Wednesday, April 24, 2013

My thoughts on attachment parenting, then and now

I know a lot of you may feel one way or another about certain parenting practices, and I want to specify that I do NOT believe there is a single right way to be a parent (anymore). Other than loving your child, there is no single thing you should or shouldn't do to be a "good parent." 

How I used to think:

Co-sleeping - I always rolled my eyes at the idea of co-sleeping. I felt like there was a lack of boundaries when allowing your child to invade the space that should be between you and your husband. Get your kid into a bed of his own. You have control, not your child.

Baby wearing - I used to cringe at the idea of having a person attached to me all day. I thought it created overly-attached children (and parents) and totally limited the adult's activities because you have a baby stuck to you all day. Most of my misconceptions were about spoiling and coddling.

Pacifiers - I always knew I would use one, but I also thought I could just say "stop, that's enough, we're done with pacifiers now."

Bottles - Same. I always knew I would use them, but when I would see a three-year-old using a bottle, I'd think, "gosh, parents, you should be more in control of that. Stop letting your kid be so dependant on something that's for babies."

Strict scheduling vs. baby's time - I always thought I'd have total control over baby's schedule, and I could just force them to nap/eat/change diaper when I wanted them to.

How I currently think:

Co-sleeping - Now that my own baby is on the way, co-sleeping seems less ridiculous. It's more convenient for nursing because they're already right next to you. You can pull them close when they stir and meet their needs immediately. Some families get way better rest this way. However, I still take issue with the boundaries thing. If I want some personal time with my husband, I shouldn't have to go in the guest room with him, or tiptoe around the child who's already asleep in our bed. Maybe allow co-sleeping only as needed, but not 100% of the time? I don't know.

Baby wearing - I can't wait to have a baby on me all day! I'll be able to easily meet his needs as soon as he fusses, plus I'll get lots of love and bonding. Conrad is also excited for baby wearing - especially skin time for daddy and baby (I mean, seriously! Look at those pictures! He totally loves holding babies). And unlike what I previously thought, I'll actually be freer to do whatever I need to do because wearing him on my chest will free my hands, and I won't have to run to tend to him and drop what I'm doing every time he cries.

Pacifiers - I'm totally going to use them. I think they're great soothers and the kid will show you when he's ready to give it up. However, I will also teach that there are appropriate times for them. If my kid is older and still wants a pacifier, maybe the rule will only be at night. And he'll have to take it out if he wants to speak. No talking through it.

Bottles - As the baby gets older, he will hopefully transition seamlessly into using sippy cups. I would say yes to using them as the kid gets older, but it's pretty bad for their teeth in the long run. But I will absolutely give my baby a bottle when he's tiny (I'm still on the fence about breastfeeding).

Strict scheduling vs. Baby's time - There are pros and cons to both. Strict scheduling is good because your kid has consistency. You know when you can plan certain things and when you need to be home for a nap. However, you don't have a lot of flexibility. If your kid is only able to sleep in his crib, you pretty much have to be home at nap time. With baby's time, you are more at the mercy of your kid. They nap when they want, no matter where you are. You feed them when they need it, no matter where you are. This is good because your kid is more flexible, but you really have to prepare for all scenarios, since your kid's schedule isn't exactly consistent. Not sure which one I'll use, but I'm leaning toward baby's time.

The only aspect I'm still kind of on the fence about is nursing. What other parenting practices are there? What do you guys think about attachment parenting? I'd love to hear your suggestions for any practices I forgot about! 

Don't forget to leave your questions for me here!


  1. My pre-baby opinion on co-sleeping is that although it seems like a great idea while your kid is a baby, it's hard to then say that they can't sleep in your bed anymore. I know a woman whose 7 year old still crawls into their bed at night.

    I also understand the strict scheduling thing, but then I have a friend who couldn't go to a 6:30 bridal shower with me (which was a drop in and out thing) because her baby had to go to bed at 7. I wouldn't like being that tied down.

    I'm interested to see how my judgements change when I have one of my own though!

    1. Yikes! The whole 7-year-old thing freaks me out, too.

  2. Oh my gosh, I could write a whole other post about all these & my thoughts on them haha. Especially now that I have Libby! Once you get pregnant, and then after you have the baby, the whole can of worms that is "parenting" is sprung open on you & it's overwhelming. I'm personally not a fan of a lot of attachment parenting practices for a number of reasons, but more than that I'm especially not a fan of mom's who practice attachment parenting and shame the rest of us that don't follow those practices. I've personally run into a number of very aggressive & judgmental attachment parents that have openly tried to shame or degrade mom's who don't let their kids sleep with them or wear them all day.

    ANYWAYS, in response: We don't adhere strictly to any specific style of parenting. We don't co-sleep (though we did in the beginning when she was very small & do on occasion like when she's sick), we don't baby wear because I find it to be really challenging with Libby, we do use a pacifier, we use bottles and we try to stick to a general schedule but are really flexible. We have reasons for all of them and they all go back to being what's best for our baby.

    I read The Baby Whisperer while I was pregnant, and honestly was a great resource. I'm sure there are those out there who wouldn't like it but I found her advice & practices to be a great balance between all styles of parenting. It's worth looking into if you're interested :)

    1. UGH! The haughtiness of parents is the WORST! Someone asked me if I planned on circumcising my son, and when I said yes, she went off on how I'm disrespecting him as a male and I shouldn't invade his gender that way.

      EXCUSE ME?! I don't care if people choose to do or not do certain things, but telling someone they are being abusive by making a certain choice is totally unacceptable.

      I'm curious to read TBW now! The biggest thing I need to remember is that every baby has different needs. I may think now that I believe one thing about these practices, but when he gets here, he may not want any of it and my views will change again.

  3. there are things I never thought I'd do and co-sleeping was one of them! but it totally worked for me when my babies were brand new. I got so much sleep when they were newborns, just nursing throughout the night without having to get up out of bed. my husband won't sleep with the baby though so eventually we'd move the baby to his/her crib and allow my husband back in bed with me. :)

    1. Awesome that it worked for you! I'm considering getting a little mini co-sleeper so he can be really close and I won't have to get out of bed to nurse, but he won't actually be "in" the bed.

  4. So many things change once baby arrives (I'm preggo with #3) and with each kid-you may adjust your "parenting" a bit. I didn't nurse with #1, because she didn't want to, #2 I did and loved it. We co-sleep with each until they're done nursing or sleeping through the night which of course varies with each kid. With #3 I am going to try baby wearing, which is something I've never done before as well as cloth diapering. We learn as we go! Being a parent is such an adventure, you must try until you figure out what works best for you and the child. As long as the littles are happy and healthy AS WELL AS mommy and daddy-that's a pretty good deal!

  5. Co sleeping. I don't know why, but a few months before my daughter was born I decided that was my jam. Maybe because our apartment was so small and we only had the one bedroom. But it was great for two months and then it was obvious she had to go. So we put her in a bassinet in our room. By then she wasn't waking up as much so I only had to get her once in the night. My son was almost exactly the same. He slept in our bed (in a bassinet type thing that's made to go in a big bed. My daughter used it as well) until two months and then it was time to go.

    Pacifiers, I let my 2yr old use her's at nap time and bed time only and she will actually ASK for a nap so she can have it. It is BEAUTIFUL. I may not ever make her stop! (But like you said, I definitely pull it out when she's talking to me!)

  6. I think It's funny you have a thing you will find quickly is that you learn as you if you think you won't sleep with baby you might...just go with it when baby comes and see what works best for all. As for nursing, you definitely should. You'd be depriving baby of the BEST possible nutrients otherwise. Nothing can duplicate it, so try it at least...don't decide before you don't want to. Being a mom there is no right way, I just think not making up your mind about certain things and being open will leave you the happiest and least stressed. :)

  7. I was totally the other way round- I was looking forward to nursing, co-sleeping, babywearing, etc and the only thing I did was nursing. Sleeping: we have the baby cot right next to our bed, that way I can get them close ASAP but still get my space. Babywearing- my first one didn't like it. My little girl loves it, but she's 2 years old now. My son loves it as well but he's heavy and I am little. SO, no wearing anymore. My two first children neve rhad a pacifier, my son totally does. And, bottles, we tried to do the sippy cup thing and it didn't work, so there were bottles. But at 2 and 3, my duaghters don't use a bottle anymore. I was for baby-time, and my oldest never developed any kind of schedule (so what, I didn't mind), while my little girl nursed on demand, and did it like a clock every three hours. My son is a little bit like that, but I don't even check how often he eats (he's growing fast so I don't worry). I nursed my girls till they were 12 and 14 months old, and want to do around the same for my son (he's 3 months now). I also planned to do baby-led weaning which didn't work, but neither of the girls eat baby food. I think it is good to read about parenting methods but don't get so caught up on one... osmetimes it would work and sometimes it wouldn't. It depends on the child, really. Good luck!


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