What is/is not AP? - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 6 Old 02-24-2003, 01:41 PM - Thread Starter
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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!
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#2 of 6 Old 02-24-2003, 02:50 PM
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It sounds like you are doing a wonderful job. I would definitely consider you AP. All of the things you talked about..respecting your baby, listening to your instincts, feeding on cue..are all things that are AP. The other things, sling-wearing, bf, co-sleeping, homemade food, cloth diapers, non-plastic toys, etc., are all variations of the AP style. Each family is different and what works for one might not work for the other. The underlying principle is reacting to your child in an instinctual manner and not conforming to mainstream ideas/rules just because someone else thinks you should.

I guess I would say that the other things that go with AP'ing are "techniques" that help you to stay bonded, such as bf and sling wearing. BUT, they are definitely not the only things. YOu don't need to wear a sling if you are constantly carrying your baby....the bonding is pretty much the same. I carried dd in a sling (and still do) just because it is easier since I have 2 hands free and dd is heavy. As far as BF, don't beat yourself up. You did what you could do and there is no point in second-guessing yourself now. You are doing all of the other things that make a parent be an AP parent and it's great. If you want to bf, then you can plan it for your next baby. But for now, enjoy all of the bonding that you are doing with this baby and feel good about it! Good Luck to you!


mama to a precocious 13 month old
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#3 of 6 Old 02-24-2003, 03:38 PM
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Hey Jen,

I posted a few weeks back about this, but I asked for a definition of mainstream.

It sounds like you are parenting with your instincts. As far as I am concerned (and in this house, only 3 people's opinions matter), parenting based on your instincts and what is right for your family is the best way to go. I have never read Sears, nor do I plan to.

BTW I gave up BF after 2 weeks. I have gotten over the guilt because it isn't worth worrying about. However, I do stand up for the right to feed your child however you choose!
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#4 of 6 Old 02-24-2003, 03:47 PM
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As far as I am concerned (and in this house, only 3 people's opinions matter), parenting based on your instincts and what is right for your family is the best way to go. I have never read Sears, nor do I plan to.
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#5 of 6 Old 02-25-2003, 04:47 AM
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What i figured out is that my number one goal as a mamma is to learn to discern dd 's needs, and see that they are met as quickly and as fully as possible.

all the rest of it (slinging, co-sleeping, etc)is just how I do that. I consider myself an ap parent 'cuz I look around at what ap parents do and feel affinity.

(of course I also do some things because I love to--like cosleeping)

It's so easy to get into compartmentalizing things, but as far as i'm concerned, ap is a tendency, not a set of rules.
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#6 of 6 Old 02-25-2003, 11:37 AM
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I'm a co-leader of an API support group and we stress at the meeting alot that ap is not a check list. But if you are doing some of the things on the list and parenting your child in a gentle and respectful way then thats the aim. If it were a check list I wouldn't be considered an ap momma because I work outside the home and I don't nurse anymore (my dd is about to turn 3), so I think its all a matter of perception and if you identify with the ap ideals and practice the ones that work for your family, then you are good to go, and it sounds like you are a great ap momma to me.

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