or Connect
Mothering › Mothering Forums › Mom › Parenting › Neat antedoctal experience...
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:

Neat antedoctal experience...

post #1 of 29
Thread Starter 
I've long thought that holding my babies all the time, interacting constantly, etc, has made them much more aware and "ahead" of the developmental curve.

I have a friend who runs a home daycare. I don't see her very often, so I'm not overly familiar with the kids. The last couple times I've stopped in, though, one little guy has caught my eye. She always has stories about him, and he is WAY ahead of many children. There's a brightness to his eyes, and an attachment to his mama and daddy when they come to get him that I really enjoy seeing. He's almost 2.

The other day she said, "It was obvious when he first started coming here that he was used to being carried all the time. It took him quiet a while to adjust."

Hmmm. I said to myself. I really think there's something there.

DISCLAIMER: I AM NOT INDICATING THAT A CHILD WHO IS BEHIND HAS NOT BEEN HELD ENOUGH. I AM NOT INDICATING THAT BEING AHEAD IS NECCESSARY OR INDICITIVE OF LATER INTELLIGENCE. I AM NOT TRYING TO OFFEND ANYONE OR BE JUDGEMENTAL OF THEIR PARENTING CHOICES. I was just really interested to have that piece of information and see that it jives with what I've seen in other children, including my own, thus far.

Thoughts?
post #2 of 29
I doubt there's really a connection. Obviously kids who are close to their families tend to be better off than kids who are neglected, but I think it's definitely a stretch to assume that attachment causes children to be "ahead". I'm sure that for every AP famiy with "ahead of the curve" kids, there is another with "behind the curve" or "average" kids, for lack of better terms.
post #3 of 29
I think I know what you're trying to say and yes I totally believe that kids who are confident, interested and curious, and securely attatched to their parents have likely been shown lots of tlc and respect by their primary caregivers/parents. I am not saying AP will cure inherent learning disabilities, create geniuses or cure disease. I DO believe that AP does bring out the best in children. It teaches them that they are worthy of love, to love themselves and to feel safe in exploring their world.
"Some anecdotal evidence"- I adopted both of my kids. My dd had a tiny, cone shaped head at birth. Her adoption papers and papers from the hospital where she was born indicate that she had "probable microencephaly" and therefore would have developmental delays. I slept with her, wore or carried her everywhere, read to her EVERY day and talked to her constantly. I included her in everything I did. Well, her little brain grew and her head circumference was within normal range before she was a year old. At TWO she could read-real words, real books. She would read junk mail(loved mail!), story books and road signs. By four she could read anything at any level. As a two year old strangers in department stores and people in our various playgroups would comment on how articulate and mature she was for her age. She had(has) a "spark". At her Gymboree class, despite that she was the most petite toddler in the group she was almost always the child chosen to demonstrate new activities because she was so BRAVE. The instructors could dangle her from plastic rings, walk her across balance beams and toss her around inside a parachute and get nothing but delighted squeals and laughter from her. She was trusting and confident that she was safe no matter what.

anecdote 2: My son was born a micropreemie weighing less than two pounds at birth. He was born at 25 weeks gestation. I flew him home two months before his actual due date weighing a couple ounces shy of 4lbs. The first two years were medically frightening. My son required reconstructive surgery on his airway. Once in the hospital , while in a drug induced coma and attatched to a ventilator an intern acidentally pulled out his breathing tube. His lungs were paralized by drugs so that he couldn't fight the vent which meant that when the tube was pulled he was helpless and without oxygen. A crash team was called and within minutes his life was saved but along with his prematurity it didn't look good for his future as far as his mental development went. I heard lots of dire warnings from his doctors. Anyway, despite all he went through I AP'd as much as possible. When he was attatched to the vent I sat by him rubbing his arms/legs and talking to him. My 3y/o dd was there as well playing on the floor, coloring pictures and eating lots of popsickles provided by caring nurses. My dd and I slept in a cot near his bed. when he was well we all slept together, I wore him and as with DD included him in everything. At 2 years old his health took a dramatic change for the better and he just began to thrive. He became an engaging, sweet, personable and feisty little boy. He didn't walk till about two but when he decided to walk he just did it. Whithin days he was running! He didn't speak much until nearly 3 but when he began-he never stopped. by five no one would ever guess he'd had any medical issues at all. He's been a Boy Scout, played soccer and ice hockey and particpated in church activites for youth. He has always been years ahead of grade level in math. He is the most loving, sensitive little boy/person I've ever known. He is now 11 years old, bright, curious, horribly stubborn, sweet preteen. Adults and other children are drawn to him. Like his sister he has a brightness and spark to him which I absolutely feel comes from knowing that you are unconditionally loved. I think AP contributes in a major way to that knowledge.
I work as a caregiver, respite provider for children with special needs. Most come from loving families, a few have come from documented situations of neglect. I can absolutely see the difference in the demeanor of the children who are nurtured and tho who are not.
I don't think I'm being judgmental-I think I'm just bein observant. AP wont (probably) cure a learning disability, illness or physical handicap but I do believe that it can help these children reach their highest potential-whatever that may be. It just makes sense to me that a person who feels loved and connected is more likely to glow with joy and self confidence than one who does not.
post #4 of 29
Quote:
Originally Posted by Just1More View Post
I was hoping for an intellectual discussion on the merits of holding your baby lots and including them in lots of what you are doing...
see but how can you have an intellectual discussion when you are assuming holding baby lots is better than not?

i dont really buy into that. i did think that when dd was younger. my dd is 7 and most of the mom's i know now are from mainstream.

i dont see any difference between me and my dd and her friends and her family. many of those kids were in daycare.

the thing that matters is love. if someone is carrying a baby reluctantly it is better not to carry.

the point is meeting our children's needs. some like my dd needed to be carried. my friend with whom i had a hard time when our children was younger did the whole CIO when they were a little older. at 8 months she let her dd cry for 5 months in her crib.

what i am trying to say is a childhood stretches from day one to 16 - 18 years. you can be a great mom as a baby and then screw up and your child will be screwed up.

the key is trusting that a parent knows what is best for their child. children have good coping skills. unless there is emotional withdrawal or abuse.

there is no general rule to holding your baby. parenting is such a thing that it is personal choice. i felt of course it made a huge difference to my dd because i met her needs, her need to be held, her physcial need to be hugged. but i am not going to say that is the right thing for your child.

the key is that a mom trys to meet her kids needs.

and a daycare person carrying a child all the time. not a doable thing. as long as she is being loving to the child taht is the key.

bottom line too is the personality of the child. my mom tells me i was an extremely independent child. i was always off exploring checking things out. i did not want to be held. i was a wiggly child. my dd was my opposite.

we really need to see a bigger picture. you know children who are abused. and they meet a teacher who believes in them. and that one person really turns their life around.

so basically what i am trying to say is babyhood is such a small part of childhood. we should be open to all parenting styles. to me it is a judgement that i am a better parent because i held my baby.
post #5 of 29
I think I know what you are saying, and I am not taking it as an insult, even though I consider myself very well off, and I know that my mom did not carry us much.

Regardless, I wonder if all things are the same, there is something to being carried around. I think people, being primates, probably would benefit from "staying close to their roots", if you wish. I bet the rocking feeling of being carried, and the closeness to another's body, feeling the warmth, and how muscles move assists the development in ways we haven't explored. If that's how we are meant to spend our early years as "baby animals", yet we are denied that experience, who knows in what ways it will affect us, yk? They say crawling stage is linked to language development, and autistic children sometimes go through "crawling therapy", where 6, 7, 12 y.o. kids are playing games on the floor, and somehow their brain connects it with language, and helps the kids to pick up the skills they are missing.

What I'm trying to say, of course there is personality factor, and biological factor, and you name it factor, but it is interesting to consider how little things like being carried around affect our development.

No judgment on my part, I promise. I did not raise a little one, and only one of my many nieces and nephews was raised full-blown AP style. I love all of them the same, and I think all parents involved did the best they could, and poured their heart into their children. DSD was not raised AP, yet I know her parents love her to death, and again, did the best they could.

I do, however, hold a degree in psychology, and find human development and little things that affect it fascinating. I do wonder how us getting away from "the animal heritage" affects our health and ability to adapt.
post #6 of 29
Oh for the love of....

Drat. Just typed two paragraphs, but they broke my rule against using sarcasm when addressing people on the internet.

*deep breath*

I believe what is desired here is a discussion of the possible positive affects holding babies can have on their alertness and development. Just as breastfeeding does not guarantee that a baby won't have ear infections and formula feeding does not guarantee that a baby will have digestive problems, counter examples don't prove that holding your baby has no effect.

To address your question, Just1More, I think there is a positive effect, particularly in babies who want to be held. I think that if a baby wants to be held and isn't, that baby will actually suffer developmentally. I suspect that holding a baby who doesn't want to be held would have a similar effect. The degree of harm would most likely be related to the baby's level of distress about the difference.

I also think that just being up and part of things gives babies more chances to see how the world works. Given two babies with the same potential for learning, the baby who gets the most observation time is going to have an edge.

Where the difficulty comes in testing the theory is that all babies are different. To really test it you'd need a very large sample set controlled for as many confounding factors as possible. Age of parents, socio-economic background, length of gestation, how often the climate allows them to go outdoors, and a dozen other things could be possible factors. Mental effects are especially hard since things like how strangers talk to the baby might make a difference.

Practically speaking, as long as the baby isn't screaming in protest, holding the baby does no harm and has many benefits physically (something that can be easily tested since things like the curvature of the spine are fairly standard).

Personality is hard to balance. By the time babies are old enough to really see if they're active or passive, they've either been held or not for a number of months. I suppose you could have parents change over from holding to not holding and not holding to holding and see what happens, but 1. it'd be unethical to the baby, 2. the results would be skewed by babies who wanted to be held finally getting held. Wouldn't be able to tell if it was not being held that slowed the babies down or stress, or if it was holding that sped babies up or the removal of stress.
post #7 of 29
I'm just curious why people would choose to AP unless they felt it had a positive effect on development. Not that it ensures a certain result (smart, secure, perfect) but that it improves things along the spectrum that is available to that particular child. KWIM?

Even among my own crew of 3 each is different, has different levels of development, social security, success in school, appropriate behavior, etc. I parented basically the same with each, but had to target the AP toward the needs of each specific child. I don't think it makes them better kids than others, they are all goofy in their own ways and have different strengths and weaknesses. But I do hope that the AP helped them maximize their potentials. I do hope that the AP helped my shyest, most depended dd become as independent as she is able. I do hope the AP with my most rambuncious, push the limits ds who has sensory issues, I hope it helps him better able to deal with sensory challenges. My 3rd ds, he's so naturally well adjusted. He's just so easy. I just hope the AP helped him integrate to an already busy family and feel like he belongs, minimize the sibling rivalry that was so directed at him.

AP is a lot of work. I wouldn't have done it if I didn't think there were benefits. Not better than others benefits. But benefits for my own kids that would help them be the best their genetics and environment can let them be.
post #8 of 29
I think any style of attentive parenting gives a child a better chance at realizing their potential. The more we interact with our kids, the more they learn.
post #9 of 29
Well in the spirit of intellectual discussion...


There was an experiment done with baby rats once. The control group got normal cleaning, feeding and care from mom; while the experimental group got those things and the scientists picked them up and cuddled them while mom was off gathering food. When the cuddled group grew up, they did much better at solving their mazes than the control group.

Humans are of course much much more complex than genetically similar lab rats. There are genetic variations, and many more environmental variables than in a lab rats cage. Simple anecdotal evidence is very hard to go by, it is over all statistical analysis that is needed to decide what possible effects be held so much has.
post #10 of 29
Holding babies is good

what is making me irritated (and I'm really having trouble restraining myself here) is the idea that holding only happens to babies who are attachment parented. I don't believe that for a minute.

Never mind the fact that I've known some miserable kids whose parents used most of the attachment parenting techniques.

If a child is delightful, enjoy him or her. Don't make it into a whole AP vs. mainstream issue.
post #11 of 29
Quote:
Originally Posted by violet View Post
I'm just curious why people would choose to AP unless they felt it had a positive effect on development. Not that it ensures a certain result (smart, secure, perfect) but that it improves things along the spectrum that is available to that particular child. KWIM?
Because your child screams and you get no sleep when you don't?
post #12 of 29
Well, as you say, it's anecdotal and we all have those moments that seem to really validate things we're doing and strengthen our convictions. I didn't babywear or cosleep when I had DD, but I did talk to her A LOT. People would comment on it, my MIL would say things like "you talk to her like she understands you!"

Well, I felt like she did understand. I also had this weird feeling--anyone else?--that I used to talk to her in my head all the time when she was in my belly, and I just felt so connected to her. Even after she was born, I felt like she knew what I was thinking. That didn't stop when she was born. Sure I made silly noises and cooed at her, but I also told her about my day, narrated where we were going when we were in the car, asked her if she wanted peas or carrots, that kind of thing.

Now she is 4 and she is super sharp and engaging and verbal with us and with others. I like to think that it's because I talk to her all the time and my mad parenting skillz, but seriously--it could just be the luck of the draw or it could be that DH and I are two of the most talkative, social people in the world so it's genetic. But I'm not AP, like I said before, we don't co-sleep, or babywear, she's been going to daycare since she was 12 weeks old. (Why do I post here? DH is vegetarian, we don't spank, I got very interested in Waldorf lifestyle when she was born--I stumbled upon Mothering and I thought the focus then was more Natural Family Living than Attachment Parenting).

Someone said upthread that holding a baby resentfully is worse than not holding at all. I think I agree with that. I think a lot, but not all, comes down to your intention. And I know there are plenty of people on the boards who despite the best of intentions, have found themselves dealing with non-sparkly situations they never would have foreseen. So, nature, nurture, the luck of the draw...who knows! But I don't think anyone can argue that actively engaging with your baby is ever a bad thing.
post #13 of 29
Quote:
Originally Posted by 4evermom View Post
Because your child screams and you get no sleep when you don't?
AP didn't help that problem with my first child AT ALL.......I was a mommiezombie.
post #14 of 29
Quote:
Originally Posted by violet View Post
I'm just curious why people would choose to AP unless they felt it had a positive effect on development. Not that it ensures a certain result (smart, secure, perfect) but that it improves things along the spectrum that is available to that particular child. KWIM?
I'd never heard of AP when I had ds1 - or dd1, for that matter. I coslept, breastfed, and babywore (hadn't heard that term, either) both of them. I probably wore ds1 more than dd1, because dd1 didn't really like being worn. I breastfed her longer (I weaned ds1 too early, and I wish I hadn't). We "officially" bedshared with dd1 longer than with ds1 - but ds1 was welcome to crawl in with us any time he wanted to for years. And, I never thought about his or her development and whether what I was doing had a positive effect on that development. It just felt right.

Quote:
AP is a lot of work. I wouldn't have done it if I didn't think there were benefits.
I hear this a lot. It makes me laugh. Parenting is a lot of work, and a lot of the reason I got into AP type parenting is because it was easier for me...no getting in and out of bed to prepare bottles for a hungry baby...baby was right there and so were my breasts. No lugging around huge heavy strollers, unless I really needed it for something - because I just popped him in the Snugli. AP's not easy, but it's easier than being an attentive "mainstream" parent in many ways, imo. (Obviously, if you're just going to ignore the child all the time, parenting isn't going to be that difficult...but there are attentive parents who don't practice AP...and they work hard.)
post #15 of 29
I don't buy it, even as an AP mama. Doesn' mean I don't value AP, because it's how we've lived our lives. But as time has gone along I have seen bright, engaged, happy kids who have been raised uber-mainstream, nary an AP ideal in sight. But the families were loving and happy, and so were the kids. To each his own.
post #16 of 29
Quote:
Originally Posted by felix23 View Post
I'm trying to not be offended by your post and understand what your saying, but I'm really not getting it. If I understand correctly, you are saying that AP babies are bright, happy,and ahead, and mainstream babies are not. If I am wrong, please correct me.

And as someone who spent six years working in childcare, I found that it basically came down to personality. There were parents who practiced CIO, whose children were secure, bright, and happy, and parents who were very AP, whose children were none of those things. I have even seen this with my own girls who were both raised in an AP house, one is bright, secure, happy, and loves people, and the other is not. In fact, if you had seen her as a toddler, you would think she was the most miserable child in the world. And at almost four, she is still the most insecure child in the world. My mom raised six children AP, and some of us were happy and secure, some of us weren't. It is just a personallity thing, not an AP vs mainstream thing.

Holding your baby is a good thing, but does not always create a happier child.
Ditto this. She said it better than I could.

All 4 of my kids have been raised AP... 1 is happy, secure and outgoing, 1 is outgoing but kind of socially immature, 1 is LD and his social skills have been hampered by a speech delay, and the 4th, well, he's almost 4, and he's an active little monkey, very secure, but not very social.

The AP stuff I've used wasn't really a conscious choice. I just do what feels right.
post #17 of 29
Quote:
Originally Posted by 4evermom View Post
Because your child screams and you get no sleep when you don't?
Apparently that doesn't happen for some people. Mind boggling, isn't it?
post #18 of 29
Quote:
Originally Posted by marybethorama View Post
Holding babies is good

what is making me irritated (and I'm really having trouble restraining myself here) is the idea that holding only happens to babies who are attachment parented. I don't believe that for a minute.

Never mind the fact that I've known some miserable kids whose parents used most of the attachment parenting techniques.

If a child is delightful, enjoy him or her. Don't make it into a whole AP vs. mainstream issue.
What? Please reread the OP. She only discusses holding babies. The people making the AP vs. mainstream comparisons are the people lambasting the OP for being judgmental.


Only use of "attachment" in the OP is this sentence.
Quote:
There's a brightness to his eyes, and an attachment to his mama and daddy when they come to get him that I really enjoy seeing.
post #19 of 29
I think holding babies who like to be held is good for them. I think that's the point of the OP. And that it's sad when a baby who likes being held a lot has to get used to not being held much, even if it's for an understandable reason (that the daycare provider can't possibly give that level of attention to every child in her care.) There are understandable things I deal with that are a little sad even if they're unavoidable too.
post #20 of 29
Quote:
Originally Posted by giftedwith2 View Post
It just makes sense to me that a person who feels loved and connected is more likely to glow with joy and self confidence than one who does not.
I like this and agree 100%.
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:
  Return Home
  Back to Forum: Parenting
Mothering › Mothering Forums › Mom › Parenting › Neat antedoctal experience...