I wish that I had discovered AP sooner

Leah - posted on 09/23/2009 ( 4 moms have responded )

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As a young mom (I was only 19 when my son was born) who had little to no experience with babies, I was very nervous and high-strung for the first several months of my son's life. I planned on breastfeeding from the start, but did not want to take our son into our bed. After a few exhausting nights, I began to feel the symptoms of postpartum depression-difficulty bonding to my baby, crying all the time (me, not the baby), etc. My mother kept suggesting that my husband and I bring our baby into our bed so I could fall asleep while he nursed back to sleep. This was the first time I did something as a mom that I swore I would never do - and I am thankful for it to this day.

From then on, I followed my instincts in every aspect of motherhood (as I still do). I embraced motherhood: Baby moved into our bed (after converting the bed to a baby-safe environment, of course), I enjoyed breastfeeding and practiced extended nursing, I chose to stay home with my son, rather than going back to work, I held him whenever he wanted to be held, and refused to let him cry it out. At this time in my life, I had no idea there was actually a term for my style of parenting.

Well-meaning friends and family members kept telling us to move him out of our bed, let him cry it out, wean him by age one, etc. One particular issue we had with our son for nearly the first year of his life was that he was mostly only comfortable with my husband and I. People thought he was too attached to us and he would never grow out of it. It was hard as a young mom to make sense of it all and there was a tug-of-war going on in my heart between following the advice of trusted friends and family members and following my instincts. I chose the latter. And it was hard. It was hard feeling like everyone around me was judging my parenting and feeling like my husband and I were alone in our decisions.

It wasn't until my son was nearly two-years-old that I stumbled upon an article about attachment parenting and realized I wasn't alone. I never regretted the decisions my husband and I made. I knew we were doing the right things for our family. And our wonderful son, who had grown out of his separation anxiety in his own time, served as proof to us that we were doing right by him.

I am so glad that I found attachment parenting and AP groups like this one to be a part of. It is so special to have a support group of mothers who believe in the same things as I do. I feel more confident as a mother now that I know of AP and I am excited to practice AP techniques with all of our future children - WITHOUT all of the self-doubt and worry I felt the first time around.

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Claire - posted on 10/02/2009

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Our journey as parents has been similar. We always knew we were anti-CIO, and our son basically determined how he would be parented. He hated to be put down so we carried him everywhere - which led to babywearing. He hated to be alone and refused to sleep in his crib - which led to co-sleeping. We followed our instincts as parents, the natural urge for both our son and us to be close and to be "attached" continues to be so strong. It's been a tremendous joy just to be able to parent him "naturally." I can't ever imagine ascribing to a parenting philosophy that goes against your maternal instincts. When my son wants to be held, I hold him; when he wants to be soothed, I soothe him; when he wants to eat, we feed him.... etc. Co-sleeping was one thing I thought I would NEVER do (I didn't think it was safe) -- but when my son refused to sleep in his bassinet and I'd been sleeping with him in our recliner for about a month, my husband finally insisted I give it a try -- and we never looked back. For us it has been an absolute joy (even if you do get periodically punched in the nose in the middle of the night). :) I love that we can parent him in a way that is both beneficial to him and his development that also fosters a close, deep bond between us. My experience with motherhood so far has been absolutely beautiful.

Francesca - posted on 09/28/2009

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Wow, I can totally relate. Before little Ella was born I said I would NEVER co-sleep. But after five exhausting weeks of no sleep, I have MS and was on the verge of a relapse, exhausted, frustrated and distant. I finally did what my parents kept suggesting. Its been easy street ever since. If anything it helps me take more time to sleep, with absolutely amazing mornings when I wake up to a very happy cooing little girl. And regarding baby wearing, I always have a spare sling. My sister even has one to carry my little one around too!



I never realized there was a term for what I was doing, only until just recently. Wow. I am so glad I found this group!

Brenda - posted on 09/26/2009

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I stumbled upon AP the same way. I had that reveletion, there's a name for this? This time around we're all the way AP. My four year old didn't start cosleeping until he was two and a half, but he had always been fed to sleep and then moved, and never let cry. :)

Marcy - posted on 09/25/2009

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Leah you should be really proud of yourself. A/P is truly amazing. I am 37 years old and I have a 3 year old little boy. I will always be thankful to my brother in law who said 'Stop reading all those pregnancy books and start reading Dr Sears parenting books". It has been an honor to raise my kiddo who is thriving, still nurses and moved in to his own bed at the age of 2 1/2. Keep up the awesome work and way to go.

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