Has Attachment Parenting Got You Frazzled?

Have you ever had one of those weeks where you feel like no matter how hard you try, you’re just not good enough?  Attachment parenting sounds lovely in theory and it looks great on paper, but sometimes you’re just… tired.  Sometimes you’re just overwhelmed.  How do you find balance between attachment parenting, your needs, and your life?

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She’s done it again – Andrea Olson (of Go Diaper Free fame) has put together a practical, down-to-earth guidebook for any tired parent who wants the best for her baby.  Andrea takes you, step-by-step, through each of the major aspects of attachment parenting and gives you guidance on how to work that into life… into your real life.  She takes the theory and makes it practical.

Oh, and you can forget the guilt.  Andrea doesn’t dish that out.  In fact, she liberally doles out permission slips.

Permission for what?  I’m glad you asked.  Permission to make attachment parenting to work with your lifestyle (and how to make that happen).

Andrea covers:

  • Bonding (at birth and beyond)
  • Breastfeeding
  • Babywearing
  • Bedding with Baby (aka, Sleep!)
  • Belief in Communication Value of Baby’s Cries
  • Balance and Boundaries
  • Beware of Baby Trainers
  • Plus a few bonus topics (like balance and boundaries)

Here are some gems from the book – enjoy the encouragement:

TIP: If you are having any sort of parenting problem, do NOT broadcast it on Facebook. Tell a few close friends whom you trust won’t judge you and maybe a professional or two. Seek very specific, poignant sources of support. Do not publicize your parenting problems and go on forums trying to get help.

Figure out how long YOU want to do it (by the way, 95% of babies do not EVER self-wean…that, my dears, is a myth told by the 5% of parents whose babies did self-wean). Figure out how long you want to breastfeed and then stick to that range.

It’s important to remember that, regarding all of these Baby B’s, NOTHING you do is going to permanently damage your child. You’re not abusive, you’re not neglecting your baby, you’re not harming them.

You’re just adapting having a baby to your preferred lifestyle. Since you’re reading this book, you lean towards the natural side.

And might I interject…you have the right to want (and receive) a full night of sleep…and after a few months, your baby won’t suffer if she sleeps through the night, too.

Then you’ll want to evaluate what you’re currently doing (bedsharing or crib or futon on the floor in your room) and ask yourself why you chose what you chose, and is it working for you? Are ALL of you in your family getting the most sleep every night in your current arrangement?

If yes, awesome. Do not change a thing. If it feels right, go with that. This is all about you and your needs and intuition.
If not, Dr. Sears himself would tell you to change it so you all of you DO get great sleep.

Here’s the deal: continuing hyper-responsiveness beyond the newborn months does not instill trust (as building trust is the point of this AP tool). Hyper-responsiveness shows your baby that you are worried and something must be wrong. It actually breeds more fuss.

Andrea brings a breath of fresh air to attachment parenting.  I’m on baby #6 now and one thing parenting has taught me is that you need to adapt things to what work for your family.  Andrea gives you practical advice – and permission – to do what works for you and your baby :)

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