Before I had Liam, I had no idea what type of parent I would be. All I knew was I would try to be the best mom I could and that I wanted him to be happy and healthy. Over my passed 5 months of being a mother I’ve learned different techniques and styles of parenting. I don’t go by the books, I just learn as I go.
The category I fit into the most is called attachment parenting, which is a natural, paleolithic lifestyle. When I was pregnant, I had never even heard of this term. After a couple months of being a mom, I came across this parenting style and realized I do many similar things. I only do the basics, but it goes to extremes such as natural, at-home childbirths and not vaccinating.
My accidental fall into this category began when I had a natural childbirth not by choice. I planned on having an epidural, but went into labor too quickly. Once he was born I realized he wasn’t one of those chill, quiet babies that just hangs out. He was very high needs, needed to be held and rocked all day. He hated his stroller, car seat, swing, bassinet, crib, pretty much anything that involved being put down. So I started using the infant carrier Dylan and I bought while I was pregnant. He LOVED this! And I did too because I could finally get some things done without a baby in my arms! Baby-wearing is one of the big attachment parenting techniques. In the beginning, we started off breastfeeding and supplementing with formula then eventually switched to exclusively breastfeeding, which is another huge technique. Breastfeeding creates a very strong bond between a mom and her baby.
Another attachment parenting technique we use is co-sleeping. My baby has never slept through the night and the only way I can get even a little sleep is to have him in bed with me. When he wakes up to eat, I nurse side-lying and fall right back asleep. When I was pregnant I was certain he would sleep in his bassinet for the first few months then move to his crib. Although bedsharing is sometimes tough (for a little baby he really takes up most of the bed!), it’s what works for us now so it’s what we do! He sleeps in his crib for naps.
Dylan and I both agreed from the start that I would stay home with the baby. Staying home, homeschooling, and even unschooling are all attachment parenting techniques. I don’t follow any of the attachment parenting techniques, but I realized I have made similar choices to what they believe. Although it’s years ahead, he’ll probably attend public school.
A few other things we do that put us in this category is using homemade, organic baby food and using cloth. We started Liam on avocados when he turned 4 months. We bought organic avocados and I mashed them up and mixed them with milk and fed them to him. We will continue to make our baby food because of the recent recalls for broken glass in Gerber baby food. We started using cloth when my baby got really bad diaper rashes. I researched online and found that tea tree oil mixed with water and cloth wipes were the best solution. I found 15 flannel wipes on Amazon for $7. I ordered them and they worked perfectly. Liam is 5 months old in a couple of days and he hasn’t had ONE DIAPER RASH since!!! I recently ordered some prefolds and diaper covers and we are going to start cloth diapering as well. I am so excited!!
Something I noticed that we did opposite of attachment parenting is circumcision. Dylan and his family are Jewish and believe in circumcision, and I asked some family members and most of mine believed in it too. I wanted one of us to be there with him, but I just couldn’t watch it so Dylan went and said he did really good and didn’t cry! I am happy with the choice we made. Either way would have been fine with me though!
I believe whatever parenting style you use is the right choice for you and your baby. I don’t judge any mom or any parenting techniques. I’m new to all this and still have so much to learn and I believe whatever works best for you and your baby is what you should be doing! That’s the only reason I do these things.
I don’t believe in following all attachment parenting rules. I just follow my instincts and make decisions based on what is best for us and I’ll continue to do this his whole life! I just found it interesting how similar the choices I have made are to this parenting style!