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Can you be AP and CIO?

post #1 of 148
Thread Starter 
I am not a frequent poster here but I love Mothering Magazine so I come here occassionally to read. I had a question that I wanted to get your opinions on.

My dd is 3 years old and we're ttc #2. When dd was born I had never really heard about AP, but my stepmother once bought me Mothering magazine and I've enjoyed reading about natural parenting. I just did what "felt right" and natural in parenting...I've never let dd CIO, bf her until she self-weaned at 14 months (it was hard on me, I wish she nursed longer), always picked her up when she cried, etc. I've enjoyed reading about gentle discipline because this seems to be what I practice, too, now that dd is a bit older.

Now I have a few acquaintances who claim to be AP. They cloth-diaper, wear slings, bf, natural childbirth, etc. It bothers me that they say they are AP because at least 2 of them have admitting practicing CIO! On young babies, like 7 months old. One of them even locks her toddler in his room at naptime. I just don't understand this. To me, from what I've read, AP is about listening to your baby's cues, not wearing slings and cloth diapering....so my question is, is it possible to be AP and do CIO??? Or does that sound as ridiculous to you as it does to me?

Thanks in advance for any responses.
Edited to comply with user agreement per a pm that I received.
post #2 of 148
I, too, know a woman who considers herself an Ap mama yet weaned dd at 12 months because: she knew that was how long she wanted to BF her, wanted to wear a regular bra, she wanted TTC #2 and sleep late on Sat while her dh had dd. She also let her dd CIO somewhere around 6 months after reading Ferber's book and syaing it made sense. This was after talking me through all the people who told me to let my dd CIO. She read Ferber after this conversation.

Well, her dd is firmly attached to her blankie, her thumb and wanted nothing to do w/ her brother when he was born when she was only 20 months old. She is a very withdrawn child from what I've seen.

I guess people figure that they can pick and choose what AP things and needs of their children they meet. Very sad. HOw many employers would keep people on the payroll if they were as choosy about doing their work tasks as they are about choosing the needs of their children to meet?

Sus
post #3 of 148
nope. just my opinion. ignoring a child crying because he wants you is not ap.
post #4 of 148
I would say there is nothing "attatched" about CIO, but it would depend on the specifics. Someone who lets her baby fuss in her arms a few minutes may be able to consider herself AP and think she is doing CIO. I don't see how anyone who puts baby to bed knowing he or she will scream for the next twenty minutes without checking in every night could possibly reconcile the two.
post #5 of 148
I will be brave and answer you first.

You are going to have strong opinions that say "absolutely not", then you are going to have people like me that say "yes".

Being AP is about meeting your child's needs. Some here believe your kid wimpers you have to go to them immediately. I've learned after three children, that cries mean different things and that crying is not a horrible thing. I posted that with my first child, I was trying to follow these strict guidelines of AP, etc. It took a great tole on me personally and with my marriage. With child no. 2. He cried all the time sometimes 6-7 hours per day. Nothing soothed him. He didn't like a sling, he didn't like co sleeping, he bucked and screamed in your arms. I was a wreck. Finally at about 5-6 months old, I would put him in his crib and night bundled up with his fleece and he would cry himself to sleep. Not wailing mind you, but crying. A few minutes later he would go to sleep (5-15min). He didn't need to be fed, he didn't need a change in diaper, he didn't care to be held, etc. No tags poked him in the back, etc etc etc. My third baby was super laid back, coslept and would fall asleep playing on the floor. Rarely cried at all.

I don't believe in letting infants cry it out, I do think that as babies get older, they want what they want and what they want is often different than what they need. By the time a child is 9m-1 years old, they have learned to manipulate you through behaviors. I do believe that a child that age CAN sleep through the night, that unless they are premature or have health problems than they can learn to self soothe, etc themselves to sleep. I think by the time a child is that age most parents can distinguish if their child's crying or persistance to nurse be held, etc at night is a want or a need.

I just read the Ferber book for my 4 year old. And nothing like the CIO described here is in his book. And it especially isn't recommend for children under 6 m old or with health issues. In fact, I really saw a lot of similarities between it and the Happiest Baby On The Block and other more AP friendly books that deal with issues on sleep. The only book I have read with newbornyoung infant crying out is the Baby Wise books.

If your child doesnt have healthy sleep habits, and you are part of that problem, then what is AP about that? AP to me is about meeting your child's needs. If you have a cranky fussy baby and toddler because they have all night nigh wakings, sleep too much during the day, or have discipline problems because of lack of sleep -- then its time to do something different. All children are different and have different needs and personalities.
post #6 of 148
Quote:
Originally Posted by mama24-7
I, too, know a woman who considers herself an Ap mama yet weaned dd at 12 months because: she knew that was how long she wanted to BF her, wanted to wear a regular bra, she wanted TTC #2 and sleep late on Sat while her dh had dd. She also let her dd CIO somewhere around 6 months after reading Ferber's book and syaing it made sense. This was after talking me through all the people who told me to let my dd CIO. She read Ferber after this conversation.

Well, her dd is firmly attached to her blankie, her thumb and wanted nothing to do w/ her brother when he was born when she was only 20 months old. She is a very withdrawn child from what I've seen.

I guess people figure that they can pick and choose what AP things and needs of their children they meet. Very sad. HOw many employers would keep people on the payroll if they were as choosy about doing their work tasks as they are about choosing the needs of their children to meet?

Sus
I have just finished reading the Ferber book. It has some great information in there about sleep. I didn't agree with all of it (like his views on cosleeping) but there is no way you are going to convince me that this child is "withdrawn" because her mother did CIO. I am just not buying it. I live in the South where mainstream parenting is common, and I know parents who do CIO starting out much younger than 6m old. These kids are perfectly attached to their parents.
Also some kids, even cosleeping children suck their thumbs or have a blankie. I would say what you have seen is typical behavior of most 20 months old with a new sibling. There is no way you are going to convince me, after parenting three children thus far, and all three somewhat differntly, that encouraging sleep at 6m old (and if she used Ferber, and took his advice, she just didn't abandon her baby) damaged her child or any child for that matter.
post #7 of 148
Quote:
Originally Posted by AmandaBL
nope. just my opinion. ignoring a child crying because he wants you is not ap.
Well lets just take my AP badge now. What about moms with multiples or really small children. Do you think they can meet all their childrens wants immediately? or even all the time? NO. I have had children close together in age, and I can tell you at times, if all they "wanted" was me, and I Was trying to feed, clothe, nurse, etc well I am sure they were "ignored". Then they had to wait. Sometimes they stopped crying, sometimes they just cried until I was able to get to them.
post #8 of 148
In all seriousness, why does it matter so much to you what other mamas do or say? Do we need to pass an exam to qualify as "AP"?

Why is it important to you to tell these mothers that they are not in the club?

By the strict definitions and popularly known tenets, no, I don't think CIO can qualify as "AP." However, I think there are many ways to meet children's needs, one of which is the need for sleep, and another of which is the need for a parent who is not about to lose her mind or crash the car from sleep deprivation.

In my opinion, Attachment Parenting is not a binary system with only one right answer.
post #9 of 148
Quote:
Originally Posted by mama24-7
I guess people figure that they can pick and choose what AP things and needs of their children they meet. Very sad. HOw many employers would keep people on the payroll if they were as choosy about doing their work tasks as they are about choosing the needs of their children to meet?
of course people can pick and choose what things meet the needs of their child and their family. It's not a job where an employer gets to tell you what you can and cannot do. It's your life, your child, your family.

Quote:
Originally Posted by loraxc
In all seriousness, why does it matter so much to you what other mamas do or say? Do we need to pass an exam to qualify as "AP"?

Why is it important to you to tell these mothers that they are not in the club?
yeah, what she said!! I would think, with all the emphasis on AP advocacy that the "AP club" would be a little more tolerant of diversity in other parents
post #10 of 148
Before answering, I'm going to clarify that crying in arms is not CIO. I've heard some people here refer to it as such and it isn't. CIO is where you put the baby in the crib and leave them to cry until they fall asleep.

"Sleep training," as I usually see it called on another board I go to, is not in line with AP. The kind of CIO I read about these people doing ingores the fact that being held and being close to people is a need. They say stuff like, "the baby was fed and changed so they didn't need anything." The baby does need something. The baby needs You.

This is from Dr Sears' website:
Quote:
With most of these baby-training regimens you run the risk of becoming desensitized to the cues of your infant, especially when it comes to letting baby cry it out. Instead of helping you to figure out what baby's signals mean, these training methods tell you to ignore them. Neither you nor your baby learn anything good from this.
And two of his "Baby B's":
Quote:
5. Belief in the language value of your baby's cry. A baby's cry is a signal designed for the survival of the baby and the development of the parents. Responding sensitively to your baby's cries builds trust. Babies trust that their caregivers will be responsive to their needs. Parents gradually learn to trust in their ability to appropriately meet their baby's needs. This raises the parent-child communication level up a notch. Tiny babies cry to communicate, not to manipulate. (See Crying and Cry it Out)

6. Beware of baby trainers. Attachment parenting teaches you how to be discerning of advice, especially those rigid and extreme parenting styles that teach you to watch a clock or a schedule instead of your baby; you know, the cry-it-out crowd. This "convenience" parenting is a short-term gain, but a long-term loss, and is not a wise investment. These more restrained styles of parenting create a distance between you and your baby and keep you from becoming an expert in your child.
So, my opinion is, No. If you're training your baby to sleep through the night by leaving them alone in a crib to cry until they fall asleep, it's not AP. I'm not going to be all PC and go "we can all be AP in our own way." There are things that can't be considered AP and CIO is one of them.
post #11 of 148
JMO
AP is about responding to your baby, first and foremost. In almost all cases that means not doing CIO. There are a very few exceptions I have heard about that might be valid.
post #12 of 148
so if you spend say, 7 years meeting every need of 2 or 3 children, but that third child just won't respond to any other thing you've tried, and you let him CIO for 3 nights... you are no longer AP?

I don't think I could ever do CIO. but I won't say never. my children have a need for sleep too. if it comes down to the end of the line and I have tried EVERYTHING else, then I might do it. and I don't think it would make me a cruelly unattached parent. JMHO.
post #13 of 148
Parenting is a hard job and some parents just cannot cope with night time parenting. We are night weaning my almost 5 month old daughter because she is just to wiggly and night nurses ALL night long. And I just could not night nurse her anymore and it was affecting my daytime parenting. She is still co-sleeping just not nursing. I also have a 2.5y.o. dd that I was able to night nurse till 14months. With her we slowly transitioned her out of our bed. But with both girls there were/are lots of tears. But in the end they are not harmed in any way. My dd1 does not have any emotional scars. We soothe dd2 when she cries. I feel guilty for weaning dd2 at 5 months when we went to 14months with dd1.

My point being is that there is no cookie cutter way to parent. It all has to be what works for your family. And children cry. That is just what they do. And some cry more than others. And they all cry for different reasons.
post #14 of 148
Quote:
Originally Posted by thorn
so if you spend say, 7 years meeting every need of 2 or 3 children, but that third child just won't respond to any other thing you've tried, and you let him CIO for 3 nights... you are no longer AP?

I don't think I could ever do CIO. but I won't say never. my children have a need for sleep too. if it comes down to the end of the line and I have tried EVERYTHING else, then I might do it. and I don't think it would make me a cruelly unattached parent. JMHO.
I guess then my middle child was not APed. He hated a sling, hated cosleeping, and he did CIO to sleep. That is the way he fell asleep, no matter what. The other two kids, the one before and after him, well they just don't count I guess. I am the same parent I was the first, second and third time.

Also sleep training, what do you call what Jay Gordon recommends? It is a form of sleep training. Don't fool yourselves.
post #15 of 148
phatui5.

Crying in arms is different, as is crying with mom or dad right there soothing baby. Crying for a few moments because mom or dad is on the toilet or changing a sibling's diaper or otherwise unable to pick baby up is different.

But leaving a baby alone to cry to train them to fall asleep on their own is NOT what attachment parenting is about.

nak now...

Yeah, labels aren't the most important thing in the world but i get really riled up when people claim to practice ap but also cio. In my mind the two are mututally exclusive. AP is about following babies cues and responding to their needs and i just do not believe that there is a baby in the world who wants to be alone to cry.

parenting is a hard job and attachment parenting is probably even more physically and sometimes emotionally difficult. we do it anyway because we believe it is the best way to raise our kids. when you decide to be a parent you are deciding to put your kids needs ahead of your own and oftentimes that means not getting as much sleep as you're used to.

so miraclemom, i agree with you.
post #16 of 148
You can practise Natural Family LIving with out being AP.. You use cloth diapers which is more natural.. You sling your child which is more natural.. You breastfeed because it is natural.. You birth naturally.. The word natural is right in that one.. You can do AAAALLL of that without being AP.. And I think that is where the confusion is.. Mothering Magazine is a NFL magazine that promotes AP tenets.. The two ideals often times over lap, but AREN'T necessarily synonimous..

You can be AP without folling all the "rules".. And OTF I've seen you really defending your "ferberization" of your 4 year old.. And 4 years is different than 4 or even 14 months.. Sleep is important.. For both parents and children.. But it's our society that is unnatural toward the rearing of chldren.. Not our children themselves.. I understand that you did what you feel is best for your family.. And that is what worked for you.. And your 4 year old is much better now, and that is great.. But again 4 isn't 4 or 14 months..

So again.. You can be AP without doing all the "right" things.. And you can be a NFL family without being AP at all..

Warm Squishy Feelings..

Dyan
post #17 of 148
Why do we feel like we should be criticizing these parents that practice AP during the day but use CIO at night. I think that encouraging AP is more effective than any criticism of each others parenting techniques.
post #18 of 148
Quote:
Originally Posted by AmandaBL
nope. just my opinion. ignoring a child crying because he wants you is not ap.
I have to agree with Amanda.
post #19 of 148
Well, I think we should be encouraging meeting childrens needs vegmom.CIO is essentially IGNORING a child and their cries. Simple as that. You can't encourage one form of parenting while accepting things that differ from it.I think we need to give people outside the AP realm a real example of it. Leaving a baby to cry at night has far-reaching effects on the child and all of his relationships in life.It is the beginning of distrust, IMO

I beleive heeding to a baby's cry is a foundational doctrinne, if you will, of AP.I don't think you can throw that one out so easily. Sure, you can be AP the rest of the way but you are still harming the mother-child relationship at the same time.
Not meanig to sound snarky-I have a good friend who has 3 kids and did cio and is pretty AP. But her kids are so different when it comes to bedtime issues.
post #20 of 148
I don't think you have to follow all the rules to be AP. I stopped doing cloth diapers at 10 months, had to stop slingin' around 6 months due to a bad back, and let my dd cry (next to me) to get out of all-night -nursing several times.

I think it's the spirit of how we do things that matters. Like, I couldn't babywear as much as I'da liked, but I still carried dd a lot,and still try to every once in a while. I switched to disposables at 10 months, but then used IPT techniques to potty train at 20 months. I put my foot down about mommy-as- pacifier nursing after 12 months, but still nursed at night till over 2.

To be fair about various baby crying to sleep things- different kids need different things. I did have a friend whose dd had day/night reversal and needed a lot of active help learning to sleep. They did use CIO- maybe around 4 months- but it worked very quickly, with very little all-out crying. Their dd still moke at night, and mom tended her, but the cio was to teach her to sleep during the dark hours. I suppose their dd responded well to coercion. As opposed to my kid, where CIO of any kind would have been a fight to the death. Granted, I would not consider these friends AP.

I think the part of CIO that is really not in keeping with my idea of AP is the idea that infants are trying to manipulate you, and could sleep if they wanted to, but are just being difficult. I think that under the age of 11-12 months wants and needs are pretty similar. After that a parent needs to help a child differentiate wants from needs. I just cannot get behind the narcissistic idea that moms have that their 6 months old spend time trying to figure out how to manipulate them.

On manipulation: I night weaned completely once I got PG, when my dd was 2 and a few months. I figured that when I night wean, she'll sleep through the night: she's only waking up because she'll *get* something. Well, she still woke up for several; more months. She'd wake up and cry, I'd pat her on the head, she'd fall back asleep. Sometimes she's just linb in next to her dad or I and fall asleep. Apparently, it wasn't all about me. Surprise, surprise,
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