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Does anyone share my parenting philosophy?

Posted: Sat Jun 23, 2012 8:54 pm
by Helsbells
Hi everyone,
Feeling a bit down about parenting at the moment. We are struggling with not having a routine and not being able to get Orren to sleep in his cot in the evening.
I am being given advice such as to put him in his cot and rest your hand on him till be falls asleep but he just cries and I can't bear it.
We are following the Attachment Parenting approach by William and Martha Sears which suggests co-sleeping, I struggle with this because I don't sleep well with him in bed, also what am I supposed to do with him in the time betweek when he ought to go to bed and when hubby and I go to bed?
Is anyone else following this approach or it's basic principles (co-sleeping, baby wearing, responding to cries, breastfeeding etc)?

Also I am following health guidelines for bringing up babies, such as keeping them in our room till 6 months and not weaning till 6 months. A lot of my friends have started weaning at 4 months, and I am not sure why, it is difficult to talk about the way we want to bring up our baby when it is so different from my friends, I don't want them to feel bad about their choices or have to justify my own.

Re: Does anyone share my parenting philosophy?

Posted: Sat Jun 23, 2012 9:52 pm
by fifi folle
Hugs. It's really difficult when everyone else seems to follow a different path in parenting. Our son is 11 months old and we are still baby led. DS cosleeps with DH as I am struggling to sleep with pregnancy, previously we all bedshared. DS tends to sleep on us til we go up to bed although DH is up at 6am so goes to bed around 9 30pm. The benefit for me of this is that DS sleeps til 9am most days, i'm not a morning person!!!
Could you get a co-sleeper cot or sidecar his cot? (info ... eeper.html)
I'm like you in that I cannot bear to hear DS cry so we have never done cry it out or controlled crying and I never intend to. I find that I only answer direct questions re our parenting, or questions about the wrap I use (Didymos) or carrier DH uses (Beco Butterfly). There are only a couple of friends who are raising their child in a similar fashion. Thankfuly my SIL did co-sleeping so we don't get harassed by that side of the family. She also breastfed til past 1. I was intending to BF til DS self weaned but my supply dropped massively at 4.5months pregnant when DS was only 9 months. (Took us 18 months to conceive DS, assumed it would be the same again, oops! Instead conceived whilst still BFing every 2 hrs.) Hopefully the new baby will breastfeed for longer - not going to take the same gamble again :lol:
If you are looking for more specific attachment parenting support have a look on Natural Mamas forum.

As an aside we keep getting comments about how happy and smiley DS is, so we must be doing something right by babywearing, breastfeeding, co-sleeping, attachment parenting :iconbiggrin:

Re: Does anyone share my parenting philosophy?

Posted: Sun Jun 24, 2012 6:02 am
by dustydave
A number of years ago my uncle told me a story about a conversation he had, had with a Malaysian couple over the merits of sleeping with their child in the bed, they all agreed that it was a positive thing and promoted a feeling of security. After the conversation the Malaysian father confided to my uncle, “yes, this sleeping in the bed is all very good, but my son is soon to be 24 and I’ve had enough of it”.

With our first we swaddled her up and plopped her in her cot at a 9.30pm and she slept straight through, she’s 8 now and she still loves her sleep. It didn’t work with my son, who didn’t want sleep from the start and still doesn’t; my point being that babies are as different as we are. I’d try a bit of everything, go with your gut feeling, chuck away the books and well meaning advice (including mine), and also remember that it's sometimes worth some screams and crying so that you and your husband can have a bit of quality time togther: a happy mum and dad make a happy child.

Re: Does anyone share my parenting philosophy?

Posted: Sun Jun 24, 2012 6:56 am
by The Riff-Raff Element
What Dusty Dave said, really.

I'm afraid we followed a quite different philosophy to co-sleeping, which wasn't necessarily better, mind, just that is suited us: to-whit, our children went into their own room very early and we allowed them to cry. Parents very quickly learn to distinguish cries of hunger, discomfort, distress...and tiredness. Well, I think so, anyway.

Daughter #1 slept through from six weeks; #2 from 10 weeks; #3 from two weeks. They are now 13, 11 & 5 and do not seem to have developed any serious personality disorders as a result.

Exhausted adults quite frequently do not make good parents.

Re: Does anyone share my parenting philosophy?

Posted: Sun Jun 24, 2012 9:02 am
by Crickleymal
Yes they're all different. Our first was difficult to get to sleep. Once he was off he was fine but neither of us could let him cry himself to sleep. We ended up putting a mattress in his room and one of us would stay with him until he dropped off. Trying to get them tired enough to sleep without being over tired is the key.

Our second was (and is) capable of sleeping anywhere. In fact we got worried enough to call the Dr. when we first took him home after he was born because he wouldn't wake up for a feed (he'd been asleep for about 8 hours from midday). We could feed him asleep, we could bath him asleep!

As for weaning, follow your instinct. Our eldest was weaned early because he was going through milk like it was going out of fashion. Something like 10 or 12 of the biggest bottles of follow on milk a day at 3 months.

Re: Does anyone share my parenting philosophy?

Posted: Sun Jun 24, 2012 9:37 am
by chickenchargrill
I'm the same as Riff-Raff I'm afraid, so not much help there. Sleep was more important to me so I could function during the day, and there is a big difference between cries, so my 3 were all sleeping through the night early on.

Weaning, you do what is right for you. The 'guidelines' are just that. The last change from 4 months to 6 was because it was thought earlier introduction of cereals increases the chance of gluten intolerance. Now, the latest research says the stomach needs a little bit whilst it's developing to guard against gluten intolerance.

That'll change again in a year or so. You can't win.

Ultimately, every child is different and you must do what is right for you. My youngest was a huge baby with a huge appetite, on the same amount of milk as a 3 month old when born and always stayed a few months ahead. GP said she would have been worried if I *hadn't* weaned him early. But if you're not ready to wean, you'll find it stressful, which will impact on baby and the whole thing will be a struggle.

Re: Does anyone share my parenting philosophy?

Posted: Sun Jun 24, 2012 11:35 am
by Helsbells
Thanks everyone for your thoughts.
Orren is sleeping in a little cot right next to our bed, we looked into getting a co-sleeper cot but they were too expensive and there was nothing suitable on the second hand market.
Last night we just couldn't get him to sleep before we went to bed so ended up just carrying him around in the sling all evening. I know it would be nice to have a bit of time for the two of us together but I keep thinking that this is just a short period of time and he is more important than having time together, I am not excessivly tired although did have to wake up twice for feeds last night, after the second feed he wouldn't go back in his cot so had hiim in bed with us.
Just really want to hear from anyone following similar principles to Attachment Parenting for support and advice. I am happy with out choice to attachment parent and I know it will be hard sometimes.

Re: Does anyone share my parenting philosophy?

Posted: Tue Jul 03, 2012 8:17 pm
by clare
Just remember a short period of time can turn into a long one!!My eldest now 10 had tonsilitus at 6 months and had been waking for a week due to teething so I brought her in with me as hubby was away all week and it took me 4 months to get her back into her cot after her sleeping through from 10 weeks!!I have friends who still have bed hopping between children and parents after 5 or 6 years!Now if that is what you want thats fine but I need at least 6 hours to function well as a happy parent and broken sleep is not good for children either as that is when they grow.Sleep promotes sleep,over tired children will sleep less time than a baby/toddler that gets sleep during the day or goes to bed earlier.By the time we had daughter number 2( 4 years later) she was in the moses basket until she out grew it at 9 weeks then she went in her cot in her room and slept through 10pm-6am,mine were both weaned at 4 months much to the dismay in 2002/ 2006 of the health visiters but I agree throw away the books and go with your instincts they are your children and what is right for me and mine may not be right for you ,just enjoy them, Mine are 10 and 6 now and they sleep well(11-12 hours a night) and eat well and are good fun aswell.

Re: Does anyone share my parenting philosophy?

Posted: Thu Jul 05, 2012 10:58 am
by demi
When both my kids were born we co-slept with the baby in a bed side cot. i would put them down asleep in the cot and when they woke up during the night to feed id slide them over to me to feed and we'd both fall asleep. when i woke up later on i'd slide them back over to their side because i would allways wake up with the baby rolled right into me and i was paranoid i was going to suffocate them.

When my first child, Katya, was 6 month i moved her into another room to try to get her to sleep through the night. I left her to cry for up to 1/2 hour and after a few nights she was crying less and after a week or so she was sleeping right through till the morning.

With my son i tried the same thing but i never worked. He would just cry and not stop and the only thing to make him stop was to pick him up and breastfeed him. I'v tried again at intervals and he did get a bit better and he usually sleeps now from 8pm till about 3am, then he wakes up for a feed and usually goes back to sleep beside me till about 5am when he wakes up for the day! He is a year old now and hes still not sleeping right through the night. Iv got him in the cot beside us again because a few moths ago i went into his room to get him in the morning and he was sitting in the middle of the floor after managing to either fall or climb, or both, out of his bed! God know how long he'd been by himself in there! So i have to keep an eye on him and keep him in the room with us.

My daughter and my son look like twins as babies and they share many milestones ect, but sleeping is not one of them! My son has never been a big sleeper since he was born he'd never sleep for more than 15 minets as a baby! now he is going between 1 and 2 naps a day, anything from 10 minets up to an hour long if im really lucky!
Im worried he doesnt get enough sleep, but he wakes up at 5 am and doesnt go back to sleep, and if i try to put him down earlier im just batteling with him to get him to sleep till 8 pm anyway.

Anyway, a year on he's still not sleeping through the night, and i am getting really tired, all i long for is a full nights undeisturbed sleep!

As far as breastfeeding goes, i BF my daughter until she self weaned at 2 and 1/2. By then i was only feeding her at night and in the morning and it just naturally fased out.
I plan on doing the same with my son, who is showing no signs of feeding less :lol: hes a big breastfeeder but i battle with him to get him to eat solid food. He doesnt like eating from a spoon for some reason so i have to feed him with my fingers which gets really messy! I have to tickle him to get him to laugh and open his mouth so i can quickly pop the food in, otherwise hes just not interested in it. But he's a big healthy boy, he was 9lbs 9oz when he was born, Katya was 7lbs 6oz, so he has always been bigger than her. Hes not at all fat but he is growing healthily so he must be getting enough calories from all the milk and the food that i manage to feed him.
But again, i dont remember having this trouble with Katya......

Re: Does anyone share my parenting philosophy?

Posted: Thu Jul 05, 2012 8:28 pm
by JuzaMum
I haven't read the William Sears book but am familiar with the ideas of attachment parenting and to me it seems like a natural thing to do.
Co-sleeping - my daughter (13 months) happily sleeps in her cot mostly but if she is unhappy and needs cuddles I will bring her to bed. She slept on my chest for the first 3 months of her life but as she grew I felt if she was happy in the cot it was no bad thing. My youngest son is nearly 4, we coslept early days with him. Mostly he stays in his own bed unless he is unwell or unsettled. If your little one will settle in the cot pop him in until you go up to bed or you can read, sew, do a crossword whilst he naps on you until bedtime. Sadly this means you cannot wash-up, do laundry or housework in the evening - tragic!
I believe if babies cry there is a reason for it and it is right to respond. If they only want a cuddle what is wrong with that? You don't spoil a child by responding to its needs.
It is hard when it seems everyone else is parenting a different way to you. My youngest son is the only one from the under ones group we attended who isn't starting school in September (he is starting Kindergarten at a Steiner school part-time), has never gone to nursery and doesn't watch TV. I believe I am making the right choices for him.
I am still breastfeeding my daughter which I know some people find odd/uncomfortable but again I believe it is right for us.
On the subject of routine the most sensible advice I got on routine is it is what you do not what you baby does i.e. you serve dinner at the sameish time or bath baby at bedtime. This won't make baby eat their meal or fall straight to sleep but does provide structure for you both.
Do what is right for you - don't worry about what other people do.
best wishes

Re: Does anyone share my parenting philosophy?

Posted: Fri Jul 06, 2012 3:37 pm
by Helsbells
Thanks every one for your replies. Juzamum, sounds like we share similar parenting philosophys.
We have been trying to do a bedtime routine, and bed time seems to be getting easier, but he is waking at about 4.00 and wanting to play which is a pain because I am still half asleep. When he eventually tires out it is in bed with me. So bad sleep then till morning.
I have chatted to my friends and found out that actualy we all feed out babies before they go to sleep so I am not alone on that which I am glad about. They aren't worried about their babies picking up bad habits, so I have decided I am not going to be either.

Re: Does anyone share my parenting philosophy?

Posted: Thu Jul 12, 2012 2:21 am
by Chaldeonmenthe
We have three under three, and Attachment parent them all. The bigger two go to sleep in the loungeroom with us, we purchased those little kids fold out couches and they crash out on them at our feet, having their heads rubbed at night. I still breastfeed the smallest (6 months) to sleep, then he is also transferred to his rocker in the loungeroom. Hubby and I are then free to move around and do whatever. When we are ready for bed, the older two are transferred to our bedroom with a toilet stop on the way, bringing their lounges with them and are parked on the floor next to us in bed. The littlest sleeps with me in the bed at the moment. Around midnight, the older two migrate into our bed and sleep top-to-tail with us. Often we don't even wake when they clamber in. Little one breastfeeds on demand during the night, and we still wake rested and happy in the morning.

My personal choice is that I have never left my children to cry or denied them comfort when they want it. Yes, with three under three years old it is full-on at times, and sometimes someone has to wait their turn, but they are all amazing, patient, adventurous kids who love life. The older two started to sleep through the night (except climbing into bed with us) on their own accord at around 13 months, and night-weaned from the breast on their own accord at around the same time.

I still tandem feed my son (just turned two) and my babe ( 6 months) during the day, as they both feed on demand. Daughter (3) self-weaned at 23 months.

We love to babywear, and little one was strapped to me while milking the goat at a grand age of 6 hours old. We prefer to wear them in carriers and have never used a pram, simply because it is so hard to use a pram! I can't manouver it, there is never enough room to park it, etc. Both my elder two speak perfectly and I attribute it partly to them being in the sling at my chest, where they could watch my mouth move when I talked and therefore learn about forming sounds. Just a personal theory.

It is hard because I am the only person I know who practises this style of parenting. We don't shame or punitively punish, nor use praise and shame practises (Have you read Alfie Kohn? He is amazing. Try Unconditional Parenting). And, guess what. Our little ones are not wild, or disrespectful, or any other of the stereotypes that often go with Attachment Parenting.

Now I have to plan how to tell the in-laws and my parents that, after them having the home-birth card thrown at them, we are also planning to play the Natural Learning Homeschool card. I am not looking forward to that one.