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Attachment Parenting

Attached and Detached - There Is a LOT in Between!
From Our AP Forum Archives
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Page 7 . . .

From LisaJo: I don't think that it automatically follows that if you don't AP, you are detached. That's one cry that is often raised here when non-APers delurk: "I'm not detached from my kids!" I make the assumption that virtually all mothers (with some terribly sad exceptions) love their babies and children as deeply as I love mine.

That said, I think the mother who breastfeeds following her baby's cues, sleeps with her child, responds lovingly to his/her cries, carries the baby more often than relying on strollers/snap-out carseats/bouncers/swings etc is going to be more naturally tuned in to the intricate rhythms of her child. That's what AP is all about to me.

I have a friend who follows Babywise (actually the original religious version, Growing Kids God's Way) and while I know she loves her kids, she is definitely more detached, IMO. She has tried to get me to "do" Babywise, and has commented that she "doesn't know how I do it". (Actually, they moved across the country and our friendship isn't that strong and probably will peter out). She stopped breastfeeding at 6 weeks, followed the CIO plan starting at 3 weeks to achieve the sleeping through the night thing, has the baby on a rigorous parent-imposed schedule of feeding time/playtime/sleep time and so on. To my mind that is not being respectful of her baby's particular temperament and individual needs.

Sure, babies have to fit into families. I don't just tend to Natalie to the exclusion of myself and the rest of the family! She has times in the exersaucer while I'm cooking etc. If I am right in the middle of helping DS with homework when she decides she needs me, I finish up (quickly) with him first. If she cries while we're in the car doing errands or picking up DS from school, well, it's not like we can stop doing those things. I sing and DS talks to her and on we go.

But I am very respectful of her cues - I don't construe them to be manipulations or bad habits, but simply needs that she is expressing. I trust that her little body and mind tell her very clearly what she needs, and she expresses that to me. I believe it's my job as her mother to interpret those cues and follow them. There will come a time when discipline and parent-imposed schedules will be a part of her life - but not at 8 months old.

From Diamondwife: Susan....I'm sorry you took that statement the way you did. I was simply saying to be careful not to judge when out in public and you see a mom feeding her baby a bottle while the baby is in the carrier or a baby covered by a blanket in a stroller or a mom who is having a rough time handling a child in any given situation, or a baby who is crying and the mom seems to not be caring for her. It could simply be a circumstantial situation. The mom may have tried for the past 30 minutes to calm the crying baby and nothing is working so now she is taking a few minutes time out to calm herself down. The baby may be sleeping under that blanket in the stroller, etc. I am not pointing fingers. I actually enjoyed reading this thread and have a better understanding that you all really don't think I am some kind of barbaric mother just because I don't AP.

Juliet: Well I would like to believe that I am active in attachment parenting!! I am mostly going on instinct and it is seemingly going right. I cannot even begin to think of not sleeping with Rose. I breastfeed exclusively (to the delight of my midwives and lactation consultant). I do have a sling, but I don't know if Rose hates it more than I do, and I think that mostly is because I am so uneasy with her in it that she picks up my vibes. I am terrified that she will fall out of it. I plan to breastfeed for as long as she wants it. I am DEFINITELY not going to start solids until she deems that she wants to. I have been away from her for 20 minutes once since she was born and my mum took her.

She has just reached that stage of being able to produce real tears (granted only one per eye but it is a tear) and it tears my heart to see it. I never knew it could hurt so badly to see tears, so i definitely don't believe in CIO.

I have had someone say to me that my style of parenting is selfish to other people, because they don't get to have her or babysit her. Well, it is MY baby not theirs and I have the most CONTENT baby, which they ALL agree about,so HAAAAA, this reflects MY style of parenting and I tell them this! Then it makes sense to them!!!!!!!! I think that communication goes a long way sometimes, and other times people just want to hear what they want to hear.

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