My Journey Began

Posted by Haley Donovan on

When I first met my baby boy, I felt a love that I didn't know existed... an overwhelming love is the way I describe it. I had no idea what kind of parent I would be; I let my motherly instincts guide me. Following these instincts guided me into a responsive, attachment parenting style; one I didn't know had a name or a theory behind it. The more online groups of the same values I became a part of, the more I became aware of my style of parenting and the more I wanted to learn and share my experiences. So here it is, Cocoon Kin, created to share in this parenting journey together.

A few years into finding ‘my tribe’ of like-minded parents, it became my mission to share the supportive communities of parents I had found. Every post in a ‘Mum’s’ group asking why their 5 week old wouldn’t sleep on their own, why their baby wouldn’t ‘sleep through’ and how they can night wean at a few months of age.... I found myself commenting, trying to be supportive and recommending gentle parenting groups to join, supportive public figures to follow and sharing evidence based research into normal infant sleep patterns. I hoped I had got through to at least one person, inspired them to just be and follow their baby’s lead.

Over time, I became a lot more confident in my parenting methods and sharing openly about the way that I parent; responding gently to my child’s needs and following an attachment-based approach.

The attachment approach came naturally to me. I remember being pregnant and reading ‘Save Our Sleep’ (a book that now makes me shudder at the thought of), “oh so I need to feed my baby every four hours” etc etc...even with all my years and qualifications within children’s care and education, I guess you still have no idea when it’s going to be your own! Cue Coby’s birth...

I didn’t plan on breastfeeding, but when this beautiful hour old human laying on my chest, raised and turned his head and latched on, I fell in love with it. This is for a whole-nother blog, but I’m very blessed I got to experience breastfeeding my son. It really did create a special bond between us and I am truly grateful this was part of my parenting journey.

Breastfeeding played a part in my attachment relationship with my baby, but it was my maternal instincts that kicked in and had me second guessing these books. I remember after 5 weeks of contact napping and feeding to sleep, I thought “Ok, I’ll let him self settle (seriously this gives me awful anxiety just thinking about it). I’ll pop the timer on - what did the book say, 2 minutes?”, and I layed him comfortably in the bassinet and walked into the lounge. I watched on the monitor as he started to fuss, and I felt an instant guilt; an overwhelming feeling that I wasn’t following my instincts and responding to my baby’s needs. He fussed a little more, and then came a little cry.... it hadn’t even been 2 minutes, and off I ran to get him. This was the moment I said to myself “F*&# that awful book”. I picked Coby up (who instantly settled), and with tears in my eyes I said “Mummy will never leave you again”.

From then on, ‘those’ Mum’s groups slowly disappeared from my news feed, the books went and I started to rid myself of any guilt that I felt from being told I should be doing something different. I knew that following my instincts and my natural reactions to his needs was the way I wanted to do things. 

Ok, so my first blog seems a bit hickledy pickledy! But I’m not editing it, as I just wanted to give you a bit of insight into why I started this journey. I’m so passionate about bringing our ‘tribe’ together; connecting parents, sharing stories, and providing a one-stop place to support parents and provide social communities, resources, support groups and evidence-based research into gentle, responsive and attachment-based parenting methods. I want to give you confidence to share your journeys and follow your instincts too, to provide parents with the support and resources they need to continue to respond to their baby’s needs throughout the day and those seemingly long nights.

Enjoy these precious moments; before you know it the baby years are behind you (yes you will enjoy a little more space ;)), and you’ll never look back and regret the time you put into it all. It’s exhausting at times, can be frustrating somewhat, but I learned to relax, take it all in and just go with it. 

To get yourself involved, make sure you’re following me on Facebook and Instagram @cocoonkin. Sign up to our community. Then, head to the Resources page and join the groups, follow the pages and start feeling confident in the parent you are or wanting to become!

I can’t wait to have you on this journey with me.

Haley x

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