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Is AP spoiling my kids??? -Rant
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mimivan




 
 
 


Post  Sun, Apr 22 2007, 10:50 pm
Hi. I would put this with the natural parenting section, but it said there that "this section is not for debate" and I am in the debating mood about this one.

I thought Attachment Parenting was fanatastic when I first heard about it --cosleeping, baby wearing, extending nursing, the whole bit. But after two kids ba'h I want to get a t-shirt that says "I tried Attachment Parenting and what I got were kids who can't go to sleep by themselves even at 3 1/2, and cry when they aren't picked up all the time (I.e. because they are so used to being in a carrier when I cut vegetables etc.., but when they are 9 months, my back can't take it anymore, and when I put them down they cry!!) and get traumatized when I try to wean them. (okay. This won't fit on a t-shirt)

Yet, I think that one reason my oldest has survived my less-than-stellar parenting moments is because of that deep connection developed through the attachment style. So, what do you think, is it worth it? My baby, I can't put down without his crying (9 months) and I know it is because I had him in a carrier every moment until now when my back has given out!!

So what do you all think? I personally think AP is the best, but just not sustainable for the average person unless DH is around as an extra pair of hands or if someone has a mommy's helper. For instanc, DH goes to school at night, and when I give the 3 year old a bath, the nine month old just has to cry, because I can't pick him up. I know that is against AP and I should do it in a carrier. But give me a break! It is physically impossible!

And the oldest still can't get to sleep by himself! What do I do about co-sleeping if they both need to sleep! And then I fall asleep myself and sometimes wake up in the morning without having said Shema and to a messy house! I can't take this anymore!

So, I'm thinking of dumping AP! (or at least moderating it!) Any thoughts?
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Lechatchila Ariber




 
 
 


Post  Sun, Apr 22 2007, 10:57 pm
I think everything good also has to be done within reason.
I don't see a reason to carry around a baby all day if the baby is not asking for it. (That includes teaching a baby that they will be held all day from the beginning)
Your baby needs some mat time too, to develop skills they can't otherwise develop while being in a carrier all day.
There is such a thing as too much attachment between mother and child too.
you won't be doing them or yourself any favours by denying them their independence.
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mimivan




 
 
 


Post  Sun, Apr 22 2007, 11:05 pm
Esti:
Yes, I would have thought so too. But when I had my first, I subscribed to a parenting theory called Attachment Parenting (AP) which says a mother should wear her baby as much as possible in a carrier. Dr. Sears (the founder of AP) argues that it is what is done in 3rd world countries where babies rarely cry and develops attachment between mother and child. I agree that there are psychological benefits, but drawbacks if that way of parenting is not sustainable. For instance, what if I get tired of carrying him etc..the reasons I mentioned above. Your point has a lot of common sense.

I'd like to hear also from people who are familiar with the AP theory and practice it themselves. How do you manage? Especially with multiple kids and little or no help from dh (mine is away at those crucial times) or a helper? Do you find it is sustainable, or do you have to moderate the AP style to fit your needs (more in advice seeking mode right now rather than in ranting mode)
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Lechatchila Ariber




 
 
 


Post  Sun, Apr 22 2007, 11:24 pm
Quote:
I agree that there are psychological benefits, but drawbacks if that way of parenting is not sustainable.

which is why I say everything within reason

this is one reason I generally try not to subscribe to any theories in life but rather I try to use knowledge and logic combined.

so for example, doctors and nurses say, and in addition logic dictates, that babies need to at some point to learn how to excercise their muscles, therefore to constantly be having them in a carrier all day and not give them a chance to spend some tummy time on a mat is illogical and unfair to the child (and your back).

There could be other reasons for attachment between mother and child in third world countries as well. Children in third world countries are also more commonly sickly and while we know thats due to water and starvation problems, perhaps lack of physical excersise as a baby may have something to do with it as well? I wonder if anyone ever explored that issue.
I think woman in those countries carried their babies around for practical purposes rather then because of any theories

Of course its healthy for a child to spend time in mummy's arms and be cuddled and loved.
Its healthy for me to eat celery, does that mean I should eat cellery with the exclusion of all other food groups?

So while I have never practiced AP, my advice to you if you are willing to take it is simply put, use your own logic and intuition.
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Lechatchila Ariber




 
 
 


Post  Sun, Apr 22 2007, 11:27 pm
also what I don't understand is, if you see its not working out then why don't you try otherwise?
You yourself write that the results are that your kids can't sleep by themselves and need to be held all the time. So whats your question? I think its time to try another tactic.
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mimivan




 
 
 


Post  Sun, Apr 22 2007, 11:35 pm
Because I'd like to hear from other AP parents on how to modify this approach rather than dumping the whole thing (maybe I should have posted this on natural parenting, huh??)Because, as I said, there are benefits. Maybe I should e-mail Dr. Sears. Thank you for your suggestion about mommy's intuition. You are right about that. I just want to see if I am understanding this theory correctly before continuing it and rejecting it.
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Lechatchila Ariber




 
 
 


Post  Sun, Apr 22 2007, 11:59 pm
its true maybe you should verify if you were understanding and doing it right.
perhaps it doesn't call for you to forgo your childs other needs as one would be doing by doing the things you mentioned.

and just for the record, I am not denying there are benefits to holding your children and sleeping with them...sometimes.
just that, there are benefits to balancing that with giving them their independence AS WELL Wink
this I consider natural parenting
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amother






Post  Mon, Apr 23 2007, 12:01 am
You wanted debate - here is one I was raised AP style (alot, not perfectly) before this fad and that psychological bond thing is full of garbage. AP or not AP if you spend the time with the baby you will form the same bond, and if you go wrong as they gro up its all garbage. My friend was raised by a nanny and her mother worked has a wonderful and deep relationship with her and was raised complete opposite of AP, so there Dr Sears or whoever!
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challi




 
 
 


Post  Mon, Apr 23 2007, 3:11 am
I would consider myself to AP, though I also won't take it to the extreme. I carried/ baby wear for the the 1st 9mnths of my baby's life, co-slept past a yr, don't cry it out, nursed on demand well into the next preg. But.... I also used some logic while doing so. During those 9 baby wearing months, I also let dd play on the floor and got her used to it by lying down there with her (no crying involved) if she got upset up we went. Slowly , she loved it, I wasn't not Ap"ing by doing so, if she wanted down who am I to stop her, as soon as it got too
much we ended play time. As far as nursing on demand I was always available and I learned how to do other things at the same time. Co-sleeping for us just ended a little while ago, and dd is 1.5yrs. I used the no cry sleep solution book, and we had no crying at bedtime. I saw signs in dd that she was ready and jumped on the opportunity b4 it was lost. She NEVER slept in a crib, so now she sleeps on a matress on the floor, it just worked out to be a easier transition that way.

I also only have 1 right now so it was easier, but for planning ahead, I've started already laying the groundwork early on. dd is more than content to play without being held, sleep by herself (even if she cuddles with me in the morn), and nursing (which now has stopped, though I wish I didn't have to) was a harder adjustment for me than her, she also never went through any real stranger/ separation anxiety either.

Also, DH isn't home a whole lot, especially in the evenings. Oh and I plan to do it all over again. My dd is independent, content, and very confident, so I really think it is possible as long as you plan ahead and build your dc independence and other skills at the same time as building a healthy attachment. One doesn't exclude the other at all.
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challi




 
 
 


Post  Mon, Apr 23 2007, 3:13 am
oops sorry for the double post Very Happy

Last edited by challi on Mon, Apr 23 2007, 3:38 am; edited 1 time in total
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amother






Post  Mon, Apr 23 2007, 3:19 am
yes...challi...sounds like a common sense approach.
And I must add the initial post was a rant and all that implies...meaning exaggeration! It seems as if he has to be in my arms all the time, but actually, he does play on the floor and has been since 6 mos...it is just harder to put him back in the carrier now...

I suppose I took on AP without going to a forum or finding support from other AP moms. Boundary building in terms of sleep and being alone should have been done lovingly like weaning, instead of waiting for the kid to take the lead. Can I PM you once in a while for more ideas, since you are also an AP mom?
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shalhevet




 
 
 


Post  Mon, Apr 23 2007, 3:41 am
I agree with a lot of what Esty wrote. I wouldn't call myself AP, but on the other hand there are AP things which I have done, especially with regard to nursing. I once heard that the difference between love and spoiling is that love is what a child NEEDS and spoiling is what he doesn't.

I think, like any fad with roots outside Torah (even if the Torah is in favour of certain aspects of it) that we have to act with intelligence and weigh up each thing individually, and that also means weighing it up according to the age of the baby/ child.

For example, I am a strong believer in nursing on demand and not letting a baby cry. When a small baby cries I believe it is a NEED to be picked up, nursed etc (I also read in Pele Yoetz that a mother will have to answer after 120 years if she left her baby to cry.) But, at some point, that NEED gradually changes to a WANT. When a baby is a certain age and I feel they can understand I would get them to wait to nurse if they had recently eaten and it was inconvenient to nurse then. With all my babies they slept through the night at maybe 8-9 months for 2 or 3 nights and then woke up again. I took that as a sign that they were ready not to nurse at night and I would go and comfort them and explain, but I wouldn't nurse them. I nursed them all early in the morning (maybe 5-7 am) until a year or two.

I agree with the posters above that not putting a baby to play on the floor can impede their development. I would also put them on the floor on their backs/ stomachs. If they cried I would not ignore them, but interest them in something else. I should add that I have a son who I only put on his back (at the time they were very into that a baby should only be on its back b/c of cot death risks, r"l and it was only later that they started telling mothers to be sure that the baby spends some of his awake time on his stomach) and to this day he has minor problems with fine motor skills.

So I think that for all other issues you have to weigh up: is the AP theory as it is proposed going to help my child be an oveid Hashem? Or am I giving him so much at an inappropriate age that he is going to be spoiled? Even a baby of 8 months can begin to understand that there are limits and part of chinuch is to teach a child that he can't have everything he wants.

BTW, you asked about more than one child. There is no way that you can nurse 100% on demand with a second child, unless you neglect your first or want to make him extremely resentful. Occasionally you are going to have to meet your firstborn's needs first when you feel it is appropriate and the baby is just going to have to wait. You also need to weigh up other AP issues in terms of jealousy of existing child/ren.
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Lechatchila Ariber




 
 
 


Post  Mon, Apr 23 2007, 3:43 am
I'm curious.
Those of you who do this, how does this co-sleeping thing affect your married life?
I've always wondered about that.
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challi




 
 
 


Post  Mon, Apr 23 2007, 3:50 am
sure no prob PM away! Don't worry I know its a rant, I've had days like that too.
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Lechatchila Ariber




 
 
 


Post  Mon, Apr 23 2007, 3:50 am
Oh shalhevet I just noticed your post
well said.
I especially like the point about chinuch. Children, even bigger babies need to learn that there are boundries in life.
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challi




 
 
 


Post  Mon, Apr 23 2007, 4:05 am
Don't know how co-sleeping affected other's married life, but my dh was 100% for it so it worked. I would however say to anyone that doesn't have a dh 100% for it don't do it.

We both were more rested, baby happier, and bedtime was NEVER an issue for her. With the co-sleeping, it was kind of something that I fell into not realizing that there was such a thing as AP, after dd was born I found out abt AP. But, for various reasons, dd couldn't (and I really don't mean wouldn't, there were some really good reasons for it) sleep through the night. So co-sleeping was the only way for us to get more than 2 hrs of sleep a night. Once I realized that she could sleep though the night, and was ready to sleep alone we worked on transitioning her. It took a total of 1.5wks ( By then she already slept a 12-15hr night) If either dh or myself had felt even a little resentment or unhappyness abt the situation earlier on that would have been enough reason to end the co-sleeping and figure out a diff solution.
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HindaRochel




 
 
 


Post  Mon, Apr 23 2007, 4:36 am
I wouldn't worry about the babies needing to exercise their muscles or they won't develop; a variety of cultures carreid or even bound children for their first year. BUT
Most kids do like being on the ground, with mom.
So rather than put the baby down to cut veggies, put the baby down to play with the child, when the child is interested in something go cut veggies (wash dishes whatever) keep the baby near you or in sight, and talk to the child...running dialogue on what's going on with you. if the baby won't settle and get happy then pick the baby up.

And you can nurse on demand with a second child...I did.
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shalhevet




 
 
 


Post  Mon, Apr 23 2007, 4:43 am
HindaRochel wrote:


And you can nurse on demand with a second child...I did.


HR, for sure you can nurse on demand. I did (probably more than with my first) for my other children. All I was saying is that it can't be 100% on demand. Maybe it can be 95% (depending on what age your other child/ren are and how much they are at home). But sometimes your baby is going to wake up crying and you're going to be in the middle of changing your older child's diaper/ another child wants a drink/ someone falls down and starts crying. With subsequent children I would occasionally even break up nursing in the middle, despite the baby's protests, because the baby had nursed for a few minutes and the toddler needed me for something important.
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HindaRochel




 
 
 


Post  Mon, Apr 23 2007, 4:50 am
Shalhelvet, perhaps you misunderstand what "On Demand" means. I wouldn't call finishing diapering one child before you get the baby and nurse it not on 100% demand. If that is the criterion than I never nursed 100% on demand. For one thing I went to teh bathroom...sometiems I had to wash my hands or do something else before I got to the child.

However, I didn't give a bottle and I wouldn't interrupt nursing unless the need were great (child bleeding etc.) My toddler needed me, generally I could help him or her while the baby was attached. I use to call myself the amazing one handed woman because I'd nurse and cut food, wash dishes and do most anything that I needed to do.
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mimivan




 
 
 


Post  Mon, Apr 23 2007, 5:48 am
Great comments everyone.

While I found I could nurse on demand (with interruptions) with the second one, I certainly did have to leave him to cry sometimes, but I tried to limit it as much as possible (I.e. a few minutes at the most) . Like OP mentioned, when I was giving the toddler a bath. Because I just could not give the toddler a bath and wear the baby at the same time. If anyone has suggestions on how to do this, I'm open. (also the baby cried more during bath, meal times.)

Yes, I did have to interrupt nursing to attend to the older one sometimes. I felt so bad for the baby, but I didnt' see an alternative. However, I put him right back on after a couple of minutes.

On co-sleeping and married life, you can move a sleeping baby to another room, or even an older child, before relations, and it will work as long as the baby is not so used to his mommy that he (or she) will wake up when being moved. Then they can just be nursed back to sleep. If a husband has an issue with it, I'd go to a Rav, but dh never protested and liked sleeping with his son too.
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