As promised I am giving my review of the Time magazine article on “extreme” attachment parenting. To give you an idea of how it went, I had to stop reading it twice because I was angry. The article, in my opinion, did its best to portray the Attachment Parenting as a crazy, impossible, dad exiling crazy train that makes moms lives harder and secludes them from society. Of course this is absurd! I practice AP. I still have friends, my husband loves parenting this way and feels closer to the kids, and it has made my life sooo much easier! The article seemed to imply that there were no adjustments to AP. As if every family had to be the same and use AP the same way. It said that AP says that you must bed-share. In the book The Attachment Parenting Book what is said in regards to sleeping location is this “where ever mom (dad etc.) and baby get the best night’s sleep is where the baby should sleep.” In fact Dr. Sears recommends a side car or bassinet next to the bed. In no way is bed-sharing the only option. In fact every bit of AP is following yours and your baby’s natural instincts and impulses. How can this possibly be wrong? You design a plan that works for you and your baby using gentle, natural techniques that help you form and strengthen a bond with your child. And again, in response to the idea that fathers can’t use AP or that it pushes fathers away… I do not think they actually read the book. There is an entire chapter on father bonding. Basically this article was used to sell magazines. It was written in a way that sheds a negative light on a very simple, natural, and loving way to parent. It focuses on three key points of AP and makes them out to be the hardest and worst things to do. The three staples are
1. Breastfeeding: I am sorry but if you do not know that breast is best in 2012 I do not know what to say to you. Its common sense! The article however painted a picture that if you breastfeed and practice AP you MUST breastfeed until your child is at least 10. This is of course absurd again. The entire point of AP is following you and your baby’s cues. Do what works best for you. Most current scientific evidence shows that the longer you breastfeed the better. There are no risks or side effects so why not go until you and your child want to stop. If you and your baby wean at 12mo. 18mo, or 6 years if it works for you both that is all that matters. That is AP!
2. Co-Sleeping: This was described as bed-sharing only! Co-Sleeping really means being in the same room. What is so wrong with that? Babies sleep better when they are next to their mothers. I do not know why any mother would not want to consider an option that helps their baby sleep the most and in turn helping themselves sleep more. Now I do bed-share with my son and room share with my daughter with the occasional bed-sharing. That is what works for me. They both sleep through the night that way and are happiest that way. So why not?
3. Baby Wearing: Again I do not understand the problem here. My life has been made SO much easier because of my Sleepywrap. I am carrying my baby with my hands free to do chores, tend to my toddler, or do anything else I need to. Both of my children have been so comforted by my wrap that they almost instantly fall asleep when they are in it. It is not at all a strain on me and in fact makes everything 10 times easier. If you have a physical condition that makes it impossible for you to baby wear then don’t do it. AP allows for many other ways to be close to your baby.
Let me recap these three things that supposedly make my life so stressful and demanding and make my life as a parent so much harder. Breastfeeding, I never have to remember bottles or formula, hope for a microwave or serve it cold. I never have to let my child cry while I mix up a bottle. I never have to worry if it is too hot or too cold. Oh yeah and its free. That’s ignoring all of the health benefits for both of us too. Such as a 20% reduction in breast cancer for every year I breastfeed. Co-Sleeping, my son and I have slept through the night since he was 3 mo old. When there were occasions like growth spurts where he wanted to eat more at night I barely noticed because he was right there latched on and we both went back to sleep. I could never complain! And let me just say that we are the only animals that for some reason feel the need to separate our young from us to sleep. It isn’t natural! And last but not least baby wearing. This helps my baby nap. I can still do chores or play with my toddler. I have total freedom at the same time I am supplying total care to my baby.
If you still feel that AP is extreme I suggest that you first read The Attachment Parenting Book by Dr. Sears so that you really know what AP is. And if it still isn’t right for you, fine! All I ask is that you do not accuse me of being crazy because something works for me. I put my children first and AP helps me do that. Period!