fair to her, my husband and I haven’t helped with the constant travel and shifts in routine but like any parents we do our absolute best.
She co-slept beautifully as an infant and I would nurse her in bed comfortably. Sure we had our night wakings but nothing that, I guess for us, seemed unreasonable.
As new parents it was all we knew, it’s not like we had another example of what healthy sleep habits looked like.
Suddenly we are in the midst of toddlerhood, there really is no measure of time with children. Echo is completely hell-bent on only sleeping in “Mummy & Daddy’s” bed and on top of that, one of us need to be with her for the hour for her to drop off.
There goes dinner with my husband or catching up on any last minute chores.
Once asleep we’re usually lucky to get a four hour period without waking.
This has become the “norm” for us but unfortunately your body and mind doesn’t do too well with such sleep deprivation. We understand that firsthand.
Something needed to be done.
A close friend introduced me to Veena and immediately I felt relief.
Someone truly believes she can help Echo, help us and isn’t punishing me for my “parenting mistakes” made out by various baby books.
Veena was so gentle and kind and at the same time thorough with her investigation of Echo’s sleep patterns.
She diligently worked out the most suitable plan for us as a family and came over to help us implement Echo’s new sleep routine.
I was nervous in the beginning, I kept telling myself it couldn’t be done, convinced Veena will just walk out upon seeing Echo’s bedtime meltdown.
In a strange way I felt like a bad Mom. Like I had got the whole sleep thing wrong therefore my path to motherhood would have to be this difficult for me to learn from mistakes.
I was so exhausted by the time Veena walked through the door, I simply thought Echo will be back in our bed in no time, I or we both will crumble.
I’m glad to say I was wrong.
Veena assured me of my choices and did not discount my feelings of attachment parenting. If anything she was supportive, which seemed different from the reactions I had received from other sleep specialists.
She was warm and relaxed but she was firm in the sense of keeping us on track with routine.
The first night I had 6 hours of uninterrupted sleep, the second was 8 hours.
The night after that 10 hours!! Shock! How on earth was I functioning beforehand?
Veena would text me each subsequent morning with a simple “How are you going?” And was always readily available with advice if I had any questions or concerns.
Her guidance continued well after the sleep routine had been implemented and on top of that, I just feel like I can call her for a chat! Finally, a supportive safe environment for baby and Mom alike.
Echo still likes to protest going to bed but it is no longer a place she associates with “Mummy and Daddy”. Instead it is her own little sleep palace and I can safely say she sleeps like an angel.
Myself and my husband are so thankful we met Veena she has quite literally changed our lives.

Written by Tahyna MacManus