AP..

C. - posted on 12/11/2010 ( 44 moms have responded )

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I'm NOT trying to ruffle any feathers, I'm just trying to understand this whole Attachment Parenting thing, if you don't mind sharing..



I know for me, I believe there should be a perfect balance of loving on your child and them being a little independent. I never practiced AP. My son is 2, though, and he doesn't like to be away from either myself or my husband, so I can't imagine how it'd be if we had used AP.



Your thoughts??

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Amie - posted on 12/11/2010

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I've never seen so many labels (for anything) until I joined CoM's.



I did what I thought was best for my children. I also remember joining and making snap judgments about things I really knew nothing about. Like CIO, done properly it does not harm a child. I did CIO before I knew what it was. None of my children have any issues.



Christina, I just want to say. What he's going through is normal. All toddlers do this at one time or another. Every single toddler I have ever known, no matter how they are parented, go through a mommy/daddy phase where those are the only two (or one in some cases) people they want to be around. It's normal.



I raised my children by my instincts. The last (only actually) book I read was on potty training and that was because our son was having issues with it. Turns out, wasn't his issue, it was ours. If I had followed my instincts with him, he would have been trained sooner. He was a good slap in the face lesson I needed.



Parents need to worry less, stop pigeon holing people and do what they feel is right for their family. I bed shared with my children. It does have it's dangers but it's what worked for us. I BF until I was no longer able to or felt the need to stop. I used CIO when they were 6 months old or older, it worked for us. They were no longer sleeping well in our bed and needed to adjust to their own beds. It didn't take long (about a week at the longest) and they adjusted well. Only one stayed in a crib until she was 2 and that was a horrific experience, that taught me to again, follow my instincts. Moving the others to beds when they were between 13-15 months worked wonders.



There are some things I'm vehemently against, only one has anything to do with parenting. I do not agree with spanking. I do not like the lessons it teaches a child, every lesson should be a positive one. Even when they're getting in trouble. Mine recognize what they've done wrong and it's rare I need to step in on the older ones. The younger two are still learning so it's to be expected.



I think, going through it 4 times over, I've tried a lot of things. There are things people will not agree with but it worked for us. There is no one magic way to parent all children except for the one you find that works for your family. Every family will hit bumps along the way but it is a learning experience, for everyone, along the way. You learn with your children what works for them and for you.

Jessica - posted on 12/11/2010

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Cathy- imo you really don't need to "do" a certain amount of things to be an ap parent. I didn't wear my son much either, we never co slept, we weaned "early", etc. I think its more about the way you approach parenting- creating a close bond with your baby and child, basically doing things "baby-led" vs "parent-led."

Sarah - posted on 12/11/2010

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To be totally honest, I get a teeny bit annoyed by the whole AP vs other parenting styles thing.

So far as I'm aware, the main principle of AP to be in tune with your child's needs, to attend to their needs and to provide a secure loving environment.

Without following any of the usual AP practises, like breastfeeding, co-sleeping, baby wearing etc. I feel like achieved that.

I followed my maternal instinct, it just didn't lead me the same way as some AP parents.
For example, my baby needed sleep........I got them that sleep by letting them self soothe.
My baby needed feeding, I fed them, just using formula instead, from our own personal experience, that was the FAR less traumatic way to do it.

My kids are happy and confident, my youngest is a little clingy, my eldest is a little drama queen, but on the whole, I think they're doing great.

I don't like pigeon holing parenting styles to be honest, I think when it comes down to it, the majority of parents are doing what they do out of love and what they feel is right.

I don't think any parenting style is perfect or ''better'', I think we just do our best! :)

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I believe my way is the best way, to raise my daughter. I know every child has different needs. I don't think that any other moms are wrong for the way they raise their children. I do on the other hand feel that it is not just the AP who think their way is the best way and thats the way it is. I have had run ins with people who have quite frequently insulted me because of my AP approach with my daughter. I was told i was going to kill her for cosleeping, I'm starving her because shes a vegan, that BF past the year would cause her to be too clingy, and because i don't believe in spanking or aggression as discipline that my child will be a juvenile delinquent. I think its ALL moms who need to take a look at how they view other moms. We all need to realize that others are doing what we feel is best.

Jessica - posted on 12/11/2010

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I definitely think you can take things to extremes in either direction. I agree its all about balance and what works best for your family. Cosleeping would not have worked for us for a variety of reasons- but it totally does for some people. DS slept in the bassinet/pack n play next to our bed for as long as it was beneficial- but around 5 months old it was becoming clear that it was causing more problems and we were waking each other up more than it was helping, so he moved to his crib in his own room and started sleeping better shortly after. I think some "extreme" AP parents (I know that's redundant) could fall into the trap of keeping their children close and "holding them back" because of their own insecurities, and that's no good for anybody. But if you watch your child for cues and help them move on when they are ready, then its all good.

I also think that some non-AP parents actually don't treat their babies with sensitivity and respect. Not all by any means, but I've read tons of posts about moms who actually make a point to only hold their baby for a certain amount of time a day to make sure they don't become "clingy" and "spoiled." Or the hardcore "babywisers" like pp mentioned who make their newborns follow a strict feeding schedule from day one. To me, that's not being sensitive or respectful of a newborn's needs.

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Tara - posted on 12/12/2010

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I also put my babies in beds at just after a year. Well a double mattress on the floor in their own room, to me is a bed.
It made the transition from the family bed to their own bed a lot easier.
worked for me for 5 kids, just started putting Riley in his about two weeks ago, he loves it! Steve still brings him into our bed in the middle of the night if he wakes up. So I will still nurse him at night if he needs/wants to, but he will sleep in his own bed for at least 5 hours a night now.

Karla - posted on 12/11/2010

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I agree with you Christina that there "should be a perfect balance of loving on your child and them being a little independent". I fully support AP parents decision to do what feels right to them. I wish that they gave non-AP moms the same respect. I a
am constantly frustrated with the responses AP moms give to non-AP moms here on CoM. Someone will ask "How do I wean my year old" and they will be bombarded by AP moms saying WHO recommends at least two years, etc.

I, too, did what felt right TO ME. I breastfed, but only for a year. I swaddled AND I used Babywise. All moms should remember that just because something feels right to you, doesn't mean any other ways are wrong. I often feel like AP moms truly believe their way is the ONLY way to raise happy, healthy kids.

Amie - posted on 12/11/2010

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Shannen, haha! No you're not. I know what you're saying though. I don't know anyone who's changed their kids to beds that young either.

Shauna - posted on 12/11/2010

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I have a early childhood ed degree. Everything they have taught us in school said : It is impossible to spoil a baby. When a baby cries its their form of speech saying i need comfort or nutrition, sleep etc ... They taught that by not tending to baby when he/she cries forms insecurities later in life.

I dont know what i would classify myself.... i did breastfeed on demand, cosleep on occasion.... however never did the baby wearing and dont hold baby often as he is fine entertaining himself. However if hes upset i do tend to him and dont really agree with the cry out method. Unless i know he really really is tired and its in his best interest to just take a nap ... so i dont know what you would call that. I guess every mom just does what she feels is best for her baby :)

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I'm extremely pro BF to a natural duration as well. MY daughter will be one in 3 days and I'm already getting the comments on it being time to ween her......i just said she'll stop when she feels like it. So apparently that means shes not going to stop? lol. At the rate shes going, im pretty sure shes going to stop soon actually.

Lady Heather - posted on 12/11/2010

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Man, I would have loved to have my kid in a bed by now. She still can't walk though so I don't think she'd be able to climb back in if she fell out. Ha.

Katherine - posted on 12/11/2010

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I consider myself AP. Co-sleeping, no CIO, no spanking, self-led breast weaning, etc....I just recently, through CoM and research decided against circumcision.

I'm very pro-BF. That's about all I can think of right now.





Edit to add: I didn't know I was AP either until I came on here.

Mrs. - posted on 12/11/2010

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You know it's funny. When I went to prenatal classes there were these parents there who were all read up on the different things, techniques they wanted to execute. Since, my pregnancy was a shock and surprise, to say the least, I had never in my life thought or read up on any of it. I did, however, help raise my baby bro and watched my mom do what she did. At first, these rather intense, rigid parents agendas kind of made me feel ill prepared but then I realized they looked really frightened...probably as scared as me and just looking for something to lead them.

The best advice I got from my dear old high school friend and mother of five was not to read any of it, to trust myself and ask question when problem occur. She told me the books were likely to scare me and she was right. So, I basically just went with what I knew, asked my mom and my friends with kids and chucked the books.

When I had the baby, I went to yoga class and was hit full on by the attached parenting thing. Pretty much everyone there did it. I kinda felt like an idiot for not knowing about it but then I reminded myself I was doing pretty well without any method. Plus, there was no way in hell I was putting my baby back in my bed, she was happily sleeping 6-7 hours a night in her crib from 6 weeks on.

Now that I know a bit more from the moms I've met, I'm pretty sure I use some techniques from a bunch of camps and I'm not too "attached" to one thing.

As an actor, I find the same thing happening with performers. Some folks become so wrapped up in only being method actors that they have to actually smell like pee to play a homeless person or they take another school of thought and won't work any other way. This makes it really hard when you are just trying to rehearse or shoot something and some actor is too attached to some process they must do that they can't just get it done right now. I didn't want to fall into that trap as a parent...you know I didn't want to be so convinced what I was doing was the "right" thing that I was walking around with piss on my pants to prove it ;).

Stifler's - posted on 12/11/2010

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AP is NOT for me at all. I wanted to breastfeed but it didn't happen. I'm not a fan of this labeling stuff, it's whatever works at the time for me.

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"Moving the others to beds when they were between 13-15 months worked wonders."

Amie, I thought i was the only parent to put children in beds this young.

I never knew there were names for different parenting styles until 6 months ago when i started frequenting COM more often. I always looked at other people and what they do and just thought to myself "oh i'm not sure that would work for me". I do tend to lean towards AP but it's only by doing what i need to do for my children i never sat down and read about what sort of parenting styles there were and chose one. It just evolves!

Erin - posted on 12/11/2010

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That's a good point Jessica, and I agree with you. I guess I was just clarifying because the vax issue is so often linked with AP.

Jessica - posted on 12/11/2010

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Erin- I don't think no vaxing is a specific AP principle. I think it gets confusing because there are a lot of other things many AP parents *happen* to practice, that aren't specific to AP. Many tend to not vax or delay vax, be big on natural styles of living, cloth diaper, eating/drinking organic, extended BF-ing, homemade baby food etc. That's a very broad generalization, but its something I've noticed. I joined an attachment parenting meet up group about a year ago to get out and meet other moms since I know none IRL lol; I figured that would be a good group to join because maybe we'd be coming from the same mindset. Well, after reading their forum posts for a couple weeks first I actually left the group because I was afraid I wouldn't fit in! I got the impression I might be lynched because most of them were still nursing their 2 and 3 year olds while I had started supplementing my 7 month old; I'd be the only one with a stroller, we don't usually buy organic food because well, we have a tight budget.

My point is I think a lot of those things are "extras" and you don't need to do them to consider yourself an "attached parent."

Erin - posted on 12/11/2010

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To a point, I agree with that Sarah. Although there are some things that I believe would clearly rule out a parent from being classified as AP (eg smacking). Not that everyone wants to be labelled AP of course!!

Sarah - posted on 12/11/2010

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I think you've hit the nail on head there Erin, there's practises and there's principles.....I think you can believe in the principles without actually following all of the practices.

Erin - posted on 12/11/2010

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AP includes both parenting practices and principles. I do not meet every 'criteria' for various reasons (weaned far earlier than I had planned or wanted, didn't co-sleep because Milla hates it) but I believe in it's principles (apart from the no vax). Mind you, I also didn't know it existed as a concept until after I joined COMs.



My instincts led me to AP. It was not a conscious decision. But as I read more about it, I realised that not only does it feel natural and work with my child, but it makes sense. Creating a strong bond by following a baby's lead and keeping them close allows them to form the security and confidence they need for independance down the track. Which, for my daughter, has definitely been the case.

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I'd never heard of attachment parenting until I joined CoM. I still don't know what it is, either. I'm sure if I read through some of these posts I'd find out, but I'm not too worried about it.

Based solely on the term itself, I'd have to say my family knew nothing of it and did not practice it. I have never been too attached to the people in my family and it shows now, certainly. I'm not very social, not good in social situations, and the only person I'm okay with touching is my husband. I can't stand getting hugs, even from my own family. I don't like any kind of physical contact like that. I'm okay with strangers, but I'm cautious and very watchful.

As far as raising my own child, I'm not going to be so extreme in either direction. I don't plan on co-sleeping but I do plan on using a sling or something. I'll be breastfeeding, at least for the first two months (hopefully longer, but it depends on our finances) and I'll be very wary of anything other people give her, so having someone else babysit her or putting her in daycare is going to be a last resort kind of thing. I have never trusted other people with my pets, and for good reason, so I'm certainly not going to trust my daughter to them.

But I will try to keep my daughter independent. It depends on her own little personality, and I just hope she's as independent as my husband and I are. Just not to the point where she won't listen to us later on, or that it causes a problem in school.

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Yea i didn't realize they have a name for my parenting style until i seen it here. I go with attachment parenting because thats the one i fit into the best :P For the most part i just run on pure instinct with my method. Some moms have different instincts with their parenting because their children are different. I just feel this is best for my child.

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I don't like labeling parenting styles either. I wouldn't say I do the whole attached parenting things either, but I don't agree with sleep training and feeding schedules for newborns either. I feel I have a good balance and don't have to worry about holding my 7 month old baby all the time. When I brought my babies home I didn't hold them for hours while they slept like many do. I respond to crying but that doesn't mean they get what they want all the time (needs are always met) especially since my youngest is starting to throw fits. He sleeps in his bed in my room and will for a while longer because I like him near me but not right next to me, we both sleep better that way.

I also think that these hard core "babywisers" are unfairly judged because they are doing a methods that are right in their mind, many of which come suggested by doctors. My little sister for example just had her first baby and got that stupid baby timer that keeps feeding and nap schedules. I told her what I think, to feed on demand and let her nap when she needs, but her doctor advised her to start a schedule and keep it so thats what she does.

Lady Heather - posted on 12/11/2010

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I honestly don't know much about "parenting styles" and just do what feels right. We didn't co-sleep and we didn't breastfeed and I hardly wore the baby (those were my daughter's choices and not mine). I tried these things but she was having none of it. I think she was just not physically able to get the hang of the breastfeeding due to her small size. She seemed to require more room to move around while sleeping and after 8 months old did not even wanted to sleep ON me. As a little one she hated slings and wraps and carriers. We spent a bomb on them only to have them all rejected. She just wanted to be held so I sat on the couch and got nothing done.

I don't know what kind of parenting that is and I don't care. My daughter is happy and I am happy. I don't know why we have to define all this crap. My main goals as a parent are to stay calm and not be a jerk. It's worked well so far.

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Haha, Carol -- Roxanne is "obnoxiously self confident" too. Quite the independent lil' things aren't they?

Johnny - posted on 12/11/2010

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I'm not a big fan of the label "attachment parenting" but I think that what most of us are seeking to do is to become an attached parent. Having a bond of trust with one's child. How you go about forming that is going to be a matter of what works for the parents and for the child. Each parent/child relationship will have it's own "best practices" even within the same family. Like Kylie, I'm not a big fan of the babywisers who force their kids on a schedule, sleep train at a young age, and ignore their child's cues in order to meet some preconceived notion of what the perfect baby will be like. I think it produces some rather insecure children. But outside of that, how you feed them, carry them, sleep, etc. should be a matter of the right choices for yourself and your child.

I mixed fed, breast & formula (until 5 months) and she was weaned at 23 months from nursing. We did babywear, but it was what we found convenient. She did not enjoy being in the wrap when she was a tiny infant, so she had to be in the stroller or in our arms. We had her in our room in a bassinet for the first 4 months, then in her own room for another 4, then back in our bed for another 2, and then on the floor for 4 months, and since 14 months she's been in her own room most of the time. We never did CIO, we just arranged our sleep set up in the way that worked best at the time. So I did a lot of things that are labeled "AP" but not other things. So the labeling of parents just doesn't really work IMO.

Oh, and for the naysayers who inevitably will arrive on this thread to suggest that kids parented using AP techniques will turn out clingy, it's really not the case. My daughter is almost obnoxiously self-confident, and very comfortable being left with others. The first time we left her with someone other than my parents, she barely noticed we were gone. And last weekend, she decided to go off with her Uncle (whom she hadn't seen in 4 months) to the hardware store "without mommy" for a treat. Clingy is not a word I would use to describe her in the slightest.

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My daughter also has no problem being away from me now, when she is going with gramma. as long as i tell her i will see you later. She just waves bye to me and goes. She has no problem because she is secure in knowing i will always be here for her.

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i guess i would consider myself an attachment parent. I kept my daughter as close as she needed for the first year of her life, once she decided she no longer needed me for certain things. (she decided not to cosleep at 4 months and she wanted her own room at 6 she also decided she didnt want to go in her sling at around 4 months.) Still she wants to come up and sit with me on my lap when we play. I believe in positive discipline as well i wont spank or timeout, (i do believe in "calm down time" though, not a a punishment but a way to deal with emotions.) I also wont say "no" to her. If she gets into something i dont want her in, i say phrases like, "Please stay out of that." Also explain why i she cant touch it. Attachment parenting isn"t about clinging to your child, its about allowing them to choose when they become independent. My daughter is extremely independent already and i never had any issues helping her sleep through the night or her starting new things. I think if you make the bond between mother and child as strong as possible, they are more secure with themselves because they know they have you to fall back on. So when they do want to do things on their, they are sure of themselves, because they know if they cant succeed, they have you.

Forcing independence when they are not ready creates anxiety and issues with their own security. I see a lot of moms who say separation anxiety is effecting their child. With attachment parenting, this anxiety is eliminated because the child chooses when she is ready to be alone. Not the parent.

Tara - posted on 12/11/2010

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Not sure, I'm not a true (if there is such a thing) attachment parenter.
I prefer to call myself "an instinctive parenter" I parent my babies (under 6 mopnths) much the same way a mother animal would. I keep them close by when they are infants, by using a sling so they can nurse when they need to, and so they can be close to my beating heart. I co-sleep with my babies until age 1 or so.
I feed on demand and breastfeed until at least 18 months.
I don't use CIO, I don't keep my babies in another room down the hall with the door closed.
I parent the way my instincts, my gut tells me to. I follow my own instincts as a human mother, while honouring my instincts as an animal mother.
I think it's about balance. I can leave my LO with my MIL, hubby, my mom etc. and he's OK. I don't keep the attachment going past the point when I know they don't need it. They are all independent children, with a great sense of self-awareness.
Balance is so important.
I know one AP who is extreme, (I posted about her earlier, under a lesson in sharing) her kids won't even stay with their dad, and they are 6 and 3. They scream when she tries to leave them at home to run to the store. She is still nursing both of them and is pregnant with her 3rd. She sleeps with two kids, her hubby has his own room now. (it's a wonder she got pregnant again at all). And her kids rule the house, if they don't want to go somewhere, then no one goes, if they want to stay up until 10 because mommy is up, then they can.
It's extreme and extremely unhealthy in my opinion.
:) My two cents and then some.

Kylie - posted on 12/11/2010

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Well i suppose if we are going to put labels on people i think that a lot of the "babywisers" out there dont treat their babies with respect. I think you have to be desensitized to use CIO sleep training and strict schedule methods on infants. I think some people dont treat babies as human beings and believe tehir LO's are manipulators and trainable. But no i dont think it's just the APers who respect and are sensitive to their kids..thats would be crazy and extreme.

I just want to be clear when i say CIO i dont mean the occasional 5 min cry before bed I'm talking about the strict don't pick them up or you'll be ruining the sleep training program that may take to a week of long periods of crying.

Petra - posted on 12/11/2010

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Yeah, I feel like labeling yourself as a specific style inevitably results in judgment of other styles. Different strokes for different folks. All I hope for is that parents are making informed decisions.

C. - posted on 12/11/2010

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Oh, and I also forgot to add.. We fed on demand, too.

I agree, Nikki. I don't really like to label parenting styles, either.

Nikki - posted on 12/11/2010

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I think a lot of mother's use AP principle's without realising it. From my interpretation it is simply following your babies cues and your natural instincts. I don't really like the labels of parenting styles, I think it's a bit of a worry if you have to follow a particular style to be the best mother. I think irrespective of labels most mother's fit into one or two of the categories just doing what comes naturally to them.

Jenn - posted on 12/11/2010

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I guess I would be more of an AP style parent - but wouldn't go around labeling myself that, it's just what felt natural for me to do. Personally, I think babies who have all of their wants and needs met in this way tend to become more independent children, so if you had used those principles you wouldn't have a child that was more clingy - they would likely be the same or less clingy. Anyway, I think almost all 2 year old are clingy - it's just the age.

C. - posted on 12/11/2010

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Ok, thanks, ladies!!!



After reading all the posts, I realized that we have used a few of the AP techniques. We picked our son up as much as possible, he slept in our room (he does now, too, but that's another story- it's not b/c we aren't ready for him to leave our room). We didn't baby wear, we used a stroller. I couldn't BF for more than 2 weeks, so he was formula fed.



I think it is more of a personality thing and what you feel is best for your baby.



*Edited to add: We did co-sleep, kind of. I've had problems with fatigue since our son was born, so on nights when my husband worked and I just couldn't wake up (I was the one w/ the monitor right next to me turned all the way up- that tells you how tired I was :/ ), he'd bring our son in the bed with us- I wasn't happy about it, though, b/c I personally don't feel it's safe, but that's just my opinion on it.*



I have a question, though, for Kylie. You said "treating my babies with respect and sensitivity is just what feels right and it's what works for my family."



Just for clarification, do you feel that if parents don't use the AP method, that they aren't sensitive enough or treat their babies with enough respect? Seriously, I'm just curious, b/c I could take that two different ways. I just want to make sure which way it was meant is the way it is taken.

Petra - posted on 12/11/2010

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Like a few others, I did more baby-led parenting, and didn't research or follow a "style" prior to having my son. I breastfed, wore him, co-slept and responded to all crying promptly. I weaned him at about 10 months in anticipation of my return to work. He was almost 11 months old when we began the transition from staying home with me to his day home and he's never had any meltdowns and happily goes to and from his child-care provider. He is a happy, busy boy and is content to go to sleep on his own - his father and I can both put him down without a fuss and he goes down for naps at his day-home and with his Nana just fine. He's a confident, secure little guy and I just mostly went off instinct. I don't attribute it to AP - just some solid parenting and luck.

Sarah - posted on 12/11/2010

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I did the baby led thing too really, in that I fed on demand and let them have naps when they wanted to etc.

I know someone who had their baby on a strict schedule, and boy did that backfire on them!! If ever there was a slight change to that schedule, the poor baby would totally freak out!

[deleted account]

Before CoM I would have said I was far from a AP style parent, but from learning about it further I did many of the AP style parenting techniques.

~ I tried to BF but the LO wouldn't latch and my milk dried up so that one didn't work out.
~ We co-slept with Ethan in our bedroom (not bed) for the first 6 1/2 months then he was ready to move into his own room and flourished when he did.
~ Although we didn't wear him, we carried and held him pretty much constantly for the first 3 months.
~ We allowed him to set a baby led schedule, by observing his cues and making his schedule around them, until it settled into a pattern we were all happy with.

On the other hand we also used none AP style methods as wel, such as our own version of CIO I feel all the methods we used have gelled together well and have led to Ethan being a confident, happy, cntent little boy who is fearless and is not afraid to interact with new people.

Mary - posted on 12/11/2010

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I too, am one who fell into AP just based on instinct and my personality. I didn't read the books, nor did I approach motherhood with any determination to follow a certain methodology. I breastfed until she self-weaned. I was, and often still am, a baby-wearer (she's two now, but we still use the ergo to walk the dogs daily, and I use that instead of stroller at places outdoor festivals when she doesn't want to walk on her own). I never did any type of CIO - she cried, we responded. The only reason we didn't co-sleep was because SHE wouldn't once she was about 4 months old. At that point, the only adult she would sleep longer than 15-20 minutes with or on was my dad. To this day, Molly loves to nap snuggling with him in a recliner; she never does that with me or her father =(. She won't sleep in the car, either, but she will occasionaly sleep in the ergo.



She is by no means a clingy child. At places like the library's storytime or our twice-weekly classes at My Gym, she is off and running, rarely giving me a backwards glance during the 'independent' play times. She has no fears or anxieties about doing the skills with the instructors at My Gym without any coaxing from me. When I drop her off at my dad's for the afternoon, or my sister's, she will say "bye-bye, Mommy", and give me a hug, but there are never any tears or meltdowns. We recently left her for the first time at My Gym for a parent's night out. Again, no drama, and according to the staff, she had a blast. She spied us immediately when we returned, and ran right over, but only to drag me over to the ball pit and say "Mommy play now?". Not bad for a just-turned-two y/o who has never been in daycare.

Jessica - posted on 12/11/2010

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I do tend to lean more towards attachment style parenting, though there are things associated with it that we didn't do- co sleeping, me/my son weaned at 8 months (he was ready, I was ready). But a lot of the basic ideas of AP just came naturally to us. I never got into baby wearing (might with this baby though) but we always held him all the time and whevever he wanted, never did CIO, basically we just developed a close bond with our child and followed his cues for everything.

The idea is actually that by creating a secure attachment the child will feel safe enough to become independent. There's a lot of research that supports ap principles too. My son is quite independent and I really feel that we've done things the "right" way with him so far (he's 18 months). He sleeps great- 12 hours a night, 2 2-hour naps, he'll play by himself as happy as can be, he's just in general a content little guy. Certainly not the whiny, clingy overly-dependent child many people think of when they think of AP but don't know much about it (not saying that you did OP, just in general).

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I would have liked to have been an AP, all the breastfeeding, baby wearing... but my boys were having none of it. Some babies just aren't attachment babies!

Nikki - posted on 12/11/2010

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I had never heard about attachment parenting until I became a member on CoM. I don't pretend to understand all of the principles, but from what I have read most of my parenting style is attachment parenting.

I have always had the maternal feeling that I needed to be with my daughter from co sleeping to baby wearing, I felt until she was ready for her independence I would keep her close. I never feared spoiling her, it was always important to put her needs first.

I always felt that if she felt secure in her environment with me, it would facilitate her independence and self esteem. My beliefs were more based on my observations and research I have done on child development for work.

For us it has worked, we have had a few hiccups along the way. For one, as you know I used a modified version of CIO which is not AP, but my goal has never been to follow a particular parenting style rather follow my own instincts.

For us, it has worked well, Issy is very independent (maybe a little too much for my liking!) She is a mummy's girl, but she is also confident and happy in her own skin, it's like she knows that I will be there for her, so she feels safe to explore. That might sound stupid and like I read too much into it, but from my observations I have seen a lot of children that seem to be insecure with their parents causing them to be clingy.

Kylie - posted on 12/11/2010

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I'd be classified as an attachment parent but i see it as parenting driven by my instincts. Breastfeeding on demand, co-sleeping, baby wearing, treating my babies with respect and sensitivity is just what feels right and it's what works for my family. I started doing these things before i had even heard of Dr sears or the term AP.
My children have confidence and are thriving, they are cautious of strangers and my youngest is clingy in new situations..like meeting Santa today(there was no way he would have sat on santas lap) But i think its a natural and normal way for most young kids to be...like a self preservation instinct or something.

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