This whole blog is centered around Peaceful Parenting and we do this through Attachment Parenting. I realized recently that I’ve really been slacking on the information I share with you lovely readers on this way of Parenting that we live everyday. I’m so sorry for that. This post will not only give you a look at the general idea of Attachment Parenting but a more in depth view of what we practice along those lines and how, rather why, it works for us.
First a little background. I had wonderful parents. They were open, showed me that I could be whoever I wanted to be, and kissed me goodnight every single night. We had a great relationship but now I know it wasn’t perfect. I’m not saying their style of parenting was bad but underneath all the happy times and love was a lot of pressure and fear. Threats around school, a fear to tell the truth because spankings or timeouts were all that would come out of it. I was too pressed to finish my public school work that I didn’t have the time to pursue what I was really interested in and there was nothing I could do about it. I didn’t have the mutual respect with them that my son has and will have with me. I couldn’t make a decision and have them back me up on it no matter what. As long as it wont hurt his health, anything Caleb wants to do with his life I will support.
Anyhow, now that you know I’m not just doing what I’ve been taught, that it’s not what society “does” usually, I can tell you that it’s one of the best decisions I’ve ever made. I have a child who cries maybe once a day for a maximum of thirty seconds. He eats on demand so he’s never hungry. I wear him whenever we are out and about which means that he’s able to see the world from my point of view, he’s close enough to kiss which means anything that makes him upset I can thwart with some gentle cooing and kisses. This way of life for us has really been a complete blessing. We just have no stress. Most new parents, especially young ones like us, tend to be more apt to stress and that stress tends to make for a fussy and colic driven baby. Attachment Parenting makes life so much more pleasant for parent and child alike.
The basic fundamentals of Attachment Parenting are as follows:
1) Birth– Choosing to do it as naturally and peacefully as can be. I personally had to have a C-section. I went in wanting to do it all naturally and for Caleb’s health and my own, I had to make the decision to be cut open and given drugs. I don’t regret it though and my mind is at Peace over it because now I have the little love of my life.
2) Breastfeeding– Giving your baby the best start in life by giving them the nutrient rich and immune system boosting boob juice. Not only is it the best for their health but there is no better bonding experience. Cuddling baby close, letting them drink from you well you talk to them softly earning their trust and enforcing their love. This is not to say formula is bad. It’s all about feeding our babies for their health of course. AP just states that if formula is the way you have to go then it should be as close to Breast as possible.
3) Baby Wearing– This is the act of wearing your child close enough to kiss. Kangaroo care is another term used for it. This helps regulate heart rate, breathing, and emotions. It also allows you to react to babies needs such as hunger and tiredness quickly and makes it so that you learn their needs quicker than if baby was out of your arms most of the time. Food spoils, babies don’t. There is no reason not to hold them. I’m a baby carrier addict. We have seven different kinds of carriers and I’m kind of a snob but it’s really just for baby’s well being. Crotch dangling carriers make my heart hurt… anyway…
4) Co-sleeping and Bed Sharing– Recommended by doctors even, Co-sleeping simply means that baby sleeps next to you in a different bed, swing, or any other comfy place for them to sleep. This helps regulate breathing and is safest just in case of complications, not to scare you but, like baby throwing up in their sleep and choking or if their breathing stops or if they are in pain. It also helps when you have to get up and feed them. Better chance of them falling back to sleep if they don’t have to wake up and cry more than a moment and they also aren’t carried so far from their sleep space. Even better and more often practiced in AP, there is bed sharing. We are the only country and species who doesn’t allow our young to sleep with us. We are warmth, comfort, and support to our children. It has been proven that children sleep more soundly and confidently in bed with their parents and I have to say, I do too. We have a small bed and it’s not always the most comfortable way to sleep but I wouldn’t change it for anything. Nothing beats the ease of plopping the boob in Caleb’s mouth if he’s hungry and falling back to sleep or waking up in the morning to his smile and hands rubbing my face. As long as you are safe and confident that you don’t sleep too deeply then this is a great way to bond with your little ones.
5) Reacting to Crying (anti-cry it out)– There is a new fad that tells parents that we are supposed to ignore our children and just let them cry it out when they are upset. We are supposed to make them see we wont always be there and that they just have to deal with it themselves. Oh my goodness, how does that make any sense? All children want is love and support from their parents and to know that their every need will be met. It’s not just a want at that age, it’s a need. Making them cry it out installs fear and a total lack of confidence. We are their home. We are their protector. Go to your child. Pick them up, love them, show them that you are their safe house no matter what. Our son is so confident because we give him the chance, a few seconds to decide if he is really upset, we don’t freak out and make a big scene that he could be hurt or anything else, and if he cries after having the chance to think about it then we pick him up and give him happy love.
6) On Demand Parenting (anti-baby training)– You hear that you have to feed baby at specific times, change their diaper at certain times, make them nap at certain times… well that just doesn’t work. With AP you feed baby on demand, change their diaper when it’s dirty, let them sleep when they want and work around when they don’t. You follow your baby’s lead which takes away the struggle of forcing them to eat or leaving them hungry. It also takes away the Cry it Out factor for bed time.
7) Self Care– One more thing that really makes all the difference is finding a balance. You don’t want to work so hard making baby happy that you get run down. It’s okay to pump and let dad bottle feed while you take a solo shower or take a nap. You need to be the best you in order to give your baby the best. You need to get out and talk to other adults in order to spend the most productive time with your little one. It’s all about balancing life without stressing. Be at peace with your child and yourself and life will be much more pleasurable for the both of you.
Attachment parenting doesn’t take a lot of money or time. There is nothing saying you have to follow all of these guide lines. There is also nothing saying anything about vaccine or circumcision despite what some people will tell you. It’s just a way of parenting that every mammal throughout time has practiced. It’s not even something you have to learn. Our bodies are made for this kind of parenting and if you ask yourself what to do with your child you will normally naturally come to these conclusions anyway.
Tell me what you think and what you do parenting wise.
As always, thank you so much for reading.
I hope this information really can help some new parents.