Thursday, May 21, 2009

Please Research: Attachment Parenting

I promised you all a "Please Research" post on Attachment Parenting. So, you're gonna get a "Please Research" post on Attachment Parenting.

I really feel like I need to issue a warning to my readers, though. My "Please Research" posts are almost all about pretty controversial stuff (i.e., co-sleeping vs CIO, circumcision, vaccinations). I once had a professor who would tell the class that every religion believes that they are the true religion, and that they should believe that. If they didn't, they shouldn't be in that religion, but in one that they do believe is correct. I feel the same way about parenting. I believe that the way I parent is the right way. That's why I parent that way. Any type of parenting that is different (specifically those that are drastically different), I DO NOT agree with. I do, however, respect the rights of parents everywhere to choose how they will parent their children. But, I cannot respect a parent who makes choices without researching the options. If the options were researched, and a parent still chooses differently from what I would, I will still respect them. I won't agree with them; but it's their choice, not mine. I would hope that other parents feel the same way, and respect others' parenting practices, regardless of whether or not they agree with them.

*Phew*! Now we have that out of the way. The reason I brought that up is because I know some of the things I say may potentially offend others. I don't want to offend others. I DO want people to be informed. I can't do all the research for you, and nobody should do the research for you (not even a doctor....well, you can rely on other to do the initial research, which most of us don't have the resources to complete.) All I can do is tell you how I feel, and possibly introduce topics of research that you may not have considered before.

Attachment parenting (AP) is a style of parenting that encompasses nearly all in which I firmly believe. There are always ways to manipulate the style to suit your own personal tastes, which I have done. But, there is a basic core to AP. I have mentioned the Drs. Sears before, and this post would be seriously missing something if I didn't mention them here! Dr. William Sears is the modern go-to doc for AP. I say modern, because people have been practicing AP since the beginning of man. Doc Sears is just the most recent guy to be an AP advocate. His website, is a great resource for a lot of parenting issues.

More specifically, Dr. Sears addresses AP and has come up with The 7 Baby B's of AP. These are just 7 different things that parents can do to practice AP. Please refer to the linked article for the whole explanation of each item.
1. Birth Bonding: get to know your babe right after birth. A natural birth is most conducive to bonding, for both mother and baby.
2. Breastfeeding: know when baby is hungry, and respond with close contact and intimate time.
3. Babywearing: keep your baby close, he is used to you, and wants to be with you.
4. Bedding close to baby: continue keeping your baby close, respond quickly to baby's needs.
5. Belief in the language value of your baby's cry: your baby can only communicate by crying. Listen to him!
6. Beware of baby trainers: babies aren't used to schedules. They may not sleep through the night. They may be hungry, even if you just finished a feeding a short time ago. Babies don't understand schedules, and they shouldn't have to.
7. Balance: baby needs attention, dad needs attention, and mom needs to give herself some, too!

I think that AP is the most natural parenting style. It should come naturally. It is based on the idea that parents will listen to their children, determine their needs, and act upon them. I think it is the way we were intended to parent.


Melinda said...

I think you're great, parenting styles is a difficult subject to talk about, because--like you said--everyone feels their way is the right way. Besides that nobody wants to be told they're a bad parent. I don't think you were offensive at all! :)
I like AP parenting. It reminds me more of how I am. I've never been a scheduled parent, our first pediatrician said the best thing you can teach your kids is how to adjust, how to deal with change and be okay (if that makes any sense). So when our kids were tired, we let them sleep. When they were hungry, we let them eat. Sure, you can have a set bedtime, but I also think each kid is different, my oldest likes to go to bed earlier, my middle later. Thats okay. :) Anyway, this is getting super long, sorry! Anyway, do more parenting posts, and don't worry about the reaction, blogs are all about opinions, parenting opinions included! :)

Terresa said...

Super post.

I love AP! We started AP with our oldest daughter (now 7 1/2) when she was born. I felt like a natural extension of our home birth research & decision. We bought a bunch of Dr. Sears books and after reading them, realized we were AP without even knowing it!

Now, 3 more kids later, (including twins), we love our choices, although we've adjusted them here & there over the years. AP speaks to us in ways other parenting styles don't.

PS: Food for thought...I met a lady once who complained about how her baby (a few months old at the time) cried in her crib all night. She was a CIO (cry-it-out) parenting style mama. It nearly broke my heart, but she was convinced she was doing the right thing.

Ash said...

Really great post. I didn't feel you were offensive at all but I could be biased because I'm an APer. lol. Love the blog, keep it coming!