The poll about "how many AP things do you do" got me thinking...
What do you "have" to do to be considered AP? I read a few of Sears's books while I was pg, and I think I am raising my son according to his philosophy, or at least what I took to be his philosophy - i.e. responding to your child's cues, lots of physical contact, respect for your child's personhood, etc. - but above all, the biggest thing I got from his books was to listen to your instincts as a mother and act according to them, not according to a "schedule" or a bunch of rules someone else thinks you should follow. Am I right so far?
OK, so now I am learning a lot more about it on this website, and I find out that there are a lot of specific things that AP mamas do or do not do and I am wondering, what do you consider essential to being part of the AP movement? For instance, in my case: I only breastfed DS for 3 months, and it was expressed bm in a bottle. I saw 3 different lactation consultants and none of them were able to help me with our latching difficulties. So after 3 months of pumping, I switched to formula. Of course, I never prop and I demand feed. We coslept for the first 6 weeks - now, sometimes he sleeps in his crib, sometimes with us. He sleeps fine either way. I have never left him to cry in any situation - he cries, I respond IMMEDIATELY. I don't "wear" him around the house, but I do carry him a lot and I am always with him, playing on the floor or holding him on my lap, etc. I only use the sling when we go out - I don't have a stroller. I have a swing, but I only use it for his morning nap. We have some plastic toys but they aren't bad ones, LOL! One is a little piano and the rest are teethers. I don't think plastic toys are inherently bad, but maybe I'm wrong about that - perhaps someone can enlighten me. Plus I use disposable diapers (but I'm considering switching to cloth.) I plan on making my own baby food when he starts on solids, which he hasn't yet. I don't know if I'm AP or not! LOL I just do whatever works for us, as I know you all do. So what do you all think? (Not necessarily about my particular situation but about the subject in general.)
edited to add: I have residual guilt about not bfing anymore, so that's probably why I feel compelled to say this. HOWEVER, I did want to add that switching to formula was a good thing in my case, maybe not nutritionally but relationship-wise. I was always so stressed about the pumping and whether or not I would have enough milk for his next feeding and the time I spent on the pump was time I could've spent with DS. Sometimes I would be pumping and he would cry, and I would have to ignore him for a few minutes while I finished or stop pumping and risk damaging my supply or not having a bottle ready for the next time he was hungry. So for us it was better to go to formula, as much as it pains me to say that. TMI?? Sorry!