I go on a few message boards once in a while and I do not like what I am seeing. AP is taking a shift towards the mainstream within the boards and therefore I am shifting more and more away from the term.
The problem that I see is that when I discovered the AP philosophy it was about breastfeeding, co-sleeping, baby wearing, natural birth etc being tools to help a mother bond and get â€˜attachedâ€™â€¦ CIO was a no-no and couldnâ€™t be part of being APâ€¦the people were also more into natural parentingâ€¦ â€¦
The trend however has been leaning towards a new and more open view of AP. It seems that the new AP parent can forgo all of the tools of Attachment Parenting and even use CIOâ€¦ it seems that the definition of listening to your child and responding to itâ€™s needs now include the â€˜needâ€™ for a baby to learn how to fall asleep by himself, the â€˜needâ€™ for a baby to learn how to self-soothe and the need for the child to adhere to the parents way of life.
This new form of AP is very disturbing to me and I canâ€™t relate. It makes me mad when someone asks for advice from AP moms (or people that call themselves AP) and gets a response that talks about CIO and how it isnâ€™t that bad and how it works. They donâ€™t agree with extinction CIO (when you leave baby CIO until they fall asleep and it can take hours) but they talk about Ferber (intervals of 5, 10, 15 min etc) or the Sleep-Lady (CIO with Parent in the room just ignoring the child)
For me this is a good definition of what AP isâ€¦
Attachment Parenting Principles:The basic components of a nurturing, instinctive parenting style….
Being informed about your birth options. Educating yourself about the birthing process and planning for a birth that is intervention free as possible.
Forming an early connection to your child, using the initial hours after birth to bond and having your baby “room in” with you after a hospital birth rather than in the nursery. (I need to add that Home Births hsould also be an ideal *paxye)
Responding quickly to your baby’s cries and knowing that you can’t “spoil” her by feeding and holding her whenever she needs you to.
Breastfeeding exclusively and on baby’s cue for at least 6 months followed by the introduction of solids when your child is ready combined with continued nursing.
Child led weaning: knowing that it is natural and normal for children to breastfeed for well over one (TWO *paxye) years.
Wearing your baby in a sling.
Using gentle discipline techniques. Knowing the difference between discipline and punishment and avoiding physical or shame-inducing punishment. Being authoritative rather than authoritarian or overly permissive.
You allow and encourage your child to share sleep with you. Realizing that your child needs do not desist at sunset and that nurturing is important around the clock, you willingly accept that for this season of your life, your “marital bed” should be your family bed.
Learning, understanding and following your childs cues. Knowing that your child has his own schedule for physical, emotional and social development, toilet learning and indepedence issues rather than trying to force him into an “expected” time frame. (IPT or EC should also be an IDEAL * paxye)
Believing that by meeting your childs needs during infancy and toddlerhood you are encouraging the development of a healthy, happy, independent person.
You are flexible and realize that what worked last week might not work this week, and that what works for one child may not work for another. You are willing to educate yourself about parenting and make the extra effort that your children are worth.
You don’t fall for the “quality time” myth. You recognize that real quality time consists of more time (spent cuddling, reading, playing, learning or just being together) not short frantic bursts of “fun” activities.
Upon finding find out you are pregnant with your second child, you don’t even set up a crib, you start shopping for a king sized bed. You decide to give tandem nursing a try instead of weaning your nursing toddler.
You make time with your children a priority, regardless of material sacrifices that might have to be made. Obviously, single parents have to work, and there are other families that truly need two incomes. But you recognize that nurturing is of vast importance in your child’s early years and that day care, while it may be adequate, is not as beneficial to your child as you are.
You know who Ezzo, and Ferber are and they make you at least slightly queasy.
You avoid the typical mother substitutes that are so prevelant in our society from the seemingly benign: Blankies and “lovies” (when used as a substitute for your presence) cribs, playpens, and pacifiers to the patently absurd: teddy bea
rs with heartbeats, cribs that simulate womb movement, bottle holders (if you are doing any bottle feeds).
The premise that fully nurturing your children is considered by many to be the antithesis of feminism infuriates you, and you won’t buy into that belief system. If you are female, you are proud to be a stay at home mother and consider it the most important thing you could possibly doing right now. You want to raise your children yourself, not hand them over to someone else to do the job.
Moving Beyond The Basics: Taking attachment to the next level……
You plan for a home birth (or perhaps a birthing center) with a midwife.
You are considering, or are at least open to the possibility, of home-schooling or un-schooling.
You educate yourself about circumcision and choose not to make your male children suffer through the pain and trauma of the procedure without a very good reason.
You vaccinate your kids because you have made an informed decision, not just because it’s what you are “supposed” to do. Just for the record: we did choose to vaccinate…for a variety of reasons.
You don’t allow violent toys and entertainment in your home. Creative toys and play reign.
You restrict the amount of television that your child watches, perhaps you don’t even own one.