We were given the main stream books on how to put your baby on a schedule, people were telling us that baby needed to follow your schedule, let baby cry it out, 'spank' baby when baby pulls your hair or bites you so baby knows who is 'boss'... Well, we knew all this just was not for us when we let our son 'cry it out' for 1 whole hour and it just made the situation worse. He became attached and anxious and not at all the happy, calm baby we knew.
All the mainstream advise seemed to make parenting a convenience for mum and dad. But should it really be made easiest on the parents? Is it right to treat all children the same? We decided we wanted a happy baby and a happy family. We wanted a holistic approach. So how did we decide to parent? Well, our son preferred Attachment Parenting.
What else did we do?- We massaged our son daily until he was 6 months old. He moved a lot by then.
- We 'wore' our son a lot by wearing him in slings. That way he could hear our heartbeat and feel secure.
- Because I am a stay-at-home mother, we never bought a breast pump, we nurse when baby wants and we aim to breastfeed until our son weans himself. (That said do watch this video: Breast feeding at 8 years old??? I can't imagine doing this at all!!!) We believe in giving our baby what he needs when he needs it. As baby sucks from the breast, hormones are sent to mummy's body to tell her what baby needs. Such messages from baby to mum cannot happen with a breast pump. Also breastfed milk comes in 3 sections: the first few minutes is the foremilk - thin and diluted water-like milk to quench baby's thirst, then the protein and fats increase as the hindmilk comes in. The last part of the feed will be quite like dessert (full cream milk that is sweet). Pumped breastmilk will be a mixture of the three parts. For more information, KellyMom and La Leche League are great sources. Just to show you the potency of breastmilk, you can put some on a wound to make it heal quicker and a Perth scientist recently discovered that breastmilk contains stem cells that can hold the solutions for many diseases!
- We hardly say 'no' and encourage 'yes' instead. So our house is baby proofed in a way where our son can explore safely outside of a playpen or play yard. We don't enclose a tiny space for him to play in, instead we have learned to barricade off-limit areas (TV, bathrooms, unsafe areas). We got this idea from Chris in our playgroup.
- We have joined a support group in our area of like-minded parents: Holistic Moms Network.
Ask Dr. Sears - website
Attachment Parenting - book
The No-Cry Sleep Solution - book