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#31 of 53 Old 02-14-2012, 09:15 AM
 
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I have to say, to this, I feel like I was missing the point a little. The point is, how wonderful that you're going to have a baby. How wonderful. You can't possibly be fully prepared--I don't think anyone ever is--and you aren't going to fail, not even a little bit, at being a mom.

 

You will not be disappointed. It really is just like you think it's going to be. You might not wind up identifying as a natural parent, but you will probably be a natural at it anyway. 

 

I was sure, when I finally got to have a kid, that I had built it up too much. NOPE. Nope. I have never loved anyone this much ever and never had so much pleasure. Unless you did med school, I strongly doubt you have ever been as tired as you are going to be, but--wow, yes. It's great. 

 

I think you should go to natural parenting group and other parenting groups and find people to connect with about this. It sounds like you have a good base of friends who are already parents--I hope they are giving you baby stuff and lots of support. (I mean, if you are at a stage of pregnancy where you are telling people.) 

 

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Originally Posted by MrsSlocombe View Post

Thanks.  I agree with all those who say that it's best to remain flexible and be prepared to incorporate new information, especially after the baby is born.  I suppose I am of the "failure to prepare is preparation to fail" school, and I would not be at all comfortable going into parenting without reading books, observing and talking to friends, and thinking back on my own experience (which is extensive but is primarily with older babies through preschoolers);  there is no way I could say, "Well, let's wait till the baby gets here and see what happens."  It is also the case that we've been waiting a long time for a baby, and the majority of my mental energy is focused on motherhood right now.  Still, it is of course the case that I will always seek new ideas, especially when something does not appear to be going well.


 


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#32 of 53 Old 02-14-2012, 10:42 AM
 
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Originally Posted by AbbyGrant View Post

I agree with this. I don't think it's about just wanting a loving bonded relationship as a PP suggested.  I think most parents want that but may not buy AP is the only or best way.   

 


Hmmm...  I must admit that I don't consider myself "AP".  Disregard.  I guess I was wrong.  Though I am a little confused about how what I said was different.  Was I just lighter on the tools to be used?  I guess I am of the belief that a parent can be just as attachment oriented and just as able to achieve healthy attachment with their child even if they had never heard of a sling or if they were unable to nurse for some reason.  It is true that it's hard to imagine something approaching AP without any of those tools, but I cannot imagine having children without having them sleep in my bed, though I know it is done.  Maybe AP as defined by Dr. Sears actually requires those tools to be used?


Anyway, OP, I just wanted to say that, if you find that your little one is unable to sleep with out nursing, that doesn't have to be the end of the world (sad for those families for which it was terrible, though!).  Before my older son stopped nursing, he only fell asleep in two situations, while nursing or in his car seat.  I think he fell asleep twice ever on the couch on his own out of total exhaustion.  So I was really worried that we would be in for a hell of a time when he stopped nursing.  We ended up weaning very abruptly at 3 1/2 and after the first 48 hours or so, it was no issue at all.  He has always been great about going to sleep.  It is true that we never dropped him in his bed and said goodnight and walked away, which I guess some people do.  But I have never felt regret over the time that I've spent nursing or cuddling with him before bed.  I think I can count on one hand the times he's made a big stink about not wanting to go to bed, and he's 8 now.  I have known children who never really nursed (dh's sister was born after I met him and she nursed only for the first three months, but I remember bedtime being a huge nightmare until she was at least five or six) and had a much harder time coming to terms with bedtime.  I kinda think it's unrelated to nursing or bedtime routine  --  like some people, even when they're much older, fight sleep and don't want to let go of the possibility of having fun/getting stuff done/reading a few more pages.  I think we are all (me and both my boys) just biologically good sleepers and would be regardless of parenting style.


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#33 of 53 Old 02-14-2012, 11:54 AM
 
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This is interesting, Spring Lily and Rubidoux.  Thanks.  Most of what I have read about AP has been in the form of articles, not books, which is why I emphasize that I do not have a definitive statement about it.  Although I knew that the anti-stroller thing wasn't across the board, I really thought co-sleeping was a requirement.  Not that APers are seeking to lynch us non-co-sleepers, but at least that, if you didn't do it, you weren't AP.  So, that was one hesitation, and I'm happy to have it corrected.


Another thing I might be misinterpreting is the idea that a child must have constant access to the parent, which would preclude both time out punishments and the encouragement of independent play on the child's part.  I seek to encourage some level of independence (not as punishment, but just as a normal and useful component of life), and also to use non-violent, but punitive, techniques including time outs for misbehavior.  I thought both of these things were contrary to AP.  Again, this is based on online articles that probably only represent the opinion of some AP writers and practitioners.
Parents who AP do not have to co-sleep. Most do, because it is the most convenient thing for everyone, and there's nothing quite as sweet as cuddling with your baby all night. smile.gif However, co-sleeping isn't for everyone, and some parents just feel too uncomfortable with that. Some babies just don't get deep rest that way and need their own space or their own room. Fine, whatever works for that family. The idea is more that you don't have to do the mainstream, CIO, baby alone in their room down the hall type of nighttime parenting. You have options.

Total selflessness as a mother is not AP. Part of having an attachment and being in a relationship has to do with learning boundaries and space. APing is about being attuned to you baby's needs AND your own, and reacting to those rather than following some prescription of how everyone should parent. It's about respecting both the baby's needs AND your own. By forming a strong attachment and teaching your child boundaries and mutual respect, you're also giving your child the foundation of security needed to go off and be an individual. My kids are great at independent play and I have never had a problem with that. You know why they're so independent? Because they feel secure that if they ever need me for reassurance, I will be right there for them.

I also think you're confusing AP with other styles. It's just that if you practice Attachment Parenting you're more likely to use Gentle Discipline and like a Natural Family lifestyle, but those are not all the same thing.
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Finally, it is my desire to provide ample breastfeeding to meet my baby's hunger and nutritional needs, but not to have her rely on it as a sleep aid.  For this reason, I plan to follow the model that two families I know well have used successfully, and that is to create a nurse-awake-sleep pattern, rather than a nurse-sleep-awake pattern.  I had the idea that AP babies tended to be on the nurse-sleep-awake pattern, and I thought this primarily because this is what one of the (non-AP) books my I read claimed about AP.  I wasn't 100% sold on that book, but I liked the idea of the nurse-awake-sleep pattern, especially having seen it work so well in the thriving babies I mentioned.  (In families who used the opposite pattern, I've seen sleep problems past age one and even past age two.)  I may just forget books and follow these families practices based on the Moms' advice alone, but knowing me, I'm likely to read 1-2 others before the baby is born.

Here's what I learned after reading lots of sleep books and articles and then having my own kids: the theory may sound great, but if it's not right for your specific kid, it's not going to work. Also, I have learned that a lot of people are worried right now about creating sleep problems and bad habits, and I think it's mostly needless stress and anxiety. Expecting a newborn to be able to go to sleep without nursing is a tall order for some. Thinking that if you always nurse to sleep the child is going to have trouble falling asleep without nursing is completely false. I nursed all my kids to sleep and they all can fall asleep perfectly well on their own now, without crying. All those things I thought were going to be issues, all those nights I stressed about how to teach my first baby to go to sleep without nursing, what a waste. Life was so much better when I threw out all those theories and worries and just responded to what my kids needed right then. Started nursing my first baby to sleep again, and about 6 months later she weaned and fell asleep by herself just fine.

Maybe the theories that sound good to you now will continue to sound good when your baby's here, and they will work for your family. But there's also a good chance they will not work and you'll have to go with something else. As long as you're attuned to your baby, you'll figure it out. smile.gif
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#34 of 53 Old 02-14-2012, 01:09 PM
 
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Originally Posted by Mom31 View Post

parenting in theory is a whole lot different than parenting in real life. Hugs.



well said. Babies are human beings, not abstract concepts.

 

Do you know chocolate / fast food / alcohol are not good for you? Do you have some occasionally?

Do you always sleep the recommended 7-8 hours / night? If you make an exception or stay up late, aren't you afraid it might create a "bad habit"?

If you have a bad dream or a cold and can't sleep, do you expect your dh to comfort you, or make you a cup of tea in the evening (is this considered a sleep aid?), or do you think you should be left alone in the dark until morning?

 

When I was pregnant with ds, I was sure I was going to wean him at 6 mo and send him to my mom for a couple of years. I was also going to take 2 weeks off, then continue my PhD.

Then ds was born. We CLW and I never got to finish my PhD. And I don't regret anything.

 

Just enjoy your baby.


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#36 of 53 Old 02-14-2012, 03:25 PM
 
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Originally Posted by MrsSlocombe View Post

 

Thanks.  I agree with all those who say that it's best to remain flexible and be prepared to incorporate new information, especially after the baby is born.  I suppose I am of the "failure to prepare is preparation to fail" school, and I would not be at all comfortable going into parenting without reading books, observing and talking to friends, and thinking back on my own experience (which is extensive but is primarily with older babies through preschoolers);  there is no way I could say, "Well, let's wait till the baby gets here and see what happens."  It is also the case that we've been waiting a long time for a baby, and the majority of my mental energy is focused on motherhood right now.  Still, it is of course the case that I will always seek new ideas, especially when something does not appear to be going well.

Regarding "nursing awake," I wrote a little more about that just above, but in case it is any way unclear, I mean that the baby would wake up and then be nursed, not that the baby would be awakened for nursing.  Somehow, it works very well for families I know, while I know other families who deeply regret allowing sleep to become dependent on nursing.  I'm sure there are third, fourth, and fifth possibilities for what what families can do, of course.  It's not just those two.  Somehow, as I said, the babies involved stay awake just fine after nursing, at least during the day.

 


I don't think there is anything wrong with doing lots of reading and having a plan. I am very much a reader and a planner. Before my LO was born I read heaps and definitely had a list of things I wanted to do and another list of things I would not do. It was a flexible list (although there were a few definitely nots such as CIO) but my philosophy was "the plan may not work for this baby but it's somewhere to start when it's all going pear-shaped at 3 o'clock in the morning". That, for me, was not the time to start considering what I would do if... I wanted a list of strategies to try rather than having to start from scratch. So far, this philosophy has worked very well for me. Not everything has worked but, in 20 months, there has not been a point where I have though "OK, I have *no* idea what to try in this situation". Which is not to say that everything I've tried has been successful but I've never felt totally at a loss. I will qualify this by saying that we have a pretty easy baby so that is a major factor.

 

I'm curious (genuinely, not snarkily) to know how you plan to put your baby to sleep. I feed our LO to sleep because that has been the easiest way for us and I enjoy it. Occasionally I haven't been able to get her to sleep with a feed and we've rocked/walked/bounced but, for me, that was much harder work. *So* much easier and more restful to lay down with her but I can see why a person might prefer the rock/walk method if they didn't enjoy lying/sitting down for each sleep.

 

I second the PPs who have said there is nothing to be gained in trying to "teach" an infant to be independent. Have you read any Continuum Concept at all? She has some very interesting theories on developing independence which we have found to be true in our extensive study: sample size 1 winky.gif

 

Oh, also on the BF thing. My LO feeds to sleep *and* to wake up most of the time. 


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#37 of 53 Old 02-14-2012, 04:20 PM
 
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I'm curious (genuinely, not snarkily) to know how you plan to put your baby to sleep.

not to get off topic but I had two (non-BFed) and neither would ever take a bottle to bed - both wanted nothing to do with nursing to sleep and both were great sleepers right from the start, one wanted to be held, the other did not to sleep, both detested being wrapped tightly right from the birth and would not sleep is wrapped up-----they are all different!


 

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#38 of 53 Old 02-14-2012, 05:36 PM
 
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Just to address the question about how a baby could be put to bed without nursing (or bottle feeding).... I can attest to it being possible, at least for us.  I have 3 DDs (6.5, 3, 1.5) and wasn't able to breast feed ever (had a breast reduction 20+ years ago, and lost enough ducts that I was never able to make milk) so all 3 were EFF from essentially the beginning.  When they were tiny infants/newborns they sometimes fell asleep while eating, but once past a month or 2, they were usually at least groggily awake when we were done a bottle.  Although they all sort of fell into a vague pattern of eating every 3-4 hours, we fed them whenever they were hungry, so bottles didn't always come right before sleep-- and I definitely didn't feed them in order to get them to sleep-- it was more an attempt to fill them up just before bed time at night to stretch out those night time feedings.  Anyway, long story short, all 3 kids were able to be put down awake from the beginning (almost the beginning). NOT to say that we didnt have our share of sleep issues (ours tended to have more problems in the 12-20 month range), but falling asleep after being put down awakish wasnt one of them.

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#39 of 53 Old 02-14-2012, 05:43 PM
 
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In retrospect, one should really wait for the hand that is dealt, so to speak, before defining yourself (and I know I'm echoing previous posters...lol).  I always felt myself to be a pretty eco-conscience person...made every effort to reduce, reuse, etc.  I read the AP lists, pre-child, with all the best intentions.  Frankly, I had to do what I had to do within my ethical perimeters.  I didn't cloth diaper, for reasons I won't go into, but I was fairly frugal and ecological on other fronts.  I had to blend the technicalities with the ethics.  There had to be some compromise, but I was okay with that.

 

One of the first things I would suggest it to lose the paranoia about what other people think...how they describe you.  I had to LAUGH OUT LOUD tonight when I was talking to my neighbor and she said that four or five other neighbors had asked her if my DH had left me or if we separated.  It was so hilarious.  DH works odd hours and I'm often seen with DD before and after school and during the winter months we tend to be apartment recluses.  I hadn't seen one neighbor since November until this past weekend and we live in an apartment building.  It is funny how other people (and myself included) formulate ideas in our heads about what is going in with other people and how they are living their lives.  Often it is misplaced.  I learned to give up, long ago, the idea that I have to put on some sort of great front (crunchy or not) with others.  I have to look inside myself and be at peace with what I am doing.  


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#40 of 53 Old 02-14-2012, 05:48 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Hi all.  I'm a little overwhelmed by the number of responses, but glad to have so many people interested.  I think I'm going to skip the one about whether my husband makes me tea, etc. in the middle of the night, which he doesn't, but that's only because I would not wake him for that, and it doesn't seem to apply directly to anything I am considering here.  I appreciate all the clarifications about AP, and the encouragement many have given.  Originally, I was asking more if "natural parenting" = AP, or if it was more about a green/eco lifestyle, but it's also been good to be educated about the AP style, and about individual experiences here.

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I have to say, to this, I feel like I was missing the point a little. The point is, how wonderful that you're going to have a baby. How wonderful. You can't possibly be fully prepared--I don't think anyone ever is--and you aren't going to fail, not even a little bit, at being a mom.

 

You will not be disappointed. It really is just like you think it's going to be. You might not wind up identifying as a natural parent, but you will probably be a natural at it anyway. 

 

I was sure, when I finally got to have a kid, that I had built it up too much. NOPE. Nope. I have never loved anyone this much ever and never had so much pleasure. Unless you did med school, I strongly doubt you have ever been as tired as you are going to be, but--wow, yes. It's great. 

 

I think you should go to natural parenting group and other parenting groups and find people to connect with about this. It sounds like you have a good base of friends who are already parents--I hope they are giving you baby stuff and lots of support. (I mean, if you are at a stage of pregnancy where you are telling people.) 

 


 

 

No, not missing the point!  I did go in asking about styles.  It is sweet of you to congratulate me so kindly, though, and give me such positive feedback. Thank you!  Yes, my friends know I am pregnant, though so far I've gotten more answers to childbirth and infant sleep questions than actual baby stuff - my one friend is giving me her co-sleeper, though.  Hopefully, more will follow.
 

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Originally Posted by katelove View Post

 

I'm curious (genuinely, not snarkily) to know how you plan to put your baby to sleep. I feed our LO to sleep because that has been the easiest way for us and I enjoy it. Occasionally I haven't been able to get her to sleep with a feed and we've rocked/walked/bounced but, for me, that was much harder work. *So* much easier and more restful to lay down with her but I can see why a person might prefer the rock/walk method if they didn't enjoy lying/sitting down for each sleep.

 

I second the PPs who have said there is nothing to be gained in trying to "teach" an infant to be independent. Have you read any Continuum Concept at all? She has some very interesting theories on developing independence which we have found to be true in our extensive study: sample size 1 winky.gif

 

Oh, also on the BF thing. My LO feeds to sleep *and* to wake up most of the time. 


My plan now is to do whatever the two most successful Moms I know do.  Based on talking to them, and reading a book that advocated the feed-awake time-sleep cycle, it isn't the case that it is best to so much try to "make" them sleep.  My best tip so far has been to watch out for a 90 minute pattern that is supposed to be common, and to not wait too long past this because an over-tired baby will have more trouble;  I have also received pro-swaddling feedback from one Mom, though I know this doesn't work for all and we'll just have to see if it works for us.  Still, I like to think that I won't be in a position of absolutely forcing sleep, which seems like it would be frustrating for all involved.  In my job as a caregiver, I have walked/rocked babies to soothe them, but not so much to make them fall asleep right then and there.  The approach that seems best to me right now is to put the baby to bed drowsy but not already asleep.

I don't know if my simply not wanting the baby to use milk as a sleep inducer is what is inspiring the "independence" comments, but when I mentioned independence specifically, it was more in reference to toddlers and older children.  I suppose everything starts somewhere, but naturally, a newborn is helpless enough that there is not really very much I could expect him/her to do;  it's at later ages that I would like them to be able to play contentedly without making a full-time hobby of whining at adults.  I have seen this not in AP families, but in families without a clear philosophy.

I'll look into Continuum Concept;  I'd never heard the expression before.  Interesting about your LO and eating!  I don't know if yours needs twice as much food as my friends', or just takes less at each feeding, but it's good evidence that babies can differ.

 

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#41 of 53 Old 02-14-2012, 09:02 PM
 
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parenting in theory is a whole lot different than parenting in real life. Hugs

Thank you! That is an awesome way to put it. And really important to keep in mind in case the things you believe in change because of your choices with your child. (OR not)


 

 

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#42 of 53 Old 02-14-2012, 10:24 PM
 
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I would encourage you to parent from an intuitive place once your baby is here. I am a reader/researcher too, but was surprised by how naturally a lot of things came.


Before DD arrived, I was pretty dead set on her using her arm's reach co-sleeper (just did not feel comfortable with the idea of bed sharing). Well, she only slept if she was literally tucked in next to me for the first couple of months so we did that.


Some of your plans may change and that's totally okay. Congrats on your pregnancy--such an awesome and wonderful time ahead of you.

 

 

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#43 of 53 Old 02-15-2012, 07:19 AM
 
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I think many times people who don't yet have children (or only have one child) underestimate how much the inborn personality of the child influences parenting. It's very tempting to view the parenting as the cause of the child's behavior when, in many cases, the child's personality and behavior is what causes a particular kind of parenting.

I find this to be especially true in the area of sleep. When you see a family whose children are "bad" sleepers, it's probably the child's needs and personality that are creating the sleep patterns and also influencing what the parents do in order to parent their particular child. So that parent might routinely nurse their child to sleep, co-sleep, or whatever they need to do. It's not that the nursing to sleep, co-sleeping or whatever is the cause of the "bad" sleeping, it's a reaction to it. On the flip side, people who happen to have children who are "good" sleepers will parent differently, maybe be less likely to nurse to sleep or co-sleep, because their child doesn't need it. My guess is that your friends whose parenting style you admire would have the same child no matter how they chose to parent and that their parenting style is a result of their child rather than the other way around. You may have a similar child to theirs in temperament and find that their parenting style meshes well with your child's needs, but you may not. You might find that the only way you can get your child to sleep is by holding them until they fall asleep or nursing them to sleep. It won't be what you do that creates that habit, but that the habit is created by what the child needs.
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#44 of 53 Old 02-15-2012, 09:31 AM
 
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I think many times people who don't yet have children (or only have one child) underestimate how much the inborn personality of the child influences parenting. It's very tempting to view the parenting as the cause of the child's behavior when, in many cases, the child's personality and behavior is what causes a particular kind of parenting.
I find this to be especially true in the area of sleep. When you see a family whose children are "bad" sleepers, it's probably the child's needs and personality that are creating the sleep patterns and also influencing what the parents do in order to parent their particular child. So that parent might routinely nurse their child to sleep, co-sleep, or whatever they need to do. It's not that the nursing to sleep, co-sleeping or whatever is the cause of the "bad" sleeping, it's a reaction to it. On the flip side, people who happen to have children who are "good" sleepers will parent differently, maybe be less likely to nurse to sleep or co-sleep, because their child doesn't need it. My guess is that your friends whose parenting style you admire would have the same child no matter how they chose to parent and that their parenting style is a result of their child rather than the other way around. You may have a similar child to theirs in temperament and find that their parenting style meshes well with your child's needs, but you may not. You might find that the only way you can get your child to sleep is by holding them until they fall asleep or nursing them to sleep. It won't be what you do that creates that habit, but that the habit is created by what the child needs.


This has certainly been my experience. After trying whatever I could think of (short of CIO or other strategies that seemed cruel to me) my DD was still a bad sleeper. Now that she's getting close to three, she sleeps through or wakes up once most nights, but it has been a long, hard road to get here. Another feature of her personality that came factory-installed is that she is quite emotional and sensitive, far above the average (and I know right where she gets it from too, as I am the same way). So she isn't showing that independence that APed kids are supposed to start showing in toddlerhood. It isn't because I made her dependent or whatever, truly. That is just the way she came. I know many families with similar parenting styles, and their kids are all different from each other.

 

I've come to the conclusion that each child has a range of possibilities for how they will be, and you might be able to move them slightly within that range by the way that you parent, but you cannot change their predefined range of possibilities. And a lot of your parenting decisions have to be made in response to the kid you got, not the kid you thought you would be able to build from the ground up.

 

The thing that's helpful about this perspective is that it can help take some of the pressure off. I used to think I had to do everything right so that DD could learn the best way to be, and if I wasn't super careful I would screw something up and ruin her life. We live in such a parent-blaming culture that I think that way of thinking is quite common. But DD is her own person on her own path. She is not my creation and does not belong to me, and my influence on her is substantial but still limited.

 


Living the good life and walking a path of peace with DH and DD (4/09)
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#45 of 53 Old 02-15-2012, 09:18 PM
 
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Wow that was a lot of replies, but I kept reading, it surely is an interesting topic!

 

Your natural mom -list is much stronger than mine was when I was pregnant. I just had started to eat organic. I had no co-sleeper in mind, I had no idea I could question vaccines etc... But two things made me different from you culturally, because I'm from Europe, things like partial co-sleeping and assuming I will breastfeed is mainstream thinking in my country. Probably because these things are not mainstream here in US, I got pulled into the natural parenting world, it seemed more "natural" to me, things I saw my mother and friends do back home.

 

So now I'm breastfeeding my 3 year old, which is totally weird in my country... co sleeping sort of... so watch out what you're getting into winky.gif But it's been a wonderful world to me. In the first month of breastfeeding, i didn't think I could possibly stand it for 6 months. But as it became easier, it was the thing that made my life with a baby wonderful. My husband can't stop telling me how amazing it is to sleep next to a beautiful peaceful toddler, "can't believe some people want to have them alone down the hall somewhere" he says.

 

For two years the mainstream america told me we are total weirdos who's kid is going to have some issues with independence. But when pregnant with my second, I started reading natural parenting books, (I wanted my second birth naturally with a midwife) And reading dr. Sears was like, oh, I've been right about all this intuitively, I'm not alone!!

 

You are right on with the discipline though. I think it's good you plan to encourage independence and have the kids assume no is a no, just because, even. You may get the feeling from AP parenting articles that totally wimpy parenting is the key, and that is something that has kept me keeping my distance from hard core AP. thankfully I have found my friends, mostly european, who can be crazy natural and crazy strict at the same time. Now, time out's were always too american for me, I just yell at my kids when they go too far. Although I do agree with you, that pointless yelling at a child and not enforcing the things makes no sense. But sometimes you realize that as perfect a parent you were supposed to be, you're just human. I read a lot of articles from natural people about discipline, but instead of making me feel like a horrible hitler mom, they make me feel like.... MAYBE just maybe it's ok that my kid sees that mom is just a human too, and that I hurt her feelings and she is upset, but then she hugs me and I know she loves me anyways. I sort of feel like if we pretend we never loose our temper at our kids no matter how horrible they act, the result is just bad, a kid who thinks he can go on destroying not caring about other peoples feelings.

 

On the sleep issue, read the no-cry sleep method. It helped me tremendously. And it seems kind of what you are looking to do. My first baby was a drag, he had to be way deep in sleep before I could pull the nipple out, and kept waking up every two ours at like, nine months. With my second I was prepared with the book, and by the time he was able to turn on his belly, he did so every night after he was done with the feeding. Beautiful! 

 

My sister-in-law trained her daughter to the breast-awake-sleep method and that was a mistake in their case. She was a bad sleeper anyways and now she didn't even go to sleep with the power of the boobie! so se screamed 15 minutes every night , convulsing in her wrap... maybe as an american that sounds normal to you, but it breaks my heart!!! and I feel horrible for my sister in law when we travel together and... one 2 hour bus ride.. a friend of ours toddler, and my niece screamed the WHOLE two hours. my toddler went right to sleep with help from boobie, hidden under my wrap sweater, of course. (I never hid the fact that I breast fed a baby, but with toddlers... I feel I might shock people to much)

 

I'm proud of my smart two boys, who have never EVER had a tantrum, and I'm not lying! So AP worked there. Surely, my 6 year old still needs to kiss me at the school door, (too attached?) but I love it, and really love that he is so confident among school mates, that no-one bullies him about that, in fact some of them have started to kiss their moms again (say the other moms)

 

You're right on with the co-sleeper and all this reading in advance!  I did though sometimes wish I had not read all those books that tell you how is the proper way to care for a baby. Motherhood kind of does come naturally, but then again in this modern world there is just so much that comes from the outside anyways, so it's good to be informed! Find your own motherhood with your baby!

First year can be hard and messy (leaking boobs and puke all over...) so give yourself slack and even let your baby fall asleep on the boob on occation if you are tired, the less tired you are, the better mom you can be, and the happier child you will have!

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#46 of 53 Old 02-16-2012, 09:41 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Originally Posted by tittipeitto View Post

 

You may get the feeling from AP parenting articles that totally wimpy parenting is the key, and that is something that has kept me keeping my distance from hard core AP. thankfully I have found my friends, mostly european, who can be crazy natural and crazy strict at the same time. Now, time out's were always too american for me, I just yell at my kids when they go too far. Although I do agree with you, that pointless yelling at a child and not enforcing the things makes no sense. But sometimes you realize that as perfect a parent you were supposed to be, you're just human. I read a lot of articles from natural people about discipline, but instead of making me feel like a horrible hitler mom, they make me feel like.... MAYBE just maybe it's ok that my kid sees that mom is just a human too, and that I hurt her feelings and she is upset, but then she hugs me and I know she loves me anyways. I sort of feel like if we pretend we never loose our temper at our kids no matter how horrible they act, the result is just bad, a kid who thinks he can go on destroying not caring about other peoples feelings.



I love your point about your European friends, which can be applied to cultural variations in general.  It surely cannot be that there are just a few different, coherent schools of parenting - not even in the U.S., but especially not worldwide.  Getting input from other cultures can be really refreshing, and I wish this were easier to do;  it doesn't seem like people outside of English-speaking countries write about childrearing as much, or if they do, their works are not translated into English.

Oh, please don't think I would consider you a bad Mom if you yell occasionally.  I have gotten frustrated with the kids in my care, as well, and sometimes not known what to do other than complain or beg.  As I became more experienced, this has happened less often, and I can nearly always stop myself, simply saying, "Guys, I'm starting to get really frustrated," in a calm voice.  Being someone's Mom, 24/7, would surely include even more opportunities to get upset.  What I don't like is when it is chronic, e.g., when a parent has been complaining about something for months, but I have still seen no enforcement.  As a nanny, I would often enforce whatever behavior the Mom seemed so badly to want, only to see that the undesired behavior was allowed as soon as she came home, and, especially if it didn't bother me personally, I would change the rule back, saying, "I thought this was a house rule, but it's not, so go ahead."  In one funny instance, I've seen a Dad (whom I am still friends with) ask the pediatrician when his daughter was going to stop a behavior.  The pediatrician's answer was, "When she goes to college, unless you make her do it sooner."

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#47 of 53 Old 02-16-2012, 01:32 PM
 
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OP--I was a nanny throughout college and thought I was an expert on childrearing.  I had lots of "ideas."  Enter DS1, aka most colicky wakeful baby ever/crankiest toddler on the block/most mischievous and opportunistic preschooler on the planet.  Suddenly all my ideas changed.  Enter DS2, a totally easy going dude.  I was once again a parenting "expert."  So muchof what you choose is going to depend on your kid. People take way too much credit for their easy kids and way too much blame for their hard ones.  Whatever you think you know from child care will inevitably be different with your own.  As far as whether or not you're a natural parent--that depends on the group.  The natural parenting groups I've been to are totally AP.  I'm very AP myself but my closest friends are totally mainstream.  I didn't click with anyone in the natural parenting groups like I did in others. I guess what I'm saying is it probably doesn't matter what your beliefs are...maybe you'll find great friends there, maybe not.

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#48 of 53 Old 02-17-2012, 09:29 AM
 
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You know what? You sound like you are a great parent to be.  :)  It's great that you are getting a great "bag of tricks" to use in you parenting arsenal!

I think it's apparent with all of these posts that one of the most profound, challenging, and wonderful things about becoming a Mom is....becoming a Mom, lol! Each one of us had an idea of what this journey would entail and ALL of us got something that we didn't expect.  That's the beautiful part of it all.

I wouldn't worry too much about defining yourself as "green" or "natural" "AP" or "mainstream".  Those terms I guess will help you determine where on the map someone is, but there is an enormous spectrum of people in between.   And peoples' definition of each thing is subject to interpretation. What you want to find are people who accept you for who you are, no matter where on the spectrum you are, and in turn to try not to judge others for the choices they make.  I don't know of any Mom who has done something because she thinks it's going to be detrimental to her child. 

I do think that committing to an idea or philosophy can be dangerous in terms of how you perceive your parenting success....things may work all the time, some of the time, or not at all.  And just when you get "it" down, they will change again! Don't get me wrong, it's great to have a game plan.  And a plan B, C, and D if that makes you less nervous... I think the most important thing to do is keep a sense of humor....and be flexible.  thumb.gif  Every parent has to do some kind of trial and error - that's how we learn. If you try to define yourself as one thing or another you may exclude yourself from a group that you shouldn't.  And that definition is ALWAYS going to be evolving as your family's needs change. 

Congrats on your baby!


     Mommy to DS born 11-10-10  wave.gifAnd DD born 6-3-13 baby.gif  

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#49 of 53 Old 02-18-2012, 01:25 PM
 
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but as a parent who plans to be authoritative - not sure if i would call that natural parenting. doing the power play - in my definition is not 'natural' parenting. but then that's in my book. however i am assuming you mean 'because i say so' philosophy. to me that is so not natural. 



Like a pp pointed out, authoritative does not mean "authoritarian." Here's a good description of authoritative parenting: http://psychology.about.com/od/childcare/f/authoritative-parenting.htm

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#50 of 53 Old 02-19-2012, 10:02 PM
 
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This is a fun book you might enjoy:

 

http://www.amazon.com/World-Babies-Imagined-Childcare-Societies/dp/0521664756/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1329717154&sr=8-1

 

I liked the eat-awake-sleep pattern for my 1st born.  It worked great and was marvelous.  And with my 2nd, I wish it had! :)  But once his dairy issues were dealt with it also worked well for him too (but he was older then too...).

 

I loved reading and research (still do) and find that it is really interesting to see how different people approach things.  I have found that some books that are specifically AP (ugh, I forget the one in particular, but it is sort of an AP Bible, IIRC) was very much about consensual living, and I don't jibe with that.  And sort of assumed that children are inherently good and do no wrong on purpose (and I disagree - I think we do all choose the wrong thing on purpose sometimes).  So II can appreciate your take on leaning more towards an authoritative approach than some branches of AP.  I do agree with respect both ways and with gentle discipline in general, but also feel that parents are leaders in the family and life wisdom and experience do matter.

 

Anyhoo, the continuum concept is interesting, IIRC.  Very much about you being the adult and letting children be children.  It fosters independence.  Not in an "I won't help you" way, but in a tribal roles sort of way. 

 

I don't personally ascribe to one particular philosophy, and have found a lot of helpful ideas and advice from all sorts of parenting angles, and find that "natural" parenting groups around me tend to be mostly about being in nature, meeting friends, and not feeding your kid crap while you do it. ;)
 

Tjej

 

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#51 of 53 Old 02-20-2012, 12:59 AM
 
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Another mom who read a ton before babes were born, and was surprised by just how much the personality/biology of my kids influence things.  My first had failure to thrive, acid reflux, and now (age 7) has a dx of Aspergers.  The child will only eat crunchy things, and produce in general only happens when eaten as part of a routine.  At dinner he adheres to a strict routine of protein, then two servings of produce, then dessert (he gets plenty of grains other meals).  There are some things he'll only eat for me because I cut them just the right size and shape.  We pack him the exact same lunch every day of the week.  I make two meals every night.  I got flack/ gave myself flack for some of the eating issues until ds2 (now 5) came along.  At 2 he was toddling around gardens, pulling things out of the ground and munching on them.  If he wants his dessert in the middle of dinner, we say sure, because chances are he'll give up on it and eat some brussels sprouts off my plate because they look more interesting.  He likes shrimp, kale, raw tomatoes, baba ganouche, beet juice, and pretty much anything you offer him as long as you don't offer it too often (gets bored with the same foods- very unique for a preschooler!).  My kids have gotten used to the fact that we don't have the same dinner time expectations for them, because their needs and personalities are SOOOOO different.  They end up getting about the same level of nutrition.

 

In terms of sleeping, I am happy to say that both my children sleep through the night with a waking maybe once every 5 or 6 months if they're super sick or have a nightmare.  Ds1 sleeps about 10.5 hours, ds2 about 11.5 hours.  Straight.  I nursed those kids to sleep until they weaned (ds1 at 2.5 because he didn't like the taste of newborn milk, and ds2 at 3 because he decided he was done- convenient because I was about to end the milkies myself).  Both of them went through some bad sleep for a few weeks while they figured out how to sleep without the boob, but eh, not the end of the world.

 

I agree with others that your friends may have kids for whom the plans of their parents happened to match up with their needs.  I was an awesome sleeper myself.  According to my mom, I starting sleeping 12 hours straight starting at 2 weeks old!  It was nothing she did.  One of my brothers woke at night all through babyhood and  through much of preschool.

 

I'm not dissing plans, or knowledge.  I think an understanding of normal developmental stages is super helpful, no matter how you decide to respond to the year plus of the spontaneous throwing phase, for instance.  And it certainly helps to have some tools in your belt to try out.  I just want to reiterate that so much will depend on WHO comes into the world, and who you are, and how the two of you figure things out together.

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#52 of 53 Old 02-22-2012, 12:18 PM
 
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Let me just say that I find it unfortunate how the AP philosophy is no longer seen (not by the OP, just in general) as an approach to parenting, but as an increasingly small and exclusive black or white parenting ultimatums. Especially that whole bit about not using strollers. I'm sorry, but the use or non use of a stroller(or bouncy chair, or swing) has no bearing whatsoever on whether you are attachment parenting or not. Obviously, if your child spends 3 minutes of the day in your arms and the rest a stroller, bouncy chair, etc, then you maybe you ought to reexamine your commitment to AP, but just because someone uses a crib or has a bouncy means they are not AP. The same thing goes for discipline methods. When AP first became in vogue, time outs where seen ok. Then it seemed like ONLY GD was ok for an attachment parent to use. And now it seems that even GD is far too controlling and this whole philosophy of the child knows best is coming to the forefront. I happen to think that more than one road leads to rome (ok that's probably not the saying I'm thinking of but it's 3 pm and I haven't had my afternoon coffee). 

I think in a few years we are going to have so many stipulations as to what  "true" AP that NO ONE will be AParenting anymore.

To the OP, just go to the meeting and get a feel for the group. I belong to a natural mothering group and while most of consider ourselves to be AP, we are all on different roads. Some of us homeschool, some cosleep, some clothdiaper, some vaccinate, some self wean, some use time outs, some baby wear, etc. If you're group is anyting like mine, you will realize which moms are more laid back and supportive and which are writing down your every move to make sure you measure up. Stick to the laid back moms and you'll do fine.


Dalila, mom to two boys, 7 and 5

490/2013

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#53 of 53 Old 02-25-2012, 07:39 AM - Thread Starter
 
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This is a fun book you might enjoy:

 

http://www.amazon.com/World-Babies-Imagined-Childcare-Societies/dp/0521664756/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1329717154&sr=8-1

 

I liked the eat-awake-sleep pattern for my 1st born.  It worked great and was marvelous.  And with my 2nd, I wish it had! :)  But once his dairy issues were dealt with it also worked well for him too (but he was older then too...).

 

I loved reading and research (still do) and find that it is really interesting to see how different people approach things.  I have found that some books that are specifically AP (ugh, I forget the one in particular, but it is sort of an AP Bible, IIRC) was very much about consensual living, and I don't jibe with that.  And sort of assumed that children are inherently good and do no wrong on purpose (and I disagree - I think we do all choose the wrong thing on purpose sometimes).  So II can appreciate your take on leaning more towards an authoritative approach than some branches of AP.  I do agree with respect both ways and with gentle discipline in general, but also feel that parents are leaders in the family and life wisdom and experience do matter.

 

Anyhoo, the continuum concept is interesting, IIRC.  Very much about you being the adult and letting children be children.  It fosters independence.  Not in an "I won't help you" way, but in a tribal roles sort of way. 

 

I don't personally ascribe to one particular philosophy, and have found a lot of helpful ideas and advice from all sorts of parenting angles, and find that "natural" parenting groups around me tend to be mostly about being in nature, meeting friends, and not feeding your kid crap while you do it. ;)
 

Tjej

 


That looks so interesting!  I wish they had it at my library;  I will see if I can get it through inter library loan.

 

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