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#1 of 20 Old 06-21-2010, 10:45 AM - Thread Starter
 
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hello everyone,
i am new to this website. i have a one year old baby girl and i co sleep with her and breastfeed. i make all of her food and i believe in attachment parenting. my question is, all of my friends and relatives with small children do things completely opposite of me, formula feed, baby sleeps in crib, cio, etc. how do i handle the comments and pressure from these ppl while still being respectful and keeping in mind that these ppl are my close friends and family? have any of you got any negative feedback for your parenting decisions and if so how do u deal with it?
thank you for all of your help.
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#2 of 20 Old 06-21-2010, 11:04 AM
 
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My take on those situations in this: Are they being respectful of you and your choices? Most times, when people offer unsolicited advice it is to validate the choices they made by getting more people to agree and follow what THEY are advising. Your parenting is working for you and they can see that and it may bother them that there is an alternative which is nicer than what they have been doing.

I would say something like, "Gee, thanks, but our situation is currently working just fine for our family, ill let you know if I need help, thanks!". If they persist, then they are not affording you respect by listening to what you said, at which point, I would just ignore them and continue on, or knowing me start spouting of stats and offer THEM some educational emails/handouts. LOL But thats me.

There is a fixation in our society with making our babies more "independent", which is hilarious. Little humans who need us to do everything for them should be emotionally responsible for themselves? People forget that parenting does not stop at physically caring for our young, but emotionally providing for them too.

Torre , Momma to Abrielle (4/07) and Annalise (7/09), Birthdoula, CNA, Aspiring Nurse, and wanna-be baby catcher. I ATE MY !
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#3 of 20 Old 06-21-2010, 11:53 AM
 
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Originally Posted by MommatoAandA View Post
My take on those situations in this: Are they being respectful of you and your choices? Most times, when people offer unsolicited advice it is to validate the choices they made by getting more people to agree and follow what THEY are advising. Your parenting is working for you and they can see that and it may bother them that there is an alternative which is nicer than what they have been doing.

I would say something like, "Gee, thanks, but our situation is currently working just fine for our family, ill let you know if I need help, thanks!". If they persist, then they are not affording you respect by listening to what you said, at which point, I would just ignore them and continue on, or knowing me start spouting of stats and offer THEM some educational emails/handouts. LOL But thats me.

There is a fixation in our society with making our babies more "independent", which is hilarious. Little humans who need us to do everything for them should be emotionally responsible for themselves? People forget that parenting does not stop at physically caring for our young, but emotionally providing for them too.


I don't know where I heard or read it, but I always think of this quote: "If you baby them when they are babies, you won't have to baby them when they are grown."

I know far too many young adults who were pushed to be independent as babies, and don't know how to be independent when they should. Attachment parenting encourages that security and self-esteem that is so important for a lifetime.

A, jammin.gif mama to a boy (2005) and a girl (2009)
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#4 of 20 Old 06-21-2010, 12:03 PM
 
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The only response I have found affective has been, "actually research has shown secure attachments as a baby create more independent adults. That's what I've based my parenting decisions on."

you could change the wording a bit to 'I've read that creating attachments through such and such create a more independent child in the future, so that's what we're trying to do." to leave less room for insecure responses of feeling judged.

I've found like MommatoAandA said that comments are more often reflection of their doubts and insecurities than anything else. Its hard when no one else agrees with you. I've had much of my family (read MIL) talk behind my back about how I'm smothering my child and could kill him by co sleeping. This talk has stopped (that I know of) as I said above and she can see my ds is healthy and independent and secure.

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#5 of 20 Old 06-21-2010, 12:53 PM
 
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I agree with the previous posters. You know what you are doing is right for you and your daughter but when people do something different from the mainstream, there will always be flak from others who follow it. I tend to just smile and make a totally noncommittal sound like "mmmm" when people say my DD should sleep in her own bed or that it was time to wean her (before I weaned her). If I didn't do that, I would probably have given them an earful and really, when I have tried to explain my practices using research or explaining AP, I have realized that they don't actually want to know what the basis of my parenting is, they just want me to agree with them. Half the time the "mmmmm" makes them happy, oddly enough. You have lots of support here, keep doing what you're doing, mama!!

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#6 of 20 Old 06-21-2010, 10:47 PM
 
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All of us AP mamas - you included, are the ones that need to be 'independent', not our little ones.

As a high school teacher that sees parents covering and calling in sick for their teenagers so that their teens stay dependent on them have taken the whole thing a bit far. But when it comes to the under 5 age range, doing things that work for your family is what is most important.

I found I've gotten really good at figuring out if a new mum I was talking to was more AP or not. Once I got a good understanding on where she stood on certain issues I would start to share my AP styles and ideas. For those who are far away from anything AP-ish I stick with the 'mmmmmmm's and maybe ask a few questions here an there so that they know I'm at least listening to what they're saying.

As a pp said, keep doing what your doing and learn from other mamas here to see what else fits with your parenting style.
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#7 of 20 Old 06-21-2010, 11:10 PM
 
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When someone told my dh and myself that our oldest needed to stop bf and co-sleeping so she could be independent, my dh said, "Yeah, why is she still sponging off us? She should get off her butt and get a job!" LOL! Point being that babies are by definition dependent. As are children. Independence comes with age, when they can handle it and are ready for it. And I agree that I think they're more comfortable with independence when they're older when it isn't forced upon them before they're ready.

Though the easiest thing might just be to not feel like you have to defend yourself to anyone. Easier said than done, I know, but my life got easier when I stopped trying to convince people I was right about this stuff. "We each get to make these choices for our own families." And change the subject. If you refuse to talk about it enough times, they'll give up.

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#8 of 20 Old 06-22-2010, 09:44 AM
 
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I was trying to explain the exact same thing to a friend the other day, that co-sleeping at night helps DS be more independent in the long run, and she just didn't get it. Granted DS is only 7 months old, but still. I get comments all the time on how laid back he is, and how happy he is to play by himself. (Partly, I think this is just how he is, and no credit to me AP'ing. plenty of AP moms have babies that are high needs)

Whenever discussing our choices, when they come up, I just say, this is what works for us, and why. I don't get judgemental about it or anything, because different things work for different people.

One friend couldn't room-share with her babies, b/c she said the noises (normal night-time noises) kept her awake. No sleep, and you don't function well as a parent. to each their own. I told her, I wouldn't sleep well WITHOUT those noises, LOL.

I also think that babies are meant to be babies, and can't be held enough. already DS squirms to get down when he's had enough of being held. And he is not crawling yet!

Katrina - Mama to Gabriel  sleepytime.gif 11/20/2009 and Norah vbac.gif 10/11/2011- married to Wayne - geek.gif novaxnocirc.gifbfinfant.giffamilybed1.gifcd.gif&nbspand now new baby Theodore born 3/11/13 vbac.gif

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#9 of 20 Old 06-22-2010, 09:57 AM
 
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When DH was doing his PhD he was also teaching. And so many professors would tell him that there were plenty of parents who, if you let them, would come and take the tests for their college age kids. and that these same parents would aften intervene after a bad grade or something. For kids in their 20's!!! Independent huh?

I agree with the pp about just saying stuff like this works for us. If they persist, then you are not being disrespected. I sometimes like to ask why when someone tells me dd need to do such and such...

Often people are just repeating stuff that is mainstream and they have no valid reason why. So someone says your lo should be sleeping alone. You say really? Why do you think so?

I for one see no rush to make my kids independent. They are after all kids and they have plenty of time to become adults. I know its a culural thing though.

Good luck mamma.

Mamma to dd1 3/8/07, one 9.5.08, and dd2 9/9/09
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#10 of 20 Old 06-22-2010, 12:39 PM
 
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I'd just say: This (CIO, weaning etc.) is not an option for us.

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#11 of 20 Old 06-22-2010, 09:33 PM
 
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For both sets of grandparents we explained that we had researched cosleeping and on demand breastfeeding and that it is the best thing for DS - THEIR grandchild. My mother was the only one to really press the issue in a sort of passive aggressive way and I really think she meant well. I would either ignore her completely or email her good articles, which she always took the time to read. She finally stopped saying anything when the BBC news article came out about crying it out (which was our big contentious issue).

For non-AP friends, I really don't discuss it much. I've made new friends who parent like us, and honestly, I believe so much that our way is the best way that I feel a little self-righteous which helps the confidence

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#12 of 20 Old 06-22-2010, 11:24 PM
 
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It's crazy how free everyone feels to give a new mom unsolicited advice. I got soooo sick of it. (It seems to be particularly rampant in my culture -- chinese.)

With people I wasn't close to--my parents' friends, for example--I just nodded politely and made little noises that made it seem like I was listening. The advice then went quickly out my other ear.

With my mom it really got my goat and I couldn't ignore her. I would have discussions with her which turned quickly into arguments. DH would then ask me later why I continue to engage her. I still to this day have no answer. I should have just nodded politely and let it go out the other ear.

Poppan ~ twins born April 2007
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#13 of 20 Old 06-24-2010, 01:00 AM
 
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I like to tell people that my now 18 month old is potty trained and has been for several months. How's that for independence?

Seriously, I just can't believe how people feel obligated to "fix" those of us that are parenting in the most compassionate, loving manor I can imagine. UGH
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#14 of 20 Old 06-24-2010, 03:21 AM
 
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how i do it, is that i don't really discuss my parenting style with people that i know do things "differently". i have the type of personality that is fairly open minded, so i am very able to listen objectively to someone else discussing THEIR parenting style. i believe there is always something to be learned, even from people who do things the opposite way that i would. however i also have my own strongly held beliefs, and they are so strongly held, that i don't need "validation" from anyone else in order to continue believing them. so, i'm not looking for an "OK" from anyone else, i could care less whether other people think it's "wise" to cosleep or not.

as a result, i really don't feel any "pressure" from anybody.

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#15 of 20 Old 06-24-2010, 03:42 AM
 
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most of the time, they have the best intentions. They are repeating back what they have heard out of conviction that they are right. They genuinely believe that "over" attachment is a bad thing, or that it will make life easier for you if your babe is forced to be independent. It helps me to deal with folks if I keep that mindset. They're not attacking you, they are trying to be helpful, but they just don't realize *they* were sold a bunch of cultural falsehoods.

For the people who *really* are attacking you, it their own insecurities and has nothing to do with you. Ask them politely to butt out of your parenting. If they can't do that, I highly suggest avoiding anyone who is negative and disrespectful.

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#16 of 20 Old 06-24-2010, 06:57 AM
 
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I say "oh, that's just not my style" over and over and over while smiling in a disengaged sort of way. I don't engage, or excuse or explain my actions unless someone actually comes looking for a genuine discussion (and not just a brow-beating). Very very occasionally the other person has gotten defensive enough that i've had to say something like "don't worry, tight jeans/make-up/a lovely clean house aren't my style either, it's not a judgement call!" with a big smile.
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#17 of 20 Old 06-24-2010, 09:49 AM
 
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how i do it, is that i don't really discuss my parenting style with people that i know do things "differently". i have the type of personality that is fairly open minded, so i am very able to listen objectively to someone else discussing THEIR parenting style. i believe there is always something to be learned, even from people who do things the opposite way that i would. however i also have my own strongly held beliefs, and they are so strongly held, that i don't need "validation" from anyone else in order to continue believing them. so, i'm not looking for an "OK" from anyone else, i could care less whether other people think it's "wise" to cosleep or not.

as a result, i really don't feel any "pressure" from anybody.
I might make a brief reference to something when asked (i.e. "how does he sleep?" to which I respond "he doesn't!" but no mention of BF'ing, co-sleeping, etc.) & then when they come back with the "Oh feed 'em rice cereal" (when he was 3 mos!) or the "We let them cry, once you get past the first kid you have to" etc. I just nod & listen. I have absolutely no intention of following their "advice" (and admittedly will laugh about it with DH later), but most of the time it just doesn't seem like there's much to gain about discussing MY parenting choices. Of course, if I come across someone really open-minded or like-minded, I will open up more in the hopes of helping THEM. The only time it gets a little tricky is when someone observes first-hand the parenting style (i.e. my parents, who see us often), but if they comment on ___ (how often I pick him up etc.) I just say "oh there is research supporting this because ____, they don't do ____ anymore" something to that effect, short & simple and not open for argument.

Co-sleeping is really wonderful when your child actually SLEEPS!! familybed1.gif
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#18 of 20 Old 06-24-2010, 10:12 AM
 
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I feel if they are butting their nose into my parenting and life style then I can speak my mind and have many many times. I don't knock their parenting (even though I don't agree with them on most things, and I usually would never let them watch my children for fear of them doing cio while I am away)

I just stand up for myself. I have 1 person at work who had 5 children. She is a grandmother now and every time she is there she tells me how I am screwing my children up by co sleeping, extended breastfeeding and attachment parenting as a whole. I ask her if I am screwed up to which she replys no. But I was raised this same way and me and my 5 other siblings have turned out just fine.

This is one thing that drives me nuts!

~Katie~ married to J, mom to DD- A 13 yrs ,DS- L 7yrs , and my little nursling DD2- R 5yrs.

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#19 of 20 Old 06-24-2010, 10:26 AM
 
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Just keep doing what you're doing. When they all have clingy, whiny, insecure 3-4-5 year olds, they'll be asking you what your secret is to having such an independent, secure, confident child.

SAHM to Declan (12/12/06) and Blythe (2/9/09)
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#20 of 20 Old 06-24-2010, 11:17 AM
 
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Originally Posted by Otterella View Post
Just keep doing what you're doing. When they all have clingy, whiny, insecure 3-4-5 year olds, they'll be asking you what your secret is to having such an independent, secure, confident child.
this is my experience too! my child has emerged as super confident, fearless, secure. her cousin and others we know are the opposite. no one has asked my secret, though.

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