Attachment Only By Day? – Part 1

Note from Hermana Linda: We appreciate getting comments and read every one.   This comment from Jo about Attachment Theory elicited such an insightful response from Steph that I have decided to highlight it here.

From my personal experience with my own child, if you provide consistent care and love in meeting the needs of the child throughout the day, a little sleep training at night develops an even healthier attachment. My child is the most securely attached child I have seen because she is able to stay away from me without much distress as long as I tell her beforehand and also comes back to me with even more love when i get back to her. Crying it out works perfectly but should only be done if the parents are able to provide love and care for the child and securely attach in every way. We did sleep training for her when she was 9 months old and within 3 nights, she started sleeping through the night and sleeps in her own room. She is a very happy child then and now.

Thank you for your comment, Jo. I’m glad *you* feel that your daughter is securely attached. But, you have sent her a very confusing, mixed message by basically saying that she can only count on you during the day but not at night. You think you’ve enhanced your attachment with her and taught her to sleep all night, when in reality, you’ve taught her to shut down, which is what infants do during cry-it-out as their brains get so flooded with stress hormones that they physically shut down. This is NOT a healthy sleep that most parents believe it is. You’ve also taught to dissociate when she can’t get anyone to come to her when she needs you. Finally, you totally discredit your argument by saying she can easily separate from you without much distress as long as you tell her beforehand. This is a sign that the attachment isn’t that healthy and secure because infants, toddlers, and young preschooler should show some distress when their parents leave them if they are securely attached. They should also be happy when their parents return, but not extra loving as that usually means that they’ve been love and attention starved. Again, a secure child will want to be with you after you return, but after the initial hugs and kisses, the child will want to engage in play or other activities with you there without needing lots of extra love and attention.

Cry-it-out only harms attachment. This article presents the research of this. Infants MUST be consistently responded to day & night to prevent brain damage and attachment issues–even if they appear minor or non-existent. If you know what to look for, you can tell that the attachment issues are there.

Finally, God does NOT make us cry-it-out. He always listens to us and responds day or night. Cry-it-out harms children’s views of God because like their parents, they never know when or if He will hear and respond to them. Very, very sad.

(The conversation continues here.)

About Steph, M.S.Ed
I have my Master's Degree in Early Childhood Ed. My book, Gentle Firmness, is available everywhere!! Glory to God!!! My specialty is infants and toddlers. I have worked with many infants, toddlers, and preschoolers. I teach parents, college students, and professionals about the Resources for Infant Educarers (RIE) Approach. The RIE Approach is a very respectful, sensitive, responsive way of caring for infants and toddlers. I also love Dr. Sears' Attachment Parenting. I teach parents about how harmful spanking is, even when done "lovingly", and that God does not want us to spank (hit) children. I'm very passionate about God's Word and respect for children. I've been a Christ-follower since 1996. I'm married to a wonderful man who supports me in this 100%. He raised his son without spanking and his son is now a wonderful man. Thank you for reading my work! God bless!


  1. Brenda K. says:

    This is a great response, Steph. Thank You.

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