I talk alot about Attachment Parenting, or AP. I thought I should take a moment to explain both on my blog, and on facebook what I mean.. :) While I was still pregnant, I had a bit of exposure to a style called Attachment Parenting. I found it on an online message board called "Mothering". I agreed and loved many of the ideas that the website promoted, but ultimatly wrote it off, because the overall feeling of the board was very New Age. Many of the mom's on this site were athiests, or agnostics, and I could not find anything about good Christian people practicing this style of parenting. I did not realize that many people who do practice AP do so for biblical reasons.. In fact, Dr William Sears, the one who originally coined the term Attachment Parenting, is a believer himself!
Attachment Parenting promotes certain practices, but more so, a concept that is different than many peoples. AP has certain things that are sort of like character traits. These parents generally:
Bonding right at birth~This is very very critical for AP parents. They will generally pursue a birth that has little or no medical intervention, and birth in an enviornment that is condusive to the family spending a lot of time together. This would be time without Drs, nurses, or anyone else taking baby away. This "Babymoon" is a very special and important time.
Breastfeed~Mostly practicing Child Led Weaning, or, nursing until the child decides he/she is done.
Bedding close to baby~Usually in the form of co-sleeping, or sharing a bed with the baby. Some though, simply place the basinet or crib in mom and dad's room.
Practice Night Time parenting~This basically means that they do not actively pursue rigid "sleep training" They do not allow their children to scream themselves to sleep, and reject the idea of teaching a child so young to "self soothe" Babes are also allowed to nurse at night.
Babywear~ The basic tenant of AP, is that the mamma/baby bond is divinely given by God. In order to protect this bond, baby stays with mamma. This is easily facilated by the mamma wearing the baby in a safe sling or wrap. There have been studies that suggest that children that are carried and worn, generally feel more secure*
Belief in the language value of a baby's cry~ Basically this means, babies cry when the need something. If they are hungry or wet. A 3 month old is not playing insane mindgames trying to control your mind.
Ballance~Do not spend so much time completly focased on baby to the point where you neglect you own well being, or the well being of you marriage.
Over the last several months, I have become very passionately AP. Though, as a couple, Chris and I do not practice 100% of the above, (Namely, we do not co-sleep with Judah) we do embrace the ideas that AP promotes. The ideas that are so important and real to me are:
1) God created the bond between a mamma and baby. It has become so real to me that being with me is not just a want of Judah's, it is an emotional need. Since I have started this new job, he has had a lot of trouble emotionally. :( It breaks my heart.
2) Teaching a new baby to somehow "learn independance" is silly. Children develop over time, and independance is a developmental step. Leaving a baby to cry alone to teach them how to sort things out is not productive, because a baby is not at a place mentally, or emotionally to be able to do that. They cannot understand that when you leave them you will in fact, return. This is something that is learned in time.
3) The fathers role in creating a safe enviornment is crucial. There is a reason why fathers are adressed so sternly in scripture in regards to the type of home they build for their children to grow up in. AP does focas on the mothers bond with baby, but it also understands that both mamma, and baby need a Daddy.. <3
4) Birth is a natural process. My birth with Judah was a medical success.. I had a healthy baby.. All good, right? Yes, sortof. I praise God that my baby was healthy. And I am not trying to say that is not important. But, I believe that those first few hours that were stolen by the medical professionals, who had no bond with my baby are lost forever.. And that grieves me very deeply. Should we have more children, I look forward to bringing them into this world in the most gentle, safe way possible. God created my body to give birth. And I believe in his wonderful creation! Provided that something out of the ordinary does not happen, I will be perfectly safe giving birth at home, to allow our family time to bond in a quite, un hassled enviounment..
5) One of the biggest reasons I love this thought process, is because it really focases on doing what is best for your family. Even if that means not co-sleeping, or breastfeeding ect.. Right now, co-sleeping is not in the best interest of our entire family unit. We do sleep with Judah if he is sick or needy, and we are not closed always to the idea.. But attachment parenting is really about building relationships, and doing your best to have them bud and develop in the safest, gentlest way possible..
So those are my thoughts! Thanks for reading!
*Obviously, this depends on the parents, and many other factors as well. Babywearing, or any of the practices listed will ensure an happy healthy baby.. Emotionally or otherwise. I do believe that they create a place where it is easier to be happy and healthy though..