Tell us about your family and your parenting style

Heather - posted on 11/21/2008 ( 58 moms have responded )

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Hi, I'm Heather. I have 3 kids 8, 3 and almost 1.I parent naturally. My kids for the most part eat when they are hungry, sleep when they are tired, get held and hugged when they need closeness.I am not a schedule type and find that my kids can tell me their needs and I can respond and that is so much better for us. I offer different foods and they can choose from them but if they don't like what I am making for dinner they can eat peanut butter and jelly or whatever suits them because I trust that they will get what they need.I homeschool/unschool for now because it works for my kids where they are now. I nursed my first one till he was 2 and a half but my other two basically weaned and preferred bottles by 6 months and I don't feel like less of a woman or a mother because of it.I co-sleep and though I admit likely I may not be as rested somenights I wouldn't trade it for the world. Nothing seems more unnatural to me than putting your kids in a cold bed in a dark room down the hall..but that's just me.I hate cry it out and seriously believe it's torture. Babies cry for a reason...they depend on us for everything and they do not manipulate.I love baby wearing and have done it with all 3.Hmmm..I let my boys be boys and even girls when they want to be(my 3 yr old son loves makeup and nailpolish ) I believe in treasuring these precious people and their short period of life where the world is magic and happiness is mommas arms!

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Nifty - posted on 03/14/2009

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Oh and I'm glad I found this group because whenever Jam cries, I pick her up as soon as possible. I'm so sick at people yelling at me for it! When people call her spoiled, I tell them that she is spoiled with LOVE!

Brooke - posted on 03/13/2009

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I've been posting on here for awhile also but just noticed this thread. I'm Brooke and I'm married to my wonderful husband, Mike. We've been married for 8.5 years and have 2 children...Selah (4.5 yrs.) and Tobias (almost 2). We didn't realize with our daughter that we were parenting AP. She cried alot in her bassinet, so at 2 weeks old my husband was the one who brought her into bed with us. She actually slept on our chests for 2 months. I breastfed her until 8 months (she weaned herself). She was almost always being worn by one of us either at home or in public......we just liked having her close to us. ( We tried to conceive for several years, then lost one to miscarriage.....so, we cherished her closeness to us ) We both thought the idea of allowing your baby to CIO was abusive. With our son, our parenting just continued. He nursed until 16 months and was also worn by me all the time. He's 22 months old now and still LOVES to be held......he's my little boyfriend and I LOVE  that he still enjoys being held. Both of our children sleep with us still. We have a king-size bed so this helps with room for everyone ! We DO vaccinate our children and I use disposable diapers. Sorry ladies, I'm NOT washing out crap all day but major props to those of you who do......I admire your green-ness. We are in debate right now abou either home-schooling our daughter next year or sending her to our church's school. ( Cost of tuition and her being away from us is turning us more towards HS) I don't put my babies in church nursery until AT LEAST 1 ( and I get plenty of comments from the peanut factory about this) and we don't really leave them alot. If they are baby-sat it's by my parents ! I'm really glad for this community because not too many of my friends are AP parents.So, my husband and I don't get alot of support or understanding of how we parent.

Brenda - posted on 03/04/2009

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Hi Samantha and welcome!  Glad to have you around!  It is all about our kids, more than anything.  Too many people want to turn their babies and children into miniature adults and not let them be children, I think.  Nature blessed us with instincts, I think we should use them!  :)

Ally - posted on 01/31/2009

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Hi everyone...my name is Ally I am a registered nurse but at the moment I have been a stay at home mom since my daughter Sadie was born in march. I plan on going back to work part time soon and hope that the trasnsition with my wonderful...but clingy daughter won't be as bad as im imagining it! I have been married to my husband matt who is a paramedic for almost two years now and sometimes talking to people on the computer is the only thing that keeps m going during his four days/nights on :) Im not sure if I have a "parenting style" we have routines for some stuff but not others..I have been breastfeeding for ten months now and plan to keep it up for as long as she's interested. We have or daughter on a selective vaccination scheduel and have finally found a pediatrician willing to work with us on that. We co-sleep and love it..alothough we would probably love it more if we had a king size bed! We try to eat healthy and most of our daughters diet is home made , free range and organic...and i have also been a vegetarian for a little over ten years. We are very happy with the way we are raising our daughter but we do get some comments and many looks from friends and family over the fact that we bed share and even that we are still nursing at only ten months?? I really love this group so far all of the ladies seem lovely and I hope to get to know some of you soon...it's nice to be surrounded by likeminded people for a change :)

Charmaine - posted on 01/27/2009

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Hi, Everyone!
I'm Charmaine, mom to Emily who will be 7 in March, Aidan who turned 4 in October, and Bridget, who will be 1 in March. My husband Kevin and I have been married for 7 1/2 amazing (and still exciting!) years. I had just turned 23 when our first child was born, and as many of you know, got much unsolicited advice from anybody who noticed I was pregnant! Being one of the first in our group of friends to have children, Kevin and I didn't know what to listen to and what not to listen to, so we tried just about everything (sorry my dear Emily!) We heard all about the schedules, the vaccinations, the supplements (I was told I would need to supplement with vitamins because I was breastfeeding!), dangers of co-sleeping and spoiling a baby, etc, etc... We decided many things that we thought was the "norm" did not work for us.

A bassinet sat in our bedroom filled with diapers, while the baby slept next to me so I could nurse. Emily's crib was "used" by her once when she was 5-6 months old, and I say "used" in quotes because we were told that babies need to cry it out and they will stop and then go to sleep and everything will be fine. That night was one of the worst nights of my parenting life and I feel horribly guilty for letting it happen. I watched my daughter through a crack in the door cry and scream and stare at the door, refusing to lay down, falling asleep while standing up, and waking up when she fell over, just to start again, while I sat on the other side of the door sobbing and feeling so guilty that I was letting it happen, but at the same time not knowing any other way. I thought, "there's no way this is how it's supposed to be."

That might have been the turning point for us. I never knew there were so many others out there. We felt like we had to keep it a secret that we co-sleep, lied to my pedi about the vitamins I was supposed to give my baby (which smelled foul and she hated anyway), and hid to breastfeed. Emily ate when she was hungry, slept when she was sleepy, was picked up when she wanted to be carried, and we just nodded and smiled when we were told we should be doing otherwise.

By the time our second was born, we did things the way we felt was right. We still got the same people who raised their eyebrows, but we didn't care anymore. It wasn't until our 3rd child was born that I became aware that there was a term for what we did- attachment parenting.

We co-sleep, breastfeed, and cloth diaper our third child, and we do so proudly and without guilt or shame now, thanks to other moms like you! I was born in the Philippines and that is the way children are raised there, so it was always natural to me, but our society doesn't seem to be so accepting of "alternative" methods, even though most of the world does it this way.

We send our kids to public school because we have excellent schools where we are and I believe it is to their benefit, both academically and socially. We do vaccinate but follow an alternative schedule. None of them have ever been on antibiotics because I feel they have been so grossly abused and doctors are so quick to prescribe them that I think when people really need them, many will have developed an immunity to them. I'm a research fiend so I always try to find a natural alternative to common ailments, and most of the time, find success.

The older kids do have a stricter bedtime now since they have to get up for school, and they sometimes have to be coerced into eating certain things (as opposed to pizza or fast food which we do have every once in a while). I think I fit in just fine in the "non-extreme" part of this group! All in all, we trust our kids to let us know what they need, and so far they are still thriving wonderfully :)

Sorry about the rambling, but that's our parenting style in a "nutshell"!

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Dana, you brave mum, an immense hug to you and your family. 


Quoting Dana:

Hello! I'm Dana, married to Wes for 4 years. I am 25 wks. pregnant with our 3rd child, our 2nd daughter. Our son, Clayton, passed away March 25, 2007 and would have been 3 in January, but that story is for another group... My little Hadlee is 14 months and cute as she can be! I didn't intend for us to be a co-sleeping family, but it is so much easier when you're nursing, and I wouldn't trade that extra time together for anything! There is nothing better than waking up to a sweet baby smile, even if it is a 5 am!
I've worn both of my babies from the beginnig. I was amazed with Clayton how much I could get done with a baby strapped to me :) I didn't cloth diaper Clayton but I have been cloth diapering Hadlee for the past 6 months or so. Not sure if I will cloth diaper the next one at the beginning. I don't know if I'm up to rinsing all those dirty diapers. Both of my babies have pooped constantly at the beginning! I have nursed both babies, Clayton a little longer than Hadlee, but he didn't bite and she did. The day we started weaning she bit me so hard I thought I would be missing something... :) But I do love it and can't wait to have that special time with this next baby. I'm thinking I may not get pregnant again until I wean this baby, just to see what it's like since I have been pregnant and/or nursing since May 2005.
I'm looking forward to talking to other moms with similar ideas. Several of my friends are 'schedule people', and I get a lot of what I 'should' be doing ;)


 

Jennifer - posted on 01/07/2010

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I love this!!! I never knew there was a name for my parenting style, or that it was even considered a parenting style! I have 7m twins. I breastfeed, pump, and occasionally give formula. I prefer not to be judged for using formula on occasion. Our sweet babies still sleep in our room with us and we do not adhere to a schedule. I feed them when they are hungry, they nap when they are sleepy, and we go to bed around 9 or 10, sometimes even 11! I have NEVER believed in letting them cry it out and I am holding someone all the time. I want to home school my children as well. I make my own organic baby food. I do not use cloth diapers and we do vaccinate. I delivered them at 38 weeks via c section and do not feel deprived of a natural birth experience. I even allowed the nursery to give them formula and told the LC that I would prefer to learn how to breastfeed at home, not in the hospital. It worked out fantastically and both were nursing champs! I delayed solids until 6 months and now only breastfeed my daughter. I pump for my son - he bites me then laughs, so no boobie for him! I feel all wrong about putting your baby in a crib by themselves in a room down the hall, seems unnatural. I went through hell and back to get these babies here, and I'm not about to miss out on any part of their lives. My hubbie was raised without affection and his mother believed that picking up your baby spoils them, he still suffers to this day and has a terrible time with attatchment/affection and depression. I want to be supported by other mothers who have similar values to mine. Thank you!

Emily - posted on 12/28/2009

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Another Emily here. ;)

I consider myself an AP mom, though I really don't like labels, and I don't do *everything* on the "list." lol I have 2 kids, an almost-3-year-old and an almost-4-month-old.

I am currently tandem nursing and believe in nursing on demand. I babywear, though I also use things like swings and bouncy-seats. We are currently co-sleeping with both kiddos. I don't do CIO, sleep training, or schedules. Generally, I believe in treating my kids with respect and empathy, and trying my best to always strive to find out what their needs are and meeting them the best I can. At one point I was a part of a local AP moms group, but I felt sort-of shunned by some of them because I do work part-time, don't make ALL organic/natural food (yes, I do make McDonald's runs every now and then!), and I use disposable diapers.

Marisa - posted on 12/27/2009

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Kiaora! Hi Everyone!

Nice to find this group! I'm Marisa, with DH Dion, mama to Hina (just gone 2yrs), and we're expecting #2 bubba to join us late Feb. Looking back, I'm in the 'instinctual parenting' camp with Fiona. I'm fortunate that being from the Pacific many of the AP ways are still in living memory in our families and communities, if not always practiced. So finding out how things were done pre-bottles, disposables, and daycare in our family and village (we don't live there anymore) has been a welcome part of the journey. Plus I'm grateful to DH, and my own Mama for her support and herself being a staunch role model BFer (she fought to 'room in' at the hospital when we were all born 30+yrs ago) and a SAHM til my baby bro was 5yrs.

Actually, I prefer not to talk about 'attachment parenting', 'cos to me it's normal - anything else should be called 'independence' or 'detachment' parenting first-up.

My LO has just gone 24mths and still BF strong even tho' I'm almost 8mths pregnant. Tandem-feeding looks a strong possibility as she's in no mood to give away the 'titee' at the moment. We've had a bassinette and cot in our room since she was born and used it a little when she was small for part of the night. But with BFing it's just been easier to have her co-sleep with us so i can get a little more sleep. It's common practice in our community and research says it's fine as long as there are no drunk, smoking, or drugged parents /adults in the sleeping vicinity. Having moved a few times in the past year (once inter-country) we've finely gotten around to setting her cot up again right next to our bed so she can easily climb onto our bed when she needs to. I think she's enjoying the space. We definitely are!

Having LO also coincided with the research about the first three years been critical to brain development. So that, plus a desire to revive and practice our traditional ways, has no doubt shaped our parenting attitudes, and given me confidence to trust my mama instincts more ie. you can't spoil a baby under 12mths, letting them CIO disrupts the development of a secure attachment necessary for growth - all that...

I get that routines give stability, but haven't been too hung up on schedules. Have always demand-fed, but we're creatures of habit so do have loose routines around bath-time and nap/bed-time (they help preggy/mama-brain me to remember what needs doing just as much). We have vaccinated, and have struggled with allergies - eczema & a little asthma but she is growing out of it. TG for BFing! We also started out with cloth nappies but fell into disposables along the way. But now living in Aussie, water is at a premium so we'll be playing it by ear with #2 (maybe give EC more of a go?). Be interested to hear from other Aussie-based mums on that one.

I've been at home since LO was born and have found it to be one of the most intense experiences so far, at times tough and lonely, but also one of the most joyous. We're definitely seeing the rewards for our efforts already in our daughter.

Hopefully, we've broken the back of it mostly with LO#2 arriving soon. It's gonna be different this time with a toddler and not having close family nearby to share the daily load. But hey never a dull moment! Will no doubt be spending more time posting on here :D

Manuia!

Christy - posted on 12/19/2009

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hi my name's Christy, i'm 23 and my daughter, Alexia, is 16 months old. i breastfed for 6 months, had planned to do it for at least a year but she lost interested and i didn't want to force.i think in retrospect it would have lasted longer if i hadn't introduced solids, she was reaaaally interested in them as soon as they were available. breastfeeding was definitely the most amazing time in my life and i will absolutely try to do it for at least a year with any children i may have in the future.

my daughter slept in bed with her father and i all night until 13 months when she got a mattress on her floor with Little Mermaid bedding. we put in place a routine of 4 lullabies, 5-10 mins of quiet time with mommy if she's still awake followed by me saying "it's time to sleep like a biggie girl. mama loves you" and a kiss goodnight. she did cry a bit in the beginning but i only let her cry for 10 minute periods at a time and it only lasted for 1-2 weeks before she was comfortable. she sleeps in her own bed now without problems till about 5 AM, then comes in and cuddles with us.

i did wear her a lot when she was little and if i were to have another one i would do so even more so that i could take care of both at the same time.

i didn't implement a schedule with her (which got a lot of comments from both sides of our family), she eventually implemented her own loose schedule of napping somewhere between 12 and 1 and going to bed around 8ish. aside from that, everything is on demand.

if i had known about EC from the time she was born i would absolutely have used it immediately and did start as soon as i found out about it when she was 11 months old. only 5 months later she is 100% potty trained for daytime and we're in the process of night training. every time i hear about a 2 or 3 year old refusing to potty train it irritates me to no end. ovbiously if my little 16 month old can grasp the concept, older kids can too, they're just allowed to be lazy about it. i would have loved to use cloth diapers for her and plan to use them the next time around, but we didn't have a washing machine in our apartment the last time.

her daddy is totally on board with how i do things and i don't think he would say a lot about it even if he wasn't since i'm a SAHM. the only difference in opinions is that i would like to homeschool her. he has mentioned on numerous occasions however that depending on how much further downhill society goes he might not want her to be in school with other people's kids, so we'll have to wait and see =).

Becky - posted on 12/18/2009

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Hi, I'm Becky, and I just joined the group. I have 2 absolutely adorable sons, Cole, 22 months, and Zachary, 3 months. I would call my parenting style "responsive." I breastfed my oldest son until he was 14 months. I only weaned because, being 4 months pregnant, it was getting to be too much for me and I was drying up. We weaned very slowly, basically not stopping until he stopped asking for it. He went straight from breast to whole milk in a sippy cup, no formula, ever. I am aiming for the same with my younger son. Hopefully we will do child-led weaning at whatever age he chooses, but I do want to get pregnant again when he is around a year, so we'll see how that affects breastfeeding next time. I part-time co-sleep. Cole slept with us from the time he was a week or so until he was about 4 months. Then my husband insisted he move to his crib because he couldn't sleep well with the baby in the bed. So he did, but he'd still end up in bed with me after his early morning feeding. I never let him CIO - I just can't stomach it - and nursed him to sleep until we weaned and then rocked him to sleep. Now he's in his big boy bed and I still lie down with him at night until he falls asleep. It's a lot of work and frustrating sometimes, but worth it to know that my son knows mommy is there for him. When he needs reassurance about something now, he says "mama's here" and I say "yes, mama's here." It's heartening to know that he feels safe when mama is here. Zach currently sleeps in a bassinette beside our bed. Dh put his foot down on the cosleeping, but Zach put his foot down on sleeping in his crib, LOL, so we compromised. He still wakes at least once in the night for feeding though, and I just bring him into bed and fall asleep nursing him, so that's why I say we part-time cosleep.

With Cole, I carried him around all the time. It's harder to do with a toddler who needs mommy's attention too, so Zach maybe doesn't get carried quite as much, but I do wear him when he needs the comfort and Cole needs attention or I need to get something done. I spend a lot of time playing with my kids. My housework suffers, but I feel like it will always be there, and my boys will not always want to play with me. I don't use physical discipline and am currently reading "Discipline without distress", trying to learn how to use non-punitive discipline. I don't cloth diaper - I have enough laundry already! And I do use organic jarred babyfood. I tried making my own, but because we have such a short local growing season here, I found it was cheaper to buy the organic jarred stuff. We do things on demand, especially feeding. I'm not a big schedule person by nature. I try to have a fairly regular nap and bedtime for my older son, but even that is flexible depending on when he's tired and what we're up to.

My husband is not always on board with the way I do things. He is much more into routine and discipline. So we're still working things out in the parenting realm. But generally, I take the stance that since I'm the primary, stay-at-home parent, most of the decisions are up to me, and when he's not here, I'm just going to do things how I'm going to do them anyway!

Catlin - posted on 12/16/2009

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HI, my name is Catlin and I've been with my fiance, Tim, for 4 years. I have a 5 year old, Jaiden aka Monkey, from a previous relationship, and our daughter Olivia, who's 4 1/3 months. As with most other younger mothers ( i was 20 when Jaiden was born) I took the advice of well meaning family. He was in a crib from 1 month( but never CIO), taking a bottle ( i had latch problems), and other things like that. Granted, some of it is his disposition, he wasn't a cuddly baby and would rather watch you from his swing. With Olivia, it's been different. She was born @ a birth center, is breast-fed almost exclusively ( i can't pump enough, so she gets formula while i work), has just now started sleeping part of the night in her crib, and is carried/ worn constantly. I plan on letting her BF as long as she wants, making my own food, switching to cloth diapers, and letting her set the pace for her independence from us. We do vaccinate ( their grandmother had a mild case of Polio), eat fast food WAY more than i would like, and Jaiden likes Tv & video games.
I live in the Pacific NW, so it's a little more liberal than some places on AP. Although, the area I'm in houses Microsoft & Boeing so I do end up feeling kinda like a freaky hippie. I pretty much tell them to wank off, though. If you don't like me breast feeding by all means LEAVE!
I'm glad I found this group.

Louise - posted on 11/22/2009

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Hi! My name is Louise and I didn't make a concious decision about my parenting - it just happened really. I have 2 children, Isabella is 22 months and Charlie is 5 months. I planned a Home Water Birth with my first but ended up transferring and having an emcs. I practised Hypnobirthing though so came to terms with it and knew my choices. My second was a VBAC and I will be planning another HWB when I get pregnant again. I EBF - Isabella self weaned at 6/7 months and went on to formula but Charlie shows no intention of coming off so I will carry on for as long as he wants. I use cloth but not religiously this time. I wear my baby. Didn't with my first but always wanted to. I am the only one of my friends though that have made these choices so I didn't have te confidence but I love my sling now:) I don't co sleep but only because neither have been interested. Isabella point blank refused and I put off getting a cot until she was six months but in the end she went in and loved it. She slept in her own room and in the cot from 6 months. Charlie though won't do it through the night but wakes at around 0500 and comes in for cuddles:) He is in a crib in our room and will stay there until he sleeps through then he will go in with his sister. I don't have a schedule. Tried it and it didn't work with Isabella so now I go with the flow. Have just started weaning Charlie but we are going very very slowly and only using organic rice and breastmilk for now. I will be introducing finger foods at 6 months and try to do a mixture. I try to make all my own food for them. I am a stay at home mum but am now studying literature and have changed my career totally for my children. They are my world and I am a very lucky lady:)

Tiani - posted on 09/24/2009

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Hi :) I'm Tiani and I have a daughter, Alexia, who's 2 and a boy, Ieuan, due beginning of December.

I don't think I have a 'parenting style' but if I had to class it I think it would be more of a natural style. I did wear Lexi in a sling when she was a tiny baby for as long as my back could take it and found it was really soothing for her and convenient (and nice) for me too. I breastfed her til she was 14 months and then she weaned herself. Breastfeeding was an emotional and wonderful experience for me and I am looking forward to feeding my next baby. She sleeps with us sometimes, more so now than when she was a baby but she was in our room until she was six months old. But for the most part we try to encourage her to sleep in her own bed or if she falls asleep with us we put her there once she is asleep.

I love being a mom and it is the best and most rewarding thing I have ever done!! :D

Emily - posted on 03/20/2009

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alright! My name is Emily as well (there's a few of us!) and I'm 27, married to Ian for 2.5 years, have a 9 mo. old named Elliot, living in CA. I refuse to let him cry it out and hate being told by other people...especially if they don't even have children....that I need to do that. Elliot will start the night in his own room most of the time, but moves into our bed after a few hours. He takes most of his naps on my lap after he finishes breast feeding, which isn't always convenient, but I'd rather him sleep then not and that's what is most comfortable for him. I work from home as a medical transcriptionist and plan on putting Elliot in public school as of right now. We plan on having at least 2 more children. I had to have an emergency c-section so I will be having the rest of my babies that way as well. I'm grateful for this community....and now Elliot's awake so I've gotta go!!!!!!!
emily :)

Heather - posted on 03/18/2009

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Quoting Nifty:



Hello everyone! My name is Nifty, I'm 19 and I have a beautiful four month old daughter named Jam. Yes Jam. I was in an abusive relationship with her father, and I came to my sences four days before I gave birth and got out of his (Mom's) house. I gave birth without any drugs and listening to Metallica. I'm breastfeeding, and I love it! We sleep in the same bed. I take her everywhere with me and I love watching her grow and change! When she was about a month old her father showed up, I loaned him some 'gas money' and haven't seen him since. Now he is voluntarally terminating his parental rights, and that is fine with me. The was I see it, it's his loss. Jam and I are having a great time being single mother and child!



 



 



Welcome sweetie! What a strong woman!





 

Heather - posted on 03/18/2009

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Quoting Nifty:



Hello everyone! My name is Nifty, I'm 19 and I have a beautiful four month old daughter named Jam. Yes Jam. I was in an abusive relationship with her father, and I came to my sences four days before I gave birth and got out of his (Mom's) house. I gave birth without any drugs and listening to Metallica. I'm breastfeeding, and I love it! We sleep in the same bed. I take her everywhere with me and I love watching her grow and change! When she was about a month old her father showed up, I loaned him some 'gas money' and haven't seen him since. Now he is voluntarally terminating his parental rights, and that is fine with me. The was I see it, it's his loss. Jam and I are having a great time being single mother and child!



 



 



Welcome sweetie! What a strong woman!





 

Heather - posted on 03/18/2009

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Quoting Brenda:



Hi Samantha and welcome!  Glad to have you around!  It is all about our kids, more than anything.  Too many people want to turn their babies and children into miniature adults and not let them be children, I think.  Nature blessed us with instincts, I think we should use them!  :)



Absolutely Brenda! Kids are so much expected to act like little adults..it's a major problem with modern parenting philosophy!





 

Heather - posted on 03/18/2009

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Let me just say, I'm super glad to find a community that cares about these principals without being crazy.  There are a lot of attachment parenting communities where you get a huge guilt trip for even thinking about weaning before age 4.  I can really get behind the "Use what works, ignore what doesn't" philosophy.  :-)



 



That's exactly why I started this group..there is a middle ground for all of us here:)



Heather - posted on 03/18/2009

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Let me just say, I'm super glad to find a community that cares about these principals without being crazy.  There are a lot of attachment parenting communities where you get a huge guilt trip for even thinking about weaning before age 4.  I can really get behind the "Use what works, ignore what doesn't" philosophy.  :-)



 



That's exactly why I started this group..there is a middle ground for all of us here:)



Heather - posted on 03/18/2009

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Quoting Amanda:

Hi! My name is Amanda. I have a 12 and 10 yr. old. I joined more to support moms who might be new to attachment parenting, since my kids are older. I think it's great that there's so much more support now. When I started, people would criticize my husband and I for allowing our babies to sleep with us, not making them "cry it out", even breastfeeding, sometimes. I felt alone in this "new" style of parenting...Even though people from all over the world had been doing it for thousands of years. I thought it would be nice for me to let moms know, who are wondering if attachment parenting has any lasting negative effects on children...Absolutely not. My children are independent, confident, sociable people. We homeschool, also. I pulled them from public school 4 yrs. ago, and it's the best decision for our family. So, let me recap...I breastfed each of my children until age 2 and 2 1/2. They never "cried it out". I carried both in a sling most of the time...they learned to roll over, sit up, and walk early. Our kids still sleep in our room when they want to. I will never tell them they can't sleep in our room. They slept WITH us until they were 5 and 7...My hubby and I went somewhere else in our home, when we wanted "alone" time, which made it more exciting, anyway. We ARE very normal people. Our kids are normal. They have lots of friends. They are in extracurricular activities. We do have a social life. LOL! I just wanted all the new moms to know that attachment parenting WORKS and we are living proof...12 yrs. later.


Thanks Amanda! I wish you lived in MN I need friends like you:)





 

Emily - posted on 03/17/2009

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Quoting Eileen:


now that i have two, i consider my ap style to be, much like my politics, moderate...dom was born in the middle of summer and we were raring to go the day we came home from the hospital! we even went on vacation when he was 3 weeks old, so cotton diapering just did not fit with our on-the-go lifestyle (that being said, i discovered the diaper-free movement when i was pregnant with him and do practice this part-time, so i figure our carbon footprint could be worse)....i've had him vaccinated, though at a slower pace than our health authorities recommend...i gave him his first taste of solid food when he was two weeks shy of his 6 month birthday, and--gasp!--i buy jarred baby food (though still organic)...i've generally been a lot less restrictive with my ap style this time around, mostly because i realized that i had martyred myself in the name of ap with sophia...i have now found a happy medium--with the help of the breast pump and supportive family members--between having my own life and being the mom i had set out to be...and i'm going back to work when he will be 9 months old, which i am very excited about!



That describes me almost perfectly. I have mellowed out with the second child as far as AP issues are concerned. I didn't necessarily martyr myself with number one, but I realized that I just don't have as much time to be so atttatched to number two!

Emily - posted on 03/17/2009

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I'm Emily. I am married and we have two little girls.

I'm AP/NFL in the sense that we
1. cosleep (Dylan was 2 when she moved out, Ava is 2.5 and still in bed with me)
2. homebirth
3. breastfeed (Dylan weaned at 3, Ava I'm not sure when)
4. don't spank
5. wouldn't circumcise
6. don't vaccinate
7. Babywear
8. Use cloth diapers and elimination communication

I'm not that extreme in that I :
1. work out of the home
2. Send my kids to public school and daycare respectively
3. Will be starting some vaccines soon
4. Don't do any homeopathic remedies- they have never worked!
5. Eat meat and junk food
6. Have been known to yell and don't always feel bad about it.

Johnny - posted on 03/17/2009

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Quoting Eileen:



hey stacia i am from the mainland! i agree with you on how helpful our hospital and public health nurses are! (although when i had my first, i had some nurses in the hospital that really pushed formula on me, which i thought was weird)...i think the bc health authorities are really moving toward an ap-influenced parenting policy...they encourage constant holding and their position on infant-parenting is that you can't spoil a baby under 9 months by holding them too much! awesome!





Hi Eileen,



I'm from the mainland too.  I agree that our hospitals & public health folks are pretty ap & breastfeeding friendly.  SInce I have only one babe right now, I've got time to go to all those drop-ins they offer & I find them to really promote AP.  I haven't even heard them speak up against co-sleeping, which really surprised me.  But I did have that one nurse in the hospital who really pushed the formula.  My hubby even went to speak to the head nurse about it, because he felt like she was really undermining my bf efforts.  But I've felt like my AP tendencies have been really supported by the system here, which is, as you say, awesome!

Eileen - posted on 03/17/2009

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Quoting Stasia:

Ruth, I can't imagine not having a choice about pacis and formula and "rooming in" in a hospital@!!
At the hospital where i delivered though i was only there about 12 hours after I delivered they made me watch several videos on breastfeeding and had various nurses and lactation consultants there for support. They didn't even have a place for my daughter to sleep other than in my bed with me. I was so exhausted and so scared (it was the middle of the night)I told them i didn't need sleep i needed to stay with my daughter and the nurse kind of laughed a little and said " well just swaddle her up and stick her in bed with you of course!"
I am so grateful that I had this experience and believe there should be more hospitals that have policies like this!
I live on Vancouver Island Canada and I think maybe it is a bit different here?

They also send Public Health nurses to visit you during your first few weeks to make sure you are doing alright and weigh the baby etc. I felt like a kid at school doing something wrong when she asked where the baby slept. I said "in our bed.. but i know its dangerous and we won't be doing it for long honest!!!" She sweetly told me that it is the best place for a baby and that If that was what i felt was right that I needed to worry less and follow my instincts more. The education I recieved in those early days has stuck with me and now (8 months later) I am so happy for those wonderful people.

I am curious how many hospitals are the opposite?


hey stacia i am from the mainland! i agree with you on how helpful our hospital and public health nurses are! (although when i had my first, i had some nurses in the hospital that really pushed formula on me, which i thought was weird)...i think the bc health authorities are really moving toward an ap-influenced parenting policy...they encourage constant holding and their position on infant-parenting is that you can't spoil a baby under 9 months by holding them too much! awesome!

Nifty - posted on 03/14/2009

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Hello everyone! My name is Nifty, I'm 19 and I have a beautiful four month old daughter named Jam. Yes Jam. I was in an abusive relationship with her father, and I came to my sences four days before I gave birth and got out of his (Mom's) house. I gave birth without any drugs and listening to Metallica. I'm breastfeeding, and I love it! We sleep in the same bed. I take her everywhere with me and I love watching her grow and change! When she was about a month old her father showed up, I loaned him some 'gas money' and haven't seen him since. Now he is voluntarally terminating his parental rights, and that is fine with me. The was I see it, it's his loss. Jam and I are having a great time being single mother and child!

Johnny - posted on 03/04/2009

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Hello everyone,



I've been posting on this board for a little while & never noticed this thread, so I thought I'd introduce myself.  I am thrilled to find this group, I too am tired of being told either to never pick up my baby or to never put her down.  When I saw "non-extreme" as part of the title, I knew it was for me :) 



I have been married to Steve for 4 years and we were thrilled to have our first little girl, Michaela on 08/08/08 so she is almost 7 months now.  She has been breastfed since day one, but due to having had breast surgery 8 years ago, I've got chronic low milk supply.  Michaela was supplemented from her 2nd week with donated breastmilk, and once regaining her birth weight, with formula, both through an SNS.  She was weaned off the formula at around 5 months by moving her on to solids, which I could not have done without the help of Dr. Jack Newman.  I'm thrilled that it worked because I am hoping to continue BF until she's 2, and supplementing lowers the chances of extended breastfeeding.  And besides, I love to nurse her.



As for solids, I generally make my own organic veggies & meats, but use a box for her cereals.  I've really gotten to know my blender recently and I'm looking forward to saving it for margaritas & starting to feed her fork-mashed table foods.



We are "sort of" co-sleepers :) Our daughter goes down very easily at bed time, and we put her into her bassinet or crib.  If she wakes up in the night, she sleeps with us so that I can nurse her easily.  We both love co-sleeping, but she just doesn't really seem to need it.  If she seems to want to be with Mommy & Daddy, we enjoy every minute of it.  And she usually sleeps with me after Steve has left for work in the morning & for naps.  She's NOT a good napper.



We are also cloth diapering, started off with a service and now we're doing our own.  We babywear most of the time, although I use a stoller for our daily walks to the grocery store (it works well as a cart). I've got a bit of an addiction to babywearing, with a Snugli, an Ergo, a CuddlyWrap, a home-made wrap, a home-made sling, and a Maya Wrap.  I think I've got all I need now.... at least my hubby hopes so.



We vax on schedule, as my hubby comes from a family that did not vax and suffered the consequences. After doing loads of research, we do plan to delay MMR and refuse chickenpox vaccine, but otherwise we are sticking to schedule. 



I absolutely do not believe in CIO or sleep training in general.  However, there is nothing that will stop my darling from crying at nap time, except going back to play.  No amount of cuddling, nursing, singing, etc, will get her down.  Now I just let her play until she almost passes out, take her to bed, and cuddle her while she whimpers herself to sleep.  It has lead to more naps, and happier baby & mom.  Its definitely not what the "experts" suggest, but I tried some of their ideas and it lead less napping.  So, we do what works :) Not perfect, but better than the never-napping-baby



I do use some "mommy substitutes" to help the day flow better though.  I put her in the vibrating chair to play in the bathroom & while I shower.  She's strangely fascinated with my hairdryer & make-up routine.  My folks also gave her a jumperoo exersaucer which she loves.  I was not planning on having something like that in my home, but the truth is, it works for us.  I put in in the kitchen so we can hang out while I cook and clean, we sing & dance together.  It also works like a charm when she has a fussy period some evenings & no amount of cuddling or babywearing works.  The tears magically stop the moment she gets in the jumperoo.  So, I've learned to relax about that kind of toys :)



I've been very fortunate that my hubby & both our families & our friends are very supportive of how we parent.  No snide comments or "helpful" suggestions to change things.  My dear Steve struggles somewhat with not yelling (he comes from a yelling family), but he works hard at it & really takes the time to bond with our daughter.  We are both learning how to parent from instinct and trying to just do the best for our little sweetie.

Samantha - posted on 03/04/2009

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Hi Brenda,



I am loving Circle of Mums - it is great to be here:) and I absolutely agree!

Brenda - posted on 02/05/2009

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I have found a lot of American hospitals are in transition.  More progressive hosptials are pro breastfeeding, but in general co sleeping is still "taboo".  Its one of those things they don't recommend, and the pediatricians usually tell you it increases risk of SIDS, but a lot of moms do anyway. I guess we have to take it in stride that it wasn't that long ago that women were given twilight at births to knock them out and father's weren't allowed in the room with the mother during the birth and babies were carted to the nursery unable to be touched by anyone but the nurses after birth.



Lately though, there are huge movements to change those things, and a lot more of shift toward more AP styles.  More and more hospitals give you the choice of rooming in, and give you the choice of how the baby is to be treated directly after birth.  Some, as I'm seeing, are still a lot of talk and little action on their belief, but that's a matter of bad training on the part of their nurses.  While I doubt we'll have nurses recommending co sleeping in the hosptial anytime soon, I know they are getting better.  I think that the thinking is really going through a long process of changing, especially as women like me, about the age of 20-30 range, start picking up on these forms of parenting, and younger doctors start replacing the older doctors that still hold the old standards of infant care.

Stasia - posted on 02/04/2009

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Ruth, I can't imagine not having a choice about pacis and formula and "rooming in" in a hospital@!!
At the hospital where i delivered though i was only there about 12 hours after I delivered they made me watch several videos on breastfeeding and had various nurses and lactation consultants there for support. They didn't even have a place for my daughter to sleep other than in my bed with me. I was so exhausted and so scared (it was the middle of the night)I told them i didn't need sleep i needed to stay with my daughter and the nurse kind of laughed a little and said " well just swaddle her up and stick her in bed with you of course!"
I am so grateful that I had this experience and believe there should be more hospitals that have policies like this!
I live on Vancouver Island Canada and I think maybe it is a bit different here?

They also send Public Health nurses to visit you during your first few weeks to make sure you are doing alright and weigh the baby etc. I felt like a kid at school doing something wrong when she asked where the baby slept. I said "in our bed.. but i know its dangerous and we won't be doing it for long honest!!!" She sweetly told me that it is the best place for a baby and that If that was what i felt was right that I needed to worry less and follow my instincts more. The education I recieved in those early days has stuck with me and now (8 months later) I am so happy for those wonderful people.

I am curious how many hospitals are the opposite?

Brenda - posted on 02/04/2009

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River is such a cool name, Ruth!  I always think of the character from Firefly when I hear it, who was awesome.  :)  Welcome to our little community!

Emily - posted on 02/02/2009

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Yay! Welcome Ruth. I also grew up in the Pacific NW (Portland, OR area) and that might be where some of my acceptance of AP ways came from. But like you said, a lot of it is just common sense anyway. :) My mom also breastfed, but her goal was always one year, and after 7 kids the longest she ever made it was 9 months... from my perspective now, I'm sure this was because she schedule fed and had no problems with the occasional bottle so she could get out of the house and leave the baby with a sitter. The occasional bottle became the norm pretty quickly with the last few babies because it was easier to have older siblings feed the baby.

Congrats on your new little one! I knew a beautiful little girl when we were living in Oregon last year who was also named River - it's such a sweet name. :)

Ruth - posted on 02/02/2009

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Hi everyone, I'm Ruth and I have an almost 7 week old daughter named River. I just joined Circle of Moms today...I'm happy to have found this group. I was raised by attachement parenting (but didn't know it until recently) and was breastfed until I self-weaned at almost 2. Truthfully, I never realized breastfeeding wasn't the "norm" - I grew up thinking everyone breastfed and only a few people bottlefed. That's probably because I grew up it the Pacific NW and only now that I've lived all over the country do I realize that we NWerners really are a bit more earthy. Once I was an adult, the only people I met who attachment parented were super extreme and very aggressive in their beliefs, which put me off of it for my own kids. Then as I researched parenting, I realized that it fit me best, but modified in my own way. That being said, I'll probably be one of the less stringent people on this board.



I've always planned to breastfeed, and luckily we delivered at a hospital that was very pro-breastfeeding. Because of complications of an autoimmune disease I have, I had to have a C-section and will likely need one for future children. They let me hold her (with help) for as long as I wanted right after she was born. Then as soon as I was in recovery, the lactation consultant was there to help me get her attached and nurse while I was still on the spinal. Also, I never had to argue to have her in the room with me, or insist on no formula or pacifiers. I say lucky, because we have no choice in a hospital - my husband is military and they decide for us.



We never planned to co-sleep, but our daughter hated to be put down on her own from the moment she was born, so co-sleeping began. Sometimes, if she's willing, we'll lay her in the bassinet, in our room, for the beginning of the night but always keep her with us after the first feeding of the night. I can't stand the thought of letting her cry, so we will always respond to her needs ASAP.



Luckily I'm pretty stubborn, and tend to do my own thing no matter what other people thing or say. (Probably because I was attachment parented & am therefore very independant! LOL) Otherwise my baby wouldn't be held (my MIL thinks we hold her too much) and she would be formula fed - we had a terrible time with latch once we came home from the hospital. My husband comes from a different environment and isn't as sure of attachment parenting, but we're finding a good compromise. Especially since its mostly common sense and compassionate parenting.



I hope to be checking back frequently, but may not get here as often as I like...we've just started the process of moving. And will be half-way across the world in a few weeks.

Emily - posted on 02/02/2009

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I like the family name thing too... but DH thinks it's dumb to name a kid something just because it's a family thing. Thankfully all of the middle names we've come up with that DH likes just happen to be family names too. :) And our girls don't have middle names... which is also a family tradition. I didn't have a middle name growing up, neither did my mother. My grandmother hated her middle name and dropped it when she got married... and started our little tradition. None of my aunts or their daughters on that side have middle names either. :) It's our fun family thing.

I also understand about liking things better over time. DH's top choice for girls names for a long time was Lydia. I thought it was pretty... but didn't really see myself calling a kid that. His second choice was Marie. Again, pretty, but I didn't think I could name a kid that either. Now... 4 years later... DH doesn't like Lydia as much anymore, but we both LOVE Marie. If this current baby ends up being a girl... it's quite possible that she'll be a Marie (though we like to save our final naming for after the baby is born).

Dana - posted on 02/02/2009

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I've always wanted for some part of our babies' names to have something to do with family. So Clayton's middle name was Wesley after my husband, Hadlee Jo is my daughter after 2 of her grandpa's middle names and Sadie's middle name will be Rae b/c Wes' middle name is Ray and I don't really like it for a boy :) He wanted to use it with Clayton but I hated the idea of anyone calling him Clay Ray. So gross... It was funny though because the first thing my MIL said was 'Oh, that would be so cute we could call him Clay Ray'. Gag me. 'When' we have another boy Wes wants to name him Cash. Hated it at first but he really wants it so I know I don't have much choice. We decided if one of us really loved something and the other one could live with it we would go with it. I like it much better now than when he first said it, though...

Emily - posted on 02/02/2009

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Haha! That would be pretty mean. Our last name is Frogley... so our kids are already doomed. :) We like it and make fun of it ourselves though. Everything in our house has frogs on it in some way.

DH's name is David, and my name is Emily... and we decided that we like more "traditional" names that have been mostly unchanged for centuries. The boys names we've agreed on for years (though we haven't had a chance to use any of them) are Matthew, Benjamin, Joshua and Jackson. Our current girls are Kathryn, Danielle and Christine... and future girls names include Marie and Nicole.

We also really like nick-names though, especially creative ones. So, our girls go by Ryn, Elli, and Reese almost as much as their "formal" names. And we will probably call our boys Matt, Ben, Josh and Jack. I don't know why, but I've always liked the idea of having a "formal" name and a "fun" name. :)

Dana - posted on 02/02/2009

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It's hard to agree sometimes. Wes comes up with the strangest things... I wonder if he's just messing with me or if he's serious, sometimes it's hard to tell. I've always thought the name Daisy was cute, but it would be so mean to name a baby Daisy Meadows.... :)

Emily - posted on 02/02/2009

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My oldest daughter had an adorable friend named Sadie when we were living in Oregon. They were 2 at the time. I'd thought about the name too, because I also think it's adorable... but my sister's new mother-in-law has a dog named Sadie, so we can't use it anymore. Also, my sister took another favorite name of mine and used it for a dog - Sophie. Oh well... thankfully DH and I have been able to find other great names we agree on so far. :)

Dana - posted on 01/31/2009

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My mom had a friend with a dog named Sadie and when I told my sister we were naming the baby that she said 'after that gross dog of Stacies?' :)

Ally - posted on 01/31/2009

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Quoting Dana:

Hey Ally! We've got another daughter due in a month and we're naming her Sadie too :) I think it's so cute!



Awww! I thought it was very cute too...and it was the only name my husband and I could agree on! We have yet to meet another child named sadie...although oe thing we did not know is apparently a lot of people name their puppies sadie??? I was not aware of that but we have met three of them so far! Congrats on your soon to be new addition!

Dana - posted on 01/31/2009

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Hey Ally! We've got another daughter due in a month and we're naming her Sadie too :) I think it's so cute!

Tricia - posted on 01/30/2009

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Tricia here.  I'm a first time mom to Ezekiel who was born January 7th.  Brian, my dear husband of 5 years, is a youth padtor at a small church, and we like to joke that he and the senior pastor make one hippy and one "normal" person.  The senior pastor and his wife are the kind of hippies that grow their hair long and wear tie-died clothes.  We're the type oh hippies that cloth diaper, eat for a small planet, and wear the baby.  We currently co-sleep (our beautiful crib is full of pillows and toys), and I plan to breastfeed exclusively for at least 6 months, although we will use a bottle with expressed breastmilk when I go back to work.  I probably won't nurse for more than 2 years, but I definitly plan to for at least 12 months. 



I do believe in schedules: kids like routine and predictability.  However, schedules don't apply to babies, they get what they need as soon as they ask for it,, and as with anything, moderation is important.  For example, our kids will have bedtimes, but I don't care if they sleep or just entertian themselves quietly (bedtimes encourage reading, I'm pretty sure of it).



Basically my philosopy is to use common sense and stick as close as possible to  the childrearing practices that have been effective for thousands of years.  New doesn't mean better.  :-)



Let me just say, I'm super glad to find a community that cares about these principals without being crazy.  There are a lot of attachment parenting communities where you get a huge guilt trip for even thinking about weaning before age 4.  I can really get behind the "Use what works, ignore what doesn't" philosophy.  :-)

[deleted account]

Crud! I had a lovely reply all written out, and then my computer ate it. :o



My name is Sarah, and I am a stay at home mom with a 2 1/2 month old son named Joe. He is my first son, so I'm very much a noob. :P  I like to think of my parenting style as practical; I do what I can to make sure everyone in our little family gets their needs me and are as happy as possible in the process. I am by no means a strict attachment parent. At the moment, the baby is not really excited about being worn, so unless he's napping or we're moving a lot, he is just next to me. We tried breast feeding, but because our hospital workers were not helpful in helping me with proper latch, I ended up having to quit because of extremely painful, bleeding nipples. I hate the formula, but we're doing the best that we can with it, and I'm glad he at least got three weeks of the good stuff to start off with. We co-sleep, but not on the same surface; my husband is a very scary sleeper, and if I'm afraid he might roll over me, I'm certainly not going to let him near our son. ;) But since Joe sleeps right next to my side of the bed, he doesn't have any problem communicating his needs at night. I think crying it out is ludicrous; I can't understand why people would decide that a communication of a need should be trained out of a child. No wonder our society is so worried about self-esteem instead of responsibility. And yes, I got TONS of advice, everything from "let the baby taste a spoonful of coffee" to "better put that baby down, or he's not going to be used to being alone in daycare." And if I have one more person ask me why he isn't eating rice cereal yet, I may just scream!  But I do enjoy the odd looks I get in the local stores when I carry him in the sling. The sheer amazement is always a little astonishing to me. And my husband has finally stopped asking if I want the car seat when we go in. lol



I'm looking forward to reading about you all!

Crystal - posted on 01/29/2009

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Hello everyone! I'm Crystal, married to Michael and we have 3 beautiful children, James who is 4 1/2, Jade who is 3 and Steven who is 1. I started out knowing I was going to breastfeed since I was 8, until that point I didn't even know you could breastfeed. I saw a woman with a baby at her breast on TV and I asked my Mom what she was doing, cause I'd only seen babies with bottles, and I was bottle fed and when she told me the women was breastfeeding I thought it was the coolest thing ever. I was set that I would breastfeed, and I did with my oldest until I got pregnant with Jade. Poor James got to be our guinea pig child. I tried to follow everyone's advice, put him in a crib to start with, don't hold him all the time, things like that. I gave up in the first month and then just started doing what was right for us. i said screw schedules, if he's hungry I'm going to feed him, I was scared of losing my supply. I let him sleep when he wanted to, and then we'd bed share at night which was easiest for when I needed to nurse. Jade got all the best, she slept with me even when we were in the hospital despite the nurses telling me that it was so dangerous, and I refused to listen to any advice. I did what was right for us. Steven is my special baby, I was all set to do the same things I did with James and Jade and then Steven decided he didn't like sleeping while being held. He has to sleep separately or he doesn't sleep. I really missed that bond of co-sleeping, but we had to do what worked. He slept in a crib beside my bed until he was 1 year old and then we moved him into the room with his brother and sister. I also didn't cloth diaper until Steven because I unfortunately listened to my Mom and her friend who told me how it was such a pain. My Mom cd'd me until I was about 4 months old, and her friend cd'd her boys out of financial necessity. I'm so glad I am though because cloth is really easy and cheap! He still uses disposables if we're going out somewhere for a really long time, but otherwise cloth is on his butt!

My husband and I are now trying for #4 and this time I'll be birthing the way I want to in a birthing center (would prefer to do it at home, but no midwife to do it). I'm looking forward to being able to talk to other mothers with similar beliefs as mine. It's hard to find now adays in this more mainstream country.

Rachael - posted on 01/28/2009

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Hi, I'm Rachael. My hubby's name is Chris and we have a son Ben who's 8 and a daughter Leia who's 1. Ben nursed 20 months and Leia will stop when she's ready. I wore them both until they got too independent to be attached to me! Leia sleeps with us and Ben is still welcome whenever he needs us. (Although, I usually find him in a sleeping bag on our floor since his sister is a bed hog.) I hold my babies when they cry, feed them when they're hungry, cuddle them when they want to, and let them sleep when they are tired. My parents are very supportive of this. His parents are not, and he will sometimes lie to them just to not "start trouble", I tell them like it is. Not their kids, not their choice is how I see it.



When Ben was born, I knew I'd nurse, and I pretty much just responded to his needs. I didn't realize this was an "alternative" parenting method until much later. I thought cry it out was they dumbest thing I'd ever heard of, and just kept him with me. Why get up, and have your baby wake up, when you can just feel them stir and take care of them immediately. Ben's very independent and makes friends very easily. I attribute both of these things to being cared for on demand, because he's never has reason to doubt his parents or himself.



Leia is my princess. She started solids around 6 months, because she was trying to grab any food she could get near. By 8 months she refused any type of baby food and has been eating what we eat ever since. (Obviously no choking hazards or allergy risks are allowed!) She takes up most of our king sized bed, and demands her daddy be there when she goes to bed.



The mainstream things we do are disposable diaper, vaccinate, and Ben attends public school. However, the second I feel he's not getting what he needs, he'll be pulled. My mom is a reading specialist who's ready to retire, and she's already said she'd homeschool both of them if I wanted.



I guess my overall philosophy is want my kids to be happy and safe. I try not to sweat the small stuff. I believe in cherishing every moment I can because they grow oh so fast.

Dana - posted on 01/26/2009

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Congratulations! I've got about a month to go with our 3rd baby in 3 years. I imagine we'll be 4 for 4 as well :)

Emily - posted on 01/26/2009

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Yay! I love hearing success stories like that. :) We're also planning to homeschool, at least until our children are 8. After that, we'll let them decide... but I'm perfectly fine with homeschooling until college if they want to. We do encourage our children to sleep in their own room, in their own beds, but they are always welcome in our bed if they want/need to. Last night was the first night in a long time that our oldest (3 1/2) wanted to come cuddle with us. We ended up with all three in our room in our queen size bed, with DH and I. I think it's funny when people ask how our sex life is with that arrangement. I hear stories all the time from other moms who don't have sex at all until their baby is at least 6 months (in one case the baby was a year!) because they're too tired/worn out... and these are moms who make their kids CIO and sleep in the crib from day 1. Obviously co-sleeping hasn't disrupted our marriage too much, since I've always been pregnant by my baby's first birthday (#2 was born the day after #1's first b-day) and we are currently expecting our 4th baby in 4 years. :)

Amanda - posted on 01/26/2009

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Hi! My name is Amanda. I have a 12 and 10 yr. old. I joined more to support moms who might be new to attachment parenting, since my kids are older. I think it's great that there's so much more support now. When I started, people would criticize my husband and I for allowing our babies to sleep with us, not making them "cry it out", even breastfeeding, sometimes. I felt alone in this "new" style of parenting...Even though people from all over the world had been doing it for thousands of years. I thought it would be nice for me to let moms know, who are wondering if attachment parenting has any lasting negative effects on children...Absolutely not. My children are independent, confident, sociable people. We homeschool, also. I pulled them from public school 4 yrs. ago, and it's the best decision for our family. So, let me recap...I breastfed each of my children until age 2 and 2 1/2. They never "cried it out". I carried both in a sling most of the time...they learned to roll over, sit up, and walk early. Our kids still sleep in our room when they want to. I will never tell them they can't sleep in our room. They slept WITH us until they were 5 and 7...My hubby and I went somewhere else in our home, when we wanted "alone" time, which made it more exciting, anyway. We ARE very normal people. Our kids are normal. They have lots of friends. They are in extracurricular activities. We do have a social life. LOL! I just wanted all the new moms to know that attachment parenting WORKS and we are living proof...12 yrs. later.

Elizabeth - posted on 01/20/2009

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Hi, I'm Elizabeth and I have a 15 mo son named Robert, ahusband named Rob, and an English Pointer named Spot. I am about a month away from finishing my doctorate in public health (fingers crossed) and am on the low-end of the AP scale. We breastfed (though not exclusively) for 11 months, did some baby wearing, and are perfectly willing to feed, cuddle, and nap on an on-demand schedule, but I am personally and professionally against bed-sharing and not vaccinating (no judgments on anyone who feels differently, it just comes with the public health territory), though we do vax on a slightly alternative schedule, I am just so over the whole vaccine debate. We find Ferber to be a very realistic and helpful way to make sure that everyone is getting the sleep he or she needs. Obviously, Roberts needs come first, but Rob and I still try to honor our needs and try to strike a balance with all the competing demands.

I guess I would describe my parenting style as more "free-range" than anything else-- Aside from some basic structure (Tues, Thurs are Mommy work days, 7:00 is bedtime) we just go with the flow. We do try to raise as much of our food as we reasonably can, and I try to make sure that most of what Robert gets is organic, but the 2 days he's at daycare I don't worry about. We mostly cloth diaper, and I mostly try to keep chemical cleaners, etc. out of the house, but, damn it, I just can't part with my Resolve. :-) I guess "principles up to a point" best describes us.

I may be a more "conservative" voice on here (which is funny, considering the fact that I'm not at all conservative), and while I feel strongly about some issues, I respect the fact that there are other valid opinions. So I'll feel free to chime in, and you can feel free to disagree with me!

Dana, I'm so sorry about the loss of your son. Of course you are still his Mommy! I'm sure we'd all love to hear more about him (and your other beautiful kids too!)

Mary - posted on 01/14/2009

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Hi, my name is Mary and I am the mother of a wonderful 4 month old boy named Benjamin and I have a wonderful husband named Christopher. I have to agree with Emily and call my parenting style "instinctual." I didn't really have any idea what I was doing when he was born, but I decided that I was going to do what felt right. Even before he was born we decided that CIO method was not for us, and after having him....I don't know how ppl can do that to their babies. It actually hurts me to think about it, I think that it's horrible and wrong. We had a crib in another room and a bassinet in our room all ready for him. He has never slept in them. We came home from the hospital and I thought....how terrible, laying him down all alone, that's just wrong. Benjamin is exclusively breastfed. We had an extremely rough time for the first two months really, but giving up wasn't an option for me. I just knew that I would hate myself if I did. I started babywearing when he was 2 weeks old. I had a friend that made ring slings and she gave me one, and I loved it! We vaccinated at 2 months because I didn't realize there were other options. After the horrible, terrorizing experience we switched to an alternative schedule, and doing my research for that is when I found attachment parenting and I knew that it was for us! We were following most of the principles already. We want to make the switch to cloth diapering, but right now is just not the time. Benjamin has some intestinal issues. We're not sure what they are and we are seeing a pediatric GI. Anyway, we're having to save the dirty diapers (ew!), and so we are waiting to switch. We plan to homeschool, but that is mainly because school was not right my husband or I. We just learn differently. So that's us!

Emily - posted on 01/14/2009

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I got my bachelors degree in child development. I graduated about a month before my first was born and promptly forgot everything I had learned in school. About a year later I ran across some of my previous research and discovered that even while in school I was planning to attachment parent... I had really connected with Dr. Sears while in school, as his research made more practical sense and totally went along with all the child psychology things I had learned. I ran into a couple of girls from my major not long ago (about 3 years after we all graduated) and they are all following attachment parenting philosophies. :)

Brenda - posted on 01/14/2009

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Hi my name is Brenda and I have been a "natural" parent since my son was born.  I wasn't permitted to do a lot of what I wanted because of an overbearing mother in law who we were living with at the time.  We co sleep, though my son was sleeping in his own bed for a while (though I'd lay with him until he went to sleep).  I don't really set bed times, he typically goes to sleep when I do, which some nights is a challenge, but we get through it with plenty of "shh" and "be still, child".  I have a bs in pyschology, and am currently pursuing a graduate degreen as a school counselor.  Because of my school, I firmly believe in many attachment parenting ideals, particularly about the inability to spoil children at an early age because of the fact they are developmentally unable to spoiled because they lack the cognitive ability to manipulate.  We are due with our second in May, and I firmly believe that babies always cry with reason, and by answering those cries you create a bond that lasts a lifetime.  I believe cry it out and methods of that vein are without foundation and nothing but a coveninence for parents, and not for the children at all.  As far as other parently styles, the love and logic style is also one I think is worth merit, mostly because it is used in school systems today.

Dana - posted on 11/26/2008

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Thank you, I will definitely be talking about Clayton. He is still my son and I got to enjoy being his mommy for 14 1/2 wonderful months. That is one of the reasons I'm so glad that Wes and I parent the way we do. I can't imagine the added guilt there would be if I had ever let him 'cry it out' or something like that when I only had him for such a short time. You never know, so just love them!!

The big thing I have been getting lately is people asking if Hadlee is still sleeping with us and when I say she is, they seem to get very concerned about where the new baby will go. :) Why is it that people who do who don't parent this way seem to feel the need to always tell me what some book said and manage to make me sound like some nervous mother that is doing things the wrong way. Yes, I can see how it would be nice to have a bed to yourself some nights, but obviously we manage just fine, I mean, this is our 3rd baby in 4 years...

Heather - posted on 11/26/2008

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Hey ladies glad to see more activity on here! Dana please feel free to talk about your son and get support here, hopefully we can yes get non-extreme parenting support here but also build friendships:) I am so tired of hanging with schedule people and getting asked about schedules! Why doesn't it make sence that a child will eat when hungry, sleep when tired, potty when they need to? Glad to see I'm not the only one!

Dana - posted on 11/25/2008

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Hello! I'm Dana, married to Wes for 4 years. I am 25 wks. pregnant with our 3rd child, our 2nd daughter. Our son, Clayton, passed away March 25, 2007 and would have been 3 in January, but that story is for another group... My little Hadlee is 14 months and cute as she can be! I didn't intend for us to be a co-sleeping family, but it is so much easier when you're nursing, and I wouldn't trade that extra time together for anything! There is nothing better than waking up to a sweet baby smile, even if it is a 5 am!

I've worn both of my babies from the beginnig. I was amazed with Clayton how much I could get done with a baby strapped to me :) I didn't cloth diaper Clayton but I have been cloth diapering Hadlee for the past 6 months or so. Not sure if I will cloth diaper the next one at the beginning. I don't know if I'm up to rinsing all those dirty diapers. Both of my babies have pooped constantly at the beginning! I have nursed both babies, Clayton a little longer than Hadlee, but he didn't bite and she did. The day we started weaning she bit me so hard I thought I would be missing something... :) But I do love it and can't wait to have that special time with this next baby. I'm thinking I may not get pregnant again until I wean this baby, just to see what it's like since I have been pregnant and/or nursing since May 2005.

I'm looking forward to talking to other moms with similar ideas. Several of my friends are 'schedule people', and I get a lot of what I 'should' be doing ;)

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