So I don’t usually post a lot about parenting styles because it becomes such a heated debate so quickly. I did see this cartoon that a friend of a friend of a … well you get the idea, posted on face book and a lot of my mommy friends have encountered a similar situation!
I do my damnedest not to judge other parents and their methods, although I may not understand them, and they may not work for my family in most cases I can say, “Well its your kid, you know what is best.” I wish other people could do the same!
As you may or may not know we chose to co-sleep. It was not planned that way from the beginning but as everyone who has children know, it is all a learning experience. We decided to co-sleep because SHE WOULD NOT SLEEP anywhere but in my arms. I guess that makes sense right? Why throw her in another room in a crib all alone and cold when she has been nice and warm and safe inside me? Plus co-sleeping let me get so much more sleep! It was amazing. Yes we followed safe co-sleeping practices, I understand people are afraid of co-sleeping but you can debate that somewhere where else. Lets just say that’s what we did and it worked well and leave it at that.
For good information about co-sleeping and if it may be right for your situation I love the ask Dr. Sears website. http://www.askdrsears.com/topics/sleep-problems/sleep-safety/safe-co-sleeping-habits
We also breast-fed on demand. I am of the opinion that, especially new borns, know when they are hungry. Their bodies tell them so and we, as parents, need to listen to their needs. I found it quite easy to tell the difference between her hungry cry, wet cry, tired cry. We spoke the same language. We were completely in tune to each other. It was pretty amazing. She knew what she needed and I gave it to her. She was such a happy baby that she hardly ever fussed and I think this is largely because we breast-fed on demand and I listened to her signals.
We got into baby wearing for a similar reason. Her needs were to be with mommy ALL THE TIME. She constantly wanted to be held. She would scream bloody murder if I set her down too long, so I wore her around the house, when shopping, and pretty much any time I needed my hands. This let me meet the emotional demands of my child AND be a functional adult! Why suffer with a screaming un happy child because “you don’t want her to be spoiled” when you can easily resolve the situation by wearing her around?
Babies need physical contact, they need adult interaction, they need to know they will be cared for. They are defenseless and need our presence, love, and support.
I never read a book about attachment parenting. I rarely read blogs about it either, but I am an attached parent and could not be happier at the results.
In fact, the only problems and complaints we have really had about parenting have been when we have tried to fit into other people’s expectations of how our child should be sleeping, eating, etc.
“Is she sleeping in her crib yet?” – No she is not sleeping in her crib, she is sleeping with us. When we tried to transition her she was obviously not ready and caused severe emotional distress. Mind your own damn business. She will sleep on her own when she is ready. (She now sleeps in her crib just fine and made the switch nicely between 11-12 months using the No Cry Sleep Solution http://www.amazon.com/No-Cry-Sleep-Solution-Gentle-Through/dp/0071381392 methods which I highly recommend.)
“Are you still breast-feeding?” – Yes we are still breast-feeding. It is best for her and for me. No it is not inconvenient, in fact it is very convenient! I forget sippy cups often and the boob is easily at hand when in a pinch. Of course now at 17 months she gets too distracted when we are out and about to even think of boob. See my diatribe about breast-feeding here: http://naturallivingmamma.com/2011/08/09/breast-feeding-yeah-we-are-still-doing-that/
“Aren’t you going to wean her when the new one comes?” – No. We thought about it and after much research have decided that as long as she wants to nurse, it is the best for all of us to tandem nurse. No I do not think it will cause jealousy, in fact most people I know who have tandem nursed said it helped the children form a life long bond. No the baby will not starve or suffer, my body is made to feed a child or children from it. My body will make food fit for the baby’s needs not the toddler. The human body is an amazing thing and knows what the correct priorities are better than we do.
“Don’t you ever put your child down?”- Sometimes, when she wants to. When she was smaller I wore her or carried her all the time. Now she is a fiercely independent toddler who likes to run and explore. She tests her boundaries and learns her limits. She likes being carried but prefers to walk or run wherever she is going. She is not afraid of me leaving her behind because she knows I am right behind her. We have a bond of trust that works great for us. It doesn’t hurt that I watch her like a hawk while still maintaining that she be able to explore, safely, on her own.
Yes my little girl is a happy well-adjusted child. She rarely throws fits or tantrums, and does not hit, scratch or bite. She gets along well with other kids and is very self-assured and not at all afraid of experimenting or trying new things.
A lot of people say I got lucky. Maybe I did. I think the real luck is that I was in tune enough with my self, and my child to know that Mother Nature has instilled me with the instincts to properly take care of my child in the way that she needs. The more I listen to my body, her body, and our interactions together, the better our relationship becomes. I love my little girl and would not change a thing. I am also very excited to co-sleep, breast feed, and baby wear #2 in 10 short weeks!
How have you fielded the “naysayers” responses to your parenting style (whatever it may be)?