Was your parenting style chosen for you? - Mothering Forums
Parenting > Was your parenting style chosen for you?
pixiewytch's Avatar pixiewytch 03:13 PM 02-16-2007
I have had a really eye opening revelation since my DD was born several months ago. I always thought that parents choose a parenting style that appeals to them, studies it, and uses/discards what doesn't apply to them. I am now finding that all of this flies out the window depending on the child.

My son is five and was very, very easygoing (something I didn't realize until this one was born). Now I didn't read Babywise or anything like that but he was very happy with routine and I'll admit, we did a little of the ole CIO on occasion with great success but otherwise he would put himself to sleep. We were unsuccessful with BF'ing, he hated the sling, and he slept through the night (I'm talking 10 hrs) by two months. I thought I had the answer to all. I thought the answer was comfort in routine since that worked so well with my first one. I loved my freedom of not having my child attached to me constantly.

Boy was I wrong

DD is exactly the opposite. She doesn't sleep through the night or even for more than several hours. She resists sleeping in her crib. She nurses frequently. She wants to be held constantly. She has reflux. She has to be soothed to sleep. She won't take a bottle. I'm even considering co sleeping (as much as I don't want to) because it seems like the only thing that may work for her.

I just never realized how the temperament of your baby can really affect which parenting style you choose. I feel like a heel to all of the women I used to talk to about my old style and how well it worked for my son. Now I realize how individual parenting experiences can be.

I'm not necessarily asking for advice in my own situation but I'm just wondering how many others have found that despite their own ideas, their children have chosen for them which parenting road to take.

AngelBee's Avatar AngelBee 03:17 PM 02-16-2007
I totally get what you are saying.

I have so many "ideals" in my head......but each one is so different.

ds1,ds2 and dd2 all nurse every 3 hours or so. dd1 nursed every hour and a half for 30-45mins EACH feeding : She was constantly on my boob and when she wasn't nursing, she was sucking her thumb.
BunchaCrunch's Avatar BunchaCrunch 03:23 PM 02-16-2007
My baby decided to bust my plan from the she decided to born four weeks early. My husband and I really liked the AP/instinctual style of parenting and this is what both of our parenting instincts tend to lean towards, but there have certainly been many changes in the "master plan" as our daughter's personality unfolds.

For instance, we originally intended to use a co-sleeper, but have since brought our little one into our bed. She did not care for the co-sleeper and would much rather be snuggled up next to mommy and this plan ended up being what we would have wanted too. We had also planned to babywear using a Hot Sling, but my daughter did not want that to happen at all. The Maya Wrap is much more her thing. Luckily for her we never intended to carry her in her carseat or use a stroller often, because neither of these would be her cup of tea. And I never wanted to have my little one drink out of a bottle/use artificial nipples, but winded up needing to exclusively pump for two weeks and then use a nipple shield for an additional two weeks before my little girl could use nurse.

There have been so many other little things that have been different than I thought they would be, but this is more thank okay and something that I did plan on, though at the time I had no idea what might change. Sticking to my instincts and sometimes just "going with the flow" have been the best "parenting style" I could ever take part in and I am really thankful I have the patience, open mind, and confidence that has often been needed on my parenting journey thus far
newmommy's Avatar newmommy 03:47 PM 02-16-2007
Nope, just went by pure instinct and it just happened to be an AP approach.

I certainly wasn't AP'ed as child hence I had nothing to draw back on.
PrennaMama's Avatar PrennaMama 09:52 PM 02-16-2007
I was not AP'd, tho my mom's done an intersting job of fabricating an idyllic memory of what the past 40 years looked like... (she would like folks to think she was all about the love... but we know different...) And I didn't really have other people, moms especially in my environment to model anything, and advise me; I read some, and just went with multi-culturally aware practices and instinct, and ended up doing a bang-up a representation of attachment parenting, and gentle discipline, and "all that".

Other aspects of parenting and lifestyle have been dictated, tho, like who our midwife was to be, (which ended up fantastic...) how and to some degree degree, when we vax... FIL is a pushy pediatritian, and gawd if I don't stop his mouth in my ear about how things are supposed to be done, etc... arg. Prenna is very mellow and easy going for the most part, and required little to know major techniques... we co-slept, cloth diapered, sling and back-packed her, etc... all just according to instinct.
kaPOW!'s Avatar kaPOW! 10:01 PM 02-16-2007
Quote:
Originally Posted by newmommy View Post
Nope, just went by pure instinct and it just happened to be an AP approach.

I certainly wasn't AP'ed as child hence I had nothing to draw back on.
Same here. And I really believe that AP isn't applicable to just a selection of children. Maybe it's more challenging with some babies, but when the challenge is to form a secure, attached relationship with a child, then I'll gladly step up to it.
Parker'smommy's Avatar Parker'smommy 10:20 PM 02-16-2007
I'm embaressed to admit, but before I had ds, I was fully prepared to do Ezzo. I had friends that swore by him and his practices and my own mom had told me how important a schedule was so I felt this was the right thing for us. I didn't even think about the whole cio to be honest, his book said they wouldn't cry long, and I believed it.

ENTER DS....he wouldn't nurse at.all. No latching until day 14 and our bfing relationship was rocky until he was 6 months old. So because I was busy trying to get baby to nurse, Ezzo was the farthest from my mind and I didn't implement any of the advice I had read and instead parented him by my instincts. It wasn't until I went to a LLL meeting at 4 months that I learned what AP was and that there was a label to what I was doing.

So I'd say, that I followed my instincts, that so happen to be AP, but maybe, if I had had an easy baby, one who nursed well at birth, things might have turned out differently. And while our bfing struggle, was that, a big struggle. I am thankful for it, as I think i would have a totally different kid if I hadn't followed my instincts and followed a stupid book instead.
Miatagirl's Avatar Miatagirl 10:51 PM 02-16-2007
I tried co-sleeping, but my daughter always got too hot lying next to me and couldn't sleep well. It was easy to breastfeed, but I know uninterrupted sleep is also important, so we got an amby motion bed. I really love it. we had it next to our bed for two months, and when she started sleeping all the way through the night, we moved it into her own room. Now, at 4 months, when I put her to bed after BFing, even if she is a little awake, she goes right to sleep.

I also experimented with many slings, and found when she was little, she liked the Peanut Shell, a tube style sling, but about 3 months she changed and only likes the ring sling now. But I only use it when I need to, I work fromo home, so I use it during work, and when we go out, but for just around the house, I just carry her or let her play with her excersaucer & toys etc.
Finch's Avatar Finch 11:41 PM 02-16-2007
I researched on mommy boards before my ds was even conceived, so I had a good idea of what I wanted to do and what I didn't want to do. Co-sleeping has never happened for us at night, I can't sleep well at night with ds in the bed. However co-sleeping for naps, bfing, babywearing, CLW, no-CIO, and GD have been great tools for my very very very ultra mega high needs child. :

ETA I'm glad my first is high needs, I hear it's easier that way so that if your first child is high needs, you won't be thrown for a loop if your subsequent child(ren) are high needs, much like the OP was.
hipumpkins's Avatar hipumpkins 02:11 AM 02-17-2007
When I was handed my DD everything I *thought* you had to do to kids went out the window. I loved her so much I never put her down. She didn't sleep in our bed right away but as an infant she slept in our room in her car seat...it was never used to carry her b/c I just wanted to hold her all the time (and those bucket ones were too heavy anyway) so it became her bed. We had a regualr one piece kind in the car anway. I found this board and realized I wasn't damamging her by holding her or that her lungs would grow just fine wthout letting her cry a bit...
DS is a bit different in that he loved the stroller from an early age. DD wouldn't go near one until she was more than 1 but DS liked it right from when he could sit. He'll run off whereas DD would never leave my side.
they are such different kids and they have differetn needs...I try to meet them all but it aint easy!:
pixiewytch's Avatar pixiewytch 11:04 AM 02-17-2007
Quote:
Originally Posted by Finch View Post
ETA I'm glad my first is high needs, I hear it's easier that way so that if your first child is high needs, you won't be thrown for a loop if your subsequent child(ren) are high needs, much like the OP was.

Yes, indeed. My first one was easygoing and since I had nothing to compare it to I didn't realize until this one was born. I have definitely been thrown for a loop. :
saraann's Avatar saraann 12:17 PM 02-17-2007
Quote:
Originally Posted by newmommy View Post
Nope, just went by pure instinct and it just happened to be an AP approach.

I certainly wasn't AP'ed as child hence I had nothing to draw back on.
same here.
4evermom's Avatar 4evermom 12:52 PM 02-17-2007
Quote:
Originally Posted by Finch View Post
ETA I'm glad my first is high needs, I hear it's easier that way so that if your first child is high needs, you won't be thrown for a loop if your subsequent child(ren) are high needs, much like the OP was.
Unless you're scared to try again .

I had an AP upbringing so it all came naturally, but ds was a major "self-advocate". I would not have been able to do anything differently. I could not put him down at all until he became mobile. Even then, he usually preferred being held. I couldn't step out of the room w/o him. I had to carry him to the bathroom and hold him the entire time if I had to use the bathroom during the night, until he was about 3. He would only sleep in arms. The only thing that got me through his infancy was knowing it would end! He is still high needs at 5 1/2. Things never changed as much as I thought they would as he got older.

And of course, people blame it all on being a first time mother. But I never had any trouble with other people's kids (soothing them, putting them to sleep w/o nursing, setting them down after they've fallen asleep, etc).
bec's Avatar bec 02:38 PM 02-17-2007
Quote:
Originally Posted by pixiewytch View Post
Yes, indeed. My first one was easygoing and since I had nothing to compare it to I didn't realize until this one was born. I have definitely been thrown for a loop. :
My first was very high need. I certainly had my share of misconceptions and ideas that just got thrown out the window when she got here, though! I was pretty opposed to cosleeping. That lasted about 10 hours after we got Katie home from the hospital. She was up all night, and when we both passed out together, it was with me holding her in bed.

We had a rocky start to breastfeeding and really didn't get the hang of it until she was around 8 weeks old (she had a bad, painful latch that caused poor weight gain and a hindmilk/foremilk imbalance).

So, by the time I was pregnant with my second, I thought I knew everything, because Katie was so intense. Emily proved to me just how different every kid is, and blew my theories out of the water, again! Boy, was that humbling. She was born with a cleft palate, that wasn't discovered until she was 5 weeks old. So, I started pumping exclusively for her. I did that for a year.

Now, comes along Abby. She nurses fabulously, sleeps well and is all in all, a much easier, more independant baby. Except that she needs to be held at all times when she sleeps. I can't lay her down for a nap, I can't sneak off, I can't expect her to stay asleep for more than 5 minutes if she is by herself. She just won't do it. The other two, while they were very difficult to get to sleep, once they were, I could sneak out and be good for an hour or so. Not this one.

So, yes, I have tailored my parenting to the individual kid. I think that is what AP is all about, though. It's about meeting the needs of YOUR child, not following some rigid set of rules that doesn't account for individual needs.


Bec
MomToKandE's Avatar MomToKandE 04:25 PM 02-17-2007
Yes. My oldest was very high needs. I'd never heard of AP and had no intention of doing many of the things I ended up doing. Dd had other ideas. Fortunately I got some good advice at the right times. If dd had been a more easygoing baby I probably would have been a much more "mainstream" parent.
artgoddess's Avatar artgoddess 04:35 PM 02-17-2007
Quote:
Originally Posted by newmommy View Post
Nope, just went by pure instinct and it just happened to be an AP approach.

I certainly wasn't AP'ed as child hence I had nothing to draw back on.
that's what worked for us too. We just responded to his needs, and we would have never ever been able to CIO, hearing my baby cry and not going to him and comforting his goes against everything in my gut.
lalaland42 04:45 PM 02-17-2007
Well, I barely remember the way my mom parented and I didn't read any parenting books before DD was born, so I just kind of went with it. I didn't even find my way here until DD was a few months old and now we still just do what works for us, so I guess you are right (in a way) that the child does have something to do with how you parent.

BUT. DD seems to have a lot of my personality traits so I imagine I was the same as a baby/toddler but according to my dad, she is happier and more secure then I was. He also said that I [fill in the AP stuff here] and that what I am doing seems to work. After a little bit of questioning, I found out my mom did the CIO (she also used shaming on me as a child) thing and according to my dad we had an adversarial relationship from day 1. He thinks I was fussy because I was born with a hole in my heart but I tend to think that I was fussy because I wanted to be held but my mom said "we have to train the baby to be independent" and so she left me in a pack-n-play type thing most of the day. I, on the other hand, held DD for most of the first 4 months of her life, wore her, cosleep, etc. and let her take the lead on what she needs (not to be confused with wants). I did that because I didn't know what else to do, not having a positive female role model and fortunately it seems to work for us. -I do have to give my mom points for bfing all of her kids.

ETA: I am a very "go by my gut" type of person.
Peony's Avatar Peony 05:05 PM 02-17-2007
Quote:
Originally Posted by Finch View Post

ETA I'm glad my first is high needs, I hear it's easier that way so that if your first child is high needs, you won't be thrown for a loop if your subsequent child(ren) are high needs, much like the OP was.
Yep, DD1 has been a challenge since the day she was born. Love that little girl, but easy she is not. When DD2 was born, both DH and I went "oh, this is what everyone talks about". She still has some high need aspects, but nothing like DD1. I couldn't imagine getting DD2 first and then having DD1. :
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