Sassy Dots

Monday, March 15, 2010

If you're not Attachment Parenting, what are you doing?!

During my pregnancy I did a lot of reading. When I say a lot I mean I went from one end of the internet to the other in the course of my 9 (10) months. There were so many things I didn't know, and a whole bunch of other things that I didn't even know I didn't know! As I started to become more comfortable with all these new pregnancy and baby terms there was one I kept hearing over and over again that had me puzzled. Attachment Parenting. What does that mean?

Attachment Parenting seemed to be the new trend headed up by Dr. Sears. This is not a 'new' style of parenting, but rather a return to a more tribal form of care. I started reading up on Attachment Parenting, and looking for other methods of parenting. Of course most of us have heard of Dr. Spock and his 'evil' cry-it-out method, but I couldn't really find any other aptly named parenting styles, so, I figured, AP it is!

Great! I started reading and talking to other AP moms, trying to figure out what I had to do. From what I gathered AP raises children who cry less, understand more and become emotionally sound, intelligent, compassionate adults. Fandamntastic! Who doesn't want that for their child, right?
I started checking things off the AP list
-breastfeeding/extended breastfeeding- check!
-babywearing- got it!
-skin to skin contact- great!
-many AP moms are also cloth diapering moms- excellent!
-feeding nutritious foods- Love it!
-bed sharing with infants- um, if that's what I'm supposed to do
-babywearing almost all the time- well, I could try...
-baby led separation- how does that work?
-toddler bed sharing- wait a minute...

I found some of the AP principles fantastic, and others just weren't for us. A family member suggested The Baby Whisperer book to us just after she had her first child. Her recommendation stuck in my head because I remember her saying "I cried every night for the first 2 weeks, then I read The Baby Whisperer book and I was like 'OH!'" So off we went to get TBW book, and I made K read it before baby girl was born. The book definitely spoke to us, and the methods seemed more along our lines. But how could I reveal my flip to the other AP moms? If I wasn't Attachment Parenting, then what the heck was I doing? Raising a hellion maybe? Contributing to society's problems by raising an uncompassionate child?! OH MY!

It has taken me a while to figure this out which is why I wanted to share... I'm raising a very healthy, well adjusted, intelligent, kind, secure and loving child. We may not be "attachment parenting" in the strictest sense but we are most certainly attached. I don't really think it's possible to raise a child and not be attached unless you lock them in a room by themselves (which I DO NOT recommend!) We're using Nik & K's parenting method, and you know what? It works perfectly for us! So I say to you; take the good and leave the rest. Don't get caught up in labels, lead with your best judgement and do so with your child's best interest at heart.

Really me,
Parenting Specialist

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