Saturday, 7 July 2012

Attachment Parenting?

Something I didn't start to think about until my daughter was around 5 weeks old was styles of parenting. Actually before it was mentioned in my NCT Early Days group I didn't even consider there to be styles of parenting, but after voicing my opinions on routines, crying etc it was suggested I should read more about 'attachment parenting' as my views were quite similar. So far I've read 'Attached at the Heart' and 'Beyond The Sling' - the latter being my favourite so far.

I think I preferred this book due to it explaining how this 'method' of parenting translates into a real life family situation. I'm not sure I'm 100% sold on all the ways the '8 principles' can be interpreted yet, and I really don't know what to make of 'Elimination Communication' but it's certainly made me think of many things in a different way. The '8 Principles' are;

  1. Preparation for Pregnancy, Birth and Parenting
  2. Feed with Love and Respect
  3. Respond with Sensitivity
  4. Use Nurturing Touch
  5. Ensure Safe Sleep, Physically and Emotionally
  6. Provide Consistent Loving Care
  7. Practice Positive Discipline
  8. Strive for Balance in Personal and Family Life
Prior to reading this I was certain that 'Co Sleeping' wasn't for me. I had her nursery all ready before she was even born and was planning to transfer her to her own room/ cot after the recommended 6 months. However now I'm not so sure. Reading this really made me think of how I felt as a child - how scared of the dark I was and how much more secure I felt on the rare occasions I was allowed to sleep in my parents bed. All through history this was the normal way children felt safe and only the past 100 years or so has this been different. Obviously with young babies there is a safety issue and I really like the look of the various cribs and cots which are designed so they can 'sidecar' your own bed (they are three sided and the open side clamps onto your bed to give babies their own safe space). I think this area is the biggest change of attitude for me, now I'm really keen to keep her in with us - not indefinitely, but until she is more ready to move on. I'm not talking about the concept of having a 'family bed' (this is where all members sleep on the same surface, often achieved by having several mattresses joined on the floor), but co sleeping where we share a room and sleep in close proximity. Now I just need to convince @mrflibbletweets that it's a good idea and that we need a cot suitable!

I like the idea of baby wearing. I'm not ready to give up the pram just yet, but I've a Moby wrap and a nice ring sling which I used around the house and for quick trips/ to go into places that aren't accessible with a pram. It's a nice feeling having baby so close and it definitely makes her feel more secure. I'm not agreed with imposing any kind of rigid routine, and am dead set against letting a baby 'cry it out'. I also agree with the idea of providing 'consistent care' and enjoy the fact that at the moment my daughter is rarely away from me and can be comforted by my presence.

I've been horrified by talk of following Gina Ford routines which are designed for the parents getting exactly what they want and not considering the effects that imposing such a rigid routine on a baby might have. I think it's about give and take, both parents and child need to be having their needs met. I think 'striving for balance in personal and family life' is a very sensible thing to do. I'm planning to read Dr Sears book next as well as 'The No Cry Sleep Solution' and 'Three In a Bed: The Benefits of Sleeping With Your Baby'.

I think this following passage (Wikipedia) is also inspiring in the fact that 'Attachment Parenting' isn't a strict set of rules and Dr Sears 'encourages parents to be creative in responding to their child's needs'.

"These values are interpreted in a variety of ways. Many attachment parents also choose to live a natural family living (NFL) lifestyle, such as natural childbirth, home birth, stay-at-home parenting, co-sleeping, breastfeeding, babywearing, homeschooling, unschooling, theanti-circumcision movement, natural health, cooperative movements, paleolithic lifestyle, naturism and support of organic and local foods. However, Dr. Sears does not require a parent to strictly follow any set of rules, instead encouraging parents to be creative in responding to their child's needs. Attachment parenting, outside the guise of Dr. Sears, focuses on responses that support secure attachments." - Wikipedia.

1 comment:

  1. What's the 9th? It's about give and take. Precisely, you cannot just follow someone's advice just because you feel like it's for your own good. What about the baby? It should be for you and the baby of course.