HELP!! 12mo won't sleep unless she CIO!!! - Page 2 - Mothering Forums

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#31 of 59 Old 08-01-2004, 08:59 PM
 
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In any case, I hope I am not coming off as judgemental. I am a bit upset by this thread, though. I know you are trying really hard, but recently I have noticed that in everyone's attempts to be "supportive" on these boards, people wind up saying CIO is okay as long as you feel guilty about it, or something. I think we all get too busy to center ourselves and think about our relationships with our children. It really is a spiritual experience to be connected with your child.

I totally agree with your post in theory. However when you get so incredibly sleep deprived, it wears on you, it impacts your ability to think clearly, to function, to be any kind of parent at all. AP is not always about putting the needs of your child above your own needs, esp. when it comes to sleeping and eating and things like that. You have to at least be a functional person with your needs filled so that you can be a good parent. Lack of sleep leads to hormonal imbalances, drop in milk supply for some, depression, etc.

It's very easy for one parent to tell another parent what works or what to do or not to do. Before I had my dd I had all kinds of lofty ideals that unfortunately have fallen to the wayside. Because nothing prepared me to have a child who is a poor sleeper. She is actually going to be going to a sleep clinic for an eval later this year because I still find her at 3 AM reading by her nightlight or playing. We've tried herbs, routines, music, you name it. Still takes her 2+ hours to fall asleep sometimes, and she wakes up at least 3-4 times at night, and I've seen her at 4 AM sitting next to our bed waiting for the sun to come up so she can wake me up (family rule: mom doesn't wake up before the sun).

Even with the method described above, used when she was a baby, she didn't learn to sleep through the night, she just learned to lie quietly in bed until she fell asleep finally, sometimes hours later.

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#32 of 59 Old 08-02-2004, 02:38 AM - Thread Starter
 
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I have to say, very frequently I consider dropping off the MDC boards altogether because I can't believe how many people do CIO or "modified" CIO or "not really" CIO. I just don't get it.
Oh, I hope everyone realizes...

that I can be a bit of a drama queen when it comes to expressing myself... and I do NOT strive to be PC and to not offend. I say things very straight. If I haven't come to a point of realization, you are not going to see me pretending to, and rather than feel like I am encountering subtle forms of censorship and pressures to conform to a set of rules, that there is an understanding that different ways of parenting can work with different parent/child relationships, cultural backgrounds, etc.

Should I back out of my enrollment in these discussions because I am evolving? Or should you (because you're offended by some stages of my or other parents' evolution)?

Misfit, I do understand what you are saying, and I think you finish on a positive tone. But some things that you casually interject, sound a little censoring and intolerant in this regard. And yes... USAmma, it's true... sometimes in desperate situations, you have to make the choice between your own needs and your childs'. It's not "adverserial", it's just that way with you and everyone in the world, and it's about preserving your sanity as well as, generally, looking at the lesser of 2 evils. Haven't you ever gone to pee while your newborn was crying or in the middle of a 2 hour nursing marathon (and yes, if you are slinging mama, maybe you just haven't figured out the walking/nursing thing yet at that point!)? Haven't you ever run to snarf down a bagel or drink some water in peace after not eating or drinking all day (while bf!) because you're so busy with your baby, and left them crying for a minute because you are SO DARN HUNGRY and if you were carrying them, you wouldn't have a hand free, or if they are older, they'd be grabbing your food and glass?? Haven't you ever heard your baby crying in their carseat when you can't stop, on the freeway? Well then, welcome to the club... you've experienced the unmet needs of your baby, and you've had to delay them in order to perform the, at that particular moment, higher task of taking care of your basic physical needs. I think sometimes people forget how all-consuming a baby is, and how at times there really is not enough support in our culture, to have enough energy to do everything. It's not a question of ignoring your child's needs, it's just a question of taking care of yourself and the basic things that need doing.

I don't think that in general, once a child is no longer a tiny baby, it's a good idea, either, to bring them up with the idea that the world totally revolves around their every whim. Needs, yes. And no, I don't think they should be brought up in some kind of ascetic law and order kind of way... but they definitely need to understand the difference between whims and needs, AFTER a certain age.

The problem really is that sometimes I don't always read her right at first, I think. Sometimes she really genuinely needs me and wants me to be near her, and is sad I am leaving the room. Other times, I think she is more just mad at everything. She is not a "sobbing baby". She just kind of whines and is mad and tired-sounding, or lets out a few cranky yells, and then falls asleep. It's not a dragged-on thing. Also, soemtimes she just babbles by herself peacefully and doesn't cry, before sleeping, which also is why I started doing this (leaving her by herself sometimes to nap if she is not sleeping with me there). I think she is sometimes just blowing off steam, and this is why I think you can't call every single case of a baby making unhappy sounds outside of the sanctuary of your arms, "CIO", although I used that term because the distinction is so fine. At age one, they are developing their own personality to some extent, and sometimes that involves just needing some space to vent and talk to themselves, I think... but it's up to the sensitive parent to hear when it's not venting, and more needing you. I am willing to hear any arguments to the contrary, however. If I hear any sadness, loneliness, urgency etc in her voice I always go right back in and hold her, nurse her etc. If she really can't sleep, I don't usually press the point unless it's for my own ulterior motive (to get a nap myself).

I totally hear what you are saying, Misfit, about the spiritual connex between parent and child, and I've read many books also about how to connect your energy to your childs'. I practiced baby massage on her until she got to not like it any more, every single day, no matter how many hrs I worked. Now I do whatever she lets me do, but she gets restless. I do some baby yoga too on her, I really focus on her energy while I am nursing, and also, when I have to send her off to daycare or pump milk, I imagine all my love and energy going into the food I prepare for her lunch and the milk I am expressing, so that she will feel it in my absence. I really do try to focus on what she's going through, which is why sometimes when she makes a transition from one stage to another, I am slow to respond and adjust, but it doesn't mean I don't care or am not trying.

Like for example, why don't I just get to bed earlier, myself? I have issues myself falling asleep! So why is it so surprising she is connected to that part of my energy and emulating it? I am a notorious insomniac/night person, and I always HATED naps. Maybe I need to work on my own self-discipline to try to sleep earlier... although I work evenings, so it is tough to wind down. If I were more of a morning person and more rested, I'd appreciate her vitality more in the AM's.

I think the whole issue of CIO is a label, and yes, I put it on my thread to get attention and because I am not thrilled about this un-ideal solution, but it's not always a clearcut issue with an older baby like some are suggesting.

Regarding spending time with dd. The reason I work is because I HAVE TO. I got pregnant 1 month after my wedding to a non-US citizen, he did not even have his green card or working papers yet, and due to GWB's wonderful homeland security shutdowns of INS offices nationwide and delaying immigrations, I ended up working like a dog, on my feet, through most of my pregnancy. I would love nothing more than to be a SAHM and believe me... I tried everything to make it work. But my dh didn't want me to do that, since it would involve going on welfare, something neither of us could agree to. I tried even doing consulting work at home but that did not work out, and I was even less able to focus on my dd because of the stress of earning enough $ for the rent each month, dealing with annoying clients, etc. So my compromise, was working in a very AP-friendly store 4 days a wk (evening shifts), 2 on wkends, so at the very least, she'd spend only 2 short days in daycare and the rest with her dad... and when the boss isn't in, dh sometimes brings her in the eves to be slung on the job for a few hrs! Of course, my relationship with my dh is severely sacrificed, and we never really had much time to enjoy each other at all... but we both are happy to put her needs first at this crucial time.

The reasons I keep the house clean are, a... we live in a very tiny urban apartment that gets messy immediately, and she is of the age where the house needs to be totally clean and childproofed, as well as vermin free... and our neighborhood has a mouse problem that affected us a lot. I really hate dirt and am very squeamish about mice, esp with a baby. So at the very least, I have to make sure the house is basically presentable. Also, I just think it is better for children to grow up in a reasonably clean and neat home. My house was a pigsty for the first 6 wks postpartum. I totally let it go and focused on dd. However, she had an AWFUL sleep problem. It didn't get better until we stayed at a hotel one night during my sister's wedding at dd's 5th wk. She slept SO WELL... and so did we, in that nice clean room. After that I just went crazy cleaning the house (and yes, dd did cry during some of that time) but in the long haul, as soon as the house was clean, she seemed much happier and slept much better.

I really think that cleanliness isn't just peripheral, some kind of "martha stewart" thing only the so-called "perfect wives/moms" should do. I think that children should not grow up in a mess, myself. I don't think it's healthy, energetically, or physically (messes cause lost items, attract negative and stagnant energy, clutter the mind, and create frustration). However, I agree that it shouldn't be mutually exclusive to caring for your child.. you should find ways to involve them in it, so they will learn to take pride in their surroundings and to also see your work as important, not learn that their entertainment and sensory gratification is the center of the universe. Work can be entertaining and playful, too. I often involve dd when I clean, by giving her pots and pans to bang, or a laundry basket full of odd items to dump out, some tubes and things to dump in the tub while I am cleaning the bathroom, etc. Or I sling her and explain what we're doing. I'd love to get a back carrier so when she wants to be carried, I can get more done and have her close to me.

Also, I am not just a mom, I am a wife, and I take pride and pleasure in caring for my dh, whether or not I am working outside. I would rather he gets used to a good example of what he would get even more of if I didn't work, rather than just be frustrated along with me at the mess and nothing to eat, etc. I am nourished by his energy if he is satisfied and happy at home. Even if I am not able to live my ideal life of being a SAHM/SAHW, I would like my dd to see, in the time I have to show her, how to do it, to set a good example for her of how women can make the world a nice and livable place. And I don't want to make the mistake many women make of putting their husbands last. If he's happy, I am too, I am rewarded, and so is our baby in my renewed strength. If he is neglected, we all suffer, and he is less likely to nurture me. It's sort of a paradox I've learned along the way... that rather than argue with dh about the housework, it's much easier to just take that responsibility myself, let him do a few "guy" things himself regularly as his jobs, and when I need more help, just ask... I always get it. I also don't mind the compliments, it's the thanks and appreciation that matters the most to me. And there is no expectations for me, either, which is important! I need to feel like I'm doing this myself.

BTW, misfit... yes, sometimes with dh, I do the equivalent of CIO when he gets cranky!! He does not express himself by crying because he has other more sophisticated means of expressing himself, but I don't always respond to every single one of his whims if he is just being fussy and unpleasable. If he truly needs something - food, love, some coffee, a hug, my company, he's got it. But don't we ALL have times - young and old - when we really, genuinely, don't know what is best for us and are just bossing our loved ones around? I guess that's what I mean by "manipulative"... I realize that's a hot button word on this forum, probably. Of course, of course... I know babies aren't manipulative in the sense that adults are... they have needs they are expressing, etc etc. But there are times my baby, me, and just about everyone I know as well, is just fussing because they are so offbalance in some way (mad, tired, hormonal, low blood sugar, etc) that they would be more benefitted, rather than engaging in a demanding energetic/emotional exchange or using your energy to further exacerbate this imbalance, by just spending some time alone.

What I really worry about is how she is forced to CIO when I leave her at daycare. There is just no way under the sun to make that a totally painless transition for a baby, and there is no way to stop those tears until I am out of sight. Then she usually has fun... but still, her crying is with me all day, no matter how resilient she is. Also, there is no way for me to control how her crying is handled when I am not there. That bothers me. Even dh does let her CIO sometimes, and he is not as subtle in his perceptions as I am. Sometimes he insists she is just "being cranky" and then I realize that actually she is hungry, tired, etc. He, like many men, think too logically about things... she took 2 naps today, how can she possibly be tired? Well, don't you ever have days you are just pooped for no reason??

I used to say that over my dead body, would I ever put any child of mine in daycare. So please, do not attack me for doing what I have to do to support my family right now. As it is, we are barely surviving, although I hope that with our next child, things will be different (they get better a little each month as my dh gains new skills and work opp's) and I can stay home with them. Fortunately my 1st child is someone with a very strong and sunny personality, and seems to be growing into the type of child who knows exactly what she wants and isn't easily deterred by negativity... even my own. I had a really stressful pregnancy, always worried about money, working day and night, worried about dh's immigration status, and having a hard time adjusting just to married life at first (didn't have much time to!). But she is just like a ray of sun... totally unbothered by my ups and downs.

I think that actually may be an important point, though, the issue of her seeing not enough of me. I know it is true, and I think sometimes she tries to force herself to not take naps, so she can maximize my presence. Or maybe she is even afraid that if she takes a nap, I'll be gone (not that I ever leave her without saying goodbye!). That is all possible. What can I do about it? She isn't old enough to understand the concepts of time and goings/comings yet.

I guess I am going to have to think about this all more, and try to intuit what would help more and support what her needs are. Maybe just letting her decide when she wants to nap, more or less? Even if she is exhausted, if she is still playing, let her "play it out" rather than CIO?? or maybe doing something really stimulating as some suggest, like splashing in a tub or going out on a swingset, etc.

BD
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#33 of 59 Old 08-03-2004, 12:51 AM
 
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I really needed to find this thread tonight!! Its so nice to know I'm not the only one. Ds fights sleep so much, that he will even hit himself to keep himself awake. I've tried putting him to sleep earlier - takes even longer, putting him to sleep later - wakes up at the same time the next morning and is a total grump. Right now it is taking me about 1.5 - 2 hrs a night to get him to sleep and I am at my wits end! We both end up mad, and its not fun for anyone. He sleeps on a little bed next to mine, and lately after trying the nice, calming bedtime stuff (to no avail) I've been telling him I will leave the room if he doesn't lay down on his bed. Which I then do, briefly. I'm really starting to freak out about the whole bedtime thing, because I am due in Sept and don't have a clue how I will manage this with two. Dh works nights, so it will just be me. While I'm on maternity leave, I can just fall asleep with both of them in bed with me, but once I go back to work, I really have to have a litte time at least after my toddler goes to sleep.
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#34 of 59 Old 08-03-2004, 11:35 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Hi Sistermama...

any reason why you are averse to the idea of cosleeping? It may be worth an investment in a larger bed so all of you can fit. I'm not one of these people who thinks every single person in the universe can do it (I really don't like sharing my bed except BEFORE bedtime, and it disturbs my sleep as I'm an extremely light sleeper... btw, that includes my dh too!!! I would totally have my own bed if I could!

It seems like your ds wants to sleep in the bed with you and is fighting going to his own bed. Maybe if you concede on this point, even just for awhile (and especially after the baby when he is likely to be jealous and need the extra sense that you care, closeness etc) you might all be happier. It doesn't mean you even have to do it forever if that's not what you or your dh want.

BD
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#35 of 59 Old 08-03-2004, 03:19 PM
 
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Sorry, I should have added that ds BEGGED for his "own" bed a couple of months ago. We do our whole bedtime routine up on our bed (not real up since it is on the floor) and he asks to go onto his bed. He usually crawls up sometime during the night.
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#36 of 59 Old 08-03-2004, 05:57 PM
 
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Originally Posted by MisfitMama
...I can't believe how many people do CIO or "modified" CIO or "not really" CIO.
ok... forgive me for this OT intrusion of this thread... but can you help a mama out? i don't have a clue what "CIO" means... ?? I'm sorry... like I said in one of my others posts... I'm really bad with the acronyms.... I'm only 28 years young and already I feel so tragically un-hip.

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#37 of 59 Old 08-03-2004, 07:40 PM
 
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CIO=Cry It Out

Don't worry, you're not alone, it took me 5 years to figure out "nak" (nursing at keyboard). :LOL
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#38 of 59 Old 08-04-2004, 01:52 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Hi everyone...

well, I think I found some solutions to my problem! So I figured I'd post them in case it helps anyone else with theirs.

I think that really the problem is mine. I am the one being a poop... even if I am exhausted, there is nothing wrong with just delaying my fatigue to take a nap later in the day. I think our rhythms were just "off" because I hadn't gotten hip to my dd's gradually changing naptime pattern. She gets tired at the same time (about 1 1/2 hrs after waking, or earlier even) but isn't quite ready to fall asleep yet at that point on most days now, like she was as a younger baby. She really seems to need stimulation in the morning, and I'm not giving it to her... rather than wait until 1 or 2 until she's "had her nap" to go out and play/do errands, I would be better of just chugging down some mate, propping up my eyelids during the morning hours, and taking her out for some fun so she can wear herself out. It seems like the time she ACTUALLY is able to fall asleep now, as opposed to GETS TIRED, is more like between 12 and 1, and actually, that's a really nice time for a nap for me, too! It's sort of like the "lunchtime siesta" break, and esp in this hot weather, it's good (this is what we did today). And that way also I don't feel like so lazy and stagnant... I've been out, done something, accomplished something etc and feel better about myself, am more able to relax about my expectations of dd's napping, and have revved my engine into gear a bit.

Also, I'm making a conscious effort to go to bed earlier. Housework is fine, but sadly, playing on the computer, unless I have a pressing issue, is not.

I'm realizing that if she really, really fights me on some issue and it becomes a battle of wills, it probably is best to just go with the flow and realize that her needs may be changing, and try to stay in tune with that. It's hard though because they evolve so fast sometimes. If it's an issue that for some reason I really can't concede on or work around, I will have to confront that issue then. I'm even trying to make her learn the value of bedtime and naps herself, by letting her get tired enough on her own that she falls asleep in the car or is clinging to me and fussing to go into the bed. Sometimes this means she gets overtired and is harder to put to sleep, but I think that the tradeoff is that she might start to become more enthusiastic about nap time (since I'm not shoving it down her throat).

It's sometimes a tough line between setting boundaries, and just plain "punishment", which I really don't think does anything useful. I ran into an AP mom friend today who was totally, religiously AP in everything she did... ds still nurses at 3 1/2, he was slung all the time, cosleeps, she hand-feeds him on her lap (something I don't know if other AP moms do, but Indian moms do it, and I do too, it's so nice... we never use a high chair!), unvaxed, etc. However her son is so mean to her, and really spoiled... he is a nice and very smart kid, but his particular personality is very strong willed, and she is very soft and yielding, so they got into some problems. Perhaps a more introverted (like her) kid would be fine with her very "yin", soft approach... but he is just going wild, even insults her and hits her sometimes. Her doctor (very AP friendly) was telling her that setting firm boundaries and rules for her ds and enforcing them in a conscientious and loving way, does not mean she's a bad or unloving mom. This particular child needs strong limits and boundaries, or he will grow up to be a terror.

Well, although this is veering OT, my point is just that every child is different, and has to be approached differently in parenting methods. Rather than adopt a set of rules or have a knee jerk reaction to any particular parenting term or technique, it's best to look at the individual situation and how people are handling it. For example, CIO is a loaded term, and I think a lot of what people call "CIO" is NOT CIO. Crying in your arms is NOT CIO. Babbling or even whining petulantly by themself, I don't think is CIO unless they are a tiny baby or their needs are being denied. I don't think EVERY TIME an older baby or toddler cries, it has a need that you have to meet. You are getting to the point in your relationship with them, that they really do, sometimes, need and benefit from learning to meet their own needs or just can't always be satisfied by what you can do for them. You can hold them and be there for and with them until the cows come home soemtimes, but it may not help them sleep or even calm down. I know kids that turned into total tyrant kids and later on, rebels... (I myself was a perfect example ) because their mom (or parents) were so running to meet every need of theirs, and so afraid to let them cry, explore, and experience THEMSELVES ever, that they just got cranky within the constraints of this dynamic and started to become mean to their parents, and not respect them. I can't say what age that begins, but for my dd, it was probably about 6 or 7 months, bit by bit, once she could sit well and got interested in the crawling idea. I just felt our dynamic change. And therein, I think, lies the distinction. I don't like blanket terms in general because it inhibits people's individuality.

Don't forget also that in those "primitive cultures" AP loves to emulate, children really are allowed a tremendous amount of benign neglect, and yes, they are sometimes put down alone. Even when I was in Africa I saw people actually leave babies on the ground and go to get a bus ticket, or get something on the fire, etc. And while the babies experience a lot of holding and carrying, they also are treated as much more independent, I think, beings than kids here are. They are allowed to cry sometimes when mom has another pressing need to attend to (like cooking dinner for her husband, which believe me, MUST be done when he comes home), and are allowed to roam about free when they come of walking/crawling age. Interestingly I even saw 3 year old kids there climbing coconut palms to get fruit, and hacking apart sugarcane with small kid-sized machete type knives! (very sharp!). And the moms have tremendous social support... sometimes they leave their kid with another mom while they go visit a friend or go work at the market, fields, etc. Or they carry them, either way. The kids there have a maturity and deep respect for their elders that kids here don't generally share. But in our typically western way, we take a few things out of context and blow them out of proportion into a "lifestyle"... without considering the whole cultural picture.

BD
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#39 of 59 Old 08-04-2004, 10:43 AM
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Originally Posted by bobo dioulasso
Hi everyone...

in our typically western way, we take a few things out of context and blow them out of proportion into a "lifestyle"... without considering the whole cultural picture.

BD

I am so glad that you found a solution! I have found that very thing to be oh so true! And it gets easier to do things that are fun and tiring as they get older.

What i just quoted i see CONSTANTLY here and it drives me batty . It is so inappropriate to build a whole 'philosophy' of parenting upon a small part of what one culture in another country does with their children. Just strikes me as false and inauthentic, and most of the time plain unfeasible. We just have a different set-up of family and social structure here that makes it impossible and in my mind not particularly desirable to try to emulate what another culture does. Same goes for people that drone on and on about how Amazon tribe women nurse their children til they are six or what have you, then demand that American women do teh same. But that's a topic for another thread . Thank you for sharing your very interesting and valuable insights!
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#40 of 59 Old 08-04-2004, 01:25 PM
 
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Originally Posted by chemigogo
But that's a topic for another thread
But it would be an interesting one, Lydia!

BD, glad you finally hit on something that works for you! I also loved reading your thoughts on cultural differences in childrearing. I'm currently living in China, and it's amazing to be exposed to some of the different perspectives here.

Amy & DH, homeschooling Mama to
DD 9 love.gif DS 7 yrs   
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#41 of 59 Old 08-04-2004, 01:41 PM
 
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Bobo,

I am so glad you are finding ways to work this out!

I meant to respond earlier but your post was so long that it's taken me days to get through it all! You have said so many things that I don't even know where to begin.

I guess I'll begin by saying that the part about "not really CIO," etc. that you quoted was meant more as a general comment about the responses you are getting, and the responses other people get when they ask about this topic, than about you, specifically. I should have made that clear - sorry. Although that being said, what you describe in your original post really sounds quite standard CIO - maybe you were being dramatic, but if you take it at face value, it sounds traumatic. Anyway, you are clearly a very intelligent person and it sounds like you are figuring things out.

Interesting that you tackled it as *your* problem. I find that if I consider all of ds's problems *my* problem, it is much easier to work things out. Our children are mirrors of ourselves! I even had a struggle with night terrors and my ds. It was **horrible**. After 6 mo, I quit thinking it was his problem and started addressing it as *my* problem and voi-la! It was gone.

Hmmm. . . what else. Oh, interesting that you bring up "taking care of the mama's needs first," or whatever. This just came up on another board I'm on. I think that since we are so disconnected to babies/children in this culture, we confuse things a lot. For instance, with your example of the baby screaming in a car seat on the freeway (and God knows this has happened to me and it sickens me to recall them) - well, I finally realized I don't *need* to drive on the freeway. I stopped driving on the freeway so that I could pull over more easily. Problem solved! And my blood pressure has gone down! As far as eating a bagel - well, I wouldn't put my baby down to do that. I would use a sling! But I know your point. I think, though, that as I said before, people really have little idea of what a baby's needs *are.* People say, "my baby NEEDS to sleep, so CIO is better than sleep deprivation." Well, if people really understood the physiology/biology/psychology of babies, they wouldn't think this. They would realize that CIO is very damaging - and that babies are not *programmed* to be able to fall asleep by themselves. Here is where I think the struggle is. I think that people think that women are giving up too much when they keep their babies from screaming themselves to sleep - or whatever. But I look at it differently. I think that our lack of understanding of babies in this culture is the ultimate in anti-feminism. If we had to admit to ourselves how important mothers were, we would do everything differently in this culture. Because we are afraid to, women and babies suffer together (in women this is usually manifested in loneliness and isolation). Am I making sense?

Anyway - I didn't know you had to use daycare. It must be **heartbreaking** for you to not know how they handle her crying. Can you find a different one, that won't allow CIO? And I'm curious about the welfare thing - I thought you couldn't go on it if you were married to a foreign citizen? If it's an option, you might want to read The Hip Mama Survival Guide. I read it ages ago - I doubt I agree with Ariel Gore's parenting ideas (?) but it at least made me feel like I'd feel fine going on welfare if I had to. (In essence, I am on welfare, because ds and I have subsidized insurance.)

Also, here's an article you could print up and put in the bathroom for your dh --I find that it's a good one because it's from **Harvard**.

http://www.news.harvard.edu/gazette/...enNeedTou.html

BTW, Bobo, what was all that stuff about cleaning in your post? I'm confused as to how that all ties in, but maybe I missed a comment someone else made?

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#42 of 59 Old 08-04-2004, 03:19 PM
 
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It is so inappropriate to build a whole 'philosophy' of parenting upon a small part of what one culture in another country does with their children. Just strikes me as false and inauthentic, and most of the time plain unfeasible. We just have a different set-up of family and social structure here that makes it impossible and in my mind not particularly desirable to try to emulate what another culture does.
Chemigogo,

I can't speak for everyone on these forums that might have offended you by referring to what other cultures do, because I do not know what people are saying or which cultures they are referring to. However, I myself keep The Continuum Concept in mind, and I suppose that a lot of other people on this forum do, too, because that is what Dr. Sears based his idea of "attachment parenting" on.

If this is what you are referring to, I am wondering if you have read TCC. If you have, I am wondering if you understood it, because *it* is not a philosophy - it is a concept, which, if you can grasp it, can inform every decision you make as a mother, and I think that everyone who has grasped the concept can agree that it has made an incredible difference in parenting.

As far as when you say people base things on "a small part of what one culture in another country" does - well, there are a lot of tribal cultures that wear their babies, for instance. And 90% of the world co-sleeps. And the worldwide average for weaning is age 4. And children do not act obnoxiously in tribal cultures or in rural areas all around the globe, *in general.* I myself lived in rural Guatemala, and what I experienced there was almost *exactly* the same as what is described in The Continuum Concept and/or the same as what other people on these forums are probably describing.

I just wanted to clarify that. It upsets me when people brush something off as having no relevance to our culture when, in fact, our very well-being depends on us understanding these cultures. I've done a lot of research on the topic, and I'd be happy to provide you with links to all kinds of cultural studies, etc. Even Dr. Sears understands that babies must not be left to cry (just to bring this back to the CIO topic!) In fact, if I remember correctly, his exact quote is: "Don't do it!" He bases this on the fact that he knows that it does psychological damage. (They are also now finding out that it does physiological/neurological damage.) And it's not just CIO that causes these problems - it's all kinds of other Western parenting practices, but I'll stop here because I suppose I'll get attacked if I start listing them all.

In any case, I just wanted to defend my earlier point, which was that whether or not something is "the done thing" in our culture, or even whether or not it is possible - for instance, if you *must* put your child in day care, it doesn't do anyone any good for us to lie to ourselves and say that these things aren't harmful - it makes more sense to accept that they are, and to do our best to either avoid them or to make up for them in other ways. KWIM? That's what AP is about, IMO: understanding what your baby's needs are, and why, and then responding to them. (Just so that you all know that I don't think I'm a perfect parent, I can say that we had **so much** trouble with ds, especially when he was very tiny, as far as his crying. It was so hard to get him to stop or to know what to do. And I look back on this and realize that it was almost certainly harmful to him. I've made other hideous mistakes, too. But I try to minimize the repetition of them!)

I hope that makes sense. Sometimes when I write about something I really care about, I have a tendency to be confusing. And I didn't mean to drag this OT - I just felt like I could help clarify why a lot of people are using "tribal life" as a template -- I hope you can stop finding it annoying!

Cheers,

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We just have a different set-up of family and social structure here that makes it impossible and in my mind not particularly desirable to try to emulate what another culture does. Same goes for people that drone on and on about how Amazon tribe women nurse their children til they are six or what have you, then demand that American women do teh same.
This is OT, I know, but since it was brought up I just wanted to make a quick comment. My decisions in parenting, including letting my dd self-wean at 7yrs, had nothing to do with what other cultures do/did. I might have been enlightened and comforted by it when dd was around 2yrs and I was feeling extreme pressure to CIO, wean, not co-sleep etc.....but after my mind was opened I simply went with what felt right. What other cultures do wasn't some driving force in me, it just opened my mind and allowed me to feel more comfortable doing what felt natural to us.

Going against the grain, and being successful at it, isn't impossible in our society. In fact, it is what progresses and changes our society for the better.
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#44 of 59 Old 08-04-2004, 05:18 PM
 
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BTW, MisfitMama, I am off to get The Continuum Concept. That is one book I can't wait to read.
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#45 of 59 Old 08-04-2004, 10:07 PM
 
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i haven't read all of the replies.

i am the primary one to put dd to bed. i usually nurse her down.

she is 2 1/2 and i am 30 weeks pg. the nursing is sometimes uncomfortable.

we had been having issues with her wanting to play, bounce on the bed, roll in the bedding....instead of sleeping.

i have found that over the past 2 weeks or so, making sure to start our bedtime routine earlier (usually around 7 or 730) has made a HUGE difference. prior to moving her bedtime earlier by an hour to an hour and a half, it would sometimes take me up to 90 minutes to get her to sleep. very frustrating for both of us. now, it usually takes about 30-45 minutes at the most.

i wish you success and peace. i could't bear the crying. hope things pick up
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#46 of 59 Old 08-04-2004, 10:38 PM
 
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Now at risk of totally jinxing myself, a bizarre thing has happened the last two nights: Monday night bedtime was AWFUL for us as ds kept forcing himself to stay awake, using all his tricks and really just leaving me feeling played. Ended with me getting mad and frustrated and basically "making" him go to sleep. Well, yesterday I decided that what I was trying wasn't working (staying in bed next to him, being comforting, nursing, etc., etc.) So all afternoon I prepped him that we were going to read books, sing songs and then he was going to lay down with his pillow and blanket and stay on the bed and I was going to go sit on the couch. Well it worked. And it worked again tonight. I'm not saying I know it will last, but still. It blows my mind that instead of needing more of me (which I thought he did), he has actually reached a point where he needed a little less of me. Maybe it was too much stimulus for him to have me in there?

I relay this story not because I am at all suggesting that this will work for the OP, whose child is much younger or that it will work for anyone else. I'm also not trying to imply that children having trouble falling asleep, etc. need less from their parents, not more. I just think it is interesting that we think we "know" what our kids need, and sometimes it ends up being not want they wanted at all. This just points out to me that I need to experiment more often when I am working through some issue with him.
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#47 of 59 Old 08-04-2004, 10:57 PM
 
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I'm currently living in China, and it's amazing to be exposed to some of the different perspectives here.
Oh, ChinaDoll, I think you should start a new thread called "Want to know how they do things in China?" I'm ***so*** interested! Let me know if you do, because I wouldn't want to miss it.

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#48 of 59 Old 08-05-2004, 02:14 AM
 
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Oh, ChinaDoll, I think you should start a new thread called "Want to know how they do things in China?" I'm ***so*** interested! Let me know if you do, because I wouldn't want to miss it.

MisfitMama

Me too ChinaDoll. I know some from hearsay but I would love to hear more from another's perspective.
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#49 of 59 Old 08-05-2004, 02:37 AM
 
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me too!
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#50 of 59 Old 08-05-2004, 06:51 PM
 
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Sorry if this has already been said. I haven't read the entire thread yet.

The Continuum Concept by Jean Liedloff made me completely rethink how I, as most Americans, think of sleep. The Yequana (tribe discussed in the book) would do funny things like wake everyone up by telling a funny joke. They would all laugh and go back to sleep. In other words, sleep wasn't such an uptight thing as it is here in the U.S.

It seems that lately I've heard a lot of people bring up the sleep issue (my dk won't go to sleep, I can't go anywhere because that is during the time my dk goes down for a nap, what time should I put my dk to bed)--not to mention how I'm still asked/told by my MIL, "[Your dd] doesn't wake up at night, right?" (Dd is 2.5-years-old and still doesn't sleep through the night nor does she fall asleep without my nursing her.)

So now I am inspired to do research on sleep and how more natural cultures deal with sleep and lack thereof.

Another side note: Any area where I find myself struggling is generally a sign of something *I* am resisting. This *especially* applies to parenting. Our children have a lot to teach us when we listen...

Amy

P.S. I don't like to sleep either (so all your nonsleeping kids can join me-LOL). I'm afraid I'll miss something very exciting.
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#51 of 59 Old 08-11-2004, 03:04 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Hi everyone,

I'm back after a while... of making sure I get enough sleep, so no playing on the computer !

I can't wait to read the Continuum Concept. I have heard lots about the book. I'm a book buyer so will have to order it soon to check out!

In a nutshell (there is so much to respond to) I wanted to just share a conversation I had w/dh tonight about AP. I was explaining the principles of AP to him (he understands my parenting style as different from mainstream americans, but didn't know really that it was a whole 'concept'... which I don't really see it as anyways, for myself)... and he was saying what chemigogo was saying, that you can't wholesale apply principles from other cultures with different values to our own, no matter how wonderful the principles are. Not because the principles aren't great, but simply because there are SO MANY other factors that exist in these cultures that we CANNOT import here, and that are equally important in the execution of this lifestyle. For example, he was saying that a kid our dd's age (12m) would normally be worn part of the day, but most of the day, would be playing outside in or even outside of the family concourse (houses in africa are set up around a courtyard, of related families, with work and cooking areas outdoors), with other children. Also, the mother is extremely well supported by so many people: her own mother and aunts, grandmother and other elders if she is young, sisters, and even older children of other people will sometimes wear the baby, carry it around etc.

IE what he is saying is that the "village" concept is really integral to AP, and without it, what you can end up with if you are not really careful, is just a very clingy child who overidentifies with his/her parents, and at times, an overoccupied or overattached PARENT. I have really and genuinely seen this happen, in so many of my friends who practice AP... children who haven't learned strong enough boundaries, who start to either resent and act hostile to their mothers because they are overattached and acting out their desires for independence, or who are

Of course, I also see plenty of friends of mine who have found that "zone" where it just works, and they are happy. But it isn't because they read a book, followed a philosophy, or decided to copy the tribes in the Amazon or Africa, etc. We are a unique culture, with a lot of things I'm not thrilled about, and I understand the idea that we shouldn't just buy into everything "because this is how we do it". We should question EVERYTHING! And follow our hearts!

One book I really love, that I hope people will try to find and read, is Juliette de Barclay-Levy (I think that is her name, it's kind of hard to spell), "Nature's Children". She is this amazing herbalist, I am pretty sure was a single parent, to 2 equally amazing kids... REALLY HARDCORE NATURE MOM. I mean she lived with the Gypsies (for all those who object to that term, that's what she used herself, and she was initiated into their culture, this was the 50's!) in Europe and North Africa but was basically her own individual culture phenomenon within that cultural matrix. She raised her kids eating a wild-gathered and homegrown vegetarian diet, sleeping outdoors among all her animals, and being totally self sufficient. Her daughter was nursed by a goat (yes, a real live and willing goat, not goat's milk in a baby bottle) when she caught typhoid from a bad well. That's hard core!! Anyways, her children are big advocates now for the lifestyle she raised them in, and that says something to me. And she raised her children to be REALLY INDEPENDENT... to forage and garden as soon as they could walk, to defend themselves against wild animals and unfriendly people, and basically let them play on their own in nature and with other kids and animals, an awful lot. She didn't nurse them forever, she didn't wear them night and day, and neither did the Gypsies she lived with... although they definitely did wear, nurse, cosleep etc much more naturally. But it wasn't a "philosophy" for them, and it wasn't about protecting the kids or making them "securely attached", it was just natural and convenient for them. Of course it is natural and instinctive to do many of the things that AP philosophy represents. But when it stops becoming natural or healthy, to me, depends on the individual mom, the child, and the societal matrix that nurtures or competes with us. If the mom is resentful about what she is doing... or later on, what she's "created", then the child will become hostile and manipulative.

I think we all need to think really clearly about what the word "NATURAL" means in "NATURAL PARENTING". Natural doesn't only mean living close to nature and doing things like the noble savages living in the forest, etc. Because we REALLY ARE SO FAR AWAY from that ideal or life, that to try and emulate it, can cause us a lot of pain and hardship. If what you are doing is simply natural to you, then it is not emulating. If you are thinking "This is the best for my child's psychological development." then that's emulating and not authentic.

We have to also think, on the other side of the coin, about what kind of WORLD WE WANT TO CREATE. And it does start with our children, our relationship to them. Do we want them to live in a world of plastic objects and devices, schedules, clocks, and isolation? Do we want them to learn to extract nurturance from objects that have no love to give, or do we want to be there for them? But at the same time, we as individuals are not a culture within ourselves, and we don't have the support system or natural surroundings, safe play spaces, etc, that these cultures who are closer to a sincere life, have. It's like we have a great idea, but are trying to start a business with no funds. Unless we can work on the funds, so to speak, meaning grassroots social change starting on the smallest level... we are fighting a losing battle, and not achieving the desired aim. We will be creating little attached, overdependent, controlling brats in need of some fresh air and social space.

I personally don't like the term AP. I prefer "natural parenting" as some others have asserted as well here. I don't aim to create a child who is attached. I think all children are attached to their parents if they are loving and mean well, I think attachment is a byproduct of good parenting. But as an end goal, to place such emphasis on this aspect of the parent/child relationship seems almost silly and unnatural to me. I know it is just semantics, and I know that AP does not aim to create needy children, and that AP kids are supposed to be more independent later on etc. But I prefer to just focus on what is more important to me: helping to nurture a child who knows what she wants, speaks her mind, and makes a difference in the world... whether or not she expresses strong attachment to me in an obvious way. I know enough parents who focused too much on the "attachment" as a goal, and ended up with kids that could not be left even with relatives for a few hours at age 4. To me, that is just plain weird, and very unnatural... not something you will find in most indigenous cultures. There is such a broad social network that children in such cultures are exposed to from a very early age. In africa, children know very early, that they have essentially, many mothers and fathers... as many as they want! There are even plenty of instances where the child did NOT attach very well to their parents... for whatever reason, they just weren't that compatible or the parents didn't understand their uniqueness, and they instead, attached to someone else like an aunt or grandparent. I think this too is natural. Kids should be free to choose, after a certain age, whom they want to be attached to and spend time with, so long as it is a good influence. It puts less pressure on the parents and on the kids.

All in all I don't have any solutions. I really don't like so many things about our culture. But I think that just wearing babies, nursing them till they're six, and sleeping in the same bed with them isn't going to solve the world's problems, unless we realize that the problem is so deep at the root of society that we have to question EVERYTHING, and find our own way. It's a serious thing that may take you very much off the beaten path, but it's good, I think to always stay in touch with and be informed by the culture we came from, rather than reject it. Only then, I think, can any revolution have a lasting effect.

Maybe as part of AP culture, it would help if there was more emphasis on support systems and social networks for adults, as well as more social opportunities and playspaces for children that feel "natural"... an emphasis on plants, animals, dirt, trees... real things, not plastic jungle gyms and toys. We are so paranoid about our kids getting hurt that we relegate them to plastic, fake playspaces with everything padded. I don't think that's so great. It's better to let them learn to deal with the beautiful and sometimes dangerous things in nature, it makes them more self confident and strong and in tune with life. My dh had to get up every AM at 3 to walk up to a hilltop and keep watch on his family's cows, chase away hyenas and wild animals, call the herd, etc. A 10 year old! No one called that child abuse in Africa. While I don't advocate that level here, I think we could learn something from the principle. My dh is such a strong person and tolerates every extreme. He can go days without eating and rarely complains about much. He works in the hot sun and in the freezing cold, without minding it. His parents didn't coddle him and worry over him.

We just live in a culture that is so much about constriction and rules, schedules, and we force our children to conform to this, so early on. It's tragic. We can't just focus on the child, without addressing the immense mess our whole society is in overall. And even harder, is to find ways to change it, without becoming a bitter and angry revolutionary or hermit... living in a little hut in the forest, isolated and eccentric. So many hardcore AP parents I think, sometimes tend to isolate their children. Being a homeschooling SAHM can be really hard unless there are plenty of chances for the child to interact with other adults and kids... which is why I won't homeschool, myself, although I know it can be great.

It did break my heart to send dd to day care when she was 4 months old (2 days/wk), but now, I am happy to bring her. I know she is sad to see me go, but I think it's healthy that she experiences that time to play with other kids and adults. She enjoys it, too... I am confident that the provider is not neglecting her needs, even though she may not respond exactly the way I would to everything. I think it was around 9 months, when she was really crawling a lot, that I began to feel like, this is the time when it really is good she is doing this. Before that I felt it was too early, and it did make me very unhappy. I also would be unhappy if she went 5 days a week now. 2 days/wk is just enough to get that social experience, but not so much that it compromises our bond.

regarding dropping everything to handle my dd's crises every time she is upset... I understand that parenting philosophy, but don't necessarily agree with it. I don't believe in CIO, but I also think that there is not always a good way or even reason to integrate your baby (after a certain age) into every single little experience you have. I live in an urban environment with lots of traffic, and I can't just pull over every time my child is unhappy in her car seat. Nor do I want to teach her that the world stops for her every time she is unhappy. Sometimes life has to go on, like it or not, and I'd rather teach her to deal with it in her own way. And what if we have to make an appointment on time? I can't justify being late and making people wait just becuase I have to stop until dd is smiling again. Although I will always talk to her, sing to her, try to communicate with her... and if she's very little and new to the carseat thing, if I can, of course I'll stop. I want her to understand how the world she lives in, works, both the nice and the not-so-nice but necessary aspects. If I had kept pulling over every time she cried in the beginning, she might have never learned to enjoy the car seat, she would have got the message from me that "this is a bad experience to fear". Now she loves it.

I think basically that there is a difference in wanton CIO philosophy to "train" your child like a dog, and "prioritizing" how you address a child's needs... learning to be in tune with what is really urgent or distressed, and what is just something they don't understand or are annoyed by, but might (and maybe need to) get used to. If we respond to every cry as if it were a major distress call, we don't teach children to prioritize their wants and needs, emotions, etc. Which I think is a very important life skill that they begin to learn very early on. Even little babies sometimes are just annoyed.

Interestingly, Juliette with the long last name, the nature lady I wrote about, used to let her kids CIO sometimes on principle... because she said that the Gypsies believed that sometimes little babies who would grow into brave or strong people, cried a lot naturally. To repress it would be to repress the child's spirit. She said that even though she realized a lot of people will disagree with her, she was taught by the Gypsies and believed, that children who cry very loudly and with strength, are exercising their lungs. It's the only form of exercise and physical expression they can really do, and it's not always about distress, but sometimes these little great souls are just expressing themselves or frustrated that they can't get any more salient points across! So to try to get them to be quiet, or overly fuss over and comfort them, would give them the wrong message... that their anger and strong feelings, their need to express themselves, is something to curb, it worries people, etc.

Anyways, that aside. I think I've definitely exhausted the attention spans of all who are here. Blah, blah, blah!!!!



BD
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#52 of 59 Old 08-11-2004, 10:30 AM
 
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Great post, Bobo. I have found myself thinking along some similar lines. When there are threads about how "my 6yo has never been more than ten feet away from me in her life, not even with DH" I find myself wondering why that is held up as some kind of AP accomplishment. (Not trying to be rude here, I just find that some people seem to "brag" about this and I honestly don't get it.) I also get really frustrated by the whole WOHM/SAHM dichotomy because I don't think the typical full-time SAHM lifestyle is a model we see in any traditional or "natural" cultures. It is more like what you describe with numerous relatives around and the children being more free to roam and play. I think a SAHP is the best choice for meeting kids' needs out of the lousy options we have, but it is far from natural for one parent to be gone 10+ hours per day while the other parent meets all of the children's needs on her own, or drives to playdates and activities to give the kids something to do. I just wish we had better choices, but it's like you say, our society is structured in a way that our choices are limited and none of them are ideal.
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#53 of 59 Old 08-11-2004, 04:24 PM
 
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Bobo, I am very interested in that book you mention - I hope they have it at the library so I can check it out. I do hope you read TCC - I think you will find it addresses just about everything you bring up.

As far as what someone else just said about a stay-at-home parent being the best option - I would argue that the best option is actually to have a work environment (a social one!) where you can wear your baby. That is definitely the *least* likely scenario in this culture, but it is by far the best. That way a baby gets what it needs - its mama- and mama gets what she needs - adult interaction. (And money.)

I agree, Bobo, that it's virtually impossible to give our kids anything close to a tribal upbringing. But possible to hobble together something like it, and I have been doing *my* best to try. Not because I am trying to "emulate" another culture, necessarily, but because I realize that the "natural" way of doing things (which I consider not the same as AP, necessarily) is much easier. *I* need social interaction, so I get out of the house every day, pretty much, because *I* need it. Ds loves it too, of course. *I* also need exercise, so I wear ds on walks instead of going to the gym (which would require me to drive, pay money, and leave him in the nursery). I also find it extremely easy to breastfeed a 15-mo. old - especially a "spirited" one like ds. I find co-sleeping a million times easier than crib-sleeping scenarios. I find elimination communication makes me feel really good about my relationship with my ds, and it also saves us money and other problems.

I know *JUST* what you mean about AP kids seeming "over-attached" sometimes. This is one of my major gripes with "AP." Attachment Parenting does not address socializing children. Why? I have no idea. I think children need to be included in things (not necessarily taken to parks, which is boring for me!) - you know, family gatherings, weddings, walks, shopping, adult conversation, dinner out, etc.. I am guessing that most AP mamas who don't socialize their kids at all (resulting, for instance, in your example of a 4-yo who can't be left with grandparents) are probably depressed, which is something else to be addressed! For what it's worth, I don't think there is such a thing as "over-attachment," but I do think there are such things as overprotection, undersocialization, and "enmeshment." But I think we are talking about the same thing.

You bring up the car seat thing again, and I would like to say what I have done, just to clarify what my view of it is. I know that babies are not born into this world knowing about car safety. In fact, when I was little, car seats were still optional, and many babies didn't have to deal with them. When my baby screamed in his car seat, I did feel that it was my duty to pull over (for one thing, I was so upset I could hardly drive) because he had *no idea* what was going on. Where was his mama? I could never have lived with myself if I'd let him scream and scream. He was too little to understand my "need" to "just get there." Now that he is older, and forward-facing, he has not turned into a tyrannical brat who thinks I have to pull over for him all the time. He can see me in the mirror and sign "milk" or "potty," or he can say, "book" to ask me to hand him a book, or he can waggle his head to request music. We are communicating fairly clearly now, and so I can say to him, "You want milk? We'll be home in 2 minutes; then you can have milk." I anticipate that the older he gets, the longer he'll be able to wait.

I just wanted to clarify this because I think that car seats are a point of A LOT of confusion in AP. But IMO, letting your little baby cry in a car seat is exactly the same thing as letting him/her cry in a crib. The baby doesn't know the difference.

Anyway, it is interesting the way things are done differently in other cultures. Another really good book that is cross-cultural is _Magical Child_ by Joseph Chilton Pearce. He talks about how one culture in Africa raises their children exactly according to evolution's design (a.k.a. according to the continuum concept) and they would turn out to be geniuses, but then they have this bizarre cultural practice of disowning their children at age 4! So, you see, there is a good example of a tribal culture *not* to emulate.

As far as the tribal thing goes, though, I think it's one thing to say, "this is too hard - I can't do this in Western culture." But what about things that are actually damaging? Scientists are just beginning to prove that CIO and excessive crying cause brain damage. There is also a MOUNTAIN of evidence that formula feeding (no matter what the reason) is extremely dangerous, and that the shorter you breastfeed, the lower your child's IQ will be, and the more likely s/he will get sick and die, and the more likely s/he will be to be sick and/or depressed as an adult! Would it be "inauthentic" to keep this in mind when I start thinking that I don't "feel like" breastfeeding anymore? I don't think so - I think it is my obligation to my ds.

Anyway, it's not like anyone on this list is going to have a kid who grows up to be a serial killer or a suicide bomber - I'm quite confident of that! But it's worth keeping in mind that mainstream parenting is the most dangerous thing you can do as far as the fate of the world is concerned. There's mountains of evidence for that, too.

Cheers!

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#54 of 59 Old 08-12-2004, 01:16 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Hurrah!! This is just the sort of dialogue that I love! It's juicy, meaningful, intelligent, risk-taking and provocative, and everyone respects each other... without getting offended over petty little semantics! )

All I can say is YES, I agree with EVERYONE who responded so far... YES, YES, YES!! I LOVE Robert Chilton Pearce. Misfit, you should also check out "The Evolution of Transcendence", it is really cool. I just finished that.

I totally see also what you mean, Misfitmama, about the carseat issue. I thought about all these things. BTW, I think it's so cool you practice elim comm and baby signing! I wanted to do that with dd... I had such high goals... wanted to be a SAHM, wanted to elim comm... wanted to sign w/her... but *sigh*... life and its fast pace, and our frantic struggle just to survive and get through a crazy first year of marriage with a "honeymoon baby" before dh had his green card and work... !! too much to deal with! So I had to do lots of things that made me, as a mom, cringe. I hope with the next one, we will wait long enough to have our lives together so that while it may not be perfect, it will still be much closer to my ideal. I definitely do NOT want to do disposables again, for example! Those things stink and are loaded with CHEMICALS... and what a waste of money! I totally agree that elim comm should be a part of AP culture... more than cloth, even. I think it degrades a child to teach them to tolerate wearing their poo, and then re-teach them to notice it again once they've been conditioned to not care! It makes no sense, and I definitely think diapers harm their body consciousness. It's like wearing a big plastic, clunky sheath on a good part of their body ALL THE TIME. But, that's OT!

Yeah, I agree that babies don't understand why they are being faced backwards, and where their moms went. I tried to solve this by not being in a hurry as much as possible, travelling with one of dh or me in back seat with her to talk to her, and occasionally pulling over if it was possible (but usually it wasn't, like I said... you can't pull over in a traffic jam in a tunnel or bridge!). I hope you didn't think I was criticizing your parenting style. I just think that there are some things in life that are sort of inevitable and that kids eventually learn, without too much damage, because the parent's intention was unselfish and sincere. I think it is slightly different, for the record, to respond verbally or however you physically can, with compassion, to your child's distress in a situation like that which is inevitable (you're driving, baby's in seat)... and to deliberately ignore your child's distress as some kind of a perverse and demeaning (IMO) "training method", like your kid is a dog at obedience school.

I hate also, that with car seats, they are the LAW, but they are SO BAD for the child's emotional development, esp the rear facing. I hate, in general, the car seat companies' fear mongering rhetoric. I mean when I was a kid, my car seat was really just for convenience's sake, not even safety. I think it is totally nuts to what extent people are paranoid about car safety. I think it is important, yes. But think about how much time we spend in cars. A lot! And if all that time, the child is afraid, dealing perhaps with motion sickness, possibly even (yes, these things happened to my dd several times) sitting in her own puke or with her head flopped over and unable to right it, and the driver/parent can't see what is going on!... that is NOT conducive to good parenting! It's like child abuse, IMO. Isn't there some way that these companies could have a heart, and make some compromises between safety and child's mental health? I mean, even if the child is in a car accident, there is no guarantee the seat will save them. I don't think we should ignore car safety... but look for a moment at a terrible double standard we have in this country. All this fanatic safety standards for baby and booster seats, etc... but WHAT ABOUT SCHOOL BUSES FOR OUR CHILDREN??? They are totally unsafe! Kids running around with not even any seat belts!! But then they have to go home, and by law, sit in an expensive booster seat. Do I smell money here?? As usual, parent's fears and concerns are big money in this twisted culture.

I tried doing baby signing (just making up my own) but lost momentum, and she's already 12mo... maybe it's too late. She already is learning to say some words, and responds with definite understanding to many basic words and phrases.

Yes, I agree about baby formula, too. Did you know, when they first started making formula, they didn't know what the heck they were doing... but everyone thought it was the greatest idea. And babies started getting seizures... because of severe deficiencies of, I can't remember which nutrient... maybe one of the b vitamins?

To me, and please don't let this offend anyone if you're an atheist, this is JMO... but, I think the whole baby formula industry is a direct proof that we don't believe in any sort of intelligent Creator. We think we can play God and synthesize the most precious and subtle, life-giving substance that nourishes life... that is made out of our own blood and thoughts, that contains so much more than just categories of nutrients, flora, antibodies, hormones, etc. And even that we can't get right... the gross physical components. Milk has an etheric and spiritual content too that you can't bottle. Even if you don't believe in God, you can surely agree that the human body is a wonderful event in the unfolding of the universe, and that its functions are too mysterious and secret to be able to synthesize in a laboratory.

I agree with Juliette of the Herbs... that at the very least, if you have to surrogate nurse, choose another human if you can, or if not, use a suitable animal. There is a reason, she says, why "nanny goat" got that term. Goat milk is very similar to human milk (I know some people think cow's milk now has been proven to be more so, but I disagree based on the simple fact that cows and goats have a vastly different ratio of growth in their first year, and goats much more closely correlate to human growth patterns... also, because goat's milk is naturally homogenized and in small, digestible particles, and with a higher fat and lactose content similar to human milk).

I'm excited about the enthusiasm and insights here, and the willingness to look beyond the "PC" stereotypical thought. IMO, this is the only way we will ever find true and satisfactory solutions to the problems we were born into, in society. No formulaic school of thought will ever last, but individual and intelligent thinking always will. Yes, I agree that the goal of AP is to create a self-actualized and happy individual who will make an impact on the world, through the vehicle of secure and loving attachment to their caregivers. However, the keyword to me is "secure and loving", not needy, not guilt-ridden, not phony and placating. If what comes authentically for you is a more "independent" parenting style, then you still may be in keeping with AP's ideals, even if you are not doing everything "according to the book".

I agree also that SAHM is almost the only option these days for healthy childrearing. If I lived in Africa (well, I will someday I hope! ) then I can trust so many people with my child, to have the same philosophies and ideas, to educate them soundly, even to discipline and enforce boundaries with them. But here, I can't. So I need to be present more than is normally mentally healthy for a parent. Sometimes I feel kind of like Linda Hamilton in T2 as a mom... the world is such a horrible war zone these days full of so many dangers and lack of caring, that I need to just hide out in a cave with my child and train her to be a warrior against the evil machine of Modern American Society... I don't trust any social institutions, I don't trust the school system, the medical profession, the economic system, or anything else. All I trust is myself, nature, and common sense, of which there is very little of left in mainstream American society these days.

However, I realize that that won't necessarily breed a healthy child, it will more likely raise a mistrustful hermit. So I really want her to learn about the matrix of modern society. I want her to know the enemy, so to speak, and be able to deal with it on her own terms. I want her to go to public school for at least a few years, not because I think it's going to teach her much educationally, but because I feel like it's important not to shelter her too much and that she should learn what most people in this country experience. I think also it's good for her to learn to stand up for what she believes, in an at times hostile environment, even against teachers... but to do it respectfully. It's a delicate balance, to be both sure of your beliefs and ideas, open to education, and respectful of your elders and instructors, as well as compassionate and non-reacting against peers that may be ignorant. I think there is no better place to learn these things than public school, so long as you get them out of there before their brain is completely fried by the system. I wouldn't want her to go to public high school unless it was a specialized one like the great feeder schools in NYC (stuyvesant, art and design, etc).

I think finding support groups of like minded people, obvious as it is, is key. Not in cyberspace (or not only), but in your communities, people you can really do stuff with. I think also examining your lifestyle is a good idea and trying to create your own version of reality, vs what the media feeds you. But I'm preaching to the choir here... these concepts should be obvious to everyone on this forum!

all right, my typing is waking up dd, gotta stop.

BD
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#55 of 59 Old 08-12-2004, 01:37 AM - Thread Starter
 
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oh btw misfitmama...

one thing that really gets my goat is the whole "whether you bf for 2 years or 1 week, you're still a successful bf mama!"

Come on. That is so darn placating and insulting to womens' intelligence. Not that you have to say, "You Failed", because trying is never a failure, but it just makes it too easy for women to shrug their shoulders and say "Well, i tried, and it wasn't for me!" like it is a chocolate-and-vanilla choice. It's not!!! It's much more serious than that, and while there are many valid reasons for needing to end bf, moms need to just call a spade a spade and stop being so PC about the whole thing. If you didn't succeed, you didn't succeed, but that still doesn't make you a bad mom or a failure. You tried your best, but don't call it "success".

What I personally would define "a successful bf mother" as, is to bf until the child is of the appropriate age to begin solids, as a minimum requirement... and as a more ideal requirement, that they will continue until there would be no need for supplementation of another similar substance in its place (ie, formula, cow's milk, etc). This is not based on any kind of moral construct, but simple biological common sense.

You are not officially 'successful' at something unless you finish the job. You can't clean a floor halfway and then stop and say "I succeeded". Sure, half a clean floor is better than all of it dirty! But if a baby still physically requires mother's milk for its stage of development, and you can't or don't make every effort to provide that, or you see it as less important than your job or your body or your sanity or whatever, then IMO, you need to look into your priorities.

I remember reading an article in (maybe there are rules about name-calling, so I won't give exact mag title) x parenting magazine, about how this one mom, a schoolteacher, "successfully" weaned her 6mo so she could go back to work, as there was insufficient breaks to pump. It was listed as "Success story"! Why is weaning your immature baby to formula considered a success? She even talked about how she would 'ache' for her baby physically, get engorged, how her baby got rashes for the first time etc. What was successful about that?

I work ft also, in a retail store, and believe me, I have moved many mountains and annoyed many people, at times, as well as faced the open comments from my boss (who can't understand why I still need to pump) in order to continue pumping for my 12mo dd. When there is a will, there is usually a way.

Anyway, that's just an example of how screwed up our cultural semantics are.

BD
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#56 of 59 Old 08-12-2004, 02:06 PM
 
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just a quicky (and OT) but on the subject of carseats -- I'm a surgeon, and having handled hundreds of traumas and been lectured by knowledgeable pediatric surgeons on pediatric traumas specifically, I assure you that the difference a carseat makes in an accident is HUGE. literally, it means the difference between a baby with some scratches and a dead baby in a tree. and rearfacing means the difference between paralysis and not.

i hate the emotional aspects of carseats, too, but given the choice, i would rather walk everywhere then drive without one.

Shannon, mama to Jack :
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#57 of 59 Old 08-12-2004, 03:29 PM
 
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Continuing on the OT of car seats, since they aren't going to go away and it is safer for babies to be rear facing, manufacturers should equip them with a way for the driver to EASILY look at the child and vice versa. Personally, I always, except for when I couldn't get there due to the cesarean incision, rode in the back next to ds as long as he was rear-facing and even most of the time since he's been forward facing. If you're the only one there, though, that just isn't possible and it needs to be taken into account.

mom to all boys B: 08/01ribboncesarean.gif,  C: 07/05 uc.jpg, N: 03/09 uc.jpg, M: 01/12 uc.jpg and far too many lost onesintactlact.gifsaynovax.gif

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#58 of 59 Old 08-12-2004, 03:37 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bobo dioulasso
Misfit, you should also check out "The Evolution of Transcendence", it is really cool. I just finished that.
Is that also by JCP?


Quote:
BTW, I think it's so cool you practice elim comm and baby signing! I wanted to do that with dd... I had such high goals...
Didn't you say your dd is only 12 mo? I didn't start signs until 12 mo. I didn't want to do signs, actually, but I finally did a couple on a whim, and ds picked them up right away ("all done" - which he likes because he uses it for "pick me up!", and "milk") I tried for MONTHS, though, to teach him the sign for "potty" and he wouldn't use it until 14 mo, and even now he almost always uses it *after* he's gone. . .


Quote:
I think it degrades a child to teach them to tolerate wearing their poo, and then re-teach them to notice it again once they've been conditioned to not care!
It's also degrading to mothers, that nobody tells them about it!



Quote:
I think it is slightly different, for the record, to respond verbally or however you physically can, with compassion, to your child's distress in a situation like that which is inevitable (you're driving, baby's in seat)... and to deliberately ignore your child's distress as some kind of a perverse and demeaning (IMO) "training method", like your kid is a dog at obedience school.
I'd like to believe this, too. But how do we really know? And as far as what the surgeon posted above, I have to add that I think it's anti-feminist to not have excellent public transportation systems! I have literally pulled over thousands of times for my baby. And every time, I was cursing under my breath at my inability to go *anywhere* with my child without incident. It takes hours, plus several transfers to get *anywhere* worthwhile on a bus from where I live. I woudn't have moved here if I'd known that some babies scream their heads off in carseats!


Quote:
I hate also, that with car seats, they are the LAW, but they are SO BAD for the child's emotional development, esp the rear facing.
I agree with the surgeon, that they do obviously save lives and are therefore very important. But OTOH, emotional damage is pretty much 100% guaranteed. So every child in the USA in this culture is emotionally damaged on account of trying to avoid physical damage. I certainly use the car seat, but there HAS to be a better way! One thing they could do, couldn't they, is design a car seat into which you can slip a baby who has fallen asleep in a sling? Or at least a car seat that is made to be able to nurse in easily? Grrr.


Quote:
but WHAT ABOUT SCHOOL BUSES FOR OUR CHILDREN??? They are totally unsafe! Kids running around with not even any seat belts!!
Don't worry, I'm sure they'll be strapping in entire busloads of screaming children soon, by law.



Quote:
Yes, I agree about baby formula, too. Did you know, when they first started making formula, they didn't know what the heck they were doing... but everyone thought it was the greatest idea. And babies started getting seizures... because of severe deficiencies of, I can't remember which nutrient... maybe one of the b vitamins?
I would argue that they *still* don't know what they're doing. One thing I recently read about is how only breastmilk contains tryptophan (?) which children apparently need until around age 2-1/2 to avoid depression as adults. But never mind that - I believe the estimates are that between 8,000-9,000 babies die per year from formula feeding.



Quote:
I think the whole baby formula industry is a direct proof that we don't believe in any sort of intelligent Creator. We think we can play God and synthesize the most precious and subtle, life-giving substance that nourishes life...
Whether or not anyone believes in God, the baby formula industry is proof that people are willing to kill millions of babies for profit! It's also indicative of the fact that nobody trusts nature.


Quote:
Yes, I agree that the goal of AP is to create a self-actualized and happy individual who will make an impact on the world, through the vehicle of secure and loving attachment to their caregivers. However, the keyword to me is "secure and loving", not needy, not guilt-ridden, not phony and placating.

Well said!



Quote:
If what comes authentically for you is a more "independent" parenting style, then you still may be in keeping with AP's ideals, even if you are not doing everything "according to the book".
Bobo, could you elaborate on this? I am not sure that I'm clear on your opinions on this matter. Especially, I think, I am confused about what you mean when you use the word "authentic." I mean, what if what comes "authentically" to me is to beat my child with a switch? And what is an "independent" parenting style? Is that what Dr. Sears refers to as "detachment parenting," or something different?


Quote:
I don't trust any social institutions, I don't trust the school system, the medical profession, the economic system, or anything else. All I trust is myself, nature, and common sense, of which there is very little of left in mainstream American society these days.
There is a book you might like - I haven't read it yet, but I've read a *lot* of discussion about it on another list. It's a book called _Hold Onto Your Kids_ by Neufeld and Mate. I think it addresses just what you are upset about. I can't wait to get it myself - but you have to order it from the Canadian version of Amazon.com.


Quote:
I want her to go to public school for at least a few years, not because I think it's going to teach her much educationally, but because I feel like it's important not to shelter her too much and that she should learn what most people in this country experience.
A good compromise on this might be the "open" public schools. We plan on unschooling, but if that doesn't work for some reason, we'll send ds to an open school, most likely.


Quote:
I think also it's good for her to learn to stand up for what she believes, in an at times hostile environment, even against teachers... but to do it respectfully. It's a delicate balance, to be both sure of your beliefs and ideas, open to education, and respectful of your elders and instructors, as well as compassionate and non-reacting against peers that may be ignorant. I think there is no better place to learn these things than public school, so long as you get them out of there before their brain is completely fried by the system.
Well, that's just about the most hilarious thing I've ever read! Sounds to me like the public schools are about the *worst* place to learn those things (from what you are saying, besides my own thoughts)!!! Have you read any books about education? I know of several mind-blowing ones.

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#59 of 59 Old 08-12-2004, 03:58 PM
 
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Oh, I just realized I misunderstood the last thing I quoted there - I guess what you wrote wasn't hilarious after all.

BTW, I should mention, you can also start EC anytime. I don't think EC and signing are "high goals"! You can just do a little of both, if you want.

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