Friday, April 27, 2012

Baby Wise (2)

(So we'll see how part two goes over)

Ok, so the honeymoon is over for me and this book. Or at least we are in a bit of a fight...Baby wise is probably sleeping on the couch.

And no, we are not even technically at the methods part yet. I got distracted by something and I think that this might be the reason so many baby-wearing, co-sleeping, demand-feeding parents hate this book so much. It left a nasty taste in my mouth already.

The description of attachment parenting that is presented is totally BW- not a typo, even though the book's presentation of this parenting style could be equally be labelled with two other letters starting with a B Their presentation/definition is what they use as comparison for their methods.

As a mama-to-be who felt a connection to an attachment style of parenting I felt very defensive when BW began to trash that style and at the same time, it concerned me to hear some of the statistics and  possible consequences related to it. Would I be ruining my child if I use a baby carrier and have him sleep in a little crib in our bed?...the thoughts began to swirl. I had to keep reading, and I am so glad I did because boy O boy these baby wise peeps have such an incredibly specific and extreme view of what attachment parenting is.

It's almost laughable.

I am sure that there are certain parents who chose to use attachment parenting in the extremes mentioned. And I am sure that they make it work for their families. This is not a comment on the right or wrong of this parenting style, but simply recognising that the very extreme definition causes folks like myself, who connect to the label of attachment parenting to feel a little misunderstood. I actually think that some of the methods discussed in BW could fit into an attachment style of parenting. BW considers their methods parent-assessed parenting. I would consider my desired style of attachment parenting to also be parent-assessed. I don't believe the two have to be mutually exclusive.

BW talks about attachment-parenting with the insinuation that any time a baby makes a noise a mother would stick her breast in its mouth because they must be hungry. I do not think that baby wearing and even demand feeding means that a mother cannot assess if her child is hungry or not before inserting boob. I hope to breast feed our son but I also want him to feed on some form of a schedule so he can have the security of knowing that food, play and sleep are all going to come in time. If I have just fed him, and he fusses 10 minutes later I will assume he is not hungry and try other things to calm him (first). I don't think this means I would not be meeting his needs, and I don't think that it means I am not attachment parenting - he may well be in a baby sling when he's fussing ; ) 

I believe that there is no law that says you have to commit to one single style of parenting. In fact, I think that the beauty of all the resources out there give parents an opportunity to make a plan which fits them. Perhaps the labels used in all the parenting books should be left out, so that they would not be misunderstood, and certain effective methods would not be disregarded by parents who consider themselves to fall under an alternative style.

All this to say. I like things from each of the parenting books and resources I have read and imagine that one our little guy comes along he will be a product of our mish-mash of ideas! A very cute product at that :)

1 comment:

  1. I laughed throughout your post! You are absolutely right! We did the BW method with Addie and have not really followed that pattern with Ian. Each child is different and requires a different approach. I never rocked Addie to sleep, Ian is rocked and nursed to sleep almost every night. You live and learn.



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