Tuesday, March 31, 2009

How did I become an attachment parent?

Before I had my daughter I had not given so much as a thought to my future parenting styles. I did not enter into this relationship with any preconceived notions of what I was going to do. Honestly, I don't know how much of my parenting style was chosen by me and how much was demanded of me, by my baby. Attachment Parenting was developed by Dr. Sears, a well-known children's doctor, to promote instinctive, natural parenting. There are 8 basic principles to attachment parenting. I had never even heard of 'AP' until long after I was a follower. Here are the basic principles:

  • Preparation for Childbirth - Was I ready? No. But like I said, I didn't PLAN on becoming an Attachment Parent.

  • Emotional Responsiveness - After 8 months, L has yet to cry herself to sleep. Babies cry because they need something, not because it's fun. Think about it the next time you cry.

  • Breastfeeding - After her birth, I almost exclusively breastfeed her for several months. Better for me, better for her - no brainer.

  • Bedsharing - Breastfeeding every 2 hours led to sleeping in my bed.

  • Babywearing - Cuddling at night, perhaps, led to her wanting to be close to me during the day, hence, the Ergo & Polkadot Papoose.

  • Avoid Separation - I'm lucky enough to have a job that allows me to take her to work so we are together 24/7. I miss her terribly if I have to leave her for any length of time.

  • Use Positive Discipline - We'll get to this one when it comes, but right now my little baby is too young to need discipline.

  • Maintain Life Balance - If I'm going out to dinner, L comes too. If I need to run to the store, she's along for the ride.

  • Bottom-line. This is what works for us. It evolved naturally. I encourage new mothers not to worry about following someone else's rules about what is right for you and your baby. Don't get too caught up in reading the latest baby book. Ultimately, do what feels right to you!

    What do you think? Did you pick your parenting style or did it just happen naturally?

    1 comment:

    1. It totally happened naturally. Before my son wa born I didn't like the idea of co-sleeping. Ya, from the very first night in the hospital we were sleeping in the same bed. It was just easier while breastfeeding.

      I think any "plan" goes out the window when a new baby arrives and your instincts and emotions take over. At least that's how it has been for me and I wouldn't change a thing.