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#1 of 53 Old 02-10-2012, 08:04 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Labels aren't necessarily important, but I am curious, especially as I ponder joining local "natural" parenting meet-ups.

 

Based on the following, would you call me a natural parenting adherent?
 

- Generally make choices based on evidence, with slight preference given to the "natural" if all other things are equal

- Plan to breastfeed for 1-2 years

- Plan to use cloth diapers (for the environment and our budget)

- Do not plan to co-sleep

- Vegan

- Buy all organic fruits and vegetables, and a mix of conventional and organic for other products

- Cautious about taking or administering medicine

- Undecided about vaccination

- Would not circumcize

- Believer in authoritative parenting, e.g. parents are in charge of household

- Against spanking, all violence, verbal abuse, etc.

- Not enthused by Attachment Parenting based on what I've read so far

- Feminist and leftist (don't know if that matters)

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#2 of 53 Old 02-10-2012, 08:41 AM
 
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I guess so.  I don't think it matters though.  What about trying out some of these groups and seeing if you get along with the other families?  I don't think all "natural" parents (whatever that means... I'm not exactly sure) are automatically going to click.  Just try meeting up and see how it goes from there.


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#3 of 53 Old 02-10-2012, 10:19 AM
 
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I can relate to being unsure about if you'll fit into a "natural" parenting group or not.  I'd love to look into joining some of the crunchier local groups and meet some other mamas, but I am concerned about being judged for some of my more "mainstream" choices...  and I'm concerned I'll be all judge-y about some members' choices that I don't agree with.  As the previous poster said, why be concerned about if or not you fit the label?  Why not join and see if you meet anyone with whom you mesh well?  Happy parenting!  :-) 


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#4 of 53 Old 02-10-2012, 04:29 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MrsSlocombe View Post

Labels aren't necessarily important, but I am curious, especially as I ponder joining local "natural" parenting meet-ups.

 

Based on the following, would you call me a natural parenting adherent?
 

- Generally make choices based on evidence, with slight preference given to the "natural" if all other things are equal

- Plan to breastfeed for 1-2 years

- Plan to use cloth diapers (for the environment and our budget)

- Do not plan to co-sleep

- Vegan

- Buy all organic fruits and vegetables, and a mix of conventional and organic for other products

- Cautious about taking or administering medicine

- Undecided about vaccination

- Would not circumcize

- Believer in authoritative parenting, e.g. parents are in charge of household

- Against spanking, all violence, verbal abuse, etc.

- Not enthused by Attachment Parenting based on what I've read so far

- Feminist and leftist (don't know if that matters)


In the various natural and AP groups I've been involved with, there has been a fairly broad range.  I don't particularly think of myself as "natural," although I don't let my kids drink unknown chemical concoctions or anything, but I think you are certainly in the range.  

 

If you were in one of our playgroups, I'd enjoy finding out how your list evolved!  lol  

 

Btw, when my first was a baby, I had it in my head that 2 1/2 was as old as I could go for b'feeding.  I was convinced that it would be creepy after that age.  I ended up nursing him till 3 1/2 and there was nothing creepy about it.  The good thing is you don't have to decide till you get there.

 

I'm wondering if this  --  "Believer in authoritative parenting, e.g. parents are in charge of household"  --  is because of some really difficult kid you once knew whose parents were softies.  

 


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#5 of 53 Old 02-10-2012, 05:28 PM
 
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I don't think there are many in the group who wouldn't have some preference or another that doesn't fit the "natural parenting" label.  I think if you were to make a list of natural parenting tendencies, you'd find that that were just that - tendencies - with more or less everyone deviating from that list in some way.  We're moms - we improvise and stretch ourselves and make the best with what we have with our own family's unique needs and interests in mind.  Anyone sticking to a strict list for any reason other than personal conviction and preference would be someone I wouldn't want to be friends with anyway - red flags about parental one-upsmanship would be firing like mad.

 

I would personally feel fine joining such a group, despite the fact that I vaxed on schedule and used disposable diapers.  Enough of my other choices match those ideals extolled by the concept of natural parenting that I'd feel it was a food fit ideologically.  As PPs have said, whether or not that adds up to personal compatibility can't be known unless you give it a try.

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#6 of 53 Old 02-13-2012, 12:00 AM
 
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first i wanna say i love that show and Mrs Slocombe is one of my favourite characters. oooh i can still hear her voice in my head. 

 

natural parent - i am not sure if i can answer this correctly as i dont exactly know what that means. 

 

based on environment choices, i'd say yeah you certainly sound green.

 

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. 


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#7 of 53 Old 02-13-2012, 05:04 AM
 
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I think you sound 'natural' enough to warrant trying out the local natural parenting meetups. smile.gif In some areas your list would make you super natural & in others, more mainstream, but most people aren't 100% natural either way so I don't think it matters.

I'm in a couple of natural parenting groups myself & members range the gamut... some cloth diaper, some do not. Some eat all organic, and others eat Cheese Wiz and Koolaid. Some nurse 'til 3+, most nurse for 1-2 years, and a few formula feed. Some are authoritative parents, others are the opposite. Some have all wooden and wool toys, others have all light-up plastic battery toys. It seems like the most important thing is an openness to others' ideas & respect for other parents' choices. In our group, you would need to tolerate others BF'ing toddlers around you, but you don't need to BF your toddler. You'd need to not freak out when you found out that half the kids have never been vaxed, but you certainly wouldn't get kicked out if you vaxed your kids on schedule. You don't need to use homeopathics, but you probably wouldn't want to rant about how stupid it is that people think that crap works. smile.gif Get what I mean? As long as you're open & respectful of more 'natural' ideas, you'd probably fit in fine in our group. In fact, you sound a lot like two of the moms who are in my inner circle.

I guess I'm really 'natural' myself, probably way more than your list and moreso than most people I meet, but the people I connect most with in my group are not the others that are also the most crunchy or whatever. I connect with those that I share other common interests with, and some of us just connect on a more basic level in a way I can't describe. Either you'll connect with the other parents in the group or you won't -- or you won't connect with most of them, but you may find your new best friend among them. So I'd give it a try!

I also think it's very hard to label yourself in any way when you're not even a parent yet. I'm not at all the kind of parent I thought I would be, I guess I was always sort of crunchy but never really did any research into breastfeeding, co-sleeping, AP, etc. because they never crossed my mind, I never would have even thought to label myself a 'natural parent' and didn't know the concept existed... I just kind of fell into it when DS was born -- it was like my body & mind just went on auto-pilot, straight into 'natural' mode. The same might happen for you, or maybe even the opposite! You might totally change your mind on many issues or you may not but it's just hard to know until your child is actually born, you know? You may find it annoying to be around "a bunch of hippies" or you might hate being around the "mainstream" people and want a niche for yourself. I didn't realize I was different from the mainstream until well into DS's first year, when I saw how weirdly people reacted to me, then stumbled across MDC and finally things made more sense and I wasn't a freak anymore lol.

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#8 of 53 Old 02-13-2012, 05:46 AM
 
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Originally Posted by meemee View Post

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. 


"Authoritative" parenting is not the same thing as "authoritarian" parenting.  I think a case could be made for other parenting styles but not based on naturalness.  There's really nothing particularly natural about Taking Kids Seriously or other styles of uber democratic parenting other than the fact that some who identify with "natural parenting" also choose those styles.  

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#9 of 53 Old 02-13-2012, 06:17 AM
 
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I think you would be welcome at the natural parenting groups. :) As long as you don't try to dictate your way is the right way or condemn their choices- it's not all or nothing- we use what we do.... don't use what we don't.

I think you would be among friends there.


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#10 of 53 Old 02-13-2012, 10:56 AM
 
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You would fit right in with the Natural Parenting group I'm a part of, with the possible exception of not being pro-AP. You didn't say much about that, so I'm not too sure what you meant by it, but pretty much all the families in our group do prioritize cultivating a loving and responsive attachment with their children starting in infancy. If you don't plan to be very responsive to your infant's cries, for example, you would not fit in in our group. People would find it upsetting if you came to an event and talked about trying to teach a newborn to self-soothe. But if you just meant that you don't want to cosleep or babywear, that would be much less of an issue, as long as you could accept others who do choose to do those things. Every other item on your list describes at least some if not all the families in our group, so none of those would be a problem.

 

Also--just keep in mind that your ideas about what you will or won't do in your parenting journey may change once your child is born and you start to figure out who he/she is. For instance, I didn't plan on cosleeping with my DD for two years, but she had her own plans about that (to the extent that she never once slept in her crib--she wouldn't go to sleep in there and would wake up immediately when I tried to transfer her in there).


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#11 of 53 Old 02-13-2012, 12:27 PM - Thread Starter
 
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You would fit right in with the Natural Parenting group I'm a part of, with the possible exception of not being pro-AP. You didn't say much about that, so I'm not too sure what you meant by it, but pretty much all the families in our group do prioritize cultivating a loving and responsive attachment with their children starting in infancy. If you don't plan to be very responsive to your infant's cries, for example, you would not fit in in our group. People would find it upsetting if you came to an event and talked about trying to teach a newborn to self-soothe. But if you just meant that you don't want to cosleep or babywear, that would be much less of an issue, as long as you could accept others who do choose to do those things. Every other item on your list describes at least some if not all the families in our group, so none of those would be a problem.

 

Also--just keep in mind that your ideas about what you will or won't do in your parenting journey may change once your child is born and you start to figure out who he/she is. For instance, I didn't plan on cosleeping with my DD for two years, but she had her own plans about that (to the extent that she never once slept in her crib--she wouldn't go to sleep in there and would wake up immediately when I tried to transfer her in there).


I appreciate all the responses.  It looks like I'm right in sensing that I am somewhere in the middle, and may or may not fit in with a particular NP group.  Bodhitree, what I meant about not being enthused by AP is that, based on my reading about it so far, it is not as appealing to me as the philosophies of some other writers, and especially of some other parents I know personally and admire.  I meant Attachment Parenting as a school of thought (with capital letters), not lovingness or attachment in general.  Again, I am sure there is more reading I could do and I don't want to make any kind of final statement about the philosophy.  I definitely don't want to co-sleep.  (Well, actually, we will have a "co-sleeper" for the first couple of months, but the only reason I am comfortable with that is that it still allows me and the baby to have separate sleeping spaces, not being much different from a bassinet in that way.)  I will wear the baby when this seems most practical for transportation.  I registered for a nice Beco carrier, but will also get a stroller, bouncy seat, etc. (Freecycled if I can).  Regarding self-soothing, I think that's an important skill to learn, but not to the point of crying for 45 minutes like the old Ferber method.  It would seem apparent to me long before then that the infant needed something, and wasn't just crying a bit while settling down.  I am currently caring for a three month old, and it is normal for her to cry for a couple of minutes at the beginning of nap, but if it's any more than that, I know she needs a diaper change or is having trouble with her footie pajamas (a peculiar problem to some of the ones she wears).  So, again, I'm somewhere in the middle.  The mainstream Moms would gasp, "Cloth diapers!  Breastfeeding past age one!", while the AP Moms might gasp, "Sleeping in a separate room at just three months!  Riding in a stroller!"  It's looking like I should just check out individual groups and see where they lie on the spectrum.  There are probably some that are more "green" or "eco" focused, and some that are more AP-focused.

 

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#12 of 53 Old 02-13-2012, 12:45 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Originally Posted by rubidoux View Post

 

I'm wondering if this  --  "Believer in authoritative parenting, e.g. parents are in charge of household"  --  is because of some really difficult kid you once knew whose parents were softies.  

 



 

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Originally Posted by meemee View Post

first i wanna say i love that show and Mrs Slocombe is one of my favourite characters. oooh i can still hear her voice in my head. 

 

natural parent - i am not sure if i can answer this correctly as i dont exactly know what that means. 

 

based on environment choices, i'd say yeah you certainly sound green.

 

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. 



Thanks, guys.  I don't know if it's true that my parents were softies.  What they did that I would try not to do is get mad while not actually enforcing good behavior.  I see that a lot, actually, in my line of work - parents who seem always irritated by their child's behavior, but don't do anything about it.  I believe this is harmful to child and parent alike.  I'd rather say "no" in a less angry way, then enforce that "no" and create the improvement I was looking for.  That's what I've done so far, and while obviously it doesn't apply to young infants, it is how I plan to continue with my own child, certainly with refinements based on new information.

Regarding "because I said so," no, I don't think that exactly describes my philosophy, since it seems to imply that my reason for something is mere whim.  If a child would like to know why something is or is not allowed, I am happy to tell them the real reason, not just "because I said so."  On the other hand, that doesn't mean that the child gets to evaluate my reason for a rule and return with his or her decision about whether or not it will be followed;  as I said, I believe in having adults in charge of a household.  If something is minor enough to warrant a mere suggestion and not a rule, then sure, I might say, "Well, if you put that there, it will get wet.  Do you want that?", and then the child could choose.

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#13 of 53 Old 02-13-2012, 02:40 PM
 
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parenting in theory is a whole lot different than parenting in real life. Hugs.

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#14 of 53 Old 02-13-2012, 03:01 PM
 
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I appreciate all the responses.  It looks like I'm right in sensing that I am somewhere in the middle, and may or may not fit in with a particular NP group.  Bodhitree, what I meant about not being enthused by AP is that, based on my reading about it so far, it is not as appealing to me as the philosophies of some other writers, and especially of some other parents I know personally and admire.  I meant Attachment Parenting as a school of thought (with capital letters), not lovingness or attachment in general.  Again, I am sure there is more reading I could do and I don't want to make any kind of final statement about the philosophy.  I definitely don't want to co-sleep.  (Well, actually, we will have a "co-sleeper" for the first couple of months, but the only reason I am comfortable with that is that it still allows me and the baby to have separate sleeping spaces, not being much different from a bassinet in that way.)  I will wear the baby when this seems most practical for transportation.  I registered for a nice Beco carrier, but will also get a stroller, bouncy seat, etc. (Freecycled if I can).  Regarding self-soothing, I think that's an important skill to learn, but not to the point of crying for 45 minutes like the old Ferber method.  It would seem apparent to me long before then that the infant needed something, and wasn't just crying a bit while settling down.  I am currently caring for a three month old, and it is normal for her to cry for a couple of minutes at the beginning of nap, but if it's any more than that, I know she needs a diaper change or is having trouble with her footie pajamas (a peculiar problem to some of the ones she wears).  So, again, I'm somewhere in the middle.  The mainstream Moms would gasp, "Cloth diapers!  Breastfeeding past age one!", while the AP Moms might gasp, "Sleeping in a separate room at just three months!  Riding in a stroller!"  It's looking like I should just check out individual groups and see where they lie on the spectrum.  There are probably some that are more "green" or "eco" focused, and some that are more AP-focused.

Interesting, I don't think anything you wrote is against APing. With the AP approach, it's not so much about going down a checklist of what you should do, but having a lot of different methods at hand to help you become an attached and loving parent.

For example, our house is authoritative (not authoritarian), we used stroller and bouncies and swings, and I had a crib set up in DD1's room for her to use when she was around 6 mos old. She also took pacifers. But I also had a cosleeper next to the bed, a sling, never let her cry it out (crying themselves down for a few minutes is totally different). Really, until your baby is here you just don't know what is going to happen. My DD was high needs and there was no way I'd have gotten any sleep if she were in another room. I'd have been getting up every 30 mins all night! We have non-negotiable rules, DD1 has a chore chart, my twins spent a lot of time in their infant swings. And yet attachment parenting is exactly what we do. Attachment parenting is actually quite evidence-based, and if you look at psychological and developmental studies you will see that it matches many, many findings. I'm not trying to comvince you of anything, but just let you know that so far what you have written does not contradict APing at all. You may want to read a little more about it.
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#15 of 53 Old 02-13-2012, 04:00 PM
 
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Interesting, I don't think anything you wrote is against APing. With the AP approach, it's not so much about going down a checklist of what you should do, but having a lot of different methods at hand to help you become an attached and loving parent.
For example, our house is authoritative (not authoritarian), we used stroller and bouncies and swings, and I had a crib set up in DD1's room for her to use when she was around 6 mos old. She also took pacifers. But I also had a cosleeper next to the bed, a sling, never let her cry it out (crying themselves down for a few minutes is totally different). Really, until your baby is here you just don't know what is going to happen. My DD was high needs and there was no way I'd have gotten any sleep if she were in another room. I'd have been getting up every 30 mins all night! We have non-negotiable rules, DD1 has a chore chart, my twins spent a lot of time in their infant swings. And yet attachment parenting is exactly what we do. Attachment parenting is actually quite evidence-based, and if you look at psychological and developmental studies you will see that it matches many, many findings. I'm not trying to comvince you of anything, but just let you know that so far what you have written does not contradict APing at all. You may want to read a little more about it.

 

I agree.  I think nothing OP has said is un-AP.  I'm curious about what about AP is turning you off, OP?  My understanding is that AP is just about parenting in a way that promotes a loving and bonded relationship between parent and child.  I see things like co-sleeping, baby wearing, extended breastfeeding as choices that promote attachment, but none of them are necessary to having a very close attached relationship with your child.  I nursed my older ds until he was 3 1/2, and he's still cuddled up to me all night at 8 years, but I never "wore" him.  I LOVED our stroller!  I guess I kind of think it's odd for anyone to say they disagree with the idea of attachment parenting.  It seems like the same thing as saying you don't really want to have a close, loving relationship with your child.  I'm sure that is not what you're saying, OP.  But I am curious about why someone would feel negatively about it.  

 

Also, Spring Lily, ITA that co-sleeping has made life so much easier in terms of just being able to get some sleep.  Both of my kids have nursed a ton through the night, but if you ask me about it in the morning, I can't tell you about it because I was asleep through it all.  I cannot imagine what life would be like if I had had to get out of bed for all that!  But I must admit that by the time I'm ready for bed my kids have already been asleep for at least 3 hours and I miss them!  I want to snuggle with them and I think I'd be missing out on a whole lot of sweetness if they were in some other room somewhere.  
 

 


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#16 of 53 Old 02-13-2012, 04:43 PM
 
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I appreciate all the responses.  It looks like I'm right in sensing that I am somewhere in the middle, and may or may not fit in with a particular NP group.  Bodhitree, what I meant about not being enthused by AP is that, based on my reading about it so far, it is not as appealing to me as the philosophies of some other writers, and especially of some other parents I know personally and admire.  I meant Attachment Parenting as a school of thought (with capital letters), not lovingness or attachment in general.  Again, I am sure there is more reading I could do and I don't want to make any kind of final statement about the philosophy.  I definitely don't want to co-sleep.  (Well, actually, we will have a "co-sleeper" for the first couple of months, but the only reason I am comfortable with that is that it still allows me and the baby to have separate sleeping spaces, not being much different from a bassinet in that way.)  I will wear the baby when this seems most practical for transportation.  I registered for a nice Beco carrier, but will also get a stroller, bouncy seat, etc. (Freecycled if I can).  Regarding self-soothing, I think that's an important skill to learn, but not to the point of crying for 45 minutes like the old Ferber method.  It would seem apparent to me long before then that the infant needed something, and wasn't just crying a bit while settling down.  I am currently caring for a three month old, and it is normal for her to cry for a couple of minutes at the beginning of nap, but if it's any more than that, I know she needs a diaper change or is having trouble with her footie pajamas (a peculiar problem to some of the ones she wears).  So, again, I'm somewhere in the middle.  The mainstream Moms would gasp, "Cloth diapers!  Breastfeeding past age one!", while the AP Moms might gasp, "Sleeping in a separate room at just three months!  Riding in a stroller!"  It's looking like I should just check out individual groups and see where they lie on the spectrum.  There are probably some that are more "green" or "eco" focused, and some that are more AP-focused.

 


Okay, that makes sense. You would definitely fit in just fine in the group I'm part of. But you're probably right that it depends on the group. My group is pretty laid back, and to tell you the truth we don't spend much time talking about all these issues anyway. Mostly we just do fun stuff together and help each other out with stuff. But it is nice to at least know we have similar perspectives on a lot of issues.

 

For what it's worth, DH and I are also "authoritative parents," to the extent that I get scolded on MDC sometimes for daring to use any sort of consequence as a method of discipline. But I really think the families that are super-super "AP" or whatever (like no strollers or bouncy seats, cosleeping and nursing until child decides otherwise, consensual living, unassisted/home birthing, only organic eating, 24-7 babywearing, alternative medicine only, etc) are the exception. Most people are somewhere in the middle on most of these issues.

 


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#17 of 53 Old 02-13-2012, 04:56 PM - Thread Starter
 
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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.

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.

Rubidoux, it sounds like your view of Attachment Parenting is flexible enough that it would apply to any family in which the parents and children are close and loving, in which case, I'd be happy to sign up.  I was thinking of it as a specific school of thought with rules about how that loving, attached feeling is achieved.

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Okay, that makes sense. You would definitely fit in just fine in the group I'm part of. But you're probably right that it depends on the group. My group is pretty laid back, and to tell you the truth we don't spend much time talking about all these issues anyway. Mostly we just do fun stuff together and help each other out with stuff. But it is nice to at least know we have similar perspectives on a lot of issues.

 

For what it's worth, DH and I are also "authoritative parents," to the extent that I get scolded on MDC sometimes for daring to use any sort of consequence as a method of discipline. But I really think the families that are super-super "AP" or whatever (like no strollers or bouncy seats, cosleeping and nursing until child decides otherwise, consensual living, unassisted/home birthing, only organic eating, 24-7 babywearing, alternative medicine only, etc) are the exception. Most people are somewhere in the middle on most of these issues.

 

Thanks for your input, Bodhitree!  It's good to know that I wouldn't be considered the next Mussolini in natural or even AP playgroups.  It's great that your group is mostly about fun and helping;  I imagine that all the hyper-criticism is primarily an online phenomenon.
 

 

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It's a bit useless to worry about the nurse awake sleep cycle yet-- every baby is different, and even moms of a few kids who thought they had it all figured out need to be open to the baby that comes to them. The issue with the NAS cycle order for many babies is that 1. Getting sleepy when you ingest a substance that actually has sleep aids in it is NORMAL and healthy, and fighting against it is counterproductive, and 2. That ordering nursing sets one up for scheduling, which is of course a big no-no for young infants (older infants can sometimes form their own flexible schedule with a little encouragement). In addition, nursing to sleep is just so sweet and cozy for mom and baby, I'd hate for anyone to rule it out for a mistaken belief that it is somehow going to create a needy child. My son nursed until 2.5 but he was such an easy nurser, I worked FT and he was happy to take bottles of pumped milk from dad during the day and nurse a bunch at night to make up for the time he didn't nurse while I was at work- he is a VERY independent guy despite co-sleeping and extended nursing, and weaned himself easily at 2.5. you never know the baby you're going to get and the key is to stay flexible!
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you will find that everyone even in the AP world does things different- some are very by the dr sears book- some figure out what works for them. It is not an all or nothing... keep hanging out here- you sound like you have prepared well and read alot before becoming a parent- something I surely did not do at 22 I kind of winged it and did what came natural... I commend you for reading and learning I wish I had- I got lucky and knew breastfeeding was the right thing to do.... and found this board... some things I wish I had not done- things were different back then


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#21 of 53 Old 02-13-2012, 06:28 PM
 
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As far as whether or not you'll fit into a specific natural parenting group goes, that all depends on the group.

 

As for me, my list is similar to yours...

- Generally make choices based on evidence, with slight preference given to the "natural" if all other things are equal

- Would breastfeed if my son was my biological child

- Planned to use cloth diapers (for the environment) but stopped after about 6 months

- Did not co-sleep, but kept the crib in our bedroom for the first year

- Vegan

- Buy organic and conventional fruits and vegetables and other products

- Cautious about taking or administering medicine

- Yes to vaccination

- Did not circumcize

- Against spanking, all violence, verbal abuse, etc.

- Feminist and leftist

- Wore babes for the first 6 months then used a stroller sometimes

- OK with some TV and other screens

- Parent with a blend of AP, Love & Logic, and whatever works

 

I had a lot of ideas about how I wanted to parent before I became a parent. They didn't all pan out. I think the biggest thing was that I need more time to myself than I thought I would need. And that's OK.

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It's a bit useless to worry about the nurse awake sleep cycle yet-- every baby is different, and even moms of a few kids who thought they had it all figured out need to be open to the baby that comes to them. The issue with the NAS cycle order for many babies is that 1. Getting sleepy when you ingest a substance that actually has sleep aids in it is NORMAL and healthy, and fighting against it is counterproductive, and 2. That ordering nursing sets one up for scheduling, which is of course a big no-no for young infants (older infants can sometimes form their own flexible schedule with a little encouragement). In addition, nursing to sleep is just so sweet and cozy for mom and baby, I'd hate for anyone to rule it out for a mistaken belief that it is somehow going to create a needy child. My son nursed until 2.5 but he was such an easy nurser, I worked FT and he was happy to take bottles of pumped milk from dad during the day and nurse a bunch at night to make up for the time he didn't nurse while I was at work- he is a VERY independent guy despite co-sleeping and extended nursing, and weaned himself easily at 2.5. you never know the baby you're going to get and the key is to stay flexible!


Oh, this is so, so, so true. I relaly thought i had the sleep thing down. I had three kids and they were all sleeping through the night pretty consistently by a year old, even dd1 (who had horrible, horrible sleep patterns for the first few months). They were all nursed to sleep when they were little, except dd1, who simply couldn't fall asleep when she was close to my breasts as a very small infant (say first 2-3 months), because she'd go into a feeding frenzy (when she self-weaned - abruptly - at 21 months, she'd never fallen into any kind of schedule, either, unlike my others). And, they all slid easily into sleeping through the night, with no training or assistance from me.  I figured I had it down.

 

Then, dd2 came along. As I type, she's nursing to sleep (I'm ready to wean, but not sure how)...at 10:50 at night, and I'm just thankful it's so early, as it's not uncommon at all for her to be awake until after midnight. She'll be up by about 7:00, at the latest. She probably won't nap tomorrow. She just doesn't need very much sleep, and never has...and she was still waking up in the middle of the night regularly until well after her second birthday. I'm done having children now, which is just as well, I suspect. I've been pretty thoroughly humbled by this bunch.


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#23 of 53 Old 02-14-2012, 02:41 AM
 
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I just wanted to say that I echo a lot of what other people are saying about waiting to the baby actually arrives.  For myself, I didn't know until DS was born that I would  parent WAAAAY better on instinct than by principles I had when childless.  I had taken care of other children, but there is no mistaking the alarms that are set off in your mama reptile brain the second YOUR baby starts crying.  (I believe there are actually scientific studies on how mothers respond to their own infant;s cries, and not as quickly to ones that are not their own.)

Not that's there's anything wrong with wanting to utilize certain skills, but you might disappoint yourself on some level if you get stuck being torn between your ideals you want to adhere to, or what you feel your baby needs.

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#24 of 53 Old 02-14-2012, 03:38 AM
 
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I think you're right that there is a school of parenting called Attachment Parenting in which certain practices are supposed to foster healthy attachment, and among these are cosleeping, nursing on demand, and baby wearing. It doesn't necessarily mean exhausting yourself and not meeting your own needs, but it is predicated on the belief that infant attachment leads to later independence.

 

I, personally, do not think promoting infant independence does anything. ("Damn baby, when's he gonna get a job!") 

 

I have never heard of natural parenting where mothers nurse their babies awake. I am not sure, having nursed a baby, how the flood of oxytocin post-nursing helps anyone stay awake! So that might not be exactly natural, but then again, that might not be physically possible for a lot of people. I don't only mean the baby, of course. You'll have to let us know how that one works out! 

 

Not using time-outs comes from another school of parenting thought, but a lot of parents who identify as AP parents might decide to avoid punishments. On this board, some people use time-outs because they are non-violent and others avoid them because they are punitive.

 

I avoid them for many reasons, but the main one is, I think they're mostly pretty useless. There are other non-violent methods of reward and punishment that I also avoid for philosophical reasons (and because my kid is pleasant to be around without them!) that I think work better. 

 

I am with all the people on here who think it's a little premature to decide that you are going to do this but not that before your baby is born, but I guess at least 50% of the board here makes those kinds of decisions! I know I thought I was going to wean my son at one year, and I sure didn't do that. 

 

My favorite parenting book when my son was little was Becoming the Parent You Want to Be, but their chapter on sleep gave almost no advice and that frustrated me. It was a chapter about parents who had decided to deal with sleep one way and found that it didn't work--some wanted to cosleep, but found their child was like a little helicopter, others wanted to sleep separately, but found the family slept better with the baby in the bed.

 

I think if you want to be a good parent, not a natural one, just a good one, that it's great to plan how you're going to deal with sleep--as you have!--and then in the moment to be flexible and not blame yourself if some other way of dealing with sleep helps more people in your family get sleep. 

 

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Originally Posted by MrsSlocombe View Post

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.

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.

Rubidoux, it sounds like your view of Attachment Parenting is flexible enough that it would apply to any family in which the parents and children are close and loving, in which case, I'd be happy to sign up.  I was thinking of it as a specific school of thought with rules about how that loving, attached feeling is achieved.



 


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#25 of 53 Old 02-14-2012, 04:27 AM
 
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AP -- as I understand it, at least, though I haven't read up on it all that much TBH -- isn't about a set of rules, it's a set of tools. You don't need to use every tool at your disposal, but it might be foolish to throw out the tools before the job is done. At least keep them in the back of your mind for those situations where nothing else works.

I can't imagine not nursing to sleep. I don't think I produce oxytocin or something (??? weird, I know), so some of the effects of nursing on the mom just didn't really apply to me, but they sure applied to DS... I tried every trick in the book to get him to sleep and the only thing that ever worked with any kind of real success was nursing. And he also had to nurse awake too, it was like his morning coffee. If we did a nurse-awake-sleep pattern, the sleep part would never come. I do agree with the others that pushing certain nursing patterns onto your child could lead to scheduled feedings, which can, in some cases, lead to failure to thrive. Following your child's natural hunger cues is one way to ensure they are nursing often enough & getting what they need, not just what any random baby needs but what your specific child needs... there are probably other ways to ensure this but it seems easier to me to just nurse on cue. Maybe it's the lazy way out, but it worked well for me, I spent some time fighting against it because DS's need was so high, but it was much easier once I just followed his cues instead. IDK, I guess I'd just be cautious & be wiling to adjust if your baby has different needs than you expect...

Some people who consider themselves AP do use time-outs. I don't, but they also would be ineffective & traumatic for my child. If you get an easy child, or one with a certain temperament, time-outs might work just fine for you, and not affect your child negatively. I don't think AP precludes time-outs, but I do think AP would suggest that you pay attention to your child's temperament and whether it's a good idea for your child.

Promoting independence is something I've actually seen go the opposite of what you're describing IME. The thing about AP is, it's based on the idea that fostering attachment actually helps the child be more independent. I have seen this work really well with the AP'ed kids I know... they were closely attached to the parent(s) for the first year or two, and by 2 years old or so, they were incredibly independent (yet still attached to their primary caregiver). DS was closer to 3 before he started showing more independence, but he has some social/emotional delays, so I think it was more about that than AP or not AP. I don't actually know too many kids who weren't AP'ed, but the ones I do know, the ones who were parented more with the idea of 'promoting independence' than promoting attachment, seemed to have pretty serious issues with independence by age 2-3, lots more clingy, lots of trouble separating, behavioral issues... maybe it's just how it went with the people I know, and maybe you'll have different results. Each kid is different.

One thing I learned through having an incredibly high-needs kid is that you need to parent the child you have, not the one you wanted or thought you'd have. And I also believe that the moment your baby is born, something changes within you, on a cellular level or something... and you'll end up doing things you never thought you would, and not doing other things you'd always planned on doing... Having too strict a set of 'do's and don'ts' might lead you to feel like you aren't parenting adequately, or are failing in some way, when you can't adhere to them.

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#26 of 53 Old 02-14-2012, 08:34 AM - Thread Starter
 
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It's a bit useless to worry about the nurse awake sleep cycle yet-- every baby is different, and even moms of a few kids who thought they had it all figured out need to be open to the baby that comes to them. The issue with the NAS cycle order for many babies is that 1. Getting sleepy when you ingest a substance that actually has sleep aids in it is NORMAL and healthy, and fighting against it is counterproductive, and 2. That ordering nursing sets one up for scheduling, which is of course a big no-no for young infants (older infants can sometimes form their own flexible schedule with a little encouragement). In addition, nursing to sleep is just so sweet and cozy for mom and baby, I'd hate for anyone to rule it out for a mistaken belief that it is somehow going to create a needy child. My son nursed until 2.5 but he was such an easy nurser, I worked FT and he was happy to take bottles of pumped milk from dad during the day and nurse a bunch at night to make up for the time he didn't nurse while I was at work- he is a VERY independent guy despite co-sleeping and extended nursing, and weaned himself easily at 2.5. you never know the baby you're going to get and the key is to stay flexible!


Interesting about the sleep aids in breast milk.  I looked into this a little, and found this article:

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/health/healthnews/6255205/Why-breast-milk-helps-babies-sleep-at-night.html

According to this article, the composition of breast milk changes throughout the day, so that it is a sleep aid at night, but not during the day.  How perfect, if this is true.  When I wrote that I admired my friends' approach in which awake time followed nursing, I did not mean that this was true of their overnight feedings.  Then, they do try to put the baby down before s/he actually falls asleep, but they don't try to have any significant period of wakefulness.  It is during the day that they make sure to nurse when the baby finishes napping, then have an "awake" time (possibly with play, etc.), and then another nap.  They nurse again after that nap, have another period of awake time, and so forth.  I can only speak from experience with these babies (which has only been during the day, and only past age two months) when I say that they did not seem groggy or cranky during their post-nursing wakeful periods, as if they were fighting the effects of a sleep aid.

 

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#27 of 53 Old 02-14-2012, 08:35 AM
 
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In my experience, joining the parenting group is more about you and the other adults, not even so much about your parenting style.  Do you feel like you click with these people?  Are they generally supportive and kind *no matter what their philosophies are*?

 

I have been in AP groups where the moms were really judgemental and bitchy;  and some where people were mellow and laid back.  Mainstream groups with both orientations as well.  In all of them, there were people I didn't care for as much and kids that behaved like brats (sadly, one of my kids was the brat for awhile).  I wouldn't assume that just because you have a few things in common that it means that you will fit in or like the group.  Ultimately, the most supportive parent-of-young-kids community that I found was a mainstream group who I used to see bashed up one side and down the other on MDC at the time (though again, this was less about the organization and more about the PEOPLE involved!)

 

So yes, check out all groups that interest you!  Bear in mind that if you run into a group that looks down their nose at you for not having "enough" checks on the almighty parenting checklist, it doesn't mean that you don't belong in "natural parenting"  groups, you just ran into the wrong group of people.  Look at mainstream and middle-of-the-road groups too!

 

Bear in mind that most of the time you get what you give as well.  Go in there with a smile, a willingness to be accepting, ect, and you can find friends almost everywhere (unfortunately you can't win with some people, but oh well, that's all about them..not you!).

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I think you're right that there is a school of parenting called Attachment Parenting in which certain practices are supposed to foster healthy attachment, and among these are cosleeping, nursing on demand, and baby wearing. It doesn't necessarily mean exhausting yourself and not meeting your own needs, but it is predicated on the belief that infant attachment leads to later independence.

 

I, personally, do not think promoting infant independence does anything. ("Damn baby, when's he gonna get a job!") 

 

I have never heard of natural parenting where mothers nurse their babies awake. I am not sure, having nursed a baby, how the flood of oxytocin post-nursing helps anyone stay awake! So that might not be exactly natural, but then again, that might not be physically possible for a lot of people. I don't only mean the baby, of course. You'll have to let us know how that one works out! 

 

Not using time-outs comes from another school of parenting thought, but a lot of parents who identify as AP parents might decide to avoid punishments. On this board, some people use time-outs because they are non-violent and others avoid them because they are punitive.

 

I avoid them for many reasons, but the main one is, I think they're mostly pretty useless. There are other non-violent methods of reward and punishment that I also avoid for philosophical reasons (and because my kid is pleasant to be around without them!) that I think work better. 

 

I am with all the people on here who think it's a little premature to decide that you are going to do this but not that before your baby is born, but I guess at least 50% of the board here makes those kinds of decisions! I know I thought I was going to wean my son at one year, and I sure didn't do that. 

 

My favorite parenting book when my son was little was Becoming the Parent You Want to Be, but their chapter on sleep gave almost no advice and that frustrated me. It was a chapter about parents who had decided to deal with sleep one way and found that it didn't work--some wanted to cosleep, but found their child was like a little helicopter, others wanted to sleep separately, but found the family slept better with the baby in the bed.

 

I think if you want to be a good parent, not a natural one, just a good one, that it's great to plan how you're going to deal with sleep--as you have!--and then in the moment to be flexible and not blame yourself if some other way of dealing with sleep helps more people in your family get sleep. 

 



 


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.

 

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oops double post

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