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Attachment parenting

(24 Posts)
BummyMummy77 Fri 28-Feb-14 15:53:58

So I realise this may get me kicked off mumsnet by a pitchfork wielding mob but hey ho.

Ds is 3 months and much as I love my parents dearly they pretty much dragged me up and did most stuff wrong. So in an attempt to give ds what I didn't have I'm doing things differently.

Is anyone else 'attachment/ natural/ peaceful parenting'?

Any serious tips/funny anecdotes?

I didn't set out by reading a book and deciding this was what I'd do, more a few people pointed out that my values and methods fitted in with it.

After spending a fortune before I had ds on buggies, cots etc.

Anybody that doesn't knit their own Birkenstocks can feel free to make sarcy comments.

I'll start with an observation- this baby wearing thing means my house is spotless. From the waist up.

Guardianto2 Fri 28-Feb-14 16:44:31

Why would it get you kick off of mumsnet?

In my experience it's better not to try and follow these parenting styles and just do what you feel comfortable doing, the result is normally a mixture of things that suit you and your child depending on the situation.

BummyMummy77 Fri 28-Feb-14 16:54:35

I meant that tongue in cheek. It's seen as pretty left wing hippy parenting over here.

As I said, I haven't read book and 'decided' to parent that way, it's just been pointed out that it's a pretty close description of what we're doing. smile

findingherfeet Fri 28-Feb-14 17:05:44

I don't like the term attachment parenting, to me it suggests that if you don't follow the 'rules' (or god forbid, enjoy sleeping without baby, use formula #shock horror# etc) you are in some ways less attached to your child.....sure I loved snuggles with a baby in a carrier and breastfed for longer than anticipated but this wasn't to demonstrate anything to parents who feel they are superior to me, it just felt right for me and my daughter.

I would say don't put a label on your love or attachment to your child, do what works for you as individuals and most importantly don't feel any guilt if your baby prefers their buggy etc etc

Albertatata Fri 28-Feb-14 17:15:55

Following any parenting style is the road to ruin - just do what suits you & your family. At three months you still have a hell of alot of parenting left - don't pigeonhole & label yourself now

Tailtwister Fri 28-Feb-14 18:39:40

I don't follow a parenting style but if I had to describe the one I am closest too it would be attachment parenting. I don't follow it religiously, I work for a start, but I agree with the general philosophy.

Malim Bayalik (aka Amy from 'The Big Bang Theory') wrote a very good book on attachment parenting. She talks about taking the bits and pieces from which suit your family and that it's not an all or nothing thing.

Personally, I just kind of fell into the style of parenting as it's what felt natural and easiest to me.

Albertatata Fri 28-Feb-14 19:51:32

Ps any parenting styles with the term 'attachment', 'gentle' & 'unconditional' make me want to heave - gives people a silly (slightly smug) label that insinuates everyone else's styles are - deattached, abusive and conditional etc.

rallytog1 Fri 28-Feb-14 20:30:13

I think your parenting style is pretty dependent on the children you have. I know a lot of people who thought they were x type of parent, but they only had one child. When number 2 came along, they suddenly found they were not parent x but parent y with that child. Different children need different things and I think they drive our parenting styles more than our personal preferences do.

MyriadOfMiracles Fri 28-Feb-14 20:48:12

I agree with rally ^^ I love the idea of 'Attachment parenting' (though not the label so much!)
However, I couldnt BF for various reasons (thyroid/haemorrage in labour etc) DD prefers sleeping in a her own space as she is a very light sleep and dh is a wry loud snorer! As for the baby wearing etc she loves all that!
So I think rather than stress about conforming to a specific approach (me, not you) I just finally went with the flow of my individual dd needs. For me personally if i decided to attach my parenting approach to a specific named ideology... I would be setting myself up for a fall. AP claims to be all inclusive, but i do feel it is actually quite exclusive! If you do not follow certain criteria it is going against their way, therfor you feel like a failure .

littlemslazybones Sat 01-Mar-14 07:50:41

Well I look like an attachment parent through accident more than anything.

I bf longer than usual because I'm a wheezer and want to nudge my children's health to reduce their of having asthma or just to reduce the severity of the illness. As a result, I find it a shed load easier to co-sleep. We use a sling almost permenantly because it makes my life easier.

The downside to this is I look like someone who aligns themselves with a bunch of parents who consider themselves superior. So, when my colicky baby is dishing out in his sling, some people are nothing less than joyful that it isn't working or worse, assumes that they are crying because they are in the sling and I must be hurting them.

I disagree that bf-ing, co-sleeping, slinging is the preserve of the first time parent. I've just had my third child and I find that this approach is still useful or more accurately the path of least resistance.

crashbangboom Sat 01-Mar-14 08:03:51

I use Attachment theory and child hood development to inform my parenting,

Just happens that it looks very much like the AP model.

rallytog1 Sat 01-Mar-14 12:06:41

I wasn't saying it was the preserve of the first time parent Little- just that I think our styles are more driven by our children's preferences than we realise.

I speak as someone who was certain I would be a bf'ing, baby-wearing earth mother. As it turned out, I couldn't lactate and my dd was very much of the "put me down" school of thought and wouldn't tolerate being held, even in a sling, for more than 2 minutes.

If the same thing works with all your children that's brilliant, but I was just observing that I know quite a few people who've had to take different approaches with different children.

littlemslazybones Sat 01-Mar-14 12:12:57

Sorry Rally, brining my own issues there. I thought you were saying it was the cute, labour- intensive option that doesn't work when you have more than one child.

catbus Sat 01-Mar-14 12:21:30

I tend not to label myself as an AP parent, but to all intents and purposes, I am smile
Done it for 15 years with all four DC. DC4 still sleeps with me, mostly.. I aim to parent gently- doesn't mean there aren't guidelines and rules- I just aim to parent better as I go along (still learning!)
Also HE all four, so the concept sits nicely with our lifestyle, which some would say is more free than usual, for want of a better word grin
And no, I don't knit my own yoghurt- I just live a little more free range wink

cory Sat 01-Mar-14 12:22:28

I've never really followed any theory as such. But in later years I've come to realise that that is probably simply because my parents modelled a parenting style that suited me quite well; with some minor tweaking all I had to do was to reproduce what I had seen around me.

If I were in the same situation as you, OP, I probably would want the backing of other people- precisely because you have missed out on the backing you should have had from your parents.

I think posters who make fun of theories often lack the imagination to understand what it must be like when you know your own childhood gives you nothing to build on.

These are some ideas of my own (not sure how helpful they are):

look for actual practical tips in books and the internet (rather than a wholesale theory that will do everything): clever suggestions or funny stories about how somebody else diffused a difficult situation or helped to deal with a child's fears or aggression

be prepared to attune to your own child- they are all different: some like to be distracted, others see it as a sneaky trick (obviously talking about older children here), some like very firm boundaries set out, others have a need to be involved in the discussion from an early age

accept that whatever you do there will be difficult periods- some children have tantrums, some go through a patch of telling fibs, some are fussy eaters; most of them work through it quickly

accept that if your child is going through a difficult patch it is not necessarily the method that is wrong - ime strong-willed children are going to have some tantrums regardless of whether they are gently parented or strictly disciplined

otoh be prepared to accept that if something goes on for a long time, is causing problems with others and nothing you do seems to help, then you may need to change your approach

DIYandEatCake Sat 01-Mar-14 13:34:01

1. There is nothing lovelier than a small warm hand on your cheek as you go to sleep.
2. There is nothing much more irritating than a small person practising their crawling skills by slithering out of bed (we had a mattress on the floor) at the speed of light and making for the door. At 1am and for the 100th time that night...
3. Baby wearing really does get more awesome as they get older. I was gutted when dd went through a phase of favouring her buggy when she was 10/11 months old... But when she started walking soon after, she wanted carrying again. I love it - ds hasn't actually been in a pram yet, at 11 weeks old. I think I could get addicted to buying slings though....!
4. If you're breast feeding, take your dd to see animals suckling when she's older - random tip I know but dd was completely transfixed watching suckling piglets and talked about it for ages. Loved the look on her face! There is a lovely book called 'mama's milk' with pictures of animals and people breast feeding.
5. Dd pointing at a poster advertising a make of push-up bra and shouting 'mowk! (Milk) Biiiiig mowk!' was quite funny.
6. Have you got a La Leche League group near you (if breastfeeding?) it's a great way of meeting people parenting children of all different ages in a similar way, and has been a great source of discussion and advice for us.
7. Have you read anything by dr sears? Love his books!
Fwiw I dont like the term 'attachment parenting' (or really know what it means...!) but greatly enjoy co-sleeping, baby wearing and breastfeeding. If it works for you, enjoy!

WestieMamma Sat 01-Mar-14 17:15:56

I'm a failed attachment parent. Can't baby wear as it'd be like carrying a baby elephant around and my style seems to be more the 'oh my god, what do I need to do to get this creature to stop screaming' approach.

MyriadOfMiracles Sun 02-Mar-14 07:26:39

Lol westie!!

Booboostoo Sun 02-Mar-14 08:26:36

I had no clue about attachment parenting (or any other parenting method, I think I was in denial because all my (extensive) reading only went up to the birth!) but kind of ended up doing attachment parenting type stuff out of necessity. It just seemed to be what suited DD but I don't follow it evangelically nor do I like the term.

cory Sun 02-Mar-14 09:34:44

I couldn't use the sling that much much because of my stitches; it took nearly a year for them to stop hurting. She also struggled with the breastfeeding (undiagnosed disability). My friend had a bad back and struggled to lift her baby at all. My brother didn't like cuddles. But there are plenty of other ways to be close to a baby. It's not a box-ticking exercise: it's more about general responsiveness to an actual individual.

cory Sun 02-Mar-14 09:35:07

Sorry, she= dd

thegreatgatsby101 Sun 02-Mar-14 09:54:06

I don't like labels, but a lot of the things we do are more leaning towards the AP style. I didn't set out to do it this way, just the way it kinda happened.

AngryPrincess Sun 02-Mar-14 18:15:07

three months old, sounds lovely! but hard work. My DD is 7 months now. I do attachment parenting, but that's the way I was brought up. (Didn't like the book, but totally because of the Q&A format). Good Luck!

Seff Mon 03-Mar-14 09:10:47


I have an almost 4 year old DD, and am 38 weeks pregnant with our second baby. We AP'd DD as a baby, and now try and follow the loose mix of UP/GP that works for us smile

I stumbled towards more gentle techniques when I realised that being shouty mummy was getting me nowhere, and was usually making her behaviour worse. She is (almost!) as stubborn as I am though, so we do have the odd stand off, and obviously nobody is perfect, but we muddle through the best we can and for the most part we're fairly harmonious.

DD has continued to breastfeed throughout my pregnancy, though she is generally down to just a bedtime feed now. I'd half hoped she'd wean but it seems we'll be tandem nursing after all!

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