Attachment Parenting: Druid Parenting

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Charlene
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Attachment Parenting: Druid Parenting

Postby Charlene » 05 May 2008, 03:15

Anyone here have or know anything about this? I know some of the breast feeding advocates get into this, but I wonder....what is the information that some of us as druids know or have.

Is attachment parenting something druids can or should adopt? What I am trying to suggest , is that very similar to what druidry is asking us to look at the world?

Let's have at it.
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Re: Attachment Parenting: Druid Parenting

Postby Turtle » 05 May 2008, 06:39

Anyone here have or know anything about this? I know some of the breast feeding advocates get into this, but I wonder....what is the information that some of us as druids know or have.

Is attachment parenting something druids can or should adopt? What I am trying to suggest , is that very similar to what druidry is asking us to look at the world?

Let's have at it.
I once had a friend who was very big into that. I didn't really get it I am afraid. I think the general idea was to keep your child as near to you as possible during the first tender years (two or four). I guess with the idea in mind that the first years are formative and most damage can be done to the child psyche.

Honestly, If I'd tried that I'd be stark raving mad by now and what good would I have been to my daughter then ? At times especially through winter I felt that parenting a young child could be quite a claustrofobic experience. I didn't particularly liked my job, but I sure liked being around grown ups every now and then. I guess - for all the love of my child and druidry - I am not cut out for attachment parenting.

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Re: Attachment Parenting: Druid Parenting

Postby Jingle » 05 May 2008, 14:18

Perhaps you could go into a little bit about what you mean by "attachment parenting". I've not heard this term before.
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Re: Attachment Parenting: Druid Parenting

Postby Donata » 05 May 2008, 17:02

My younger daughter and her husband did that - I think it had another name. It meant their son, my grandson, never was away from them/her. No babysitters, etc. Until he walked Mary Jo had a sling so she could carry him around the house (yurt), etc., and never be physically separated from him. The idea was to give him a feeling of love and security. Note - they live on Orcas Is., one of the San Juan Islands off the coast of WA, which is a very new age community.

How did it work? (subjective viewpoint of jaundiced grandmother who raised 5, born within 6 yrs):
Ronan, now 6 1/2, is very demanding, has to be the center of attention, and never developed self sufficiency or ability to amuse himself so demands to be amused, interrupts adults freely (no reprimand). When they visited me last fall it was a relief when my son in law took him for a long walk because that was the only quality time I had with my daughter.

The parents think it was a great success. At least for a while. After that I think it wore a bit thin for my daughter since she was the one home with him all the time - and also the one toilet training him while they lived in a yurt with an outhouse. (they have a house now). Even the play school/nursery school he went to required the mothers to be present. Now she is home-schooling him. He still gets a great deal of attention and focus by both parents. He doesn't socialize very well with other children.(again, my observation when I visited them and went with them to the day school).

I don't see how this could work in a larger family. It's exhausting with one child. I'm personally not convinced that fully carried out it's that good for the child, but that's just my opinion. :shrug: I know it would never have worked for me - when my oldest was 6 there were 4 younger children :o .

I totally favor raising a child with love and self esteem - but also one who realizes that others have rights as well and that the world won't allow him to be the center of attention, and to always get his own way. I think my grandson may be in for a rude awakening someday.

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Re: Attachment Parenting: Druid Parenting

Postby Duellist » 05 May 2008, 17:49

My daughter is rarely apart from us, but only because we recently moved and do not really know any baby-sitters. Also, she is six weeks old. Not the age for handing her to some school-girl daughter of a friend.

I doubt that we could survive with that kind of attachment. I mean, the sling idea is fine for when you go for walks, but carrying your child around while you wander the house? My wife and I do enjoy alone time, so we have had family drop by to take care of her while we celebrated our anniversary. She copes well with being handed to strangers and my parents, being cat-breeders, like handing their kittens around to get them used to meeting strangers. If it works for cats, I think humans can learn from it.
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Re: Attachment Parenting: Druid Parenting

Postby Jingle » 05 May 2008, 18:24

Six weeks is still a little young to consider close contact "attachment" parenting, I think. A six year old baby needs lots of attention. If attachment parenting includes keeping the baby in bed, I don't think you have to worry about a big family. :wink:

Personally, I think that it's the parents' job to prepare a child for the outside world. This doesn't mean that you shouldn't nurture your child - on the contrary, I believe that if it's possible a parent should stay home with a child until the child is old enough to go to school. However, the benefits to child and family should be weighed carefully, so I'm not at all judging those families who need for both parents to work in order to keep food on the table.

I wonder at what point this attachment parenting should cease? I believe that children need socialization not only so that they learn to play well with others, but also to start building their immune systems. A child needs to be left on the floor on a blanket with safe, bright toys to learn to explore the world around him or her and to develop muscles and coordination. I don't see how carrying a baby around in a sling is healthy for either parent or child.

That's my opinion. I think that by the sounds of things, attachment parenting could be detrimental to both child and parents, and I wonder what child rearing experts would say - not that I'm worried about it at the moment, but I sure might research it a little when (if) it ever comes time for my daughter to have children.
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Re: Attachment Parenting: Druid Parenting

Postby Moonrising » 04 Jun 2008, 13:22

My 4 children are attachment parented. It's a common misunderstanding that it includes a lack of discipline and overindulging or teaching the child that they are always to be the centre of attention and to expect their needs to be met above everyone elses.

Basically, I see it as being about being responsive to your young child's needs. The tools generally considered part of attachment parenting, such as extended breastfeeding, co-sleeping, using a baby sling and so on are just that, tools to enable you to do that more easily. I tend to have very demanding/ needy babies anyway so fighting their need for closeness and comfort only brought more strife, whereas I have found that meeting their need for that in their early years has enabled them to grow up confident, secure, mature, loving, self-disciplined and so on... yes still far from "perfect" of course, they are only human but it has certainly borne good fruit for us.

My eldest child is 11, she's now at secondary school, and doing extremely well academically and is also constantly being complimented on how polite, thoughtful and caring she is. She organises herself with no help from me- gets herself up, ready for school, walks there on time every day, does her homework and so on all under her own steam. My 9 year old is going the same way. My 5 year old is a very happy little schoolboy and my 3 year old is happily settled into playgroup for 2 sessions a week (and also happily settles into my bed for a nurse every morning).

And besides that, co-sleeping is way easier than getting 3-4 hours sleep a night and spending the rest of the time pacing the floor with a screaming baby on your schoulder, who wakes up every time you try to sneak them back into their cot :-) ! And using a sling is way easier than trying to do housework while the baby screams in a bouncy chair.

Using a sling doesn't slow the baby's progress, in fact the constant stimulation of the muscles and inner ear as you move around helps their body to strengthen and develop. And it doesn't mean you can never put the baby down, although of course some people out there do believe in doing that. In my case, my son learned to communicate to me by the time he was 4 months old whether he wanted to be put down for a kick or fed or carried in the sling (not that it is always possible to fit in with that of course, life must go on!).

And yes, I do see it as connected with my druidry, because it is a more natural way of parenting. It's only recently that we've even had the option of our baby sleeping in another room, away from the warmth and protection of the mother's body. And using some kind of carrier would have been a necessity, and still is for people in many tribal cultures. It has also helped me to become a more tuned-in, instinctive person in general, which is something I appreciate very much. My children have taught me how to connect.

Yes, it can be demanding, although there is a joy in giving in to my natural instincts in nurturing and caring for my baby. There is no reason why you need to go mad... everyone's needs should be considered, so while you strive to meet the baby's needs as much as possible, you obviously need to look after yourself as well. I think problems happen when mum doesn't take care of herself too, or when the parents fail to naturally adjust the way they respond as the child gets older. My godson was parented that way and last time I saw him at age 5, was what I can only describe as a spoiled brat :???: . For me, it seems natural to change the way I respond as the children get older. For instance, a crying small baby gets immediately picked up and if they don't settle immediately, gets a breastfeed. A crying older baby gets picked up not quite so swiftly and cuddled and then we see how we go, a 3 year old gets words of sympathy and maybe a quick hug but depending on what the issue is I may not drop everything and rush to pick them up. They're certainly not growing up spoilt :) . Attachment parents often progress to using gentle forms of discipline but it certainly doesn't mean no discipline. And after all, there are plenty of parents who are definately not attachment parenting who also struggle to discipline their children effectively.

I also think that a lot of the reasons it is harder than more conventional parenting methods is because of our culture. For instance, we don't have extended family around to bear the burden, and also because babies and young children aren't welcome in so many places, it can mean mum and/ or dad are excluded too. In many other cultures, baby in his sling comes along wherever mum or dad goes and everyone gets to participate in the adult world, including baby. But in our culture that's just not welcome or practical.

For info and resources, I recommend La Leche League :) . There are also some informative articles on using slings here: http://www.thebabywearer.com/index.php?page=bwbenefits , excellent breastfeeding-related info here: http://www.kellymom.com/ , and a lot of people like Dr Sears stuff http://www.askdrsears.com/.
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Re: Attachment Parenting: Druid Parenting

Postby Charlene » 04 Jun 2008, 22:18

OK....I asked this question, as I found that some people equate attachment as the tools used in the infancy stage;that is responding to a child's signals and needs is what builds the attachment, not necessarily the co-sleeping or slinging, which I see as tools that help. I know folks that do a lot of cuddling with a bottle if they are not able to breast feed (such as mom on a medication for a condition, and this not being good for baby, as it is known to go into breast milk....for me, it was radioactive iodine treating a thyroid condition....I was told to completely ween my son onto formula....I breast fed my son most of the time, but bottle fed him in evenings to give my body a break, as I am diabetic, and found full time breast feeding physically exhausting.) If co-sleeping will not work(my son is a fair size, and we are big people, and our bed is only so big,) we put his crib in our room for the first year. That made attending to him easier to do. I would say that he is quite well attached to us as his parents, so I dropped all the guilt about not breast feeding him full time, or reacting to every mood swing with anything more than encouragement now....naming the feeling (disappointment in "no", being frustrated), and that he can cope, and that he is choosing to stay upset....etc. I still hug him to help him calm down. That kind of thing. :thinking:

I think the problem for some parents is being rigid in parenting. I can be guilty of not adjusting my parenting style...that is , babying my kids yet they are older. I have to let them be kids....and let them work through their own distress. The good side of it is that Connor learned skills in self-soothing that my older adopted children did not. I still find myself having to not "baby" Connor too much...I had my in laws tell us that we needed to let him just fall asleep in his crib (he was not crying necessarily, just not asleep), and just let him not drink from a sippy cup, but a regular one, etc. Even with Iris, I had her get so mad at me, organizing her school things for her, because she had not been able to do it for herself. I had not even realized how I had stepped on her, because when she was younger, she could not even begin to organize her stuff. I know that her telling me brought an awareness I did not even have; that I was being rigid, and not growing with her. :idea: :blink:

Attachment from an adoption perspective is different. Partially from trauma, partially from inexperience, a lack of attachment in relationships is learned from infancy, and it lays the ground work for children as they get older. If they did not have a good attached relationship with a caregiver, or were exposed to too many different caregivers, children learn to live distant and distrustful of relationships with adults. What I am finding out from my children, raising them by adopting them as older children, is that the earlier patterns are the ones we struggle with as parents. Most of the stuff we deal with now with our older kids as problems has its roots in a time before the authorities intervened, and those patterns have persisted since. :old:

I guess my problem with "attachment parenting" is that it seems like if you do this and that, that is breast feed, baby sling, and so forth, all will be well. I know that "gentle discipline" is advocated, but really, it works when children are attached. When you attend to kids, they attend to your feelings as well. Kids who are not attaching or have poor attachment have no clue what your role as a parent is supposed to be, so I end up doing all the "right" techniques, but the results for me are hit and miss. Hard to reconcile that because the kids do not respond as attached kids would, that it is not something wrong with what you are doing as a parent....success does not come easily. Someone once described these kids as like fish, and us as parents trying to make them wear life jackets....they never had them before, so why wear them now? Why would the fish need a life jacket? So for these kids, who have learned to survive without the emotional guidance of parents, why have parents? :shrug:

I spend most of my time trying to define a role they do not emotionally feel is necessary. And, the rest of my time is spent in being very consistent and making sure that actions have consequences, and choices are explained with full accountability. It is harder to deal with other adults who feel sorry for my kids, not understanding that this is the only time we have to try and teach them to "harm none" by exploring it now. I do what I do as a parent not because of meanness, but out of wisdom, knowing that they trust me more when I show consistency. It is amazing to me how many parents feel that letting their kids suffer the consequences of their choices is "mean." I think it is crueller to mattress every consequence to the point that when someone does not allow them to avoid responsibility, it comes as a shock. For me, I think that pain, disappointment, and anger are real, and that these feelings are just as important to explore as well....and that kids should be supported in experiencing their feelings in these ways, and have the discussion of how it happened...(well, you chose to do this , then that happened, and then....) :old:

What they lack is an internal sense of belonging, and emotional intimacy with anyone is different. Because they do not think like others do when it comes to interpersonal relationships, they seem callous, self-centred (in an extreme way not typical of other kids), sometimes it seems like they lack remorse or empathy. I know that is not true. "Hurt people hurt people." John Maxwell wrote that in his leadership material, and it is true of kids as well. Hurting people seems to be one of the ways of creating the most distance between people. :tiphat:

One of the things that Druidry gave me was a profound, internal, intuitive sense of belonging. I once questioned why I felt so different; and yet, with my own adopted children, I learned how much I truly had in having a family, and parents, as dysfunctional as it was (not that I knew that at the time necessarily). What I appreciate is the sense of knowing I belonged somewhere, and what emptiness I still had as a young person growing up, I found a lot of healing, and sense in how druidry described living. :shake: :applause:

So, would attachment parenting, or helping children understand the value of their own souls within, also be considered druid parenting? To me, I would think so. Attachment seems to be a keystone in this, and what I mean is a healthy attachment that is soul enhancing. :)
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Re: Attachment Parenting: Druid Parenting

Postby Bran-Raeven » 28 Sep 2008, 15:15

Phew, I'm glad Moonrising did most of the work clearing it up! :wink:

I am also one of those who practise attachment parenting and won't ever get tored to emphasize that attachment parenting is NOT about ignoring your own well-being and forcing the child or yourself into 24/7 extreme contact.

It is more about listening to both the child's AND your own needs. Forgetting about your own needs is like taking away and damaging the most vital person to your child, namely you (and your partner). So everything you do in the name of attachment parenting is not only about the child, but it always needs to be about the wellbeing of the whole family.

Attachment parenting as a concept has the function to remember what's natural in the upbringing of a child and to fight off all the myths that are common in our modern western civilisation.

It's a common myth, for example, that the child's psyche is being damaged by co-sleeping or long term breastfeeding (=over 6 months) makes your child sexually deranged in later life. Or that it's unhealthy for a child to be carried in a sling. Or that it's dangerous to co-sleep with your children. These are myths that lead to (IMO) unnecessary decisions in parents who would normally want to carry their babys in a sling or let them sleep in their bed or force them to stop breastfeeding after looking at the calendar and I think it is important to give parents the choice.

If they decide otherwise I'm not saying it is wrong to do so. But it should be an educated choice, motivated by a conscious decision, not motivated by fear based on myths.

There are simply so many people who keep this artificial distance to their children or raise artificial boundaries. The answer to this should not be the complete absence of boundaries or distance, but should be replaced by natural and personal boundaries.
I have known so many children having been raised in this spirit and none of them is overly demanding, aggressive, spoiled, etc - quite the opposite is the case. Attachment parenting also isn't about giving the child whatever it wants, but to take their wishes seriously. You still need to decide for your child and guide your child. And you still need to say no and be able to live with the consequences (like a tantrum, for example). Attachment parenting is not some happy rainbow unicorn world of sugars and butterflies, but it's about respecting your child as an individuum. And yourself, and your partner and other family members.

Also, if a child clearly indicates that it does not want to be carried in a sling, that it sleeps a lot better in it's own room and that it refuses to breast feed after a couple of months - forcing your child (or yourself) to follow these paths against your child's will (or your own good feeling) is not attachment parenting, it is in fact quite the opposite. You couldn't be less attached to your child's true needs if you simply ignore the signals.

So well yes, for me attachment parenting is actually a vital part of my spirituality which is about listening, learning, respecting yourself and your child, your partner etc.


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Re: Attachment Parenting: Druid Parenting

Postby flowerfairy » 08 Jan 2009, 00:04

I was really interested to come across this thread and read people's different views and perceptions on attachment parenting :)

Moonrising's response was perfect and beautifully expresses what I will probably repeat far more clumsily, but I'd like to add my thoughts and experiences...

I am a first-time mum and practice attachment parenting (AP) with my baby, though I only really discovered the concept after I had been doing it for a while. AP for me was something I fell into quite naturally - maybe 'intuitive parenting' would be a better term. For me attachment parenting is about being sensitive to my growing baby's needs and cues and letting his developing personality lead my parenting choices, in balance with my own needs. It's about getting back to basics, listening to your inner mother and going by what feels right, about communion and balance - so IMO perfectly suited to Druidry or pagan spirituality.

My husband and I are only really at the beginning of our parenting adventure, our baby is just six months old, but up to now we have been working on the principle that what a very young baby demands is also what he needs and that by meeting that need we are nurturing him in the best way possible. So, as Kai's mother and primary care-giver, I fed Kai on demand letting him set the pace and schedule (and have a whopping 20lb baby as a result!). I paid attention and responded to his cries and cues to learn what he was trying to tell me and affirm his early attempts at communication, to teach him that what he communicated mattered and would be responded to (though maybe not always in the way he would like!). From day one Kai seemed to crave more physical contact than most so I've met that need by keeping him close, carrying him in a sling, and co-sleeping some of the time. All these things felt 'right' and natural, far more so than the 'put the baby on schedule', 'let them cry it out' approach. As a result I feel deeply connected and 'attached' to my son, and he to me.

It's not always been an easy journey though and certainly not one I see through rose tinted glasses. I am lucky in that I have been able to breastfeed, and continue to do so, but found it intensely difficult in the beginning and at times exhausting and demanding. Kai is an extremely energetic and physically demanding little character and meeting his many needs can be very tiring and challenging, especially as my husband works a lot. He is, and always has been, a rather problematic sleeper and by resisting the 'cry it out' approach and trying gentler methods I have perhaps suffered more sleep deprevation than some. Whether or not as a result of AP, Kai is also rather seperation sensitive at present which (coupled with the breastfeeding) makes it difficult for me to leave him for any length of time. However I am assured by Kai's health care workers and AP advocates that a strong attachment at an early age will make a more secure child later on and he is still so young at this point so there is plenty of time in that respect.

I hope that in time we will find solutions to these problems but they continue to challenge us - I dare say we have got some things wrong along the way but have at least done our best (and I doubt any parenting style is perfect!)

It's also not always one sided. Kai's needs are always balanced with my own and that of my husbands - it's about compromise. As Kai grows and develops from a tiny baby into a child with a mind and ideas of his own it is also about setting boundaries and teaching Kai about the world he lives in and about right and wrong. But AP helps with this, not hinders it. I know Kai's 'noises' well enough now to know what warrents an immediate response and what doesn't. Full out cries of distress get responded to, grumbly grizzles do not!! As Kai continues to grow it may mean, perhaps, that he has to learn to compromise a little more as his 'needs' turns into 'wants' and I have to teach him about 'no', but I hope that the firm foundation I have built and his deep trust and connection with me will help me do this in a way that is gentle and respectful of his personality and individuality. I guess only time will tell.

In response to the concerns that AP may hinder independence and development, I can only describe my beautiful boy...

I am happy to say that at six months old Kai is thriving :) He is the most lively, engaging, sociable little man you could ever meet - everyone who meets him remarks on how happy and content he is. He loves people and other children, is intensely curious, independent and adventurous, although likes me to be in sight for reassurance. Physically he is quite advanced for his age, almost crawling, and very bright, I am told he is demonstrating some cognitive abilities of a 9-12 month year old. So my sling riding/co-sleeping/hands-on approach seems to be doing ok so far :D Now, if only he would SLEEP!!! :whistle:

With much love and light

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Re: Attachment Parenting: Druid Parenting

Postby Charlene » 08 Jan 2009, 03:07

Attachment parenting helps with laying the foundation for emotional self-regulation. We literally have these babies laying mental and emotional groundwork as babies. This means that providing their needs as babies, we have the capacity to later teach them, after two to about six years old, how to handle feelings and deal with others, including us.

Problem....Connor is now not willing to just please me as he would when younger. I am now negotiating and presenting choices and consequences....he is only four. He has older siblings, so yes, they teach him stuff too. He became very demanding....till I decided that "please and thank you" were in order. If Barney teaches it, and he ate it up watching the video...well then.

So, I figured out how to head off the conflict at the pass. He is way more secure than his siblings, but I know that the older ones taught me so much, including examining my attachment. Here is a thought....consider how you feel about being close to others, truly. I have been researching how Druidry emphasizes relationships....and in a way, my own childhood legacy did not teach that much. It is funny what I have been learning, how everything is so interconnected. Me, I keep choosing the path of adversity.
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Re: Attachment Parenting: Druid Parenting

Postby Moonrising » 08 Jan 2009, 08:47

Lovely post Flowerfairy, and I love the picture you painted of your son, he sounds like a wonderful little boy. Have you read Dr Sears "The fussy baby book", it sounds like he's a spirited little chap and I found that book helpful, not so much in having new ideas but just support and recognition of how some babies are (what he terms a high needs baby, which two of mine were).

For high needs baby turned spirited child I heartily recommend Mary Sheedy Kurcinka's "The spirited child" (except for her sleep advice :wink: ).
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Re: Attachment Parenting: Druid Parenting

Postby Charlene » 08 Jan 2009, 18:00

Every kid is so different. Connor did not really sleep through the night till he was over a year old. Because I was so sick, my husband would get up with him at night. I found out later about the thryoid condition, but at the time, my hubby was so dear. So, as long as someone attends to him....and later, when distressed at night, he would call out for dad. I knew why though, and was ok with that.

After doing the reading, though, there were times I found myself just going with what my intuition told me he needed. Connor has a unique mix of myself and my husbands temperment, and that means now we do a lot of work with soothing, especially when he is upset. I am not sure, but I think he used to get itchy from slightly dry skin as a baby, and would fuss over it. He still does now. Once I put a mild moisturizer on him (we live in a dryer climate), he was fine. Once he could talk, well, it got better.

What is big here is using signing with kids that are having trouble with picking up language skills. My son taught me a few of the signs, and I would do them with him too. I would get a lot of "wait", "more", and so forth. It really helps. My son attends a daycare that mixes special needs kids and normal kids. So, he gets a lot of learning opportunities, and has been allowed to toilet train at his own rate. At four and half, after spending about a year talking to him about it, him exploring all the parts of going to use it, daddy showing him how to use "his parts", etc, he just one day did it. Because of the special needs focus, he could do that at this daycare, but not at others.

I also use a transitioning ritual with him each time I take him there. Hug, kiss, and off. Sometimes, when he is really into the activity there, he will just say "bye mom." It works well for me to let him know that I will see him later. Very happy kid. So, all the attending as a baby helped him be more secure as a young kid, and the daycare also uses empathy as a way of teaching further about their feelings. Feeling language is used, and when they act on impulse, the teacher asks them to look at the face of the other child. So, the impact of the actions show up. Cause and effect....till Connor reacts to a limit dad set for him and said Daddy, look at my face. Do I look happy to you?" :-) :-) :-)

I just wish that more was spent on teaching people that it is the attending to the child, not the actual "breastfeeding or not", or "co-sleeping" or not, or some other practise. Attachment is not created from techniques. It is attending consistently and quickly enough to reassure the child. And, for the record, if Connor cried and I had to use the toilet, I went to the toilet, and reassured him. I was always one to talk to him as a baby, so he always got some kind of response. "I was telling him calmly I was nearby and would be there soon." Worked well, but every one is different. I also spent a lot of time holding him, rubbing his back and would deliberately deep breath holding him, to get him to slow his breathing down. Under two, what you feel they feel, so I would try to use all those skills to help him. Ocassionally, now I still do it.

I just found for me, attachment parenting seems to be described differently if it is from birth to older, or if one is adopting. With babies, it seemed that people focused more on the "doing" part without a whole lot of the "why". For me, because my experience showed me "why" it was important, I could navigate the waters of the how a little better. Plus, I was older when my son was born (36), so some person giving me advice, well, I was secure enough in me that I just went with what I thought would work for me, as all of us do. So, I breastfeed all day, and in the evening, I used a bottle, with a special nipple for breastfeed babies, that the special care nursery nurse at the hospital told me about. Connor was one of those babies who could go from breast to bottle from the beginning, which helped allow my husband to help with feeding him. By doing it most of the day, I was not so worn out, as my diabetes and thryroid condition made sleep so needed for recharging.

Iris has attachment disorder. It only comes out when she is insecure, or if she is feeling uncomfortable with the intimacy of the situation. I head off the tantrums by intervening really early with her, before she gets really aroused, because once she is upset, it is really really hard for her to calm down. This is the damage that gets done with a lack of trust. And, because of neglect from that early time, and the foster parents feeding her fruit, she takes some comfort in eating lots of fruit for snacks, but also goes through "feast and famine" patterns at times, reacting to stressors. She will also become quite stubborn at times, and I still have to link choice with effect in dealing with her, as the limit seems to come at her " from the sky" in her mind. With more time, she is becoming more secure, and the better her attachment goes, her misbehaviour goes away. Even with some older children, this kind of attachment focusin responding to the child's behaviours can really help. It just works a little differently with the older children. Hard to do, though, because an older child going through "fussy baby" looks way scarier to a caregiver or parent...and, they can talk, but they will regress so bad, that talking almost makes no sense. No one technique or approach works in any situation.
Peace All

Charlene

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Re: Attachment Parenting: Druid Parenting

Postby Moonrising » 08 Jan 2009, 19:17

Yes, ideas like breastfeeding, babywearing and co-sleeping are tools which support and contribute to close, responsive parenting, but shouldn't be dogma. What is important is listening to and responding to the needs of the baby. For example, one of my daughters didn't like co-sleeping, she preferred to sleep in a cot, and suck her thumb at night. We listened to her, at 10 weeks old she was well able to tell us what she wanted.

I just love hearing from parents who are clearly so closely tuned in to their children, it's a beautiful thing :) .
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Very well, I contradict myself. I am large, I contain multitudes."
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Re: Attachment Parenting: Druid Parenting

Postby Reyna » 08 Jun 2010, 17:50

This thread is a little old but it seemed the best place to ask:

Of all the pagan mommys out there who do attachment parenting, how do you handle your baby crying? I ask because I love attachment parenting but my kiddo hates the sling and only puts up with the front pack half the time. I try to carry her everywhere but my arms start aching and I have to put her down-then she starts crying. I can't wash dishes or fold laundry or cook one handed (I'm just not that skillful) so I usually put everything off till the house is scary dirty, then lay her down for an hour and speed clean. Even if she can see me she will howl her head off the entire time but I don't know what else to do. If I stop and talk to her she instantly stops and starts smiling but the second I take a step away she starts again. She is 11 weeks old. I feel horrible hearing her cry but I don't know what else to do.
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Re: Attachment Parenting: Druid Parenting

Postby Julysea » 08 Jun 2010, 19:20

What kind of sling and what kind of hold do you use? My kids weren't too keen on slings either, they were more 'in-arms' babies, but there were definitely some types of slings and some types of holds they'd tolerate more, for example, sitting up on my hip in a pouch sling worked well with my daughter, whereas my son preferred a front carry in a mei tei. Also, I found that my kids wanted me to march off in a determined manner when they were in a sling and didn't want me to just potter around, so I used to go out for a brisk walk until they were relaxed and/or asleep and then continue to wear them round the house while doing chores when I got home.

Also, when my son was small and I had him and my daughter to contend with, I sometimes used to place him on a cushion or in the washing basket (padded with a cushion) at my feet so I could keep a lot of eye contact while I got things done.

Failing that, my cure-all was always to put everything on hold and have a day or 2 of just lolling on the sofa watching tv or reading books while having lots of skin to skin contact and feeding LOADS. A grizzly time usually coincides with teething/growth spurt/developmental leap which can be relatively short-lived.

Hope that helps.

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Re: Attachment Parenting: Druid Parenting

Postby Reyna » 09 Jun 2010, 04:00

It is a Snugli Soft Carrier-Sway sling. I have it set so she is almost exactly like she is in my arms (head up by the boobs, feet down by the opposite hip) She is ok for a few minutes and then she starts the soft pouty cry and if I ignore that then it's earsplitting howls. The only thing I can think of is she can't really see anything but me. But then I put her in the front pack and same thing happens. While doing chores I'll put her in her car seat and put her where she can see me but unless I am standing within arm's reach it doesn't do any good and most times that doesn't work either. I guess she is just needy? I've been told she is spoiled and needs to learn to be a little independent at this age but how do you teach that without the crying? I feel like a horrible mom when I let her howl when I'm doing something dumb like dishes...but on the other hand I can barely stand it when the house gets so dirty, I keep expecting someone to walk in and say its unsafe for a baby and I'm a bad mom (I KNOW its not that bad, but I still think it)
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Re: Attachment Parenting: Druid Parenting

Postby Argenta » 09 Jun 2010, 04:01

Hi, Reyna

First, I second Julysea about trying different slings and positions, but keep in mind that some are not suitable for such a small child (a mei tai should not be used before the child can keep his/her head firmly up on his/her own, ex.) Also, when getting a child used to a carrier -- since not all will like them immediately -- make sure that s/he is in a good mood, not hungry or sleepy, and then do something fun first (like taking a walk, or going out into a garden). And if the baby gets nervous, take him/her out, and try at another time. In my experience, it only takes about a day or two before they start enjoying it.

Also, please consider how small your baby still is. You can't really expect of yourself to be able to do all the things you set out to do with a baby which is not even 3 months old. Give yourself some time, and share the chores and taking care of the baby with your partner, friend, sibling, parent, or another person close to you. Many young mothers think they must be able to do everything on their own, which is a huge nonsense of our overly-individualistic society.

These two things should help with the crying, at least somewhat. If you are yourself tired, overwhelmed, and/or cranky, the baby will sense that and become more demanding. It is only common sense that you can take best care of a small baby if you also take care of yourself. Another thing is to consider why the baby is crying: does it just like to be carried, does it need more feedings, does it hurt (earache can be a real problem and does not show), is it tired? This last point is very important because many babies do not get as much sleep as they need, and are often hard to soothe as a result. AP is about listening to the baby and discovering why exactly is the baby crying, then meeting the specific need.

However, also bear in mind that some of them are just more sensitive and demanding, and there is nothing you can do about it. My younger one simply could not get to sleep without crying his eyes out first, no matter what I did. The point is for you to be there and comfort the child, so that s/he is not alone in the time of stress.

Hope it helps.
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Re: Attachment Parenting: Druid Parenting

Postby Argenta » 09 Jun 2010, 04:14

I guess she is just needy? I've been told she is spoiled and needs to learn to be a little independent at this age but how do you teach that without the crying? I feel like a horrible mom when I let her howl when I'm doing something dumb like dishes...but on the other hand I can barely stand it when the house gets so dirty, I keep expecting someone to walk in and say its unsafe for a baby and I'm a bad mom (I KNOW its not that bad, but I still think it)
I just hate those kinds of comments to moms. No, you're not a bad mom, and don't let anyone tell you that. If they do, let them wash the dishes while you have some off with your baby!

Also, it is completely illogical to expect an 11-week old to be independent! How can it be? It cannot feed, move or evacuate on its own, or express its needs in any articulate way! No one would expect an incapacitated grown-up to be independent under such circumstances, so why do we put that kind of pressure upon children, or their parents?
Leaving the child to cry will do no good, believe me. It will only teach her that you do not care about her needs, because a baby that young has needs, not demands. She cannot be spoiled, she's too young for that! You can spoil a child if you pamper him or her when they have grown out of that phase, but it doesn't come before they are one or two, at least.

Perhaps, if your finances allow it, you could consider finding someone to occasionally do the house cleaning for you? Isn't it stupid that we get baby-helpers instead of house-helpers?? It need not be much, once a week or month will make all the difference!
I am not young enough to know everything. (O.W.)

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Re: Attachment Parenting: Druid Parenting

Postby Reyna » 09 Jun 2010, 04:15

Hi Argenta,

Usually my hubby is home and can hold her and keep her entertained (occasionally there are times she watches me wherever I go and howls, even though he's holding her.) Unfortunately since returning to work he's had to go on several business trips-they last about a week, sometimes longer and I'm pretty much on my own. My family all lives far away and his family....well, I don't want to be negative but they aren't the type I feel comfortable inviting over without him here, if that makes sense. And sadly since having her I've found out most of my friends aren't as close as I thought (ehh such is life). I have checked her and even kept a written record and 99% of the time nothing is wrong-she's full, clean nappy, no bubbles and in a good mood...until I put her down (queue the scary music) and then the howls. Pick her up, instant happy baby.

What slings would you recommend for a small baby?
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