Attachment Parenting

So many of the comments have made me think about parenting techniques. I, too, spent a great deal of time reading in my pregnancy and still read quite a bit. I also get a weekly e-mail newsletter which has proved to be helpful more than once.

Attachment Parenting was mentioned a couple of times. You know, I’m all for this, to a point. To the point of “common sense”…okay, I’m all for common sense parenting. There are so many factors that play into this. They mentioned the bonding and catch-up bonding. I was one of those parents that didn’t get to hold my son until 24 hours after delivery because of medical complications. Even after I could have him in the room, I was still week and limited. Honestly, I don’t think it made that much of a difference. When I was able, I held him whenever I could. I doted, and loved on him and all was well. I’ll admit, I felt a little gypped, but it didn’t seem to have any impact on our relationship. You do what you can.

Then…breastfeeding. Okay, let me tell you right now, this isn’t so easy for everyone. Many women cannot breastfeed due to low production, massive engorgement or low pain threshold. I did get engorged but fortunately was able to use a pump to reduce the swelling and pain and was eventually able to breastfeed. It wasn’t easy. We had a terrible time getting a latch…and then once I went back to work, Gabe wouldn’t take the breast anymore. He preferred the bottle. I know so many women that felt guilt, because they couldn’t breastfeed. Guilt is a parent’s nemesis. Guilt can lead to lack of parenting and more. So, again, do what you can.

Co-sleeping was mentioned. When we brought Gabe home, we didn’t sleep for two nights. If he was crying, we were tending to him. If he was too quiet we were checking to see if he was breathing. We were new parents that definitely bordered on paranoid. We found comfort when we slept with Gabe. It just made life easier. I was doing a lot of reading on the “Family Bed” and my younger sister does have a “Family Bed”. They also have another bedroom, where she and her husband can’t take care of their more personal matters. I don’t have an issue with the Family Bed. I think it can be a great thing for the right family. However, we have reached a point where we need to have a separate sleeping area from our child. Now, when Gabey is acclimated to his crib, I will probably let him sleep with me on occasion. We both enjoy the closeness. You do what you can.

They discussed wearing your baby as part of the Attachment Parenting. For the record, I decided to “wear” Gabe long before I read about attachment parenting. My sister-in-law is Korean. It is common practice for Koreans to use a Podaegi to harness their baby on their body. While visiting, we saw my nephew, Albert, inconsolably upset. So, she grabbed her Podaegi and strapped him on. He was instantly quiet. It has always worked the same for Gabriel. There is some truth to this. Babies like to be carried and it doesn’t have to be in your arms, anywhere on your body will work just fine for them. I’d recommend to all…get a Podaegi. It is the most primitive garment…just a blanket with long ties, but it was so much easier than the baby pack we bought at a local department store and he felt more secure. It takes some practice to use it, but you can Google some excellent instructions. You can wear your baby on the front (facing forward or facing the parent) or back. Now, I presume, not everyone can wear their child because of either size or physical limitations that might prevent it. Do what you can.

I could go on, but it all boils down to doing what you can. Use your common sense and parent to the best of your abilities. It doesn’t have to be all or nothing. I know there are some great things about Attachment Parenting. I also know that it just wouldn’t work for everyone…but some aspects might. I’ve also discovered that you can plan your parenting techniques…but when you actually bring the baby home…it’s a whole new ball game. I’ve even heard that after having a second child, you basically have to start over. Not everything will work for every child. So, we can study and hone up our parenting skills…AND WE SHOULD…but our children are the best study guides of all.



  1. Tracy said,

    October 26, 2005 at 11:00 pm

    When I was pregnant with Kelsey – a.) I didn’t *want* to be pregnant. It was what one might call…a surprise. b.) I was in denial. But after it started sinking in, I did what most mom’s to be do – got “what to expect” and a couple of baby name books, and kept checking up on what was going on “inside” as I tried not to have a mental breakdown “outside”.

    Being a single mom, and a person who honestly thought she would never have kids to begin with (I couldn’t STAND most other people’s kids), I was so busy being afraid I wouldn’t like my baby, that I didn’t worry much about “parenting strategies” and the like. And honestly, for me, that worked well. My one strategy as a parent has been to think about what I hated about childhood, and to do that differently. Miss K is so much like me, that so far, it has worked well. Sometimes it frustrates Zack, because his parenting skills involve much more bluster (and spanking) than mine did, so we’ve both had to adapt.

    While we haven’t gotten to the true teenager stage yet, I think K and I have done pretty well…and Z claims we’ve made tons of progress with his three…even though some days it doesn’t seem like it (Today being one of them!)

    I think it just comes down to the fact that every baby, and every family, is different. Some babies enjoy that bond, that closeness (of being carried on the body)…other babies don’t want to be held like that. Some babies are really content, happy babies, others just like to make their voice heard from day one! I don’t think any parenting book or strategy is absolutely right…you just have to figure out what’s right at any given moment.

    Blah…I need to go to bed!

  2. October 27, 2005 at 3:21 pm

    I’m not a parent so there not a story or anecdote I can share, but both your advice as a Mom and Tracy’s comment are just fascinating and very enlightening.

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