What is Attachment Parenting?
Attachment parenting, or as I call it, Instinctive Parenting, means following both your heart and your baby's cues. It means doing things as they come naturally, without the interference of often well-intentioned but misinformed friends, relatives, noseybodies and of course, the so-called "experts". A mother's natural instincts won't allow her to let her baby cry. So why do some ignorant doctors & psychologists pretend to know better? Because they make tons of money from the books they write that prey on the insecurites of new parents! And, don't forget the ulterior motives of the multi-billion dollar formula industry, pacifier manufacturers, crib makers and baby-holder-gadget companies. They will do everything in their power to take your baby away from your breast and out of your arms. Oh, and don't forget later that the cigarette manufacturers will be there later to satisfy your child's the suckling needs that weren't met because he wasn't allowed sufficient time at the breast!
(note: A tiny percent of women truly cannot breastfeed for physical reasons, or perhaps have had their attempts to nurse sabotaged by people around them. In these cases it is important that the child is allowed the pacifier for as long as required by the child, in order to satisfy his oral needs.)
When a baby cries a mother experiences a series of physiological reactions. Her hormones surge, her
breasts start to leak and she senses an overwhelming urge to pick up her baby. Nature gave baby a
voice that is hard to ignore for a reason! It is a matter of survival! Babies don't cry without cause. As a matter of fact, a cry should be the very last sign that your baby needs something! Your baby will give you prior cues as to what his needs are, if you just pay attention to his body language and follow your heart. All of babies needs are equally important, whether it is to be fed, changed or comforted. You CANNOT spoil a baby! By responding to your baby's needs you are giving him a sense of security and self worth. He knows that his Mama and Daddy are always there to soothe his discomfort. A baby is incapable of manipulation and if he is crying "just for attention" it is because he needs attention! Touch is as critical as food. A baby left without physical closeness will wither and die, or worse. Look at what horrors have occurred in the Soviet Union since it's breakup. Infants left in shelters have been so deeply scarred by the lack stimulation, both physical and intellectual, that they no longer stand any chance at a normal life.
If you see a friend crying what do you do? Don't you go to them to comfort them - put your arm around them? Doesn't a baby, new and confused in this big world deserve at least that much? Don't ever let anyone tell you not to tend to the needs of your child. "Cry-it -out methods" promote abuse and neglect. Even Ferber, king of the cry-it-outs, has recinded his words and stated that he never ever meant for parents to let thier children
cry for 15-20 minutes or more. He meant it to be 1-5 minutes, and then he went on in his book to state that
if you don't bother with his recommendations that the child will learn to go to sleep by himself anyway. WELL OF COURSE THEY WILL! BABIES SLEPT FOR THOUSANDS OF YEARS BEFORE HE CAME ALONG!
Well , anyway, he admitted his advice was worthless, but does he bother to take his books off the shelves?
No, because then the royalty checks would stop rolling in! So there the books sit, waiting for some
vulnerable new parents to come along to pick up and bring home and start following the instructions on how to
start this horrible process with her poor helpless baby. Little do they know that by following this awful advice they will be breaking the precious bond between themselves and their little bundle of joy. They will break his heart and his spirit by teaching him not how to fall asleep by himself, but instead teaching him that he can't count on Mama &
Daddy anymore to come to him when he so desperately needs them. They won't be there to comfort him,
no warm body to snuggle, no reassurring heartbeat in syncopated rythm with his own, no rocking to the gentle
sway of Daddy's chest as it rises & falls, breathing, as he hums a lullaby, no taste of sweet mama milk -
liquid love. Just silence. Cold and still. Nothing but his own screams echoing in his head as he lay alone in his terrified isolation, his belly aching with cramps from crying, tears stinging his cheeks.. and still.
nobody comes to rescue him... he is alone. Eventually with a broken heart, he falls asleep after collapsing from emotional and physical exhaustion.
No, these are not the things your heart will tell you to do to your child! Instead, instinct will direct you to sleep with your baby, nurse your baby, hold him all the time when he is awake, wearing him in a sling close to your body. These are the things he is programmed to expect from you. They are the things that if not satisfied in infancy, he will spend the rest of his adult life trying to make up for.
You love your baby more than anything in the whole world. It is your job to protect and nurture him, don't let yourself be intimidated into going against nature. People everywhere will tell you that you are spoiling your child, but many say this to help justify the guilt they feel because they didn't have the courage or knowledge to stand against the mainstreamers and follow their own hearts. They caved in and now some want you to also because they are jealous and feeling guilty, and fear that you are a better parent then them. They will pressure you to use formula because they did. They will criticize your parenting. Then they complain about their own children's behavior. Some loathe the miracle of toddlerhood and call it the "terrible
twos". But that is because that is the way they made thier children. They didn't give their children the things they needed so now the children are self-centered because they are trying to recover
their lost self worth. They don't put other peoples needs first because they know that nobody satisfied their needs so they must do it themselves. They often become bullies because they weren't told that they were worthwhile people and so they try to force others to respect them instead of earning respect by setting an example of self-respect.
I see in my sweet little Demmi her generous, loving nature. She never hits, she shares her toys and her
food. Although she has an astounding vocabulary, she has never uttered the words "It's mine, it's mine!"
She is intelligent, centered, focused, has an incredible attention span and an endless passion for learning. She is secure and self confident. When I ask her who she loves she runs down the list of all the relatives and she always includes herself! No, no self-esteem problems here! All this, and she is a mere 28 months old. I never knew a child could be this incredible. But why should it be surprising? She wants for nothing! All of her needs are met. She is showered with love and affection.
I am a stay-at-home mom and Demmi spends all her time with me. I am rarely away from her... I don't want to be! The entire first 1.5 years I was only away from her for combined total of 26 hours. I only left her when I abslolutely had to, and those times she stayed only with grandparents, who adore her. Our bond is strong, as nature intended. This is the way parenting has been since time beyond beginning. Without the interference of "modern psychology" we thrive in peace and contentment. With bottles and rubber pacifiers, cribs and detachment parenting, we are doomed to a society of chaos & selfishness. Look to the jails, then look to the the way the inmates were raised...is there a correlation? When you see the child, out of control, confused and unsettled, look to the parents, then look to his future.
We want better for our children. And each and every day we are validated when we look into the eyes of
our sweet and gentle toddler and see her inner peace. This is the way nature designed us to be... this little
girl is God's intended creation... unspoiled.
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