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Attachment parenting

Discussion in 'Parenting' started by undiwear, Mar 31, 2011.

  1. undiwear

    undiwear New commenter

    People would put me in this category but frankly I just parent in a way that I have found easier for me and which I find respect my children's developmental place.
    I started out breastfeeding because i figured out that it would make my child spend less time being ill therefore have me spend less time looking after a poorly child.

    I began co-sleeping because it made feeding and parenting at night easier.

    I grew up in a culture where no one had push-chairs and babies were carried in arms a lot if not by mothers by siblings or the neighbourhood children. Early on I decided a sling was easier because I could have the bootspace of my Clio back immediately. I have used slings on the Tube and here is where the convenience of them come into their own.
    I can't listen to children or babies cry, they send me into an irrational mode in no time. My dd1 went from 0 to fire alarm crying in 10 seconds. For me anything else is easier than trying to cope with that.
    Everything else I have learned about parenting has come after doing these things.

    Somewhere I read that we give birth to stone age babies in the 21st century and our babies don't know in which century they were born. Hence their needs are geared to what made us successful as a species. Attachment parenting tries to address this time and place where babies and toddlers are stuck.
    One of the best websites I spent time reading when my first was about 8 months old was www.naturalchild.org
  2. chicabonita

    chicabonita New commenter

    Reading the article, it's basically what we've been doing- we didn't know it had a name. My thought was, what else would you do, especially with a little baby?
  3. bessiesmith

    bessiesmith Occasional commenter

    I do / have done all the things on the list although I'd never heard of the term attachment-parenting. I would have some misgivings about promoting it as an ideal though just because so many of the mums I have met at baby groups have been unable to follow the list due to circumstances (emergency c-section, premature baby in intensive care, baby with colic, unable to breast feed etc etc) - and they are all lovely mummies who are doing the best they can - just like I am.
  4. kittenmittens

    kittenmittens New commenter

    I definitely fall into this category bessiesmith. I can see the logic in a lot of the principles of AP and follow lots of them... responding to baby's cries quickly, spending lots of time cuddling and bonding, communicating well, plan to have a positive approach to discipline etc. However due to circumstances I had a lots of pain relief in labour (back to back baby, I was v anxious) and was unable to breastfeed beyond giving my LO colostrum due to various difficulties. I have used a baby carrier a few times but babywearing isn't really for us- LO (15 weeks) is fiercely independent and loves to be on the playmat/ bouncy chair/ kicking on the floor and has always cried to be put down if held too long! It is a blessing in a sense as I can get things done easily. She likes to entertain herself and likes quiet time too. We put her in her own room at 10 weeks as we were all waking each other up and I have postnatal insomnia despite her sleeping 7.00-6am most nights!
    Basically what I'm saying is that the ethos sounds really good if it suits your lifestyle and your baby's temprament. However I wonder about the babywearing... seems like a great idea to promote closeness and bonding and also to breatsfeed easily and have hands free, but what happens when the next baby in the family comes along... is the first ousted from the sling? I also worry about the social exclusion aspect and homeschooled children, as they seem to miss out on a lot of interaction with other children.
    As always it's interesting seeing what other parents do. Each to their own and I don't judge at all, just curious!
  5. chicabonita

    chicabonita New commenter

    I don't like any ethos which doesn't allow for circumstance- like the breast is best fanatics who make mothers feel guilty if they're unable to bf, for example. It's not on.
    I didn't see this in the article (sorry- skimmed it) - I don't imagine we'll homeschool! Unless it was for a really good reason, like we were living on a houseboat in the Caribbean for a while (I heard a few years ago of a family doing this... mmm!!).
    As you say it has to be to each their own x
  6. kittenmittens

    kittenmittens New commenter

    The homeschooling is what some AP parents choose to do to extend the attachment, by keeping their children close to them at home instead of sending them to school. There was a documentary on AP fairly recently and the children were homeschooled... not something I would consider for my chn either as I think school is so important for social development and to be part of 'normal' society.
  7. kittenmittens

    kittenmittens New commenter

    Not that AP isn't normal. Ugh, tired. But chn do eventually have to be part of society when they grow up and I'm not sure homeschooling prepares them for this. Anyway it's only a small part of AP.
  8. I completely disagree that by keeping your children close to you by homeschooling them, that you're giving htem the best start in life. Quite the opposite; children need to learnt he social interaction they get from being in school.
    I agree with many of the other aspects; responding to cries and holding them in a carrier- my LO loved it and I'm planning on buying a proper sling type thing that can be used for my newborn so that I can have the close bonding time with him/her that I had with my LO just simply by sitting and cuddling her for hours :)
  9. ...and INDEPENDENCE- how could I have left that out first time?! I have seen what clingy parents do to some of the 5-year-olds that I teach!
  10. I think there are good and bad examples of homeschooling. I have taught two home school families- one sent their children of to a range of activities including scouts, sailing and joined in with the local Home Ed group, so their children did develop socially and they had plenty of friends. I wouldn't choose it for my children, except for a temporary measure under exceptional circumstances.
    One, however did not allow their children to socialise- their children counted their mum and sister as the only friends, they were 10 and 13 and had very poor social skills, their education was also very poor- both couldn't name any countries in Europe ('Does Florida count?!') and had no awareness of anything going on in the world. I could go on but I'd better not!

    I suppose I am an attachment parent, but I don't follow any guidelines- I do what feels right not what someone tells me to do- which is what we all do, really
    I did babywear a lot when she was under 6 months but gradually, she bacame happier playing on the floor so I do not need to babywear around the house- she can crawl and loves it- I can no longer restrict her in the sling as she gets frustrated. My little girl is growing up! I do want her to be happy away from me as well and be able to explore. I do feel bebywearing a baby ALL the time would be too much for her- she doesn't need it.
    I babywear out the house but she is equally happy in the buggy now, so when number 2 comes along it won't cause a problem (well, not sling wise).
    (Some people wear one baby on the front, and one on the back!)
    I do want her to be independant, it is hard as you won't know what mistakes you are making until you have made them. I feel my daughter is secure- she can be left with the grandparents with no fuss, and likes people. I don't think AP style parenting actually makes them clingy unless taken too far,
  11. I am an accidental AP. I had a fairly natural birth with just gas and air, but that was just as much because I am scared of needles as it was about wanting it to be natural. I breastfeed because it is soooo much cheaper and easier (after the initial few weeks) than bottle feeding, it was only after my first was well established at breastfeeding that I even thought about the health benefits etc of breastfeeding.
    I carried lo in the sling for long periods of time up to about 6 months because she HATED the pram and would scream the entire time she was in it, and she also hated being put down to play on her own so if I needed to get jobs done she had to be in the sling. She also had plenty of time down on the floor playing, but only if I was right there with her.
    We co-sleep purely because that's the only way I found of getting any sleep myself. With a baby who would wake every 40 mins in her cot it was amazing to find she would sleep for 4or 5 hours in bed with me (and she slept 10 hours every night from 8 weeks to 16 weeks).
    I actually think AP if done properly (and I do seem to tick most of the boxes purely by accident) it encourages MORE independence as the child knows mum is always there to help so is confident to experiment with things. This baby is definitely more independent than my first (where I didn't do as much AP stuff) at 13 months she is perfectly happy to go and explore new places and as ong as she can see me she has no need to be in close contact.
  12. Exactly, we are the only mammal that expects their newborns to sleep alone.
    I find 'Attachment parenting' just easier and it is what comes naturally though I wouldn't define myself as any particular type of parent: I just do what works. I don't know if I will still be AP as she gets older though, we will see- she will be going to school.
    She is still in our room and frequently in our bed- our health visitor told me it is time we get her out- so in future, I will lie! I seem to have anxiety attacks at night and panic about her breathing- not ideal, maybe!
    My daughter is very happy, smiley and confident and I do feel this is due to our approach- it has worked for us. I don't want to read any more guides telling me how to parent, I just try and do what works!
    I do love my slings and loved wearing her as a newborn- the nicest feeling ever.
    I didn't leave her when she was very little- I have been told I am 'odd' for this, and don't leave her very often now (8 months) but do occasionally.

    I do not want to make it sound like my way of parenting is the best, or alternatives are wrong. Gina Ford works for some but it isn't for us.

  13. chicabonita

    chicabonita New commenter

    The only society, even!
  14. Maybe I worded it wrong- I don't think this kind of parenting leads to clingy parents or dependent children but I was just thinking of the clingy parents I have at my shcool- they need to let their children grow up a little as they aren't doing them any favours (e.g. by hanging around the classroom unitl I'm actually doing the register because they can't bear to leave them!)
    I was told by my nana when LO was about 4 months old, that I needed to put her down and let her cry instead of carrying her and holding her all the time- pah! She is the most content 14 month old ever (except when toddler tantrums hit, lol!) and my MIL has actually said that's because of the way OH and I are parenting (praise indeed!!) She too has always been happy to be left on the floor playing and now, she comes to us for cuddles but is really independent.
    I am looking forward to getting into more babywearing with my new one- like I said, I will miss the hours of new baby, one to one bonding time I had with LO when I have her to look after too.
  15. I think it was me that said about baby-led potty training. It's basically about letting the child take the lead and waiting til she is ready rather than forcing the issue earlier. I thought about doing "elimination comunication" when she was tiny but since i had to go back to work when she was 6 months I didn't think the childminder would be able to cope with that so we're having to wait til she's older. You just wait til baby can follow instructions, can pull down/up their own pants, and can communicate the need for potty (doesn't have to be words, as long as you understand what she wants), then let it happen at her own pace. Don't stress about accidents and let her just get on with it in her own time. It's supposed to be easy but can get messy ( a bit like BLW!) if she doesn't quite get to the potty on time. We'll be using washable pull-ups when we get that far, have already got them waiting for this stage.
    I'm very envious about your lo spoonfeeding herself neatly, mine is 13 months and when she gets a spoon food ends up in her ears, hair, everywhere! I don't give her runny food if I don't have time for her to have a bath, lol.
  16. I agree! My first could do all that by her 3rd birthday. It was very messy when she decided to make herself something to eat (bowls of cereal were her food of choice) but she was incredibly proud of herself when she was allowed to do it. I would never push a child to be independent before they are ready, but I think our family all seem to have the independence gene, as all my nieces and nephews have wanted to be doing things for themselves as soon as possible.
    It makes me laugh when people tell me their baby was independent because they were sleeping in their own room at 6 weeks or whatever, because those same parents are in awe of other babies feeding themselves.
  17. Haha, take heart; this is a very recent thing believe me! With the BLW we gave her preloaded spoons and it went everywhere- but that's the great thing about BLW, letting her teach herself! Love it! Up until about the last week or so she's had a spoon and we have, and we've taken it in turns. She became better and better without us having to turn the spoon so she could scoop, etc. Today, however, she refused to let the childminder use her spoon and ate her breakfast herself, and when she had a yoghurt tonight SCREAMED and we didn't know why as she still wanted the yoghurt- turned out she wanted to feed herself! Then she fed herself the whole yoghurt with only one ort two dribbles. She is fiercely independent at the mo- prob partly because she is a feisty female :)
    I wonder if at 18 months she will be too young for baby led potty training (summer hols)? the good thing is that I'l be on mat leave from September so there's no real rush but.......... potty training AND a newborn?! [​IMG]
  18. Actually, my LO was sleeping in his own room at 9 weeks and now at 10 months old is amazing at feeding himself both from a spoon or fork and with his hands. On the other hand my niece, who at 4 still won't sleep in her own bed for the whole night, can't go to sleep without her mummy holding her hand and didn't feed herself from a spoon until she was at least 18 months. I feel some sweeping statements going down on this thread ;-) I believe the issue of own room Vs. co-sleeping is irrelevant when it comes to independence. How independent a child is, is made up of a much larger number of factors than just this one. I have no idea whether I'd be classed as an AP or not... I breastfed til 9 months, put LO in his own room at 9 weeks, have a papoose but also a pram, have done a combination of BLW and spoon feeding purees....
  19. I would say I AP. I BF until my Dd self weaned at 34 months. Which was also on the very day she decided she was going to sleep in her own bed in her own room.
    I carried her rather than using the buggy...mainly because she hated the buggy and loved being carried.
    I kept hearing how i was going to have a clingy child etc...but out of all her friends she was the only one who trotted off to pre school without a backwards glance and she is the only one who never had to be collected as she had got too upset.. (this despite the fact that her first day at pre school was the first time she had been apart from mummy or daddy for over 2 hours at a time)
    I found the Dr Sears baby book really helpful...and it does have sections on being AP and FF and while it does talk about co-sleeping lots it also says that some babies prefer not to.

  20. I didn't intend it to be a sweeping statement, it was meant as a comment on some of the people I know. I should probably have added a SOME in there somewhere.

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