I just wanted to start a thread for all of the AP mamas out there to talk about life as an attached parent ..brag about their awesome kids , vent about things ,meet other AP parents and for anyone that is interested in knowing more about attachment parenting to be able to ask ?'s
So.please introduce yourself, tell us a bit about you.. and say hi...
if you are wondering what Attachment Parenting is...
here's some info
WHAT ATTACHMENT PARENTING IS THE 7 BABY B'S
Attachment parenting is a style of caring for your infant that brings out the best in the baby and the best in the parents.
7 ATTACHMENT TOOLS: THE BABY B'S
1. BIRTH BONDINGThe way baby and parents get started with one another helps the early attachment unfold. The days and weeks after birth are a sensitive period in which mothers and babies are uniquely primed to want to be close to one another. A close attachment after birth and beyond allows the natural, biological attachment-promoting behaviors of the infant and the intuitive, biological, care giving qualities of the mother to come together. Both members of this biological pair get off to the right start at a time when the infant is most needy and the mother is most ready to nurture (see Bonding
"What if something happens to prevent our immediate bonding?"
Sometimes medical complications keep you and your baby apart for a while, but then catch-up bonding is what happens, starting as soon as possible. When the concept of bonding was first delivered onto the parenting scene twenty years ago, some people got it out of balance. The concept of human bonding being an absolute "critical period" or a "now-or-never" relationship was never intended. Birth bonding is not like instant glue that cements the mother-child relationship together forever. Bonding is a series of steps in your lifelong growing together with your child. Immediate bonding simply gives the parent- infant relationship a headstart. (See "Birth Bonding")
2. BREASTFEEDING Breastfeeding is an exercise in babyreading. Breastfeeding helps you read your baby's cues, her body language, which is the first step in getting to know your baby. Breastfeeding gives baby and mother a smart start in life. Breastmilk contains unique brain-building nutrients that cannot be manufactured or bought. Breastfeeding promotes the right chemistry between mother and baby by stimulating your body to produce prolactin and oxytocin, hormones that give your mothering a boost.
3. BABY WEARING baby learns a lot in the arms of a busy caregiver. Carried babies fuss less and spend more time in the state of quiet alertness, the behavior state in which babies learn most about their environment. Baby wearing improves the sensitivity of the parents. Because your baby is so close to you, you get to know baby better. Closeness promotes familiarity. (Click here for more information onBabywearing
4. BEDDING CLOSE TO BABYWherever all family members get the best night's sleep is the right arrangement for your individual family. Co-sleeping co-sleeping
adds a nighttime touch that helps busy daytime parents reconnect with their infant at night. Since nighttime is scary time for little people, sleeping within close touching and nursing distance minimizes nighttime separation anxiety and helps baby learn that sleep is a pleasant state to enter and a fearless state to remain in.
5. BELIEF IN THE LANGUAGE VALUE OF YOUR BABY'S CRY baby's cry is a signal designed for the survival of the baby and the development of the parents. Responding sensitively to your baby's cries builds trust. Babies trust that their caregivers will be responsive to their needs. Parents gradually learn to trust in their ability to appropriately meet their baby's needs. This raises the parent-child communication level up a notch. Tiny babies cry to communicate, not to manipulate. (See Crying
and Cry it Out
6. BEWARE OF BABY TRAINERS Attachment parenting teaches you how to be discerning of advice, especially those rigid and extreme parenting styles that teach you to watch a clock or a schedule instead of your baby; you know, the cry-it-out crowd. This "convenience" parenting is a short-term gain, but a long-term loss, and is not a wise investment. These more restrained styles of parenting create a distance between you and your baby and keep you from becoming an expert in your child.
7. BALANCE In your zeal to give so much to your baby, it's easy to neglect the needs of yourself and your marriage. As you will learn the key to putting balance in your parenting is being appropriately responsive to your baby knowing when to say "yes" and when to say "no," and having the wisdom to say "yes" to yourself when you need help.
MORE ABOUT ATTACHMENT PARENTING
- AP is a starter style. There may be medical or family circumstances why you are unable to practice all of these baby B's. Attachment parenting implies first opening your mind and heart to the individual needs of your baby, and eventually you will develop the wisdom on how to make on-the-spot decisions on what works best for both you and your baby. Do the best you can with the resources you have that's all your child will ever expect of you. These baby B's help parents and baby get off to the right start. Use these as starter tips to work out your own parenting style one that fits the individual needs of your child and your family. Attachment parenting helps you develop your own personal parenting style.
- AP is an approach, rather than a strict set of rules. It's actually the style that many parents use instinctively. Parenting is too individual and baby too complex for there to be only one way. The important point is to get connected to your baby, and the baby B's of attachment parenting help. Once connected, stick with what is working and modify what is not. You will ultimately develop your own parenting style that helps parent and baby find a way to fit the little word that so economically describes the relationship between parent and baby.
- AP is responsive parenting. By becoming sensitive to the cues of your infant, you learn to read your baby's level of need. Because baby trusts that his needs will be met and his language listened to, the infant trusts in his ability to give cues. As a result, baby becomes a better cue-giver, parents become better cue-readers, and the whole parent-child communication network becomes easier.
- AP is a tool. Tools are things you use to complete a job. The better the tools, the easier and the better you can do the job. Notice we use the term "tools" rather than "steps." With tools you can pick and choose which of those fit your personal parent-child relationship. Steps imply that you have to use all the steps to get the job done. Think of attachment parenting as connecting tools, interactions with your infant that help you and your child get connected. Once connected, the whole parent-child relationship (discipline, healthcare, and plain old having fun with your child) becomes more natural and enjoyable. Consider AP a discipline tool. The better you know your child, the more your child trusts you, and the more effective your discipline will be. You will find it easier to discipline your child and your child will be easier to discipline.
WHAT ATTACHMENT PARENTING IS NOT
Attachment parenting is not a new style of parenting.
Attachment parenting is one of the oldest ways of caring for babies. In fact, it's the way that parents for centuries have taken care of babies, until childcare advisers came on the scene and led parents to follow books instead of their babies. Picture your family on a deserted island and you've just delivered a baby. There are no books, advisers, or in-laws around to shower you with child baby- tending advice. The baby B's of attachment parenting would come naturally to you as they have other cultures who have centuries more child-rearing experience and tradition than all of us have.
Attachment parenting is not indulgent parenting.
You may hear or worry that being nurturing and responsive to your baby's needs might spoil your baby and set you up for being manipulated manipulated by your baby. This is why we stress that attachment parenting is responding appropriately to your baby's needs, which means knowing when to say "yes" and when to say "no." Sometimes in their zeal to give children everything they need, it's easy for parents to give their children everything they want.
Attachment parenting is a question of balance not being indulgent or permissive, yet being attentive. As you and your baby grow together, you will develop the right balance between attentive, but not indulgent. In fact, being possessive, or a "smother mother" (or father) is unfair to the child, fosters an inappropriate dependency on the parent, and hinders your child from becoming normally independent. For example, you don't need to respond to the cries of a seven-month-old baby as quickly as you would a seven-day-old baby.
As your baby grows, you become more expert in reading her cries, so you can gradually delay your response. Say, for example, you are busy in the kitchen and your seven-month-old is sitting and playing nearby and cries to be picked up. Instead of rushing to scoop your baby up, simply acknowledge your baby and give your baby "it's okay" cues. Because you and your baby are so connected, your baby can read your body language and see that you're not anxious, so you naturally give your baby the message, "No problem, baby, you can handle this." In this way, you're being a facilitator , and because of your close attachment you're actually better able to help your baby delay gratification and ease into independence.
"It's easier for me to say 'no' to my attachment- parented child when she wants a lot of stuff, because I know I have given her so much of myself."
Attachment parenting is not permissive parenting.
not control a child. Attachment parents become like gardeners: you can't control the color of the flower or the time of the year it blooms, but you can pick the weeds and prune the plant so that the flower blooms more beautifully. That's shaping. Attachment parents become master behavior-shapers.
Attachment mothering is not martyr mothering.
Don't think that AP means baby pulls mommy's string and she jumps. Because of the mutual sensitivity that develops between attached parents and their attached children, parents' response time can gradually lengthen as mother enables the older baby to discover that he does not need instant gratification. Yes, you give a lot of yourself in those early months, but you get back a lot more in return. Attachment-parenting is the best investment you'll ever make -- the best long- term investment you'll ever make, in your child, and yourselves.
"Won't a mother feel tied down by constant baby-tending?"
Mothers do need baby breaks.
This is why shared parenting by the father and other trusted caregivers is important. But with attachment parenting, instead of feeling tied down, mothers feel tied together with their babies. Attachment mothers we interviewed described their feelings: "I feel so connected with my baby." "I feel right when with her, not right when we're apart." "I feel fulfilled."
Remember, too, that attachment parenting, by mellowing a child's behavior, makes it easier to go places with your child. You don't have to feel tied down to your house or apartment and a lifestyle that includes only babies.
Attachment parenting is not hard.
Attachment parenting may sound like one big give-a-thon. Initially, there is a lot of giving. This is a fact of new parent life. Babies are takers, and parents are givers. One of the payoffs you will soon experience of attachment parenting is one we call mutual giving the more you give to your baby, the more baby gives back to you. This is how you grow to enjoy your child and feel more competent as a parent. Remember, your baby is not just a passive player in the parenting game. The infant takes an active part in shaping your attitudes, helping you make wise decisions as you become an astute baby-reader.
Attachment parenting may sound difficult,
but in the long run it's actually the easiest parenting style. What is "hard" about parenting is the feeling "I just don't know what my baby wants" or "I just can't seem to get through to her." If you feel you really know your baby and have a handle on the relationship, parenting is easier and more relaxed. There is great comfort in feeling connected to your baby. Attachment parenting is the best way we know to get connected. True, this style of parenting takes a tremendous amount of patience and stamina, but it's worth it. Attachment parenting early on makes later parenting easier, not only in infancy but in childhood and teenage years. The ability to read and respond to your baby, carries over into the ability to get behind the eyes of your growing child and see things from her point of view. When you truly know your child, parenting is easier at all ages.
Attachment parenting is not rigid.
On the contrary, it has options and is very flexible. Attachment mothers speak of a flow between themselves and their baby; a flow of thoughts and feelings that help a mother pull from her many options the right choice at the right time when confronted with the daily "what do I do now?" baby-care decisions. The connected pair mirror each other's feelings. The baby perceives himself by how the mother reflects his value. This insight is most noticeable in the mother's ability to get behind the eyes of her child and read her child's feelings during discipline decisions. One day our two-year-old, Lauren, impulsively grabbed a carton of milk out of the refrigerator and spilled it on the floor. As Lauren was about to disintegrate, Martha mellowed out the situation and preserved the fragile feelings of a sensitive child and prevented the angry feelings of inconvenienced parents. When I asked how she managed to handle things so calmly, she said, "I asked myself if I were Lauren, how would I want my mother to respond?"
Attachment parenting is not spoiling a child.
. New parents ask, "Won't holding our baby a lot, responding to cries, nursing our baby on cue, and even sleeping with our baby create an overly dependent manipulative child?" Our answer is an emphatic no. In fact, both experience and research have shown the opposite. Attachment fosters independence. Attachment parenting implies responding appropriately to your baby; spoiling suggests responding inappropriately. The spoiling theory began in the early part of this century when parents turned over their intuitive child rearing to "experts"; unfortunately, the childcare thinkers at the time advocated restraint and detachment (i.e., formulas for childcare), along with scientifically produced artificial baby milk "formula" for feeding babies. They felt that if you held your baby a lot, fed on cue, and responded to cries, you would spoil and create a clingy, dependent baby. There was no scientific basis to this spoiling theory, just unwarranted fears and opinions. We would like to put the spoiling theory on the shelf to spoil forever.
Research has finally proven what mothers have long suspected: You cannot spoil a baby by attachment.
Spoiling means leaving something alone, such as putting food on the shelf to spoil. The attachment style of parenting does not mean overindulgence or inappropriate dependency. The possessive parent, or "hover mother," is one who keeps an infant from doing what he needs to do because of her own insecure needs. This has a detrimental effect on both the infants and the parents. Attachment differs from prolonged dependency. Attachment enhances development; prolonged dependency will hinder development.
Additional reading and resources at: http://www.askdrsears.com/html/10/t130100.asp