I guess I’m an Attachment Parent.

May 15, 2012 at 11:15 am | Posted in baby, breastfeeding, insight, life, motherhood | 3 Comments
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I love the Time cover of the woman breast-feeding her toddler son. The cover along with Dr. Sears’ term “attachment parenting” is causing quite a stir in the blogosphere and news. It’s funny because upon having my baby, I never really partook in any one theory. I just envisioned myself loving and nurturing my baby and praying to god that he’d turn out healthy and happy. That’s about it. I’m doing what I think is best for my son and family, and it turns out that it is nearly textbook the Wikipedia page for Attachment Parenting. Hmm, ok. So I “wear” my baby — like everywhere I go. I guess that makes me a hippie, liberal momma? But I just so happen to be a person who has lived in a major city for the past 12 years, meaning I’m used to being on the go with my hands free. I have a stroller but it’s a burden to snap in place and open doors by myself to maneuver around small shops. More importantly, did you know, wearing your baby is great for encouraging milk supply? I’ve always struggled with a lower milk supply — something I didn’t know existed until I had my babe. So wearing my guy encourages my body to produce more — a win-win situation if you ask me (hands free and feeding on demand in the wrap!). Which brings me to the next bullet point: breast-feeding. Since when were we not supposed to breast-feed? Maybe when Nestle (a major money-making corporation) began promoting their powdered formula to the masses as an easier and “more nutritious” way to feed your baby? Are you kidding me? A mother’s milk is the single most important thing she can produce for her baby. As the baby grows, a mother’s milk changes it’s fat content and nutrients to what her baby needs. Mother’s milk also builds antibodies to whatever germs the mother is exposed to, which helps protect the baby from infection. One of the best pieces of advice I learned from The Breastfeeding Center was to “hug” anyone who comes in contact with your baby. That way, whatever germs they may have, your body will develop an antibody to help your baby ward off sickness. I don’t think this sounds crazy at all, do you? A sick baby is the last thing in the entire world you’d want to endure. But getting back to the Time cover — which was featured to sell magazines: I feel like the article didn’t go into why a mother would breast-feed her child longer than a year. The AAP recommends a mother breast-feed her child for a year and continuation of breast-feeding for as long as mutually desired by mother and baby. The woman on the cover isn’t breast-feeding her son morning, noon and night the way she would a newborn. Instead breast-feeding at that age would only take place at night before the child goes to sleep, or say when he has a bad fall and needs comfort. That’s it.

And then finally, the vicious debate between co-sleeping: when it’s done safely without pillows or a comforter around the baby; when both parents do not partake in drinking or drugs; or are obese, co-sleeping is perfectly safe. I wouldn’t recommend doing it if you are a sound sleeper. I know this is a dark statement but to prevent SIDS a baby needs to be monitored and when it’s sleeping soundly next to you, you’ll certainly be aware of every breathe, better than via the video monitor you sleep next to. Having your baby sleep next to you is also great for milk supply, encourages on demand feeding which is especially good if you have a baby who gains weight slowly, not to mention it is the sweetest most loving feeling in the world.

To me, the Time article shed light on a subject that they didn’t go into enough detail on and instead created a frenzy of readers who are gawking at the cover and judging this woman as a crazy, helicopter mom who is creating a momma’s boy. I have to disagree with that. At the end of the day, we are all striving for the same thing: to raise a happy, compassionate, polite person who will grow up and be smart and independent. Does it really matter if I choose to breast-feed my child longer than a year, carry him around in the Moby Wrap or co-sleep with him for part of the night? I don’t think so. We all do the best we can and just want our children to grow up and be happy. Let’s all take our own advice, and not be so judgmental of others and to be happy with our personal decisions. Enjoy your baby!

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3 Comments »

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  1. As a child psychologist and a mom, one of the things that is so misleading about attachment parenting is the name. It is only called attachment parenting because of the theory it was based upon. It is not called this because it is the only form of parenting which allows parents to develop a secure attachment relationship with their children. There are numerous ways to develop a secure attachment relationship with our kids. I explore more of this myth here for anyone who is interested:
    http://www.themommypsychologist.com/2012/04/15/what-does-the-mommy-psychologist-have-to-say-about-attachment-parenting/

  2. You are so articulate! I fell into Attachment Parenting because personally I feel that some of the things moms do to “make life easier”, like sleep train or pump, are actually a lot harder than just following what my baby needs and keeping him close to me. Not every mom has a ton of choices and every mom is doing her best. We don’t have to validate our choices by condemning others. I dislike even having to defend Attachment Parenting because it makes it seam like I think it’s the only way to be a good mom, which couldn’t be further from the truth. For me, it’s a personal style choice, like my dorky glasses. Except dorky glasses are actually cool and AP is not. :)

  3. Thanks for writing this Katie. I have a few Sears books and it all seems very normal and common sense to me. I breast feed because I know it’s best, I love the bonding time and honestly, formula is expensive. Co-sleeping feels right to us and I love waking up next to my baby. We don’t have room for a crib anyway, and most babies I know can’t stand theirs. And Asa goes everywhere in a sling with us because it’s just easier. We haven’t even bought a stroller yet but probably will as he gets bigger. For now I love him cuddled up close to me, I know that in a year or so ge’ll be more independent and I’ll miss this time.


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