Feeling really isolated about bringing my Daughter up the AP way

Victoria - posted on 06/10/2010 ( 25 moms have responded )

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Feeling quite alone in my parenting style right now. My Daughter is 15 weeks old and I am so fed up with not knowing anyone who supports AP or is even doing it. For me I didn't even know that my parenting style had a name ! I was just bringing Willow up the way that felt natural for me, although it has taken along time to get to that point. When she was first born I tried very hard to fit into the 'norm', but it felt wrong so gradually I started to do it my way - co sleep, nurse to sleep, put her in a baby carrier during the day ! I have raised many eyebrows let me tell you ! How sad is that ?



I have started to meet up with lots of new Mums and you know what ? Not one of them is doing it the AP way. They all have their babies in cots and in seperate rooms, they let me CIO and they look at me like I am some raving hippie and that my Daughter is going to be one spoilt brat because I am not doing it the 'normal way'. If I had a pound for each time someone has said to me 'You are making a rod for your own back', I would be rich by now !

I am beginning to feel really isolated and I am even beginning to doubt myself and the way I am raising WIllow.



My theory is that by me sleeping with her, nursing her to sleep, taking naps with her, etc, I am looking after her needs, therefore she will turn out to be a very secure young lady. When she wakes instead of seeing four walls, she sees Mummy. I follow her cues and we are so insync now that she only has to look at me a certain way and I know she needs to feed etc. I feel that I am catering to her every need, therefore she feels confident that she can rely on me, that she can be content knowing that her needs will be met !



Please tell me that there are Mums out there doing it the AP way ! And please let me know how you got support.



Thanks.

MOST HELPFUL POSTS

Jessica - posted on 07/09/2010

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Hi Victoria!! I stumbled on to attachment parenting the same way you did. I just did what was natural to me and later realized it had a name.

I also do not know any other AP near me and I also get little support from family and friends in my parenting choices. I have always had to defend my decsions with the grandmas etc.

My son is now 9 months old and I am definately reaping the benefits of AP. My son is a joy to be around. I enjoys every second of being his mommy. He is sensitive and well mannered and behaved. We have a deep connection and trust with each other. Every where I go I get comments from people on what a great baby he is. This in itself is reward enough for all my hard work!! The same will be for you!!

If you have not already try reading Dr. Sears Attachment Parenting Book or the Baby Book.

Charlie - posted on 08/04/2010

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Co sleeping , sling wearing , breastfeeding ,, positive discipline methodist , attachment parenting mumma here .

I have found there aren't that many mums around doing AP but when we discuss our different styles i listen to what they have to say and then i explain what i do and why i do it , ive actually found a few of them try it the AP way and some of them have really changed their tune ! others will never try it any other way but you can find lots of like minded mums on sites like COM and there are few great facebook pages too :
http://www.facebook.com/pages/Woman-Unce...

http://www.facebook.com/peacefulparentin...

http://www.facebook.com/peacefulparentin...!/group.php?gid=115457061807793&v=wall&ref=ts

http://www.facebook.com/AMuchBetterWay?r...

Some blogs too :

http://www.drmomma.org/
http://www.authenticparenting.info/
http://womanuncensored.blogspot.com/

Amanda - posted on 07/16/2010

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I'm the raging hippie in my circle of friends too! Don't worry I was like you and just had to do what "felt right". My oldest is now almost 4 and I wouldn't have it any other way! She is very secure in herself and goes to mother's day out a couple of times a week. Both her and my 2 year old son's teachers have told me they are the best behaved children in class. They never have to ask them more than once for something and when my youngest cries they just have to hold him for a minute and he is all smiles! Keep it up and do what you want for you kids. We fell into the AP style and haven't looked back since I found there was a name for it and even implemented some more tools for toddlers acting up...like time in instead of time out. When my daughter gets really upset it is usually because she is tired or hungry. Those are pretty easy fixes and if that isn't it then I hold her and sing to her and rock her until whatever problem she had we can now talk about and fix. GOOD FOR YOU! Hang in there

Marcy - posted on 06/17/2010

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Victoria-I often laugh when I post and read posts on the A/P circle sites. Even though Circle of Moms is used throughout the world there are such a small group of us who are A/P that my questions are often times answered by the same moms over and over again (which I love BTW). That being said, I have stopped looking for other moms near me who I can relate to and I just post on my favorite circle sites here. I will tell you though that as your child gets older it does get easier. What I mean by that is when your friends/family start to see how truly amazing your child is (of course they are amazing as babies but when their personailites start to really show) then they really back off. We co-sleep, nurse (I have an almost 4 year old), never do CIO and we are in to child lead parenting.....when my son was born up until he turned about 2 years old everyone had some kind of canned response to my style of parenting. It got really annoying and then one day I just told myself that I was truly the only one who could control how I responded to them...so I started ignoring it.



Well, as my son got older and started talking (a lot), was really loving with people, very secure, etc suddenly my family and friends started to notice the huge difference between him and the other non A/P kids (I never said a word mind you).



You are doing everything right for you and your baby. Don't EVER question your instints they are spot on girl!

April - posted on 06/12/2010

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i think AP is the normal way and CIO/sleep in another room/give pacifiers and bottles techniques are barbaric!



ps: my good friend told me you "really need to get your son on more food" and "do you want your son to be in diapers til he's 5??" my son is 18 months old and still breastfeeds alllllll night and does wear diapers. (he is terrified of the potty)



ANYWAY... did I criticize her for formula feeding? NO! Did I criticize her for letting her daughter have a pacifier? NO! Did i tell her that i think her 4 year old has constant accidents in his pants because he was FORCED to toilet train at 1 year old? NO!



I believe attachment parenting is also about modeling gentle techniques. Telling off this CIO, sleep in another room, formula feeding mama would have been anything but gentle!! What helps is knowing my son is more relaxed and actually more independent, while her daughter clings on for dear life! (if she APed, her daughter wouldn't need to cling so much because she would know mama is always there)

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Vanessa - posted on 02/23/2011

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I agree Katherine..... I went out with friends for "girls nights" when my son was younger and he is a bit clingy and needy... Now I have my daughter and I don't want to go out, I am happy to stay at home with my babies.... So I have gone both ways with my two LO's and I'll tell you AP is more me then anything.

Katherine - posted on 02/23/2011

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something else i have noticed is that alot of my friends dont understand why i dont want to have "girls night" anymore. that i would rather stay home and read to emma or snuggle or whatever. they say i need to let her stay away from home and go enjoy myself. well honetly, i dont enjoy myself when i am not with my daughter. as i sid before, i have a fulltime job, the LAST thing i want to do is spend time away from her. i notice with my girl friends who spend lots of time away from their children, their kids are very clingy, whiny, not very secure. emma is such a secure child. for instance, we were at Mass the other day (Catholic) and a man who she didnt know, but i did, clapped his hands together and said come see em, and she went, lol. she is not afraid of people. she knows i am there when she goes to sleep and there when she opens her eyes, literally and i wouldnt have it any other way.

Vanessa - posted on 02/22/2011

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I am an AP parent..... And my mother tells me everyday that I am going to have a spoiled brat on my hands. Well I don't care what she says, it makes me happy the way that I have chosen to raise my daughter. She isn't needy at all, granted she really only likes it when I hold her for an extended period of time, other then that she is fine. She is happy and I am happy. i have a 5 year old and I was not an AP parent with him, his daddy didn't believe in that and I find him a tad spoiled if I do say so myself. None the less they are my children and I can choose to raise them how I see fit. And unless I am physically abusing them or myself, Other people should butt out with there opinions and nasty looks.

Katherine - posted on 02/21/2011

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i feel the same way. i didnt know they way we chose to parent had a name. my daughter still sleeps with us, she is 17 months. i nap with her, because i miss her so much. i work full time, so when i am with her, i want to spend as much time with her as possible.
when people make comments i have leaned just to say, what works for one family may not work for another, and leave it at that.

Michelle - posted on 11/25/2010

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what you are doing is fantastic....and the best start you can give your baby.....just excuse others their ignorance and secretly feel sorry for their poor kids....lol!!!

Casey - posted on 11/14/2010

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I have felt the same way many times! I hate the rod for your own back thing! Grrrrrr. I eventually found people doing similar things to me. Some of the chat sites are good but some of the women are a bit extreme. All I can tell you is that so far it has been so worth it. My eldest is three, he is kind, clever, confident and so much older than his years. If I'd listened to all the CIO and if you carry him he will expect to always be carried, I wouldn't have the beautiful boy I have today. None of my family agreed with our method but I eventually got them to respect it. Stay strong. We have a six month old now and I decided I wouldn't change a thing in my parenting style when I had him, it has worked so well so far. I can't guarantee what sort of teens or adults they will be but the goal is to raise adults who will function in society as kind compassionate, confidant individuals. All we can do as parents is what we think is best, it would be wrong to do what you think and feel is wrong just because someone else thinks they are right.

Keep meeting people and perhaps check what they do first before you put yourself out there. I don't tend to mention my parenting style until I've seen what others are doing just to save the pain of all those negative people. But there are more and more of us out there maybe when my kids raise they're own children AP will be the norm. Of course the fact that I wear my baby everywhere usually gives people the idea I'm not the average parent.

Good luck

Kim - posted on 11/10/2010

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My husband and I have talked about other parents lying about their babies sleeping through the night too. We just don't understand why people would do that. Our 7month old hasn't slept for more than a 4 hour stretch at night and our friends/family tell us about how their babies sleep for 7 to 7. And then when we go to her doc he tells me that she needs to be sleeping more and I shouldn't be feeding her in the middle of the night, but that just doesn't seem right to me. Its so hard to find other parents that have the same parenting style as us.

Victoria - posted on 11/08/2010

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Thank you so much for all of your comments, it is so nice to connect with likeminded Mummies. I think you are all fantastic, such caring, child centred Mummies. Your Children must love you all very much. Lots of love, patience, happiness and serenity to you all (as I know how tough it can be). xx

Erin - posted on 08/26/2010

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I live in California and about 3 months after i had my daughter and had been cosleeping for that long i heard that in LA they had an anti-cosleeping week put on by the city...i had a heart attack! I have gotten so much flack for cosleeping it is becoming comical!

Carla - posted on 08/04/2010

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Erm i think you are doing a fantastic job!
I must say my husband is a CIO bottle feed type of parent and i went along with it as he was my first baby and he is clingy and quite wingy, i regret doing this style every day...
As a result now i try to spend alot of time with him let him sleep in my bed as he did as a newborn but he is too indenpendant, although he has a rotuine that he gos to bed at 7 and wake once or twice a day, he has two naps a day where my son has decided he must go to bed with his bottle before he will fall asleep! I never get cuddles and he never falls asleep on me =(
Please don't change how you are doing things, although the rotuine is nice i feel it would of been better if we both felt closer to each other... I will defo be doing AP style once my second baby is born

(Please don't judge me on my first style, i judge myself more than any one else could)

xx

Elizabeth - posted on 07/09/2010

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GOOD JOB MOMMY! Keep it up! It was the same for me and I worked at a daycare when my daughter was first born. Even my co-workers outright called me a hippie. It was crazy and almost offensive. Come to find out my mom had actually done the same things with her three kids but back then there really was no support.
If you are looking for moms that feel the same way you do try Le Leache League. Breastfeeding moms tend to flock together. Be assured that you are not alone. There are lots of us.

Cheyne - posted on 06/23/2010

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You are awesome! What a lovely Mummy you are!!! I am definitely doing it the AP way- and my son (who's nearly 1), is absolutely independent. Of course there is a lot of things he can't do, but he loves to feed himself and tries to 'dress' himself. He can sometimes be spoilt but that has nothing to do with being an AP baby! I was brought up that way and have always been independent. The thing with parenting, is that you have to do what feels right for you, not what other people think is right.

It can be hard though, when there doesn't seem to be a lot of support out there (my partner and son's father doesn't even fully agree with it!!).

Merry - posted on 06/23/2010

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i also am alone in my parenting styles in my friends, all have used cio in one form or another and all except one will be weaning by 18months or earlier, all still use pacifiers, but we all babywear! we all use cribs but im the only one who nurses eric to sleep and puts him down. one friend is planning on nursing about 2 years but she isnt living here anymore so that sucks! just remember that the "weird" ways are the modern ways and the natural ways are the timeless ways. so if they are pushing cribs swings pacis bottles strollers bouny chairs highchairs and you dont want to use those, remember you are doing the natural way, not the modrn stuff. not that those things are bad, i use alot of them, but if you dont want to then you sshouldnt feel bad! time will tell that Willow loves you too and she will thank you for loving her the easiest ways possible!

Allison - posted on 06/11/2010

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I didn't know about the whole AP thing either, but it definitely seemed to be the natural/best way to do things. We got ALL kinds of comments about spoiling our son. But he is 3 years old now, and guess what? He is better behaved and more confident than ANY other toddler I know. He is already a great communicator, so he has NEVER thrown a temper tantrum. On the other hand, I see my friends' toddlers throw tantrums all the time. I really am not bragging - I can see very directly what causes their kids to act out, and we just handle it so differently with our son that it's not an issue. I'm hoping we can keep the same type of relationship into his teen years, because I really think if you stay in tune with kids it's the best way to keep them "on track" so to speak. Anyway, I am VERY proud to show his grandparents and my friends that they were wrong about the "spoiling" they claimed we were doing :) :) :) A few of them have even commented/recanted on their previous comments - saying how well it seems to have worked, and wishing they had started out that way too !!! You've got LOTS of support from this end. Hope you can find a few moms closer to you that agree!

Jessie - posted on 06/11/2010

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Le Leche League is great for sure, most of the moms I met there are AP minded. But you have to be your biggest supporter, it can be hard with all the conflicting advice and information but you are doing what is best for your daughter so keep trusting your instincts. I think people react negatively to AP sometimes because they feel AP parents think they are superior and look down on other parenting styles which is not the case (for me anyway). I also love Dr. William Sears' books, he has many but there is one specifically on AP, read it and he will validate those natural instinct that tell you how to take care of your baby.

Ann - posted on 06/10/2010

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Do you have a La Leche League group or something similar in your area? I felt so alone until I found some like minded moms. I love to go to a meeting and see other moms with their slings and talking about the safest way to bedshare or how to continue to take care of themselves without going against their AP instincts.

Rebecca - posted on 06/10/2010

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i have coslept with my daughter since day one and will continue to til she is ready for her own bed and i have rocked her to sleep too. people would tell me i shouldnt rock her to sleep cuz i'm spoiling her but i jus was like 'ok' and smiled but i kept doing what i was doing. i dont know anybody that does the AP way but i feel like lela knows i love her cuz im there for her when she cries and stuff.

but u shouldnt doubt the way your raising her. u should do what u feel is best for ur baby

Catlin - posted on 06/10/2010

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I feel the same way!! None of our friends are AP parents, and some times my hubby and I are at a lost.

It really sucks not having someone who you can call about baby nursing all night, etc.



The benefits of AP are awesome. There are plenty of AP families, and I'm sure that you can find at least one around. You're in the uk so i don't know if there's a meetup group around. try www.meetup.com or google AP meetup groups in your area. IT's hard but we're always here if you need us!





P.S. most moms lie about baby sleeping through the night. I don't know why they aren't secure enough in their parenting to just say no baby isn't

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