Why shouldn't AP be about rules? - Mothering Forums

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Old 08-30-2004, 11:52 AM - Thread Starter
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This is kind of branch off the “cop-out” thread, but my pet peeve is when people say that AP isn’t about following a set of rules.

Why not? Seeing AP as a set of rules has had nothing but positive effects in my family.

Rule#1 – NO CIO

There’s no excuse. End of story. I don’t care what the circumstances are in anyone’s life. No adult is allowed to take out their own frustrations or inability to cope on a baby. The same people who let their babies scream inconsolably for hours would never dare, in a million years, ignore their boss, or a police officer. If you can set your problems aside for other adults, you can bloody well set them aside for your infant.

Rule#2 – Breastfeed

I had breast surgery when I was only 19, and I was told by everyone, including my midwife, that I would not be able to breastfeed. But breastfeeding is a rule of AP, so I decided that my baby would spend as much time as she wanted at the breast REGARDLESS of whether she was getting milk. Supplementing with formula doesn’t prevent you from letting your baby nurse. Even if they get a teaspoon, it’s better than nothing, and the nuzzling and sucking is what your baby has been programmed to expect. I know there are some women who cannot breastfeed (very few, but some), but that is no excuse to never let your baby nurse. The only women who should not have a baby at their breast are those who are taking medications that would poison their little ones.

In my case, the MIDWIFE WAS WRONG. I can breastfeed, and I would never have known that if I didn’t see breastfeeding as an absolute rule.

Feeding your baby formula because you can’t produce enough milk is no excuse to stop breastfeeding. Use both.

RULE #3 – Baby bonds with a primary caregiver

Before I had my first baby, I thought daycare was a fine thing. But then I realized that daycare is only fine for the parents. We scaled down our life, so that I could stay home. We moved to a smaller house, in an older neighborhood, and lo and behold, found ourselves surrounded by like-minded people who have done the same thing. I have a whole community of families who are making sane choices for their children, right outside my front door. I would never have known it if my husband and I hadn’t decided to follow the AP rules and give our children ONE primary caregiver to bond to.

RULE #4 – Wear your baby

I refused every baby gadget that was offered to me (and they were all offered, at one time or another) so I never had the option of putting my baby in a plastic substitute for Mama’s arms. No stroller, no playpen, no crib, no highchair, no saucer, no nothing.

Carrying Joy for the first few weeks was just murder. My back hurt, my feet hurt, my arms ached, my shoulders cried every night. But babywearing is an AP rule, and I followed it. Five years later, I am 20 pounds lighter than when I first got pregnant, fit and strong, and all because I carry my children. I don’t pay membership dues to any fancy health care club – I carry my babies! The best, and cheapest fitness plan going.


RULE #5 – Cosleep

Babies need a grown up nearby. They can DIE if you keep them isolated behind bars in another room.

I hated sleeping, all three of us, in our queen sized bed, at first. It was crowded, it was noisy, it was distracting. But co-sleeping is an AP rule, too, and I followed it. I decided my furniture was NOT more important than my children and dismantled my beautiful Quaker set, which sits now, safe and sound in the basement. We are now four, in two queen size beds, side by side in the master bedroom, and all very comfortable and happy. Every night I go to sleep, looking at the faces of my beautiful little girls, thinking how soon it will all be over, and that I will never regret one minute I spent cuddling them, listening to them breath, asleep.

Now my husband has an office, I have an office and the kids have a school/playroom. It’s brilliant. What a waste of space to have all those bedrooms.

Nothing but good news all around for our family. So why shouldn’t AP be a set of rules, when following them can have such marvelous repercussions?

Here’s to the Rules! Too bad more people didn’t follow them.
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Old 08-30-2004, 12:23 PM
 
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I'm glad your rules work for you. However, being AP is being an 'attached parent'. It is about more than a list of rules. It is listening to your child and responding to your childs needs. It's wonderful that things worked out just the way you wanted. What would you have done if your child hated the sling? What if you desperately wants to nurse but couldn't b/c of your breast surgery. You said you MADE it work, but it's not possible for everyone. (I will agree that it is possible for MOST with enough work.)

I don't see why it's necessary to compare ourselves as mothers. So I'm not AP in your eyes b/c my child likes to sit in a baby swing while I take a shower or do some housework? I do plenty of things that are considered AP. I don't feel the need to list them to justify myself to anyone. Why do we feel the need to 'one up' other people? Does it make us feel better to put others down?

Honestly, I don't care about the labels. If someone calls me mainstream, that's fine. If someone calls me AP, that's fine. I do what is right by my family and that's all that matters.

Again, I'm glad your rules work for you and I hope you feel better about creating that list. What will you do when someone creates an AP list that has something on it that you don't do?

Michelle -mom to Katlyn 4/00 , Jake 3/02, and Seth 5/04
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Old 08-30-2004, 12:42 PM - Thread Starter
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How can breastfeeding not work? You put the baby to your breast, and let them suckle. If they aren't getting enough milk, you give them a bottle of formula, and then put them back on your breast to suckle and fall asleep. Why does providing them with food from a bottle eliminate the need to provide them with the comfort and closeness of suckling at a real live human breast?

This is what I don't get. Even if baby gets 100% of their nutrition from the bottle, why wouldn't you give your child the comfort and closeness of the breast. That's worth enough, in itself.

My first baby loved the sling from the get go and Juniper, my second, hated being confined and swaddled. She needed to have her arms and legs free, and for me to be in constant motion. Because babywearing was a rule for me, I worked with her to find a position that was comfortable for both of us. Junie is now 2 1/2, and loves being cuddled in the sling. All I had to do, when she was a baby, was figure out how she wanted to be held.

Being different is no excuse to strap your baby into a plastic carrier and then blame in on the baby. Nonsense. Parents have an obligation, as far as I'm concerned, to figure out how their children want to be carried. A parent's inability to figure that out is no excuse to leave a baby to be comforted by polyester and plastic.
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Old 08-30-2004, 12:44 PM
 
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Because not all babies respond well to the "rules"
I think those things you listed should be tried since most babies prefer them but not all babies. My niece for example hated to be cuddled and carried almost from birth. The sling never worked well with her.
I have friends who's babies didn't take well to cosleeping and did better in a seperate bed or room, meaning they didn't wake when left to sleep alone but woke often when sleeping with mom and dad.

The one rule is to be attached to your child by meeting their needs to the best of your ability.

Mom of a 7 yr old, 4 yr old, and 1 yr old. Wow. How did that happen?
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Old 08-30-2004, 12:50 PM
 
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Originally Posted by amarasmom
The one rule is to be attached to your child by meeting their needs to the best of your ability.
amen!
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Old 08-30-2004, 12:55 PM
 
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I’ve been off line for a while so I missed the thread you’re responding to. I will say that I tend to disagree with you. Not that I don’t think the things you mentioned are important because I do. I just think that lists (especially a short one like the one you gave) usually leave out some of the most important issues of parenting and they don’t tend to take into account that children and families are all unique.

Mama to DD September 2001 and DD April 2011 *Winner for most typos* eat.gif
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Old 08-30-2004, 12:55 PM
 
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its a good start Juniperjoy, specially the first one.
You left out no physical,mental,spiritual,or sexual abuse.

I dont %100 agree with the carrying around one though. To carry your child is definately best no butts about it, but that cant be set in stone as there are factors that make it unable to be applied. Either with the carry-er, or the baby. eg-claustrophobic baby,or broken bones.

A really good point you made on the breastfeeding issue. How many people say they cant or it doesnt work without actually trying? to many imo.

AP techniques arnt really something you can set in stone, though this list is a definate guidline of how it should be.
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Old 08-30-2004, 01:04 PM
 
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bad back fracture, oh well. i'm not defensive. i carried when i could, but if i don't meet your criteria i can deal with it, lol. i've been reading mothering for 20 years, parenting for 18, & if juniperjoy doesn't think i'm ap enough because i have a stroller i'm not losing sleep.

(i'm with you on the bfing, tho'. but is cosleeping adequate in your eyes in a cosleeper, or a crib near the bed? because all night, every day, in the actual bed with me & i *will* lose sleep. i'm much more attached if i'm not in a zombie-like fog all day.)

suse
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Old 08-30-2004, 01:05 PM
 
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I think carriers will be more important to us with subsequent children as dd fit nicely in our arms and she was the only concern we had at the time.

Mom of a 7 yr old, 4 yr old, and 1 yr old. Wow. How did that happen?
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Old 08-30-2004, 01:12 PM - Thread Starter
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Babies need to sleep within touching distance of a living BREATHING human. Whether that's in the bed with you, or in a co-sleeper doesn't matter.

They should not be in isolation down the hall.

Bad back fracture: work with a physiotherapist. If you can do the laundry, you can carry the baby. Nothing builds muscles like carrying your baby.

Americans (North Americans) are so fat and lazy it's shameful.
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Old 08-30-2004, 01:21 PM
 
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So, I just think you (OP) have a somewhat limited idea of the huge variety of families and circumstances there are here at MDC and especially the world. I’d be the first to agree that the situation for parents is bad (in N. America and elsewhere) but refusing to recognize that we all have our own unique challenges and advantages is not going to help, IMO.

Mama to DD September 2001 and DD April 2011 *Winner for most typos* eat.gif
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Old 08-30-2004, 01:25 PM
 
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Because my baby screamed bloody murder everytime I put him in a sling till he was 3 months old. If I'd worn him it would be worse... believe me when I sat with my house in shambles holding my baby not being able to cook dinner or get things done I would have loved for him to like the sling. (He screamed more bloody murder if I put him down, so that wasn't an option either... poor guy had a rough baby hood)

I think me putting Nick in a sling back than would have been a lot less AP than not doing so. Up to this day he is claustrophobic and hates to be covered up in blankets and such. Although he likes the sling now that he can sit up in it.

One of my closests friends litterally produced no milk, the baby couldn't get any out. She supplemented with formula even though it killed her to do so. My other friend has galcotesimia history in her family. She is TTC now and will be an AP parent when she has a baby I'm sure of it, but may not be able to breastfeed if her child is galcotesimic and can't handle the milk protiens.

My point is that not all situations are created equal and certainly not all babies are created equal. I don't ever want to live by a hard rule of do this that way because sometimes it can be to the detriment of the baby (Such as if I had worn Nick in a sling in the new born days)

I think the one rule to AP parenting is no CIO. TO me AP parenting is about responding to your child's needs and if you CIO than you simply aren't doing that. Other than that I agree with all the guidelines and that they are best to try (You can bet I'll put baby#2 in a sling when he/she gets here in May and pray that it works this time) I just don't agree with hard fast rules to me thats not what AP is about.
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Old 08-30-2004, 01:27 PM
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The problem with rules is that it doesn't take into account special circumstances.

Breastfeeding - what happens when the baby won't latch, for whatever reason? Well, you say, you can always pump. I am pumping for my cleft palate baby. Let me tell you, until you've walked a mile in that person's shoes, don't judge. It is the very hardest thing I've ever had to do. I am stretched to my absolute limit because of it. I'm not doing it because I'm AP. My pumping does nothing to connect me further to my baby. I do it because it is healthiest, because it is her birthright to have breastmilk, and because she needs the best start possible. But I will not pass judgement on anyone that is not able to keep it up. Nor should you.

Cosleeping - This doesn't work with a lot of families. If the baby doesn't sleep well with others (yes, they do exist), the parents shouldn't force the baby to sleep with them. That would be rather the opposite of the idea of AP.

Slinging - There are people that have bad back, hip, leg problems that prohibit them from wearing their baby all the time. And boy, aren't you the judgemental one for suggesting that all back problems can be solved with therapy! Some of those problems are not muscular. A person should not have to be in excruciating pain just so they can carry the baby. That doesn't make them more attached, loved or cared for. There are also babies that don't like it. Mine only likes it when she is sleepy or I'm vacuuming. Otherwise, she struggles to get out.

The problem with rules is that it feels like parenting out of a cook book. You can't raise a kid with a formula. You have to listen to your child, be sensitive to their needs, and figure out what they are, and how to provide for them. Life isn't so pat and easy. There are shades of gray.

One other thing, your rules only cover babies. Those babies grow up into kids, teenagers, and adults. Attachment parenting doesn't stop at the end of babyhood. It is much more flexible than that.


Bec

Mama to: Katie, Emily , and Abby
Not perfect, Just amazing!
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Old 08-30-2004, 01:42 PM
 
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OMG you are such a wonderful mother and your kids are so very lucky to have you instead of say my bad single mom friend who had to put her boy in day care so she could go to school and get an education;despite her being the most loving and attentive and "smart" mom I've every seen, her son doesn't have a chance because she puts what is best for her above what is best for him in the breaking of an AP rule because these rules are what has been proven to universally work on every single kid and on every single family, and working moms are breaking an AP rule and thus are going to raise unhappy kids because every single caregiver is the best caregiver when home with them because, of course, everyone feels the same way you feel and thus everyone accepts your rules as THE rules.

And I guess we need to kick all those single moms and working moms whose dh make didly squat off this board along with all the dedicated women who want a wonderful family and a wonderful career at the same time and work like hell to have both cause once we have kids the importance of our own lives stop and that is definately the message I want to send to my daughter - that her desires and dreams and needs only important until the day when she births a child and thereafter only her child is important and for thw next 18 years her desires and dreams and needs are second to what is best for the child because we all know that "family" means nothing and "family happiness" means nothing, rather is it all what is best for the child and what is best for the child is a set of AP rules.
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Old 08-30-2004, 01:44 PM
 
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Originally Posted by IdentityCrisisMama
So, I just think you (OP) have a somewhat limited idea of the huge variety of families and circumstances there are here at MDC and especially the world. I’d be the first to agree that the situation for parents is bad (in N. America and elsewhere) but refusing to recognize that we all have our own unique challenges and advantages is not going to help, IMO.
What an wonderful post. Wanna trade (I was too snotty in mine )
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Old 08-30-2004, 01:49 PM
 
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What an wonderful post. Wanna trade (I was too snotty in mine )
:LOL Sure, I'll trade...

Mama to DD September 2001 and DD April 2011 *Winner for most typos* eat.gif
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Old 08-30-2004, 01:57 PM
 
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Originally Posted by JuniperJoy
How can breastfeeding not work? You put the baby to your breast, and let them suckle...

Even if baby gets 100% of their nutrition from the bottle, why wouldn't you give your child the comfort and closeness of the breast. That's worth enough, in itself.
Uh, because if you aren't lactating then you *might* have a baby that gets completely frustrated, overwrought, and furious because no milk is coming out of your breast! And it's possible that you have a baby that never liked pacifiers and didn't want to suckle unless they were getting milk.

There is the "should" of this world and then there is the "reality".
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Old 08-30-2004, 02:06 PM
 
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"Americans (North Americans) are so fat and lazy it's shameful."

As a fat, pregnant, North American mom who plans on APing according to what her baby responds to best, I would like to cordially invite you to self-insert your list of rules, right next to your opinion of fat people, into the orifice of your choice.
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Old 08-30-2004, 02:12 PM
 
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If being AP means being anything like the self-righteous OP, I'll opt out now. No one who hasn't stood in my shoes or anyone elses has any right whatsoever to judge. How dare she!!!

Signed,
A BFing, co-sleeping, fully-attached, FT working mama to one of the happiest little boys I know.
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Old 08-30-2004, 02:12 PM
 
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Apparently my daughter didnt make use of the time in the womb reading the AP rule book. She hated (and I do mean hated) to be snuggled all the time. We tried slings, snugglis. the baby bjorn, etc and she hated them all. She actually liked being in her infant car seat, the bouncy chair, or the swing. She didn't like being held all the time either. If she was awake (and not nursing) she wanted to be sitting up by herself. I could hold her for about 10 minutes before the screaming began. Put her in the bouncy chair and she was totally content. I'd sit next to her on the floor and talk to her and we'd laugh together. She is also not a cosleeper (still at 2.5). We sidecarred her crib so that it would be easier for to nurse but as soon as she was done she'd roll to the far side of the crib to sleep (she started rolling at about 2 months). After she nightweaned (herself, not my call) at 8 months we put the side back on the crib and then eventually moved her to her own room. She didn't mind a bit and she knew as soon as she made the slightest sound I was there to see what was up. She nursed until 20 months, but never followed the rules there either.

I think the only "rule" that applies to AP is the one listed by amarasmama. I listen to her cues and go with what works for herl


j
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Old 08-30-2004, 02:13 PM
 
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Why shouldn't AP be about rules? Because we all have different rules. Sure, mine look like the ones you posted, but I also have others which you might not agree with. So whose rules are the right rules?
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Old 08-30-2004, 02:16 PM
 
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Juniper - Well, I think your rules are right on, even though I don't follow them perfectly all the time.

If you absolutely have to feed formula, why not only use the SNS? True, it's probably not as convenient as the bottle but if you were bfing, you wouldn't have the convenience of the bottle either.

But why not list "absolutely no spanking" as a rule? I think it's one of the most important. And how do you feel about education?
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Old 08-30-2004, 02:17 PM
 
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LOL. I love these kinds of threads. And I enjoyed the responses ICM and mamawanabe...you gals crack me up (and make good points). I'm pretty annoyed, so if I can't get this out right, I'll edit it later...

I'm really glad those 5 rules work so well for the OP, and glad that in her world every baby and every family is exactly the same so that they all work. I guess not only are there no other "rules" to AP, but that you fail as a parent if you don't follow all of them! Ignoring a baby crying and ignoring a police officer? Not sure how those compare, and I'm not sure how those mamas who have let their babies CIO are "setting aside their problems". Indeed, while I do not agree with CIO, I believe that there are mamas who follow all of the other rules (plus many more not listed), who did give in and let their babies CIO because they felt it was the best parenting they could do at the time. Let's try not to judge those whose lives we haven't lived, eh?

To say that babies "DIE" if you keep them "behind bars" in another room?! Geez, let's pull out some more propaganda and try to scare people into doing what may not be right for their families. Let's be realistic, shall we? Babies can die anywhere, anytime, and being next to a living, breathing person can't always stop that.

While I could go on and on, I need to get my waking baby from his fleece and carpet substitute for a mother...but one more thing...where did you get your rules, OP? Is there a book or a site that has them listed as rules that you HAVE to follow to be AP?
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Old 08-30-2004, 02:19 PM
 
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Yes, the list could get quite long. Discipline, education, circumcision, medical care, ear piercing, food choices, etc.

I can't imagine that any two people could ever agree on an identical list of rules.
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Old 08-30-2004, 02:19 PM
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JuniperJoy, your list of rules looks very much like Attachment Parenting Intl. 'ideals'. I think they used to not call it 'ideals' but probably received a lot of feedback along the lines of the responses in this thread.

http://www.attachmentparenting.org/ideals.shtml

IMO, there are 'rules' in APing. One of them that seems to make the most difference is how children are respected or not. Not gentle discipline, per se, but what are the fundamental beliefs of the parent about children? Do they have equal say? Are they rational, reasonable individuals or not?

I also agree with API's list on no prolonged seperations from the baby. JMO.
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Old 08-30-2004, 02:20 PM
 
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JuniperJoy, I just have to ask, are you as mean to people in real life as you are here? It's a good thing that your babies were amenable to your rules, because if they hadn't been, you'd have had some pretty miserable babies after you got done forcing them to do what you wanted them to do (the antithesis of AP). Cut other people some slack. You haven't lived anyone else's life but your own, so don't be so arrogant as to presume you know what's right for everyone else.

Wilma
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Old 08-30-2004, 02:20 PM
 
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Old 08-30-2004, 02:29 PM
 
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Just a reminder to keep the RULES of MDC in mind when posting.
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Old 08-30-2004, 02:46 PM
 
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What makes you think that in all your extensive knowledge and experience (2 children,) that you are qualified to dictate the "rules" to the rest of the world? You expected everyone to jump on the bandwagon?
I'd like to invite you to visit special needs parenting but ask that you try to maintain your composure. No on there will ever live up to your standards of AP. Life is what you make of it and there has never been a perfect error proof mother. You will not be the first.
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Old 08-30-2004, 02:47 PM
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So all the people attacking (yes, that's you) the OP, do you also disagree with Attachment Parenting International's list?

I hope certain posters are required to edit. Sheesh.
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