How did you decide to practice Attachment Parenting?

Carissa - posted on 05/12/2009 ( 23 moms have responded )

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Did you read a book? An article? Hear about it from a friend or relative? Just kind of fall into it?

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Sarah Keogh - posted on 07/13/2011

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I am so excited to attachment parent! I already make excuses for the co-sleeping thing though, I just have to remember its probably easier to do don't ask don't tell, that way I don't have to deal with as many judgy people. I can't wait for this baby!

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I'm not sure I've ever realized that I'm practicing this "method" - it was just what naturally resulted. Follow your instincts and realize it feels right and keeps your sanity if you keep your baby close, breast feed and do what is natural with a baby. I'm blessed to have a supportive husband, a daycare that supports my philosophy and a wonderfully happy 11 month old. :)

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Quoting Meg:

I didn't create a dependancy, I nutured one. Who gives birth to a tiny little baby that doesn't depend on you?


Beautifully said. I might steal that line..... ;-)

Sophrona - posted on 07/07/2009

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i didn't realize there was a name for it eaither. my sister-in-law would co-sleep and nurse, and my mom would tell me they would end up to be spoiled and deprived about one thing or another. now the ones that are grown up are the smartest, most polite, and caring kids i know. they respect everyone and they are all great! i started to put my first in a bed away from me....i couldn't sleep. my mom was there trying to tell me what to do. my little girl ended up with me, and my husband right in the middle. we all slept so much better! everyone of our 4 kids have or is sleeping in the same bed. we had to get a king size bed before our 3rd girl was born...we didn't fit in a queen. =-) now my two oldest sleep in their own beds. my three yr. old still "visits" us sometimes. our 1 year old is there and we love him! my mom, (and other people) keep telling me that he is such a momma's boy and if i don't stop him from wanting me all the time it is going to be really bad! my girls are not really attached to me. like they would go to other people and be perfectly happy. my son....a whole other story. he wants to be close to me all the time, and will not stop screaming until i am holding him. it makes it really hard to go to the bathroom. =-( does anyone have this problem?

Meg - posted on 07/06/2009

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Amen to all of it! Although I really wish AP was mainstream, for the benefit of the children, parents and society as a whole. Call me a collectivist, hippy, whatever ...real love is close and emitted through every kind of 'contact' (eye contact, hugs, kisses, baby wearing and co-sleeping.) AP nurtures the soul.

I also fell into it on the first night when my son cried when he was in the basinett. I took him into the bed and he fell asleep at the breast. Everytime I would tell someone he was sleeping with us I would get these dissapproving eyes and comments like 'oh your going to create a dependancy'. i kept making excuses saying it was only going to be until he was 3months old. that turned into 6mos, then a year and now i tell everyone to just back off. This works for us and feels right. I didn't create a dependancy, I nutured one. Who gives birth to a tiny little baby that doesn't depend on you?

Geralyn - posted on 07/04/2009

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Mhairi, you have AP friends here! We just have to recognize that we are definitely in the minority. I am so grateful to have this group to share ideas and ask questions.... I never listened to no before, why would I start now in raising my son! I like being not mainstream....

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When I first fell pregnant, and had the usual worries about whether I'd be a good Mum, everyone told me to just follow my instincts and I'd be okay. That made sense to me.
The problem was, every time I tried to do that, I was told “No no no, you’re creating a rod for your back”.
When Lauchlan was born, the hospital put a plastic sheet over me before they put him on my chest – it was awful – my instincts told me that he needed to be on my chest – skin to skin and feeding ASAP, but I wasn’t able to attempt to feed him for about half an hour. I later read that skin to skin contact at birth is super important for bonding.
When he cried, I was told to let him ‘Cry it out’ – it felt horrible. I would literally get a pulse of pressure down my back with each squeal. So I followed my instincts and now comfort him.
I was told to give up breastfeeding, but after 8 weeks of struggling (by process of elimination) to get it right, we’re on track.
And now I’m co-sleeping despite the nay-sayers telling me that he’ll be spoiled and never leave our bed. I know this is right for us because we’ve never slept so well. (Plus I doubt he’ll still be sharing our bed at 15)
I also began baby wearing, because it just felt right, the detachment of a pram just didn’t sit well with me.
Every time someone has questioned what I do and I second guess my instincts I later regret it. I didn’t know this was called attachment parenting, but I’m happy to know that there is support for what I do. All of the criticism was starting to get me down.

Christel - posted on 07/01/2009

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I just fell into it. Didn't realize I was practicing attachment parenting until I looked up the definition online. Babywearing, breastfeeding, co-sleeping and no CIO...seems like common sense to me!

Becky - posted on 06/28/2009

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AP was an accident. I found slings on accident and learned much more about AP from wonderful La Leche League leaders.It's the best way. Problem now, the only one pressuring me to wean is a fellow breastfeeder. Having trouble handling it! Any tips??

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We came about it just by doing what we felt was right for all of us, we didn't intend on co-sleeping, but once we realised Amelia just wanted to be close to us when she was sleeping we thought "hey thats the way it'll be then" it was easier to breastfeed, and we all got more sleep.



With almost every aspect of 'attachment parenting' I've been questioned, by family and friends, but I am so confident in the way we parent I have enough balls to say "this is the way we do it, its best for Amelia, its best for us, if you don't like it tough" ;)



This kind of parenting is unfortunately in the minority it seems here in the UK, which is a shame really, as it's just such a natural nice gentle way to bring up a family!

Rakel - posted on 06/11/2009

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Couldnt have put it better myself Jen!
I know what u mean as I just 'mothered' my first baby as what felt right to me to breastfeed her and have her close! It wasnt a book I stumbled accross and followed..it is whats natural! That was 11 years ago and unlike alot of other mothers I have NO regrets with my first baby, and doen exactly the same for my other 2 babies.And Im still breastfeeding 11yrs later-3rd child! I was luckily enuf to have a La Leche Leage leader Mum as a role model. This is how mothers should learn how to breastfeed/attachparent/mother...whatever you want to call it.Down through the generations, from watching babies/toddlers/siblings in your community being feed around you, so it becomes as natural as being born.
Keep up the great mothering!!

Jen - posted on 05/26/2009

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I didn't realize that the way I am raising my son had a an actual name, I am just doing what feels natural to me.
I was determined to breast feed because it is the best thing for my son. It took 4 agonizing weeks to get him to finally latch on and suck without a nipple shield but when he finally did it all the frustration was well worth it.
My husband has been deployed since our son was 4 days old. Being a new mommy and living far from family is hard and kind of lonely. I found that I was holding my son constantly in the beginning (I still do a lot but now that he's 7mths he likes to be down playing with his toys too). My grandma and other friends/ family members would tell me that I'm going to spoil him by holding him all the time and that he should sleep in his own room. I just told them he is my son and I will raise him the way that feels right to me. If that means holding him all day then that's what I was going to do. I started co-sleeping pretty much from the beginning because it helps give me a sense of security. It lets me feel better knowing that he is right there with me and that he is okay. Plus when they are brand new you have to wake them up to feed every 3 hours anyway so him sleeping in my room just made sense to me. He started off in the bassinet right next to the bed but that didn't last long. By 2wks he was in the bed with me and that's were he's stayed. Plus he even sleeps longer between feedings if he's in bed than if he's right next to the bed or in his own room.
Not only do I owe it to my son, but also to my husband to be the best mother I can be. I feel that as long as my husband knows we are doing fine and our son is well taken care of it's one less thing he has to worry about while he's overseas, and maybe he'll be more likely to make home safe and sound.
Sorry I know I was kind of rambling on, don't know if all that makes sense or not but I practice AP because it feels right.

Lisa - posted on 05/23/2009

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It was our first night home from the hospital and every time I lay her in her bassinet she would cry so I just curled up around her and we finally slept. After that I just laid next to her in bed and we would sleep. Here we are 8 years later...Although for a while I had her in her own bed, when we moved again we couldn't bring her bed so now we are back together:)

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I think there are always plenty of good role models out there for most people. Sometimes we have to seek them out and other times they have been there for a long time.

Unfortunately, not everyone lives the same lifestyle, we all live varied socio-economic lifestyles, and as women we also often are in different places as far as our ways of knowing. And trying to live in such a spread out/global society has it's tolls and advantages too.

One of my biggest hurdles has been learning to Mother when most of my role models are not part of my hometown community, including my own Mother. And something that seems so organic or natural to me may be because I have a stable environment and a positive childhood to draw from. Wouldn't it be wonderful if we could all live in communal environments and have people and oral tradition to draw on instead of trying to do it so much "alone"? That is why Ina May and The Farm always fascinate me...and the community I lived in in Nicaragua (where I emphatically denied that all our food came from cans...ha!).

Dianna - posted on 05/17/2009

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All 3 - it is what feels natural to me, my sister-in-law has the same style, I read the baby book by Dr. Sears, and since then almost everything I can get my hands on.

Carissa - posted on 05/17/2009

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I have to say, I always feel like I'm in the minority with the whole AP thing. Communities like this help and, luckily, my SIL is into AP. It seems like most people, however, frown upon co-sleeping or are always urging me to impose a schedule, make him take a bottle, etc.

Melissa - posted on 05/17/2009

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Ditto Geralyn, I couldn't have put it more perfectly. Just do what feels NATURAL to you Carissa, and surround yourself with positive support.

Geralyn - posted on 05/16/2009

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When I was pregnant, I hadn't a clue about any of the "parenting" methods. I hadn't really talked with my friends who had little ones (although in hindsight, my best friend raised/is raising her sons using attachment theory - I don't think she's ever called it that... but it is definitely attachment). I remember being in a book store when I was pregnant, and I was looking at what I now know to be baby training books. All these sleep solutions books... discipline books... It was actually overwhelming. But as I looked through the pages, I thought no, no, no! This is not me!



After the birth of my son, I was talking with my lactation consultant (absolute angel from heaven she was!), and she directed me to Dr. Sears' books. Other people have mentioned in this post and prior posts that they didn't know what attachment parenting was, but their natural style of parenting was in fact attachment parenting.... I think that it is just how I wanted to raise my son, and I learned that my instinctive style coincided with AP.



To me, it was as simple as the decision to breastfeed. I had no idea that with breastfeeding and with AP that I would be in such a minority of women with like minds and hearts. I go onto the toddler community page, and 100s of women will be recommending to each other the cry it out method. I just cannot relate....



My husband is a big believer in AP, too, because he sees how positively it has affected our relationships with our son. If I had been so inclined, he would have naturally followed the schedules, the baby-training, the independence from early on, only because that was how he was raised. He is grateful that I fell into the AP, because he sees an incredibly thriving one year old as a result.



Sandi, it is wonderful that you have such models for AP in your life. Not having any in mine, I am grateful for this group. I look forward to sharing ideas, hearing about each other's experiences, and hearing about how our little ones are growing and developing into incredible young people.

Carissa - posted on 05/12/2009

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I agree, Heather. It is funny because I had many ideas about what kind of parent I would be, and it turns out none of them were correct. I do what feels right for my son and for me. I didn't really know anything about it, but I just kind of happened into AP. I had purchased a Moby wrap before I even heard the term "attachment parenting!"

Heather - posted on 05/12/2009

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I just parent in the way that makes the most sense to me and my little one. It makes sense to me to breastfeed and co-sleep with my punkin, and have him with me the majority of the time when I'm not at work. Your intuition will guide you towards the mode of parenting that best fits you and your little one.

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Some of the wonderful role models in my life including my maternal grandmother, my mother, my mother-in-law, Ina May Gaskin, the women of San Fernando, Nicaragua, Mother Nature, the women in my home-town community, Mother Teresa, the women I work with, our midwife, my husband...all have influenced this lifestyle on some level. And from there it is concentric to the 6th degree in finding other people, information, and communities that have life stories that have affected us in some way.....if that make any sense?

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