Wednesday, September 12, 2012

my take on attachment parenting

there has been a lot in the news lately about attachment parenting. is it helpful, harmful, bizarre, the "new normal," even dangerous? here are my thoughts. 

we (at almost 9 months) are still breastfeeding. julia has three meals per day, nurses about five times per day, and has never had formula. we cloth diaper, we baby wear, and we don't let our child "cry it out."
the reason i have chosen these parenting practices is, i think, out of respect for my daughter.

yes, we breastfeed to save money, but it's also the healthier option for both of us. i want to eat healthy and i want my children to eat healthy, so i choose to breastfeed. as for her solid foods, i try everything before i give it to her because if i wouldn't eat it, why would i make my child eat it?

i wouldn't want to sit in a plasticky, papery diaper for hours on end. i wouldn't want diaper rash. given the choice, i would choose to wear cloth over plastic -- who wouldn't? so i do the same for my child's diapers.

babywearing is one of my favorite parts of being a mother. i love to snuggle my baby close whether we are on a walk through our neighborhood, at a park, or just doing things around the house. i would hold my baby all day if i could and babywearing helps me get one step closer to that. it is also very convenient in crowded places or places with uneven pavement where a stroller wouldn't be beneficial.

i wouldn't want someone to put me in a bed that i couldn't escape from and let me cry and scream until i was red in the face, sweating, soaking with tears and exhausted because they "knew what was best for me." we don't do that with our daughter.

a big part of attachment parenting is cosleeping. we do not and never have shared a bed with our child. we co-slept for the first three months of her life to better facilitate nighttime feedings, but then she moved to her crib. we do this for us, for our safety and for julia's, and we think everyone gets a better night sleep if julia is in her own room.

to me, so many aspects of attachment parenting just seem like parenting to me. they come naturally to me, and it makes it more enjoyable to be a parent.

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