When I was pregnant, the last thing I expected to advocate was Attachment Parenting! Just the sound of it made me envision the Super Nanny and all the spoiled brats she needs to reconcile. I admit, looking back, I was a little detached during pregnancy. It wasn't hard to be-I had never been pregnant before, my body was changing and I couldn't see the adorable little man inside of me! I read countless books on breast feeding trying to gain a sense of understanding on how it was done ( I really hated the idea of formula!!) There were always sections about nursing past infancy. Overall, it seemed all my sources stated the same reasons for such a "decision". It was a great way to bond, moms didn't see a reason to give it up, it was easy to calm a toddler-all reasons I didn't feel justified needing to closely monitor your diet (i.e, cut back on caffeine and give up sushi) for longer than 12 months!
It wasn't easy. Well actually it was very easy! I loved this little baby so much and I loved needing to be near him and calming him and mostly being released from the guilt I once felt for giving my newborn baby just what he wanted and needed. The hardest part was the family and friends who didn't understand. I didn't blame them, not too long ago I felt just as they did and if I had been given an "easy" baby, I would have never opened up to this approach either.
Dr Sears promised a compassionate, secure, self confident little person by attachment parenting and after reading a few of his books, his information made a lot of sense and I trusted him! Teddy is 9 1/2 months old and I know we have a long way to go, but here are just a few observations over the past month or so...
At nine months-Teddy is crawling everywhere and pulling up on everything! He is eager to learn new things, fearless and confident in his abilities. Teddy is so happy! He loves making people laugh and laughing at people:), singing and dancing! Teddy is loving and caring to those he knows best-hugs and kisses galore! While we are still slightly uneasy with new people and with extensive people holding him and we co-sleep the majority of the night and nurse every 1 1/2 or so, I think the qualities above are proof that we are on the right track and that attachment parenting is JUST what Teddy and I needed!
After being completely attached to this little man (including but not limited to breast feeding, co-sleeping and baby wearing) for 9 months now, I am saddened by the misunderstanding that babies are thought to manipulate and train their parents, and that babies shouldn't get too much attention or be held too long.
Is AP right for you and your baby? Here are some statistics from an article I recently read:
A Voice For The Community
"I am blessed. I had a wonderful and encouraging support system in my husband, family, and a few nurses who sensed my determination and frustration. I had opportunities to attend support programs and join groups of supportive women who understand. I have formed friendships and am surrounded by great people who share their knowledge. And I have learned. I have learned that every woman not only has a right to choose what is best for her and her child but to make an informed decision and receive support" Jillian, nursing mama to Jack Angelo
This is place to share the stories that come along with being a nursing mama. Wether you breast-fed your baby for 1 day or 3 years, we're not here to judge, simply to listen. Listen to what happened when you tried your best for 3 whole weeks only to be defeated. Listen to how being a mommy changed the way you looked at the world. And all the other stories, insights and moments that fall in between the complex and the truthful lessons you learned from your baby.
Read. Enjoy. Share. This is the voice of the nursing community.