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post #41 of 97
co-sleeping - about the time my menses return, I felt the need for more space and move them to their own room. (4 months and 6 months) They stopped nursing all night long and started sleeping at least 5 hours for me, and the transition was no big deal at this age.

nursing - I think comfort sucking is natural. But I also think putting my babies on my lap while I eat and letting them eat solids when they show an interest is natural. Mine both started grabbing my food about 5 months - maybe a tad earlier than some. I also think mommy saying "no" occasionally to comfort sucking and suggesting an alternative is natural.

babywearing - I wear my babies until they can walk, and then they walk. If we have to walk slow, we walk slow. This is mostly because I was pregnant with #2 when dd was just over a year, so I couldn't be slinging her. There has never been a reason to carry her though.

That's what feels natural for me.
post #42 of 97
Quote:
Originally Posted by uptownzoo View Post
I seem mean sometimes, but parenting is a marathon, not a sprint. The demands change over the years, but they don't get less. You have to save some energy because let me tell you, early adolescence will suck just as much out of you as infancy does! I've given too much of myself to my children for periods in our lives and we all suffered because of it. When I find that sweet spot, where I'm meeting their needs AND taking care of myself and my marriage, we're all exponentially happier, kids included.

I'll try to stop ranting now. I've been laid up with unbearable endometriosis pain on and off for months now (surgery Tuesday! Yay!), and I get bored and opinionated sometimes.
As my kids get older, I realize more and more how true this is.
post #43 of 97
I personally am a lazy parent.

If my kids are happy, healthy and well rested, it makes my life better. We co-slept with both babies mainly because I hate getting out of bed in the middle of the night -why bother when they are right there. We are still sleeping with one in our bed because we haven't gotten around to sorting out alternative sleeping arrangements. My older son comes to our bed a lot and we let him mainly because we are too lazy and don't care enough to do otherwise.

Breastfeeding - extended breastfeeding lets me be lazy with solids for my babies. I never had to remember to buy formula or sterilize anything. I never worried about how much they were taking in once we determined by supply was good (when ds1 was around 3 weeks old). I never had to worry about bringing a bottle with me or keeping it cold/warm/upright.

babywearing - I have a bad back from a car accident at age 19. The baby bjorn and the sling had to go when the boys hit around 15 lbs. But I have an ergo and that works well for me. I have no shame in using a stroller - however, a double stroller is HEAVY and much more work than one stroller and a baby in the ergo. Heck the stroller usually gets pushed by my preschooler and carries all of our bags and coats.

I also want to add that we need to be VERY careful about ascribing all sorts of great values to "cavemen" and the like. First off, we have no idea what sort of culture those folks had - we only know what current hunter/gatherers do but they are not "cavemen" trapped in amber or something. They have been directly and indirectly influenced by other cultures in the world for as long as we have been.

In addition, each hunter gatherer community has vastly different "values" - some avoid physical punishment of children, but others practice infanticide, especially of the disabled and multiples. Extended breastfeeding is/was both a technique to ensure adequate nutrition AND optimal child spacing. Many many many hunter/gatherer communities practiced active warfare against their neighbors which included enslaving or slaughtering children and babies, and raping women. Many practiced cannibalism.

The range of cultures within the rapidly disappearing hunter/gatherer communities is vast. We assume things about them at our peril.
post #44 of 97
Quote:
Originally Posted by Demeter9 View Post
No, I don't necessarily think the ideas on natural are necessarily completely natural. Instinctual, but not necessarily what would happen under survival duress.

For example, not feeding children solids until 6 months or more. What seems apparent to me is that children would have been fed things AND that the way that was done was by mommy prechewing it for them. Hence transfering enzymes and bacteria necessary to help digest it properly.

I dunno, the whole "pre-chewing" thing seems to fail the "KISS" rule. Mom's got sufficient food with her (assuming Mom is getting sufficient food herself) - why make it more difficult than it needs to be? Once the kid has a good set of chompers and is more mobile and social, it would make sense to shift to food that does not necessarily come from Mom directly. (Kids can be cared for in groups, freeing Mom for the other work to support the community/extended family group.)
post #45 of 97
Quote:
Originally Posted by siobhang View Post
I personally am a lazy parent.

If my kids are happy, healthy and well rested, it makes my life better. We co-slept with both babies mainly because I hate getting out of bed in the middle of the night -why bother when they are right there. We are still sleeping with one in our bed because we haven't gotten around to sorting out alternative sleeping arrangements. My older son comes to our bed a lot and we let him mainly because we are too lazy and don't care enough to do otherwise.

Breastfeeding - extended breastfeeding lets me be lazy with solids for my babies. I never had to remember to buy formula or sterilize anything. I never worried about how much they were taking in once we determined by supply was good (when ds1 was around 3 weeks old). I never had to worry about bringing a bottle with me or keeping it cold/warm/upright.

babywearing - I have a bad back from a car accident at age 19. The baby bjorn and the sling had to go when the boys hit around 15 lbs. But I have an ergo and that works well for me. I have no shame in using a stroller - however, a double stroller is HEAVY and much more work than one stroller and a baby in the ergo. Heck the stroller usually gets pushed by my preschooler and carries all of our bags and coats.

I also want to add that we need to be VERY careful about ascribing all sorts of great values to "cavemen" and the like. First off, we have no idea what sort of culture those folks had - we only know what current hunter/gatherers do but they are not "cavemen" trapped in amber or something. They have been directly and indirectly influenced by other cultures in the world for as long as we have been.

In addition, each hunter gatherer community has vastly different "values" - some avoid physical punishment of children, but others practice infanticide, especially of the disabled and multiples. Extended breastfeeding is/was both a technique to ensure adequate nutrition AND optimal child spacing. Many many many hunter/gatherer communities practiced active warfare against their neighbors which included enslaving or slaughtering children and babies, and raping women. Many practiced cannibalism.

The range of cultures within the rapidly disappearing hunter/gatherer communities is vast. We assume things about them at our peril.
post #46 of 97
Quote:
AP is sometimes awfully close to the total self-sacrifice demanded of fundementalist Christian motherhood too--the techniques and ways of child care can be very different, but the idea that mothers should sacrifice everything and be happy about it for their small children is the same.
You're misinterpreting AP. Like PP have said. balance is a big part. Also, most of the AP principles have payoffs. Breastfeeding is a lot easier than bottles. On-cue feeding is easier because it keeps my baby in a good mood. Babywearing allows me to get plenty of housework done during the day and keeps DD calm so I deal with less fussiness. Co-sleeping means I can nurse in my sleep. Total self-sacrifice? Hardly. There is no part of the AP philosophy that says I can't get a babysitter if I want a night off, or that DH can't change 51% of diapers. To paraphrase something I read on this board, it's not called Attatchment Mothering.

Quote:
June Cleaver works much better with CIO and scheduled feedings and babysitter every Friday night because that model developed in the industrial age and works better for the home-work separated/suburban environment and with the 'traditional' male wage-earning-outside-the-home model. That's why people still do it--it works in our culture. But AP pretty much requires the daily help of others, and the sharing of care. I don't know how you can do both and not completely exhuast yourself.
Ignoring baby's needs = fussy baby. How can this work better with any kind of culture? EVERY mom requires the daily help of others and the sharing of care. The whole idea of 'AP' is made for our contemporary Western culture. If we didn't already live in an intrinsically un-family-friendly society, you couldn't sell books telling people to listen to their babies.
post #47 of 97
Quote:
Originally Posted by fuller2 View Post
We are trying to mix AP with June Cleaver--but these 2 paradigms come from very different places, and so you end up with the moms who get 4 hours of broken sleep a night, frying themselves with constant BF, dragging around bags of soiled cloth diapers, carrying the children everywhere, and doing all of this alone!! with husbands who work 100 hours a week and do almost no care.

June Cleaver works much better with CIO and scheduled feedings and babysitter every Friday night because that model developed in the industrial age and works better for the home-work separated/suburban environment and with the 'traditional' male wage-earning-outside-the-home model. That's why people still do it--it works in our culture. But AP pretty much requires the daily help of others, and the sharing of care. I don't know how you can do both and not completely exhuast yourself.
Sorry but I totally disagree with this part!! I am a SAHM right now (on leave from grad school) so I guess I am playing the "June Cleaver" part. CIO and scheduled feedings would make my life so much harder. Instead of getting up in the middle of the night and going to the kitchen to warm a bottle I just roll on my side and pop my boob out. Babysitter every Friday doesn't work for us because frankly we don't have any family close and don't have the money for babysitter fees + dinner out + movie out every week. In our case family time is easier, cheaper, and more fun. For the most part we follow the AP philosophy and we have no help from family or friends. It isn't really exhausting b/c I have my husband to help when he gets home. And who lugs around bags of soiled diapers? At most there is 1-2 in the diaper bag unless we are gone for the entire day. CDing is pretty simple when you get your system down.

So I don't really get how breastfeeding/babywearing/co-sleeping/cloth diapering (which isn't AP but you brought it up in your post) is more difficult or incompatible with a modern lifestyle. To me "ferberizing", scheduled feedings, and bottles are much more complicated and involve unnecessary work.
post #48 of 97
Quote:
Originally Posted by fuller2 View Post

We are trying to mix AP with June Cleaver--but these 2 paradigms come from very different places, and so you end up with the moms who get 4 hours of broken sleep a night, frying themselves with constant BF, dragging around bags of soiled cloth diapers, carrying the children everywhere, and doing all of this alone!! with husbands who work 100 hours a week and do almost no care.
I think this is an absolutely brilliant post. I feel kind of dim for not making this connection myself and now realize why, after happily living thousands of miles away from my own family for many years, I am suddenly making plans to move "back home".

I need help to be the kind of mother I want to be. Even with an awesome partner who does his fair share of everything. Even with a supportive group of friends. Even being healthy, centered and in good spirits (eh-hem, most of the time...).

DH and I are not suited for this rat race and look forward to creating a simpler life with more "leisure time" .
post #49 of 97
Quote:
Originally Posted by teachma View Post
Same. It came naturally to me, too. I didn't know I was attacment parenting; I just thought I was parenting.
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post #50 of 97
Quote:
Originally Posted by PrettyBird View Post
So I don't really get how breastfeeding/babywearing/co-sleeping/cloth diapering (which isn't AP but you brought it up in your post) is more difficult or incompatible with a modern lifestyle. To me "ferberizing", scheduled feedings, and bottles are much more complicated and involve unnecessary work.
But, the other poster was talking about "June Cleaver", not about a modern lifestyle. The June Cleaver type of life would include having supper on the table at the exact same time every night, meeting your husband at the door with perfect makeup and clothes and jewelry, kids in bed at the "right" time every night, etc. That "ideal" is an intensely structured and scheduled regimen, making it necessary to have the children's lives very structured and scheduled, as well.


re: cavemen. I just wanted to say that the only assumptions I was making about the social structure of cavemen is that there would be a group of people living in a shared space (eg. a cave) together. I'm guessing it would usually be a large group or tribe, but maybe "just" a family sometimes - smaller dwellings close together or whatever. That being the case, I think cosleeping would be the best way to make sure everyone got as much sleep as possible, because a screaming baby isn't restful...
post #51 of 97
Children's brains are also wired to be attached to thier parents (or caregiver) so if that attachment gets broken the kids panics...this way if you were caveman (I am using that term loosely) you would alwys know where your kids were so you could pick them up and run when that sabretooth tiger came running,

Our society praises independence so that kids who are "too" dependent seem to not be thriving and are looked down upon. They are thriving just fine and need to stay connected to their parents..that is what's natural.

I totally get the june Cleaver example b/c I know sometimes in DH's mind he is thinking...""Well my mom kept the hosue clean and had 2 kids" but his mom also let her son CIO until he vomited than let him sleep in it. She wasn't especially AP or natural but damn she kept a clean house! :
post #52 of 97
Quote:
Originally Posted by fuller2 View Post
Here's the thing--we are laying AP over our prexisting cultural mothering paradigm, which was total maternal self-sacrifice, no connection with wider world, everything oriented toward home and family, etc. The thing we always overlook when we imagine 'primitive' societies is that ALL those mamas were working mamas--as in, provided essential food, clothing etc., and even money. None of these mamas ONLY care for children and the domestic environment in the way we idealize motherhood. (For one thing, the whole idea of 'domesticity' implies a certain kind of separation from the rest of life--and that just wasn't the case even 200 years ago in the way it is today in our society. I would bet you that the cave women did not separate their 'home' life and the rest of life. Doing this seems natural to us, but it is really a pretty recent invention in human history.)
Great post. I think that's my issue...and you helped me clarify it in my own mind. Its not so much AP I'm having an issue with...its when this philosophy is applied in a zealous way, its yet another guilt inducing parenting model where mom is put at the bottom of the list. And almost worse than the old models...because like you said, at least June Cleaver got her sleep at night and had date nights with her husband!

So what do you guys think about Mothering mag promoting this type of model? Do you think its a support to mothers or yet another false idealization? Do you think its a June Cleaver model disguised in hip clothes with a batik sling?
post #53 of 97
Quote:
Originally Posted by fuller2 View Post
Here's the thing--we are laying AP over our prexisting cultural mothering paradigm, which was total maternal self-sacrifice, no connection with wider world, everything oriented toward home and family, etc. The thing we always overlook when we imagine 'primitive' societies is that ALL those mamas were working mamas--as in, provided essential food, clothing etc., and even money. None of these mamas ONLY care for children and the domestic environment in the way we idealize motherhood. (For one thing, the whole idea of 'domesticity' implies a certain kind of separation from the rest of life--and that just wasn't the case even 200 years ago in the way it is today in our society. I would bet you that the cave women did not separate their 'home' life and the rest of life. Doing this seems natural to us, but it is really a pretty recent invention in human history.)
Yep, you have hit the nail on the head.

Quote:
-Co-sleeping. My babies never slept in cribs, but instead on my body. After 4 years (2.5 for my son, 1.5 for my daughter) of nursing every 45 min at night I’m beat! How natural is this? If I were a cavewoman, I’d be dead! Never ever able to outrun a sabertooth tiger! Is it natural for a 6 year old to not be able to sleep at night because for his first few years he slept on a body. I’m ready to cry it out with him, and I’m sure it would have been less painful (more ‘natural’) if we had done it 5 years ago!
Cosleeping was natural when it was necessary for survival. Nowadays, I do not find it any more "natural" than sleeping apart. I think it works for some families and not others. My daughter has always slept in her own bed and in her own room and that worked well for us. Quite frankly, having read quite a few threads in the sleep forum, I am not at all convinced that co-sleeping is a great setup for the majority of families.

I think it is also important to remember that in co-sleeping cultures, NOONE sleeps alone, EVER. Not children, and not adults. Co-sleeping parents who assert that their child will be out of their bed "before he starts college" are in fact wrong in their belief that a person will always naturally grow out of sleeping with another person when he is older. Noone sleeps alone in co-sleeping cultures. You are either with your parents, or your siblings or your spouse but you are never alone.
post #54 of 97
Quote:
Originally Posted by fuller2 View Post
June Cleaver works much better with CIO and scheduled feedings and babysitter every Friday night because that model developed in the industrial age and works better for the home-work separated/suburban environment and with the 'traditional' male wage-earning-outside-the-home model. That's why people still do it--it works in our culture. But AP pretty much requires the daily help of others, and the sharing of care. I don't know how you can do both and not completely exhuast yourself.
Completely agree with this, too. It is the isolation of mothers and babies in our society (itself very abnormal and unnatural)that can make AP very demanding.
post #55 of 97
Quote:
Originally Posted by cmlp View Post
I think it is also important to remember that in co-sleeping cultures, NOONE sleeps alone, EVER. Not children, and not adults. Co-sleeping parents who assert that their child will be out of their bed "before he starts college" are in fact wrong in their belief that a person will always naturally grow out of sleeping with another person when he is older. .
Yeah, that. I think the nail in my co-sleeping coffin came when I was talking to a woman who was struggling to get her still-nightwaking six-year-old out of bed so she and her husband could have some privacy at night, not to mention some unbroken sleep!

It occurred to me that I was probably going to eventually fight the battle of the bed, and that I preferred to do it before they were big enough to climb back in willy-nilly.

I've said before that even my uber-traditional grandmother would find a lot of the stuff embraced here to be repressive. Four hours of broken sleep a night would definitely fall into that category.

And I agree that "natural" is such a nebulous, evasive little word.
post #56 of 97
I fell into AP more because it worked best for everyone than anything else. I do not have a checklist and have chosen not to do things because they did not make me and/or dd happy. I do not know if that is "natural" or not. I am not trying to be June Cleaver nor do I want to live in a cave I never could figure out the dang slings. i tried a few but they all made my back hurt. A lot. So I used a snugli sometimes, carried dd in my arms sometimes, spent a good part of her first year on the couch reading books with her on me that way, and I still use a stroller daily for my workout. That is "natural" for me and dd. We are both happy. I also could never co-sleep. I have severe insomnia and ANY LITTLE MOVEMENT keeps me up all night. I tried to get dd to sleep in a crib. That so did not work. Not "natural" for her. Luckily, dh is a snuggle bug and he did the co-sleeping. We are all in the same bed, but they do the snuggling and I would get a perpetually squirmy baby gently prodded my way any tme she was hungry. "Natural" for all of us. Are there really people here that do things that make them or their children unhappy just to check it off on the list?
post #57 of 97
You know, there are many other people who write about attachment parenting besides Dr. Sears. Check out the information at Attachment Parenting Internationale's, The Natural Child Project, or the GD forum's resource list.

I also want to point out that there is more to raising a healthy attached child than bedsharing, breastfeeding and baby wearing... And that is generally how we interact with them and treat them. One book I liked "Raising Emotionally Intelligent Children" talks about healthy relationships with our children... I also like the link someone put up about the Raising a Secure Child.
post #58 of 97
Quote:
Originally Posted by WNB View Post
I dunno, the whole "pre-chewing" thing seems to fail the "KISS" rule. Mom's got sufficient food with her (assuming Mom is getting sufficient food herself) - why make it more difficult than it needs to be? Once the kid has a good set of chompers and is more mobile and social, it would make sense to shift to food that does not necessarily come from Mom directly. (Kids can be cared for in groups, freeing Mom for the other work to support the community/extended family group.)
That is funny. I would suppose that it absolutely passes the Kiss Rule - particularly in that a kiss is probably biologically based on the passing of food.
post #59 of 97
I don't think that Mothering mag promotes June Cleaver with a sling. After all, Peggy O'Mara is always talking about how we need to restructure our culture to make it easier to be a parent. You don't see many articles about housecleaning in Mothering. I do think that we tend to unconsciously graft AP onto the June Cleaver ideal, especially, perhaps, for some SAHMs. (And I'm here to tell you to stop worrying about messy houses and heaps of laundry! Housekeeping should be in a separate part of your life from mothering--they are NOT the same job. Making them be the same job just gives men another reason to not help. There's a reason Charlotte Perkins Gilman and other 19th c and early 20th c. feminists had as their domestic ideal communal kitchens and laundries--the whole point was to save women's labor and brains for things that were better for them and for their kids rather than spend it all day on drudgery.)

I think it is actually very difficult to live in mainstream society and do AP, because you actually have to abandon many of our most central cultural values, including the ones that are directly connected to our economic system--efficiency, standardization, scheduling, the individual as the economic unit, distaste for any kind of dependency (because dependents don't make anybody any money...unless, of course, you get talked into buying them a lot of stuff.) I think many parents who do CIO etc. are not evil but are just living in the society they live in, and are raising their children accordingly to fit into it. But AP is a premodern, preindustrial style of parenting that is not about fixed schedules and doesn't require a lot of purchased products, and as such it simply doesn't fit very well into our industrially-scheduled world that totally relies on consumption to keep it going.

It's also worth reflecting on the fact that the United States is actually incredibly unsupportive of parenting, especially the mothering of small children--we fall way at the bottom of measures of this--no yearlong paid maternity leaves like they have elsewhere, low BF rates, millions of children without health insurance, etc. I have a friend living in Japan who just had her 2nd kid there, and she says she never wants to leave--there are these 'mothers' houses' on every corner where you can go hang out with the neighborhood moms, tons of parks and free stuff for kids, free child care, all government supported. She says that as a mother it's like living on a different planet from being in the U.S. The lack of structural support for motherhood here, and the emphasis on individual mothering in individual separated houses, also makes it really hard to do AP.
post #60 of 97
Fuller - I guess I do see what you're saying about AP not being compatible with our society...I think the first time you posted, I read it as saying 'you shouldn't do AP in our society.'

I will second your comment about the US being unsupportive of parenting. I'm in Canada and I find that I can't relate to most of the threads about being criticized for AP practices. Now I realize that all regions of the US aren't the same, but most MDC posters are not painting a flattering picture. Canada has a long way to go too, but I can see how it could be worse!
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