Friday, 26 March 2010

Attachment Parenting


I only heard about attachment parenting after Mieka was born. The Mommaliscious Mamma’s site was one of the places where I first became aware of the style of parenting.
We have been doing most of it instinctively.

Because I am an older mom, and also doing it a second time, I think I have gained some insights that I did not necessarily had when I was younger. I know we don’t have to enforce a strict code on a child to force her to confirm to certain behaviours. We are all individuals – why should we force our children into a certain mould?

Some points mentioned:
- Having a natural, peaceful childbirth and bonding with the baby through rooming-in at the hospital – I missed the opportunity for both of my babies, and I am sad to this day that I (and my babies) could not experience this. I blame our medical system for not allowing more freedom with regards to birth choices. In the end you are too scared (health wise for yourself and your babies) to demand or seek a different scenario.
- Breastfeeding the baby on demand as opposed to a schedule – This one I can tick off. I could only breastfeed the eldest until she was four months old. I was breastfeeding her on schedule every four hours, with safety pins on my blouse for the side on which to breastfeed first the next time around. I am still breastfeeding my 15 months old toddler. It was a bit difficult in the beginning, because it felt like she was breastfeeding the whole time, but it has passed already. She now comes and lays her head on my chest when she wants a feed. I am trying to go until she is two years of age. Very rewarding!!
- Answering baby's cries quickly (not letting baby "cry it out") – We don’t let Mieka cry, but try to see what the problem is. I had to let my eldest cry (her dad, my X’ rules), and I think it let to behaviour problems like bedwetting, attachment to a blanket and her thumb; and being scared at night. Crying is their only means of communicating, and what do we tell them when we don’t respond to that? That they are not important? I want Mieka to know that she can trust in people and in life!
- Wearing the baby as much as possible using a sling or baby carrier – We used a carrier sometimes, but Mieka was mostly in our arms. She loves sleeping in our arms – even to this day!
- Having baby with you as much as possible (avoiding baby sitters if possible) – I have to work, but I was fortunate to spend time with Mieka until she was nearly five months before I had to drop her off at day care. But we still don’t like leaving her for other reasons. We much rather take her with us where we are going, and put the movies and functions on the backburner for a while.
- Having baby sleep in your bedroom (either in your bed or in a crib next to your bed) so you can respond quickly to baby and he can adjust to your sleep cycle – We tried to sleep with Mieka in our room, but found that she could get a much better rest in her own room. But we could not have done it without Angelcare. Whenever she wakes up and she doesn’t want to be put down in her own cot, she lands up between me and her dad in our bed. This seems to happen more regularly now… Yawn! We are tired! Very, very tired! (This too will pass! This too will pass! Smile)
- Avoiding using material items sooth baby such as pacifiers, swings, strollers, etc. – “By offering yourself to comfort baby, baby learns to form strong human attachments” – We have done this instinctively. Interesting, because the Sleep books encourage parents to introduce pacifiers etc. …
- Balance – Sometimes it is difficult to find a balance, and we feel a bit overwhelmed. But, as an older parent, I KNOW that we will fondly reminiscence about times when our little ones were small and they shared our bed with us. It goes past in a blink, and there is nothing more fuzzy warm special than a small little hand lying across your shoulders when waking up in the morning!

5 comments:

  1. Interesting that it has 'a name'. Surely most of these points are instictive by nature and would fall under the role of normal parenting!

    The one i don't agree with is sleeping in the same room - doesn't work for the baby or the parents.

    thanks for sharing.

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  2. I don't understand the "cry it out" theory either. We spent many nights sleeping in their bedroom floor, but where else would I rather be than attending to my babies? I spent so many days a total zombie at work, but still well worth it.

    Our kids will get in our bed each morning around 6AM and we all have a great time laughing and cuddling before we get breakfast going. Sleeping in the same bed does not work for us or them. We all keep each other up all night and we found that we don't really sleep very soundly. When they are sick and need constant attention we put up a little bed for them in our bedroom. It saves us the time and energy to venture up a flight of stairs every thirty minutes!

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  3. ah, i have to agree with the warm fuzzy feeling when you wake up with them nuzzled next to you. I try not to let it happen too frequently, but it is lovely.

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  4. I know it came instinctively to me too and I only realized it was a style of parenting when I was browsing the web one day :)
    @Shayne - with a lot of todays moms I don't think it falls under the role of normal parenting?? A lot of mom do not carry their child in Carriers,they're part of the whole "car seat" era, they do not sleep with their baby in the same room or bed,which by the way is extremely beneficial for the baby as numerous studies have shown, they do not breastfeed or breastfeed on demand, preferring bottle feeding and schedule feeding and it has become EXTREMELY popular to let you baby do the "cry out" method when it comes to sleep. I have also noticed that quite a few moms old and new have some strange opinion that holding a baby, picking a baby up will cause "bad" habits or that the baby is being "spoiled".....because baby's are just so manipulative lol ;)
    In and ideal parenting world Attachment parenting would just naturally be instinctive but I'm afraid its not.

    I myself am into attachment parenting but I do not do all the things listed...attachment parenting is a style of parenting..there are no rules involved but I think if you can do at least 3 out of the few "guidelines" then thats SUPER :)

    WELL DONE KAREN :)

    Ooooooh and I love the new blog layout, veeeeeeery smart!!

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  5. It feels that we are sometimes inhuman in our dealings with our babies. Animals keep their babies with them the whole time... It is only natural! Agree with you all!

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