Question about AP — The Bump
Attachment Parenting

Question about AP

I'm new to the ideas of AP and am still researching what might work for us. All I know is what we're doing now is NOT working. DD is a very high energy, high needs, ultra-sensitive, non-adaptable baby. She is such a pleasure when happy, but when she's not, she's, well... frightening. I'm wondering if some of the AP principles might help with these lows. Our days are a series of coos, smiles and sweetness, but that can instantly turn to all-out banshee screaming over the tiniest issue. We call her our light switch baby.

I guess my main questions are: Is there such thing as too late for AP? Would I be confusing her if we all the sudden tried to implement some of these things? Is there a way to "partially" AP? (I ask this last one because BF was a huge fail for us - but that's a whole other issue.)

I'm sorry if this sounds ridiculous and rambling, but I'm pretty overwhelmed. I just want DH and I to be better, more responsive, more useful parents. DD deserves it. TIA.

BFP #1: 7-26-08, natural m/c 6w4d; BFP #2: 12-6-08, natural m/c 6w5d
BFP #3: 2-26-09; DD born 10/30/09; 7lb3oz, 20.5in!
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BFP= #4: 9-8-13, hcg @ 14dpo: 507, 17dpo: 1731, doubling: 39 hours
Found a strong hb @ 5w6d; Measuring 4 days ahead, hb of 168 @ 8w4d!
So excited for Baby Sister! EDD: 5/24/14
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Re: Question about AP

  • I don't think that it is ever "too late" to want to be more responsive to your baby's cues.  And, not breastfeeding does not make you AP Lite!  There are plenty of moms who are unable to breastfeed, adopted a child, or are foster parents who are AP! 

    DD is a high needs baby.  I came across the term on Dr. Sears' website one night.  He has a book called "The Fussy Baby Book" and I decided to read an excerpt.  I saw similarities in my DD and his "fussy baby" so I ordered the book.  Read an excerpt online and see if it applies to you.  Dr. Sears coined the phrase "Attachment Parenting" so I definitely recommend reading some of his books.  I think that the info in his "Attachment Parenting" book and "The Fussy Baby Book" are similar because Dr. Sears feels that high needs babies respond well to attachment parenting.  He believes that all babies thrive with AP, but that high needs babies need AP even more.  HTH.


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  • I don't think at all that it is too late for AP for your baby. And there are many parents who practice AP principles who, for one reason or another, formula feed their babies. There are ways to feed that have more of an AP slant, like bottle nursing, but some people do that anyway to gain the closeness they might miss from nursing.

    My DD is quite a bit like yours, and I know AP has helped us to be better parents to her. Don't get me wrong- I still get frustrated, and some days want to scream "what do you want from me???" when I've tried it all. Babywearing has been a HUGE help as she either has to nurse to sleep or be worn down (meaning we walk around with her in a carrier until she falls asleep). Bedsharing is another godsend, b/c we all sleep better (though, again, some familes this does not work for, and it's ok- co-sleeping in the same room can be just as effective) and b/c DD won't sleep longer than an hour or so without someone right beside her.

    I doubt it would confuse her- she may even respond immediately to some changes. At the end of the day, AP is all about knowing your baby and her cues- once you do some reading and start knowing what to look for, you might be able to circumvent those fussy periods. I know for us, I was missing DD's sleep cues in the evening. She had a wicked witching hour, lasting from around 7 or 8 until we wore her down and kept her napping in a carrier, or just gave in and went to bed with her. Once I realized that she was giving off sleepy cues around 6:30, I now know that if I can get her bathed and ready for bed by 7 and nurse her down, Mommy might actually get an hour or two to herself in the evening!

  • You can definitely still be AP if you FF.  Even though it seems like most AP moms EBF, there are plenty of us who FF.  Totally agree with the PPs that it's not too late to start applying AP principles.  Further you don't need to go 'total AP.'  You can pick and choose which AP things work for your family. 

     Do you feed on demand right now?  My DD is a fairly easygoing baby but things definitely became easier for us when I stopped worrying about schedules and measuring how much my DD was eating everyday.  Now I feed her when she's hungry instead of when some book tells me it's the right time and she's much much happier. 

    Babywearing is magic for cranky babies.  I have a wrap, a mei tei (Babyhawk), a ring sling and an Ergo but I always use the wrap when my LO is being fussy.  


  • Like PP's, I agree whole-heartedly on the never-too-late thing.

    We also refer to my DD as a "Light switch baby." I don't consider her high needs at all, but she does suddenly switch on us, and then it is all out SCREAMING from then on. Your DD and mine are VERY close in age. Ours JUST started getting better... however, in my experience, when she light-switches, she's overtired.

    Not saying that this is what's wrong with your DD, but for us, if she lightswitches on us, she's over-tired and its the start of her meltdown. I can then usually wear her down, or nurse her down (I know you said you didn't nurse, just saying what works for us), or sometimes, SOMETIMES, her daddy can get her down for a nap. She usually wakes up all smiles again. 

    She'll also light-switch with gas pains. Again, just what happens with us. 

    I just thought it was amusing that someone else refers to their child as their light-switch baby! 

    BFP: 10/20/08, Missed M/C discovered 11/24/08 at 10w. Baby measured 8w6d, Natural M/C 12.1.08
    DD born Oct.2009[IMG][/IMG]

    BFing, PT CDing, Co-Sleeping, Non-Vaxing, WAHM Mom
  • do it!  it doesnt matter what you call it, AP or just instincts, try what you need to to get your LO to feel comforted.  it will get better, we've all been there (or at least a lot of us have,like me!)... i second the suggestions to try babywearing (my DD insisted on being carried ALL the time so it makes it easier on your arms) and feed on demand, definitely.  my DD was hungry a lot more often than i thought she should be, and once i gave in to that, she immediately was a little better.

    some babies are just difficult for a while, and that's the torch we bear.  sometimes nothing will completely take that away - but i do think responding to DD's needs made her much more secure so now she's a good-natured,smart kid.  the happy moments will become more frequent than the unhappy ones, in time, i promise!

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