I wanted to practice attachment parenting because I wanted my children to be attached to me and to reap the benefits of that attachment. Initially, I tried to follow all the "rules" and hoped to see the expected end result. When I didn't get it I was very frustrated, confused, angry, resentful, thought I must be a bad mom, etc. It was detrimental to us, my baby and myself, for me to totally self sacrifice, in order for her to never, never, cry in bed alone. I don't believe that it is impossible to promote attachment unless you martyr yourself. It took me a long time, but I finally figured out that I had to do what was right for us as a family, not just follow the rules in a book. Parenting by the seat of my pants, following my own intuition, and reading books, all combined. has been what works best. Sometimes meeting my child's needs, balancing our needs as individuals and a family, as well as trying to satisfy wants when appropriate has meant, at times, for us, "breaking the AP rules." And that's okay. CIO, defined as leaving an infant to cry alone in another room, whilst being studiously ignored by the parent in order to teach him or her to self soothe and sleep, is not AP. However, in order to meet everyone's needs, sometimes the wants of older babies/toddlers/childrens will need to be thwarted. And we can only decide that each for ourselves. As a single, working full time outside the home momma who relied on family members for child care, there were things I needed to do a little differently than another family might have. Personally, I think six months is too young for a baby to understand, but they do begin to have wants that are not needs at about that age, generally. My 9-12 month olds *could* understand that it was bedtime and that I was right in the next room. In fact, a promise of leaving the door open is all my 22 month old needs to settle down and go to sleep at night. It also has a ton to do with personality and individual "wiring."
Older babies absolutely can manipulate. If Ellie can cry and get me to come lie down with her, because that's what she'd infinitely prefer, then darn-tooting she'll do it! But, if I say no, Momma needs to go in the other room and do _________, I'll see you in a little bit. I'll come to bed later" then she'll settle down and go to sleep. Unless she really does need me, then she'll let me know. And I can tell. Because we are attached. It's the baby as barometer that Dr. Sears talks about it in The Baby Book.