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Attachment parenting. Is it the 'superior' way?


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#26 mum201

Posted 24 July 2012 - 04:57 PM

I can't believe how much money people are making out of the mummy wars! Why are there so many books on this stuff. I think just instinctively responding to your individual child with love is the best way to parent whatever that may entail. When I had DS I had no idea there was anything called 'attachment parenting'. I breast fed because it seemed much better for my baby, and will continue for as long as he wants because it's nice - baby gets perfect food for his body and I get cuddles. I initially tried wrapping baby and placing in cot awake for naps - it didn't work with our son. So I thought 'will try a hug a bub, I might be able to do some laundry', and it worked. I initially wanted baby in a separate bed in our room, this worked until 4 month sleep regression and then failed miserably so we side carred the cot for easy night nursing. Bought a mountain buggy pram - baby doesn't like it so we use an ergo. I treat baby with respect and whilst don't ask if I can change his nappy, I do try to always think 'if I were DS would I want that done'. We BLW because DS hates anyone else feeding him. I kiss and cuddle my baby frequently but that's just because he's adorable! So apparently if you like labels, then I am an attachment parent, but I just think its doing what feels right. However, I acknowledge that one day I might have another child who doesn't like to be held and would cry in an ergo, in which case I would just use the bits that benefitted that particular child. So I guess it's just a long winded way of saying that the superior way of parenting is what works for your child!
I just watched this and the segment on the whole is a little inaccurate re ap. APs don't give their children whatever they want, whenever they want it. That is ridiculous - AP is about attending to a small child's fundamental needs whenever they need it, so they feel secure. It is about ensuring trust between parents and their small children so feel confident enough that in this big scary world, at the end of the day, their needs will be met.

#27 bettymm

Posted 24 July 2012 - 05:11 PM

I havnt watched the segment, but most of my mummy friends have, so ive heard a lot about it

It seems those on the program were quite extreme in the "attachment parenting" practises.  Like most things in life, i think its never good to be on the extreme end of the scale.  A healthy balance is needed, and i do believe young children need to learn boundaries and i also believe this can be done in a gentle manner without damaging them.

I never set out in pregnancy dead set on parenting in any way.  I was quite young, i guess, and never really been around babies much and none of my friends had any so iw as going in blind so to speak

I found myself naturally drawn to more "attachment" style practises..such as baby wearing, extended breastfeeding, co sleeping.  Not due to any head strong belief that any "style" of parenting was better, i hadnt even heard of "attachment parenting"  these things just felt right to me,  fitted in with my life easily, settled my baby, allowed us all to sleep and be happy.

Edited by bettymm, 24 July 2012 - 05:12 PM.


#28 witchesforest

Posted 24 July 2012 - 05:17 PM

attachment parenting worked fantastically for me. with #2 on the way, i wouldn't dream of doing things differently this time around. i am so looking forward to holding my baby. cosleeping with him and breastfeeding him till age 2.

#29 Riotproof

Posted 24 July 2012 - 05:18 PM

QUOTE (Nat1976 @ 24/07/2012, 03:49 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
If that's not different to any style of parenting done with love and care, why to call yourself something different?

I prefer the term Responsive parenting when it comes to infants, because this is what's important - consitent loving response.

Because it is different to what a lot of previous generations did, maybe not all. Why do we bother naming anything? Because it's handy to be able to have multiple ideas under an umbrella term.

#30 Stinkermouse

Posted 24 July 2012 - 05:33 PM

I briefly watched the 60 minutes segment while making dinner.

With my eldest I was only 26 and the first of our friends to have children and I only had some input from my mother who's memory can be a little vague as to what she did with us kids!

I remember her saying that we had all been put in our cot from day 1 and we were all fine etc..  With this in my head this is what I had planned to do with my DS but I faltered and kept him in a bassinet next to my bed for 4 weeks until I moved him to his room which was only 3 meters from our room anyway, I found he actually slept better.  I breastfed him on demand which I hadn't planned or put too much thought into to be honest it just worked out he was a snacker and I was happy to feed whenever and enjoy that time with him.

With my second DS who came 21 months later it was different I think having a toddler to look after as well I ended up I ended up co sleeping and breast feeding him until he was 6 months and then I transferred him into his own room and all was well too.

Again with number three my DD 19 months later we did the same in the beginning but I had problems breast feeding her so had to use formula not sure of the reason but I also had her in a crib very close to my bed but she did also co sleep part of the night.

I don't really put too much thought into my parenting I just did what was best for me and our family set up.

I do remember though when my eldest started getting up at night as a toddler I used to love letting him come into our bed as I thought he missed out on co sleeping as a baby ( I did use to breast feed him in bed in the morning as a baby).

Coming back to the 60 minutes segment, there was one woman (red head) based in Australia who said that she found it sad and distressing to hear when mothers had moved their 3/4 week old baby into a cot.  This did make me feel awful I have to admit as this is what I did with my first.  

My husband told me not to allow her comments affect me.

I do wish sometimes people would try and think about the other person's side before they make sweeping comments as they can be very hurtful.

I remember trying so hard to get it right when my baby had finally arrived and I simply learnt by trial and error and all three babies were different.  

I don't judge anyone's choices and I truly mean that, life is to short.  As long as my little family unit is happy I'm happy.

#31 IShallWearMidnight

Posted 24 July 2012 - 05:35 PM

i parent to suit my family. it also happens to be the way i was raised. id never heard of AP until my eldest was about 8months old.

#32 princessvixen

Posted 24 July 2012 - 05:46 PM

First of all can I say I am not a parent yet but will be early next year-I saw the story and it disturbed me.I know there is no right or wrong way to parent but a few things concerned me.Firstly babies need to be weaned.I can't see how breastfeeding whilst a child is beyond 2 years old.These women obviously don't work.Babies need to go on solids food.They need vitamins and minerals.Secondly babies sleeping in the bed.I am no doctor but I would fear crushing my baby to death.I heard one of the women saying her mothers instinct stops her from rolling over and crushing her baby.What if you are in a deep sleep?I think that is child endangerment.I'm no expert but I can see some of these attachment children are going to have serious issues when older.They will be so clingy and unable to make their own decisions.I have not deceided yet if I will breastfeed but if I do it will only be until I return to work.My baby will sleep in a cot in my bedroom until he or she is a year old then sleep in a nursery.I'm probably the only person who disagrees with the theory of attachment parenting but you get that.I was dissapointed  mins did not show more of the other side of the coin.Very unbalanced report.

Edited by princessvixen, 24 July 2012 - 05:47 PM.


#33 PooksLikeChristmas

Posted 24 July 2012 - 05:51 PM

There is no 'superior' way to parent because there is a diversity of parents and children, such that no one 'style' is encompassing enough to suit them all. Most people are eclectic in their styles and choices. Probably because the 'styles' are just dreamed up labels to begin with.

I find smugness and insistence that one 'style' is superior turns me off quicker than anything, be it from Tizzy or an Earth Mother. I think most parents feel the same.

It will be interesting in years to come whether all this stuff about AP leading to happier, healthier people long term will prove true in our context.

#34 Kimberley M

Posted 24 July 2012 - 05:52 PM

I didn't watch the 60 Minutes segment.  It was a conscious decision - I'm sick of the Mummy Wars, I find them ridiculous.  

I don't give a sh*t how anyone else parents, assuming of course they don't abuse their kids (sexually, emotionally, physically, whatever).  I don't think there is a "best" method of parenting.  I think the idea of a "best" way to parent is arrogant.  The "best" is whatever works for you and your family.  As long as your child knows he/she is loved and respected, then parent choices are just that - choices, from which there are many options.  I don't care whether you breastfeed til they're 10, whilst that is not my way, it is just one of the many options we have.

STOP THE MUMMY WARS, ALREADY!

#35 Liz75

Posted 24 July 2012 - 06:07 PM

Where are all these kids which are left to cry for hours? From shows like this and comments you would assume it is common and the norm in previous generations. Nearly all my friends follow a routine, shock horror, none of them let their kids cry for hours, ever!



#36 EsmeLennox

Posted 24 July 2012 - 06:20 PM

QUOTE (princessvixen @ 24/07/2012, 03:46 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
First of all can I say I am not a parent yet but will be early next year-I saw the story and it disturbed me.I know there is no right or wrong way to parent but a few things concerned me.Firstly babies need to be weaned.I can't see how breastfeeding whilst a child is beyond 2 years old.These women obviously don't work.Babies need to go on solids food.They need vitamins and minerals.Secondly babies sleeping in the bed.I am no doctor but I would fear crushing my baby to death.I heard one of the women saying her mothers instinct stops her from rolling over and crushing her baby.What if you are in a deep sleep?I think that is child endangerment.I'm no expert but I can see some of these attachment children are going to have serious issues when older.They will be so clingy and unable to make their own decisions.I have not deceided yet if I will breastfeed but if I do it will only be until I return to work.My baby will sleep in a cot in my bedroom until he or she is a year old then sleep in a nursery.I'm probably the only person who disagrees with the theory of attachment parenting but you get that.I was dissapointed  mins did not show more of the other side of the coin.Very unbalanced report.



You know what, wait until you have your child before you make sweeping statements. And I really don't mean that from a 'superior I know better than you because I've got children' standpoint. But honestly, once you've got them your whole world changes, you suddenly find yourself doing things that you never thought you would because it seems completely natural to do so. I remember thinking most of the things you have talked about in your post, funnily enough I ended up co-sleeping and extended BF because it seemed really natural to do so.

My children aren't clingy and needy at all, and believe me are very able to make their own decisions! Furthermore,  some children are clingy regardless of your 'parenting style'.

As for BF to age two, you do realise that these children also eat regular meals and most often only feed morning and evening, or perhaps even just once a day? I BF all of my children for a long time after I returned to work, the two aren't mutually exclusive. My youngest I fed until he was nearly 3, I had been back at work over two years by that stage.

I am firmly in the camp of families doing what works for them as parents. I ended up being more of an attachment parent, which honestly was more surprising to me than anyone I think.

Tamm, I agree with your post. Anyone would think children of previous generations were horribly neglected and largely ignored by their parents.

Edited by Jemstar, 24 July 2012 - 06:33 PM.


#37 GoldenBlack

Posted 24 July 2012 - 06:28 PM

QUOTE (Liz75 @ 24/07/2012, 06:07 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Where are all these kids which are left to cry for hours? From shows like this and comments you would assume it is common and the norm in previous generations. Nearly all my friends follow a routine, shock horror, none of them let their kids cry for hours, ever!


Actually, uh, in the mother's group that ended up doing our 'graduation class' at the hospital, more than half ended up doing that.  For various reasons (from 'It doesn't hurt them, I'm fine with it' to 'Baby won't stop crying even when held due to an issue being managed, I hate it').  Worst reason was 'discipline', aughhhh.  And that was after the prenatal classes which SAID not to try to discipline newborns regarding crying.

No idea what the previous generation did - I was very surprised to find out that my mother was unconditionally accepting of EVERYTHING I did, and she would say some fascinating things like:

"I fed on demand, I suppose that's not done now?"

And

"We never let you cry if we could help it, your father and I would just give you cuddles or carry you with us instead, it's easier for everyone."

So really, it sounded just what I was doing.  And it's a mixture of Attachment Parenting and non - I'm actually not a big fan of Dr. Sears work as there's some seriously anti-feminist undertones there and some rather unpleasant guiltbombs which really don't make sense in the modern era.  At the same time, my MIL is convinced we're spoiling our daughter because we pick her up if she cries...she had severe untreated postnatal depression though, and probably had to be somewhat standoff in order to survive.

I'm tired of the mummy wars and their artificial constructs.  Amongst my friends (i.e., not our hospital group!) everyone does things differently and it all seems to be fine.  No one's doing the 'leaving them for ages to cry' thing, but there's quite a range of parenting styles aside from that.

#38 Soontobegran

Posted 24 July 2012 - 06:30 PM

Tamm, I agree.

My mum is 86, and I remember her parenting my two youngest brothers very well.
They were demand fed, cuddled continually, rarely cried and slept in the bassinet beside mum in my parent's room for most of their first year.

I parented my children 2 decades ago and I am not the only one of my peers who co slept, demand fed and extended and tandem breast fed.
My children were not left to cry, they were soothed, fed and cuddled, they were also 'worn' by myself or my DH but having said this the inference that unless you parent according to the 60 minute model of AP then you are doing it wrong and harming your baby is aggravating to say the least.
There is no one way to parent to produce amazingly happy, healthy and well adusted children.

Edited by soontobegran, 24 July 2012 - 06:45 PM.


#39 MummaJo

Posted 24 July 2012 - 06:36 PM

I didn't watch it but I wish I had now because I've heard so much about it.

I'm about as far removed from attachment parenting as you can get.  I'm a routine based person, breastfed both my sons for 1-2 months and then bottle fed.  I always go to my child if they are crying and rely on my instinct on how to settle them.  In fact I go on my instinct for everything when it comes to motherhood.  Its always right.  I know my babies the best and what works for them.  They are happy, healthy and beautiful little boys.

I do however like my own space and personal time for myself and husband so I'm into boundaries.

#40 mum201

Posted 24 July 2012 - 07:31 PM

QUOTE (princessvixen @ 24/07/2012, 05:46 PM)
14771504[/url]']
First of all can I say I am not a parent yet but will be early next year-I saw the story and it disturbed me.I know there is no right or wrong way to parent but a few things concerned me.Firstly babies need to be weaned.I can't see how breastfeeding whilst a child is beyond 2 years old.These women obviously don't work.Babies need to go on solids food.They need vitamins and minerals.Secondly babies sleeping in the bed.I am no doctor but I would fear crushing my baby to death.I heard one of the women saying her mothers instinct stops her from rolling over and crushing her baby.What if you are in a deep sleep?I think that is child endangerment.I'm no expert but I can see some of these attachment children are going to have serious issues when older.They will be so clingy and unable to make their own decisions.I have not deceided yet if I will breastfeed but if I do it will only be until I return to work.My baby will sleep in a cot in my bedroom until he or she is a year old then sleep in a nursery.I'm probably the only person who disagrees with the theory of attachment parenting but you get that.I was dissapointed  mins did not show more of the other side of the coin.Very unbalanced report.


Clearly you have not read anything about AP. Extended breast feeding is about letting a child be the one to dictate when he/she is ready to finish with the most comforting form of nutrition. I also didn't realise that BFing is far more than sustenance before I had children.... You may change your mind when you have a child and watch how at peace they are when snuggling in and having their milk. Many of these older kids only feed sporadically when older anyhow is they are upset or feel they need it.
Solids - of course APs feed their kids solids! Most start feeding solids like everyone else at 'about 6 months'. Some do baby led weaning with finger foods (mine is 8 months and can demolish fingers of grilled fish an florets of broccoli). So not sure where you get this idea from.
Co sleeping - co sleeping is never recommended when the mother is exhausted, that was discussed in the 60 mins report. There are many ways to co sleep safely which includes side carring a cot, ensuring you use a king size bed on the floor, not using the same bedding as baby, arms reach bassinet etc etc etc please google 'safe cosleeping' as I am on an iPhone and type it all. But what you intend to do with baby in the same room is considered cosleeping (baby in same room) anyway.
Honestly, as I previously said I believe in whatever style of parenting works for each person, but you should at least know wtf you are talking about before you start rubbishing on about a parenting style that disturbs you.

ETA why on earth do you think these kids would grow up to not be able to make a decision for themselves? The whole premise of this style of parenting is to raise independent children who have a say in their life. Take Baby Led Weaning for example - the whole idea is to provide the baby with a variety of food and let them baby discover for themselves how much they want to eat and what they like.
Outside the western world, AP isn't a 'parenting style', it is the norm. The global average age for bf weaning is somewhere between 5-8 YEARS old - this is seen as normal and natural. Here a baby is lucky if they get 6 months worth of breast milk in them. Have you even read up on the immunilogical benefits of boob feeding? I recently came back from Japan where most mothers sleep with their children until they are 8 and most baby wear. Is there a huge issue with SIDS there? No - why because they practice safe co sleeping. In most societies a family bed is normal, it's only in the west where is a radical movement.
Once again I would like to clarify, I don't believe that AP is the be all and end all, I think families have to do what works for them, be that BFing, FFing, cot in another room, co sleeping, pram, ergo - whatever. What I can't stand are posts like the one I have quoted who have started criticising other people's parenting styles without knowing one single accurate piece of information. Off soap box.

Edited by mum201, 24 July 2012 - 09:37 PM.


#41 Natttmumm

Posted 24 July 2012 - 07:44 PM

My girls slept in their own rooms from a few months old, they didn't BF ( god forbid they were fed with formula) on demand and didn't co sleep, sure we met their needs and didn't control cry them, they have a say in how things go but do have rules too like bed times etc. Both have turned out well adjusted kids and are very attached to me and DH. Their daycare teachers comment on how kind and nice they both are all the time. Sorry but that 60 mins episode was not for me and I would never raise my children like that. BF at age 4 , poor kids how will they feel when they look back and see that show in a few years not sure how well adjusted they will be then. Kids need guidance and shouldn't be the ones making all the decisions, that's why is called parenting.

#42 StopTheGoats

Posted 24 July 2012 - 08:42 PM



QUOTE (Natttmumm @ 24/07/2012, 07:44 PM)
14771835[/url]']
My girls slept in their own rooms from a few months old, they didn't BF ( god forbid they were fed with formula) on demand and didn't co sleep, sure we met their needs and didn't control cry them, they have a say in how things go but do have rules too like bed times etc. Both have turned out well adjusted kids and are very attached to me and DH. Their daycare teachers comment on how kind and nice they both are all the time. Sorry but that 60 mins episode was not for me and I would never raise my children like that. BF at age 4 , poor kids how will they feel when they look back and see that show in a few years not sure how well adjusted they will be then. Kids need guidance and shouldn't be the ones making all the decisions, that's why is called parenting.


Why would being breastfed at 4 lead to an ill adjusted child? List some reasons. shrug.gif


#43 mum201

Posted 24 July 2012 - 09:20 PM

QUOTE (JuniorSpies @ 24/07/2012, 08:42 PM)
14772043[/url]']
Why would being breastfed at 4 lead to an ill adjusted child? List some reasons. shrug.gif


My nephew who is 15 now, was breast fed until he was 5, maybe 6 (because he 'kept sneaking them in' - his words) and is very well adjusted. He is one of 'the cool kids' at school and has no problems with telling anyone how long he was breast fed for (he is a chatterbox and will talk to anyone about anything). He remembers it fondly and vividly, and it brought him a lot of comfort. He is now very close to his mother but is in no way a 'mama's boy' or clingy. He is highly independent. So I agree with juniorspies - how would bring bfed until 4 leave a child ill adjusted?

#44 premmie

Posted 25 July 2012 - 12:54 PM

I'm probably something in between the two extremes. I ff both my boys mostly because the bf relationship was ultimately going to be detrimental to the parenting relationship. Both started solids at around 4-5 months, I offered a wide variety to ds1 who is now a good little eater. He slept in his cot from 6 weeks in his own room, mostly because Gen when he was sleeping he made so much noise, ds2 was in his own room at 5 weeks. I don't like the idea of co sleeping, but can understand how in some families it might work well. I need my space and some time alone with dh and i was neither baby wanted or enjoyed sleeping with us. Both kids have a 7pm bedtime a reasonably regular napping pattern, which I think is important.

Hug a bubs hurt my back so both kids have been pram dwellers. We did a single big of sleep trAning with ds1 At 8 months and he is now a solid sleeper who only wakes if sick. I plan if we are still having night waking at the same age to do the same with

I didn't see the report but I feel extremes of anything is not good. Mummy wars are futile, everyone does as they see fit. And for what it's worth I don't know any child and most of my friends are more on the routine end of the spectrum who are left to cry indefinitely. There is big difference between a short cry prior to falling asleep and the hysterical kind, which I would never ignore. And if some routine and structure is important then you get to know the difference and respond accordingly.

#45 Jess1

Posted 25 July 2012 - 01:14 PM

I couldn't do attachment parenting personally (had trouble BF, liked my daughter in her own space to sleep, had kids in daycare earlyish as went back to work) but I thought it looked lovely.  Just because it isn't the way I parent doesn't mean I think it is wrong.  

I love my kids more than anything.  My daughter is loved by everyone around her, she has a lovely life playing and learning.  At the end of the day as long as our kids are loved and taken care of who the hell cares how they do it.

My son is now 13 and was raised in pretty much the same way (FF, own cot, daycare) and people always say what a lovely polite boy he is. He can speak to anyone, is bright and just an all out good kid (remembering to bring home stuff and do chores aside  wink.gif).  

The segment did make me feel a bit sad for missing out on this wonder that seems to be AP but I didn't think the main woman shown was judgmental at all - she just said it worked for her.  I found it a bit of a stretch that no bullys were attachment parented, it seemed an odd comparison.




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