Friday, May 11, 2012

AP is the life for me.... and why!

Not even sure why this is controversial. In my bubble of mommies we believe that children no matter how little are people who deserve respect, but also learn differently and we need to care for them tenderly to grow them into healthy well adjusted children.

Attachment Parenting (AP) relies on several very distinct parenting choices. Not to say that you must excel at each of them or even incorporate them all. Whether you choose to AP or not doesnt decide if you are an outstanding parent or not. It is simply a way to parent that works for us. And whatever works for *YOU* and your family is what you should do.

Here are some AP styles we incorporate and why.

Breastfeeding - DAMN SKIPPY. My child has been sick twice. When my husband or myself has been sick, my awesome body has faught with the strength of an active healthy adult to make me well.. and all those wonderful, natural, healthy antibodies went straight to my child who never caught what I had. Plus its cheaper and safer than store bought chemical laced powder. I know what is in it. And children who are nursed tend to grow up to be healthier with healthier BMIs and stronger immune systems

EXTENDED breast feeding - yep, we still do it. I technically tandem nursed the entire time... I pumped and donated 13K ounces while nursing my baby. That is the equivalent of feeding 3 babies a year! My child didnt have any solid foods for the first 9 months bc I wanted to make sure he had complete gut closure so he could avoid some of those nasty food allergies that sooo many children get due to food being introduced too early, yes, even baby cereal at 4,5,6 months. I quit pumping to get pregnant and immediately got lucky! I have since STILL been tandem nursing... I nurse my 25 month old as I grow my new baby. No one is lacking and momma gets to indulge in a little more food that normal to keep up with all this nutrition I am producing. I dont have a timeline or a date that I plan to stop nursing my son. When he is ready I will be too. He almost weaned himself at 23 months old... then he changed his mind. I know we wont always have this bonding experience, so I am OK with it as long as he is. However, new baby will come first very soon ;-)

Co-sleeping - We did it. We couldnt keep it up after he started rolling around b/c the dog also... CO-SLEEPS with us and would likely eat the child. When my child was new, the only way I could expect to get any sleep was to co-sleep and let him nurse whenever he needed it. A nursed baby needs to eat every 2 hours... ya see, breastmilk is the perfect baby food and is digested perfectly so it doesnt sit and sour in the childs belly... so when it is digested, little baby is hungry again. I enjoyed the firs 3 months of mommyhood and I did it well rested. Women who tend not to get enough sleep during that difficult transition also are at higher risk of suffering from PPD. And that is not good for any one.

Baby wearing - STILL DO IT! My child is a runner and sometimes it is just not a good situation to have him "loose" in. When we are in a store, I dont have to worry about leaving my child in the cart, he is on my back, happy and looking over my shoulder. When he was an infant I was able to keep up with housework which helped me feel like a productive member of my family. Plus it is fun to carry him with free hands. We do plenty of park activities and I play with him a LOT, so it isnt like I am keeping him confined. He likes being worn :) Plus, there are some really stylish and fun wraps you can use!

Baby Led Weaning - This is where instead of buying the shelf stable baby purees you actually wait until your child is interesting in EATING, like a real person and then letting them explore food. It's messy and the food doesnt really stay in their mouth in the beginning. But that is OK. They are exploring textures and flavorings. For our family, we chose to wait until our child was 9 months old to begin to let him explore foods. All of his cousins have food allergies, not for any reason their parents caused, but there are ways to help deter those allergies. One of those ways is to ensure Gut closure. A baby's intestines are not fully developed when they are born... and they take a different length of time to fully strengthen and "close." When you have full "gut closure" a child will better be able to fully digest the food it eats. Otherwise particles of food can cause irritation and infections and furthermore, allergies. I'm not exactly sure of the science behind all of it, but I do know the only thing our child has ever had an allergy to was Feta Cheese, and we gave him that soft cheese far too early. I think the first real food Atlas enjoyed was steak. This is one smart kid!

Several sites that are talking about this:
Time Magazine
Further info from Time Magazine
more possitive articles
Healthline on Time
Today Show info on Time 
Breastfeeding a 3 year old IS normal
Positive notes on the Huffington Post

"[It's] really ironic that at a time when the news is full of stories about moms who neglect their kids, who don't feed them or tan them against their will, that somehow we're entitled to judge the people who are spending too much time with their kids in a positive way."

"Above all else, Ford said her family practices attachment parenting, which *includes* breastfeeding beyond the recommended one year mark, but *it's not her rule book*. *She does tell her children no*, she and her husband go on date nights, and she doesn't feel like the young ones are running the household."