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#1 of 23 Old 02-24-2008, 06:38 AM - Thread Starter
 
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I'm fairly new here and have been reading posts about attachment parenting (my first child is due today, but not here yet, so I'm reading a lot to pass the time).

I have to admit that I'm a bit confused on a certain point, and I'm wondering if those who know more about AP philosophy than I do can clarify it for me. Please know that I really don't wish to offend, I want to learn!

First, I agree with a lot of attachment parenting in theory (from what I can understand from what I've read) about putting the child's needs first, spending a lot of direct interaction time etc. And I'm fairly crunchy (CD, no Circ, no CIO, vegan). I intend to BF for at least a year and co-sleep for at least the first few months, which I know is less than many people here. I'm into baby wearing but probably not exclusively. After going back to work FT for 2 weeks (so that I can have my 12 weeks of leave paid for) I will be a SAHM who will be finishing up her Masters PT in the eves. at some point in the next 2 years. Just wanting to let you know where I'm at...LOL

Anyway, what confuses me is this: AP is so that children have a good, healthy, secure attachment to parents which will lead them to be more emotionally secure as adults, correct?

Why is it then that it seems that AP parents are hardly ever away from their kids and seem very reluctant to do so, especially overnight? Is this AP philosophy also, or just a personal choice? It seems to me (again, maybe I'm clueless here) that it would also be beneficial for my child to develop close attached relationships to grandparents as well by spending time with them. I spent a lot of time with my maternal grandmother when I was little and I have very fond memories of this.

The time I spend with my child I intend to be quality time - but my hubby and I also share a house with my Mother, and my stepmother (who is retiring this year) and my father really enjoy babysitting and are eager to do so. I'm also a very independent sort and I know I will need "adult time" and some intellectual stimulation to keep myself sane and that taking this time for myself will make me a better Mom. I really have no problem with leaving my child overnight at home with just my husband or close family (at home or at grandparents' house) who my child knows well (of course, not right away, but when it feels comfortable). At least this is how I feel right now...

So - is this normal to feel that this is okay? Am I missing something here? I'm feeling a bit guilty about not being excited/anxious to be an available Mom 100% of the time based on some posts on here. But I don't consider myself particularly "mainstream" either - although I'm confused about that too, and a bit disturbed that a lot of the posts I've read regarding "mainstream" parenting (or parenting that is not absolutely 100% AP) seem very negative to me.

Thanks for taking the time to read and help me out!
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#2 of 23 Old 02-24-2008, 07:00 AM
 
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To me, mainstream is putting your LO in a crib to CIO, using a stroller, exersaucer, TV or other as a replacement for Mommy/Daddy interaction. Mainstream to me, tries to make children a burden, something that should be Controlled and conformed instead of seeing the beauty that is Children.

Second, part of the AP philosophy is that you Don't have unnessicary absences from your child, if you work because you Have to- that is one thing. But going out clubbin' just because, or leaving for the weekend when DC isn't ready for you to be gone, IMHO is just a bad thing.

You don't have your siggy filled out, so I don't know much about you, is this your first baby? If so, you are in for some major changes from what you "know, want, and expect" as of right now. You will find out that YOU don't want to leave baby unless it's nessicary or DC is oldenough to express that they are OK being left with grandma, grandpa... Just because your family Want to babysit, for most we find it doesn't work out well- there are lots of differences. I hope that isn't your situation, but it very well could be.

I encourage you to check out http://www.attachmentparenting.org as they are the Attachment Parenting International, and they have some great literature on Why we do what we do. Also http://www.askdrsears.com is a Phenomenal resource for a new and experienced mom- add it to your favorites because the info there will come in handy- a drug list based on weight!
AP boil's down to doing what works for your family, by putting the immediate family first. You may find some things work fo ryou, and some don't. Knowing and recognizing which is which is very important.

Happy Due Date! Sending you happy, healthy, beautiful birth vibes!

Married to Michael and Mother of Jake 9, Jillianne 7, Jensen 5, Jacen 4. I've got severe osteoporosis, a fractured hip and chronic pain-so please be patient with me! Pagan,Crocheter,Reader,Homeschooler- that's me in a nutshell.

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#3 of 23 Old 02-24-2008, 07:14 AM
 
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I am not a parent, but I've been reading this stuff for awhile

I think the first priority is to do what works for your family. Even though 99.99% of the people here dig AP, we're not all the same in every single way, even though something may be best for most families that doesn't mean it's best for every. single. family. every. single. time. IMO part of AP is putting the emphasis back on the mother and baby's natural instincts, not writing new books to dictate new instincts for us to have. And part of our natural state is a little diversity.

Secondly, most people that you read who are upset about the idea of being separated from their LO live apart from the grandparents. If you guys are in the same house, that's a somewhat different situation.

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I really have no problem with leaving my child overnight at home with just my husband or close family (at home or at grandparents' house) who my child knows well (of course, not right away, but when it feels comfortable).
IMO the part that I bolded is key. With AP, you are more aware the factors involved, you know to pay more attention to how you feel, how the baby feels, and also the deep importance of the attachment bond between mother and baby, even if the baby isn't crying with grandparents. You know to listen to your instincts. Then it's up to you to decide-- there is no AP rule "sleepovers with Gran only after age 4".

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#4 of 23 Old 02-24-2008, 08:27 AM
 
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AP is different things to different people, but to me, it is responding to the needs of your child. You can be an AP parent and not breastfeed. You can bee an AP parent and still have things like strollers, an excersaucer, and other baby gear, but, as yarngoddess said, not as a replacement for interaction. To me, it's how you treat and respect your child.

If you and mother (or whomever) are comfortable being together there is no reason why you can't go out when you and your partner are ready to go out without the baby. For some, everyone is fine early, for others, not for a year or more.

My guy is 8 this week! He is an independent, caring, giving, loving little guy. He breast fed for 3.5 years, we coslept for for 3 full time and part time until he was 5. His grandmother was an awesome support person and we never had any problems.

If it feels right, do it. Congratulations!
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#5 of 23 Old 02-24-2008, 08:55 AM
 
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Go with what your instinct is telling you. The problem with labels is that they are restrictive. You have to do what is comfortable for you and your family.

Just because you're becoming a Mother doesn't mean that you have to be a martyr to your own needs. My son when he was a baby would spend the night over at Nana and Grandad's house, this would provide me with much needed sleep time/relaxation/rest. To some here, this is a terrible thing for me to have done.

But guess what? My son has a fantastic and close relationship with his Nana & Grandad, Aunts and Uncle as a result of that weekend time in the first 2 yrs. My son never, ever showed distress or attachment issues during his weekend, in fact he adored being centre of attention

But really, it's all about going with your instinct and doing what is best for your family

Peace
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#6 of 23 Old 02-24-2008, 09:26 AM
 
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Originally Posted by mirlee View Post
AP is different things to different people, but to me, it is responding to the needs of your child. You can be an AP parent and not breastfeed. You can bee an AP parent and still have things like strollers, an excersaucer, and other baby gear, but, as yarngoddess said, not as a replacement for interaction. To me, it's how you treat and respect your child.
:

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My son never, ever showed distress or attachment issues during his weekend, in fact he adored being centre of attention
See, this is where AP comes in, IMO. My son probably would have been OK with this, too (though I didn't happen to do it, I probably could have...it wasn't a need I had, but I TOTALLY understand that many women need more alone time to recharge and be more relaxed and present moms). I also didn't pump, so wouldn't have been able to do an overnight for him until he was weaned. My daughter, on the other hand, would have FREAKED.OUT. She wouldn't let anyone but me (not even DH) hold her for the first 6 months, had intense separation anxiety, etc. etc. As my mom often said, "she puts the *attach* in Attachment Parenting" And *because* I believe in AP, I didn't force unnecessary separations. Which meant she was with me a LOT. And, not to break my arm patting myself on the back or anything , but I think *because* I was sensitive in responding to her needs (as intense as they were), she's now reaching her independence on *her* terms, and I know that she's really secure and not beign forced into it - which should (I hope!) lead to her being a more secure adult.

She's 20 months old, and I *just* went out for the first time without her in the evening 2 nights ago to a concert while DH stayed home with the kids. And she did fine. And we're all SO glad.

Oh, and for the record (at the risk of flames) I think forcing physical attachment on a kid is just as detrimental as forcing physical separation. Kids, even as babies, are all individuals, and some are more independent from the get go. DS has always been outgoing and social, and happy to have some alone time every day. He only wanted to be in a carrier if he was going to take a nap. He didn't like being in a carrier while awake, and I tried a few different types. DD always wanted to be in a carrier. To me, making DS be in a carrier when he clearly wanted to be on the floor with a toy would be just as bad as making DD be on the floor when she clearly wanted to be with me. It's all about not forcing your child to be something they're not, even when they're infants.

Heather, WAHM to DS (01/04)DD (06/06). Wed to DH(09/97)
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#7 of 23 Old 02-24-2008, 12:21 PM
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part of the no overnights thing is breastfeeding. many babies nurse alot at night and are used to sleeping in the warm bed w/ parents or parent. doing overnights away from a child can be heck on breast milk supply so that's one practical concern to think about.

i've been reluctant to let my baby go anywhere overnight, in part because of family politics. i wouldn't mind him, at almost 6 mos, being gone one night every six to eight weeks or so if he was only going the 1/2 hour drive to my mothers house. i would have a heart attack if he went the 2 hour drive to my MIL's. it's just too far! i end up not sending him anywhere to avoid hurt feelings.

also, once you begin forming a tight bond with your child you may find it's your personal preference to be with him more than you once thought it might be.

i did know a mom who stayed at home for 11 mos until she thought she'd go batty. she took a job outside the house and my mother and i thought it was strange how little time she spent with her child. today they are a close, healthy family and her son is a wonderful teenager who is close with his parents. i think it's all about what YOU and YOUR CHILD need (my eldest has sensory issues and didn't like being helled as much as you're "supposed to hold a baby). you have to adjust to keep everyone sane. if you focus on a level of attachment that's good for your child you're in good shape. if that level of attachment is so close it's distressing to you there are always alternatives to explore.
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#8 of 23 Old 02-24-2008, 12:42 PM
 
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My parents weren't AP per se, what with it being the late 60s.... but they were well on their way to that. Philosophically, they had a lot in common with AP. I know I was a very attached baby and child to both my parents...

ANd I was also the first grandchild on both sides, all my grandparents were in town, when I was born most of my uncles were still at home (mom and dad each had 3 younger brothers). I was born into an extended family that loved kids and was eager to greet me.

And I spent *lots* of time with my grandparents and uncles/aunts, and I feel I greatly benefitted from it. IT was both family time (everyone together) and alone time (going over there to visit, and by the time I was a preschooler, spending the night with them). My overnights with grandmas constitute some of my best memories of childhood. These did not weaken my attachment to my parents - they strengthened the attachment to my multi-generational extended family - something that is often ignored in AP ideology.

I don't think that attachment has to preclude attachment to others - which often seems to be the fear among hard-core AP parents. Not only does it not mean martyrship, but it most definitely does not mean that you should prevent a child from forming any attachments except to you and your breasts. Obviously, a child who still needs to nurse at night is not going to be as happy on a sleepover, but short times with babies and longer times with older children who can go longer can, I *believe* be beneficial.

savithny, 42 year old moderate mom to DS Primo (age 12) and DD Secunda (age 9).

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#9 of 23 Old 02-24-2008, 02:41 PM
 
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So to answer your question specifically:

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Why is it then that it seems that AP parents are hardly ever away from their kids and seem very reluctant to do so, especially overnight? Is this AP philosophy also, or just a personal choice?
Personal choice, IMO. We do leave baby from time to time. We've left her together, with my mother and a few bottles of expressed milk, for a couple of hours at a time to go have a date. We consider that healthy. I leave her myself, for a couple of hours at a time, with her father, for some ME time: at the bookstore, with friends, pursuing a hobby, napping, whatever. I consider that healthy. For now, it all works just fine; she responds very well to my mom, and of course I feel just fine with leaving her with her dad for a couple of hours at a go. We have not yet left her overnight, but at some point, we're pretty sure we will, once she is no longer nursing at night, probably with my mother or his, both very trusted caregivers. And frankly, I consider that healthy also.

If baby's needs are being met, and baby is developing an attachment to you (and after struggling a little with bonding/attachment, I think you'll know if that's not the case), and everybody's happy, I think all is well.



But more generally:

I think that AP is a style that adapts to your personality and needs and doesn't require or preclude most any specific approach or item (with significant exception).

I'm not a purely AP parent in that I don't do things specifically because they're AP, because I had a little object lesson during the hours I was in labor with my only - philosophy is not the same as parenting! But AP philosophy overall makes sense for us and works for our baby - adapted to our personalities and preferences. We didn't stop being us when we gave birth to our child. We knew we couldn't expect baby to just slot right into our lives based on our pre-baby lifestyle, but we also knew we couldn't expect ourselves to just suddenly drop our pre-baby lives, just like you can't expect yourself to suddenly drop your pre-baby life, work, school, things like that. We couldn't just slap a label on our lives and do everything in a particular, specific way, just because someone else said so.

The point is that my baby's cues are essential, and my response to my baby's cues should fit my baby's needs, respecting both baby's needs and my own, for a strategy and solution that suits us all.

API, for example, says: Attachment Parenting is not a one-size-fits-all recipe for raising children, therefore API recommends parents use their own judgment and intuition to create a parenting style that fosters attachment and works for their family.

Here's API's basic list of AP principles:

Prepare for Pregnancy, Birth, and Parenting
Become emotionally and physically prepared for pregnancy and birth. Research available options for healthcare providers and birthing environments, and become informed about routine newborn care. Continuously educate yourself about developmental stages of childhood, setting realistic expectations and remaining flexible.

Feed with Love and Respect
Breastfeeding is the optimal way to satisfy an infant's nutritional and emotional needs. "Bottle Nursing" adapts breastfeeding behaviors to bottle-feeding to help initiate a secure attachment. Follow the feeding cues for both infants and children, encouraging them to eat when they are hungry and stop when they are full. Offer healthy food choices and model healthy eating behavior.

Respond with Sensitivity
Build the foundation of trust and empathy beginning in infancy. Tune in to what your child is communicating to you, then respond consistently and appropriately. Babies cannot be expected to self-soothe, they need calm, loving, empathetic parents to help them learn to regulate their emotions. Respond sensitively to a child who is hurting or expressing strong emotion, and share in their joy.

Use Nurturing Touch
Touch meets a baby's needs for physical contact, affection, security, stimulation, and movement. Skin-to-skin contact is especially effective, such as during breastfeeding, bathing, or massage. Carrying or babywearing also meets this need while on the go. Hugs, snuggling, back rubs, massage, and physical play help meet this need in older children.

Engage in Nighttime Parenting
Babies and children have needs at night just as they do during the day; from hunger, loneliness, and fear, to feeling too hot or too cold. They rely on parents to soothe them and help them regulate their intense emotions. Sleep training techniques can have detrimental physiological and psychological effects. Safe bedsharing or near-sleeping has benefits to both babies and parents.

Provide Consistent and Loving Care
Babies and young children have an intense need for the physical presence of a consistent, loving, responsive caregiver: ideally a parent. If it becomes necessary, choose an alternate caregiver who has formed a bond with the child and who cares for him in a way that strengthens the attachment relationship. Keep schedules flexible, and minimize stress and fear during short separations.

Strive for Balance in Personal and Family Life
It is easier to be emotionally responsive when you feel in balance. Create a support network, set realistic goals, put people before things, and don't be afraid to say "no". Recognize individual needs within the family and meet them to the greatest extent possible without compromising your physical and emotional health. Be creative, have fun with parenting, and take time to care for yourself.
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#10 of 23 Old 02-24-2008, 06:46 PM
 
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The time I spend with my child I intend to be quality time - but my hubby and I also share a house with my Mother, and my stepmother (who is retiring this year) and my father really enjoy babysitting and are eager to do so. I'm also a very independent sort and I know I will need "adult time" and some intellectual stimulation to keep myself sane and that taking this time for myself will make me a better Mom. I really have no problem with leaving my child overnight at home with just my husband or close family (at home or at grandparents' house) who my child knows well (of course, not right away, but when it feels comfortable). At least this is how I feel right now...
This is sort of what I have, too - LOTS of family who live close by (like 7 adults within a 10 minute drive who I trust completely & the boys adore, plus lots of cousins, aunts and uncles that spend time with them with or without me) and I lived with my parents when DS1 was a baby. I had NO problem leaving the boys for overnights with family members. I don't think it has anything to do with AP, per se, but more to do with how big a parents' network of support is. Mine happens to be big, but I'd act differently if DP and I were far away from family.

There are a few things you have to consider, though:

Age changes things: when my kids were babies who co-slept and bf'd, I didn't do over-nights. The most I did was the occasional movie or other activity that took less than a few hours, so I could be back before DS needed to nurse again.
Now that they're 10 & 3, it's no big deal for them to decide to stay with "Aunt S" for the night because they want to stay and play with their cousins. I throw some clothes in a bag and DP and I enjoy some couple time and everyone has a good time. Easy-peesy. The following week, we might have all the kids over at our house while SIL & BIL have a night alone.

It seems that a lot of the members here don't have family nearby & that can change things. As comfortable as I am leaving the kids with family, I would feel completely different about leaving the kids with a "babysitter". If it were just DP and I, we probably wouldn't ever leave the kids either.

I also think (and I don't mean to offend anyone here) that some APers tend to follow a very mother-centered version of AP, even after infancy and breast-feeding are over. I think you'll find that a lot of *moms* don't leave their kids, but the father in the picture gets plenty of alone time. How AP plays out in your life can depend heavily on what kind of relationship dynamic you and your partner have. If your DH is involved and bonded with your child from the beginning, there's nothing un-AP about leaving your babe with daddy and going out by yourself for a bit.
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#11 of 23 Old 02-24-2008, 09:33 PM
 
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Speaking for myself only, not leaving my little ones was more a matter of personal choice than their needs or trying to meet some kind of standard. I don't like to leave my kids . . . they have a great relationship with my mom, and I trust her with them, but it makes me happy to have them with me. I am actually really looking forward to my son starting to sit through movie theater movies again, as that's the only recreational time we leave him now. It's just a choice for us, though, and both kids spend about 6 or 8 hours a week with my mom while I work, so they still have parent-free time. They also play independently a lot -- I'm not a helicopter mom.

That said, I think if someone asked me before my kids were born, I would have said I was planning to leave them a lot more than I want to now.

Proud Anti-Adoption, Atheist, Reproductive-Freedom Fighter Mama
Rylie is 7, Ronin is 3.5
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#12 of 23 Old 02-24-2008, 10:35 PM
 
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Originally Posted by yarngoddess View Post
To me, mainstream is putting your LO in a crib to CIO, using a stroller, exersaucer, TV or other as a replacement for Mommy/Daddy interaction. Mainstream to me, tries to make children a burden, something that should be Controlled and conformed instead of seeing the beauty that is Children.
I don't consider that mainstream. That makes the word mainstream sound like "less than". I know a lot of parents who feel their kids are a burden, but I wouldn't consider them mainstream. I consider them selfish, or even bad parents.

Mainstream parents aren't bad parents. Bad parents are bad parents.
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#13 of 23 Old 02-24-2008, 10:38 PM
 
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Just a few things...

I guess the first reaction I had was that I don't AP in order to "get" a certain result or a certain kind of kid. Whether my child is a secure and happy adult will depend on SO MANY things.

I AP (broadly; I don't follow a manual ) because I believe it is in line with my beliefs about what children need and my ethics and morals, and also suits me (I would not breastfeed for example, if I found I was resenting my child, even though I do believe it is entirely best.) I believe that parenting in a way that fits with my beliefs will be a benefit to my child, but it's not a formula for success.

So I just wanted to toss that up there.

For the leaving - I guess I think this is one of those things that ultimately is highly individual. I'd leave my son with my husband overnight any time that I had to, but I have turned down opportunities for sort of "girls' night" trips just because... well, when my son was nursing a lot I felt we were a unit that worked best together. And as he's gotten older well, I've adjusted my life to where every day works pretty well and I don't need a vacation from my son. From housework, work, blah blah - yes.

But from my son no. I wouldn't have thought that before I had him. And again I think it is HIGHLY individual and it is totally fine to have a different view. But for me, I just feel most at peace when we are together while he is so little.

I do work, so we have hours apart already, so that may be part of why.

For grandparents, we don't really have a set up like you describe. We have left my son with my parents for half a night to go to a concert and sort of rolled in around 1 am, and he's been totally fine.

~ Mum to Emily, March 12-16 2004, Noah, born Aug 2005, Liam, born January 2011, and wife to Carl since 1994. ~
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#14 of 23 Old 02-24-2008, 10:40 PM
 
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I'm pretty middle of the road. I am not completely AP, nor am I completely mainstream.

I think there is nothing at all wrong with spending time alone with your husband and leaving the baby with reletives if you feel comfortable doing that.

I personally feel that your relationship with your husband is more important than almost anything else in your family life. I truly believe that if your marriage isn't strong, that your kids will suffer.

BUT, it's harder to leave your baby that you can imagine. When he gets there, you will be in absolute awe of this little thing. There will be nothing more beautiful to you than that child. I had no idea how much my life would change until I brought my baby home. (it took a couple of days to feel good though)

So, if you honestly can't leave your baby, and enjoy yourself, then don't. Wait until you can do it comfortably.
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#15 of 23 Old 02-24-2008, 11:54 PM
 
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Originally Posted by Mom2Ian View Post
Why is it then that it seems that AP parents are hardly ever away from their kids and seem very reluctant to do so, especially overnight?
For me it has to do with what is developmentally appropriate. It is developmentally appropriate for infants to be with mom. Period.

Then as they grow through the toddler years and preschool years they grow in independence. As they grow, longer times away from mom (and then dad even) become appropriate. Some kids are really ready for overnights between 2 and 3. Others are really NOT ready until 7 or 8 or beyond.

-Angela
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#16 of 23 Old 02-25-2008, 01:00 AM
 
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It seems to me (again, maybe I'm clueless here) that it would also be beneficial for my child to develop close attached relationships to grandparents as well by spending time with them.
I agree. We have become such a solitary society that we don't have the support systems that many other cultures have. We don't have other woman and children to help us with our kids, to help us cook, to help us clean, and to just be generally supportive. I think it's utterly ridiculous to expect a woman to be the sole caretaker for her child AND take care of a home AND possibly work AND maintain healthy adult relationships AND retain certain sense of self.

If you're a stay at home mom with a partner that works, you're alone all day long. We are one of only a few cultures who does this. Leaving a mom (new ones at that) alone all day long without any support is a recipe for burn out, if you ask me.

So yeah, I absolutely agree that it's important for children to build strong bonds with other family members. The problem though, is that in our culture, that involves driving to someone else's home, or having someone else travel to ours. That's not always possible with an infant, and it's certainly not conducive to a healthy breastfeeding relationship (waiting for mom drive across town when baby is hungry/in need of mama comfort). That's just the nature of our culture. We don't have aunts, and sisters, and siblings all living under the same roof ready and willing to help out while we take a bath and a nap.

While I have always jumped all over the opportunity to take a bath alone, I have found that the bonding between my daughter and our extended family was dictated by our breastfeeding relationship. If you don't intend to BF beyond infancy then this won't be an issue for you, but since the vast majority of AP'ers do, it's one thing that tends to prevent us from sending the kids to grandma's house for the weekend. My daughter is 2 and has not yet slept away from home. She has JUST began sleeping through the night. And only a handful of times in her whole life has someone other then me put her to sleep at night without a boob. It's not for a lack of wanting to delegate on my part, it's that we don't have a life style conducive to sharing the child rearing responsibilities with a close knit group of female relatives. Heck, my own mom lives on the other side of the country!

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#17 of 23 Old 02-25-2008, 04:29 AM
 
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Why is it then that it seems that AP parents are hardly ever away from their kids and seem very reluctant to do so, especially overnight? Is this AP philosophy also, or just a personal choice? It seems to me (again, maybe I'm clueless here) that it would also be beneficial for my child to develop close attached relationships to grandparents as well by spending time with them. I spent a lot of time with my maternal grandmother when I was little and I have very fond memories of this.
It needs to be age appropriate. A lot of people see no difference between leaving a six month old for a few days and leaving a six year old for a few days. To me, those are very different things.

A baby needs its mother, especially a breastfed baby. And until the child is comfortable being left simply because you want to leave them, it's unkind to leave them (of course, a work trip is not voluntary). So my two year old has never spent a night away from me, and she won't until she's ready to, which might be at three, or not until 5. Who knows?

but yes, there are some people out there who take pride in never leaving their totally ready child even with their father. I find that strange, too.
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#18 of 23 Old 02-25-2008, 11:22 AM
 
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It depends on the specific child. Some kids would be fine being without mom overnight pretty early, though I don't see how that's possible until the child is no longer breastfeeding regularly. Some kids would continue to have trouble until they're a bit older. AP is about meeting your child's needs, but each child will have different needs.
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#19 of 23 Old 02-26-2008, 12:39 AM
 
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Don't sweat the details: AP is just about seeing to your child's needs. Grandparents and overnights can fit into that just fine as long as your child's needs are met. I think it's great that your baby will have grandma in the house! My daughter has four grandparents locally and loves them and we have used them liberally for our movie nights! It doesn't seem like babysitting though, since it's more like the grandparents' chance to play with her, and vice versa. We just ask if they want to have her over on Saturday evening . . .

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#20 of 23 Old 02-26-2008, 09:50 AM
 
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I agree that it's about age appropriateness. I haven't actually seen any threads suggesting that older kids shouldn't spend the night with other caregivers. I know that I loved staying over at my grandparents when I was little. But, I didn't do it until I was older. My mom's rule was that we could stay the night other places when we were old enough to ask to do so. I asked to go to grandma's for the night around 3, and I was fine. I think you're in an enviable situation - your lo's so fortunate to have so many caregivers close by!
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#21 of 23 Old 02-26-2008, 01:47 PM
 
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but yes, there are some people out there who take pride in never leaving their totally ready child even with their father. I find that strange, too.
?????

You mean, these people are actually saying, "My child is 'totally ready' to spend time away from me, and is even asking for this -- but I 'take pride' in not even leaving him with his father!"???

Or are you, an outsider, taking on the parent's role of evaluating whether or not the child is ready -- and taking on the individual's role of self-examination, by assuming that the parent's underlying motive must be pride?

Susan -- married unschoolin' WAHMomma to two lovely girls (born 2000 and 2005).
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#22 of 23 Old 02-26-2008, 02:35 PM
 
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For me it has to do with what is developmentally appropriate. It is developmentally appropriate for infants to be with mom. Period.

Then as they grow through the toddler years and preschool years they grow in independence. As they grow, longer times away from mom (and then dad even) become appropriate. Some kids are really ready for overnights between 2 and 3. Others are really NOT ready until 7 or 8 or beyond.

-Angela
We've found all of this to be the case in our own home.

Dd1 was such a frequent nurser, I'd have been racked with anxiety if I'd even tried to make a 30 minute trip to the store without her. It was just natural to go through the day with her "on" me, and spend my nights with her sleeping next to me. All the better to be able to latch her on easy and fast.

Then, after my babe spent the first several months of her life getting all her nourishment from my breast, and I was used to having her with me, it continued to feel right to both of us to be together.

Ditto with dd2.

As both girls moved into toddlerhood, they started enjoying going out with Daddy for short walks or trips to the store, and gradually started getting comfortable with longer trips. At some point, dd1 also became comfortable staying home with Daddy while I went out (sometime between 3 and 4); dd2 hasn't quite reached that point yet (she's almost 3).

Sometime close to 4, dd1 started enjoying going to some short playdates without me or dh being there -- and dd2 hasn't done that yet. Dd1 just recently enjoyed her first overnight at age 7. It's all good.

I think the reason why you see so much discussion of this here, is because those of us who don't force/push separations, often get belittled by friends and relatives who think we're crazy, or that "we're" the ones who can't handle being separated from our kids.

A few years back, I overheard a phone conversation where one (young) relative was accusing me of dishonesty: dd1 was no longer wanting to attend Sunday School with this young relative and Grandma -- but the young relative thought it must really be me not wanting her to go.

(I don't know why it would seem "suspicious" to anyone, for dd to enjoy it when she was in the 3yo class and got to play with toys -- but to lose interest after "graduating" to the 4yo class where the children were expected to sit and follow instructions.)

Similar to the parents being accused by a previous poster of "taking pride" in never leaving their "totally ready" kids -- some of us find ourselves getting all kinds of criticism for this in real life. So we come here to get reinforcement for continuing to follow our hearts.

It's not so much a "rule" that everyone should do things the same way. It's that parents whose children are comfortable with earlier separations, don't have to look very far to get reinforcement for leaving them with trusted caregivers.

But for those of us who find separating to be more of a slow and gradual process, we often have to rely totally on boards like this one for support, because we're just not getting support in real life. We're the oddballs.

So I think that's why you see more of the latter kind of parent posting about this particular issue, here at MDC.

Susan -- married unschoolin' WAHMomma to two lovely girls (born 2000 and 2005).
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#23 of 23 Old 02-26-2008, 03:04 PM
 
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I didn't read the other responses, so I may be repeating.

To me AP (which I had never heard of until 2 months ago when my own baby was born) is about listening and responding to your child's needs. It's about being instinctual and not doing things just because "it's time". It's about recognizing that this little thing needs to be with her mother/father.

Mainstream parenting, in my opinion, is following a strict timeline even if your child is not ready. It's about following trends, sleep training your burden of a baby and overall not listening to what the child needs- just what modern society tells you she needs.

As far as the overnights or leaving the baby goes- Dp and I will leave the baby with someone as long as it is benefcial for our baby. Right now, I don't think she is ready to be away from us, but in a few months...perhaps.

Trying to balance a preschooler and peace....
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