I'm not pregnant, but I have a question for you. — The Bump
Attachment Parenting

I'm not pregnant, but I have a question for you.

Let me first apologize for this intrusion. I am not currently pregnant, but I have a few questions that I feel might help me make better decisions if/when I finally do conceive.

My husband and I have been talking about parenting styles, and have agreed that we both like attachment parenting the best.

My husband works from home, and I will be a stay at home mother if I do conceive. I currently own a small business from home so we are already used to spending 95% of our time together.

My questions are: When and why did you pick attachment parenting? How has it affected your relationship with your SO? Any issues you have come across from family members, friends accepting your parenting choice? How do you resolve these issues?

I know these are broad questions, and you could probably each write your own book your individual experiences. I am just looking for any insight you can give me. My husband and i want to be as prepared as possible, so if we need to "arm ourselves"replies to friends and family (like one might with breastfeeding in public) .

To anyone that chooses to reply: Thank you so much!
And again, I am sorry if anyone is offended, or annoyed by non-members coming onto your board.

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Moving forward with purchasing a home, then maybe IVF/ adoption/embryo adoption/ or child free.

Re: I'm not pregnant, but I have a question for you.

  • Hi, welcome to the board! 


    My questions are: When and why did you pick attachment parenting?

    I ended up stumbling into it when I had to return to work. I was looking for ways to bond with DD in the few hours that I would have at home, and then I realized there was a name for what I'd been doing instinctually.

     How has it affected your relationship with your SO?  

    Honestly, it's caused a few issues.  If we hadn't both been committed to the parenting style we could have had big problems, but I guess that's true of any style.  When DD was 7 months old we traded roles so I could stay at home.  DH is a light sleeper and had issues being in the same bed with both of us, so he moved to the couch.  It effected our relationship, so it definitely wasn't the ideal solution but we were all on board and knew it would be temporary.

     Any issues you have come across from family members, friends accepting your parenting choice? How do you resolve these issues?

    No matter what parenting style you choose you'll face criticism by family, friends and strangers.  We're lucky because DH and I were both raised AP-lite.  We still got raised eyebrows for some things (bedsharing, baby-led weaning) but we just had to learn how to shut down the conversation.  "I've done my research, this is what works for my family.  So how 'bout that crab dip?"  

    I research the heck out of everything (sounds like you do, too!) so reminding people that I wasn't making decisions willy-nilly (and was probably more well-informed than those that had kids 30 years ago...) would usually get people to back off.  

    Finding a community of like-minded parents (both online and off) helped me immensely.  

    One small word of advice - research is great, but everything can change once baby's here.  For your own sanity, don't plan every little thing and try not to say "I'll never".  I planned on a natural birth, exclusively breastfeeding into toddlerhood.  I got an emergency cesarean and formula... I felt like I had to throw out all of my plans and start all over again.

    Good luck! 

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  • Our DD from my husbands first marriage has reactive attachment disorder. Her mother took her and ran when she was two weeks old but never cared for her. We have her full time now, but seeing what that can do to a child has made us want to see to it that our newest never has those sort of problems. It also fit in well with our natural inclinations as parents.

    AP hasn't caused any issues between my DH and I. But we tend to take AP as 'do what works best that creates the strongest bond between yourself and your child'. Having a healthy marriage is important, so I wouldn't stick to anything that was a major sticking point between us.

    I have no problems telling other people that any way that we choose to parent is our choice and ours alone. But If you would like information to give as to why AP is a good choice if you are questioned, look into RAD and the things that happen when children don't develop a strong bond to their caretaker. AP helps to develop cause and effect thinking, a conscience and empathy for example.

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  • I don't post a ton on this board, but figured I'd respond as well. Welcome to the world of figuring out parenthood! :)

    We didn't really research parenting styles...we both just naturally fall into AP. To be honest, we were even AP-like with our dogs who were our first babies...it didn't make sense to not bedshare with our baby since we've always bedshared with our dogs! My husband has a cousin who has a baby exactly one year older than our LO, and they are very AP, so we also had a 'model' for what we wanted our parenting to look like.

    I still haven't done a ton of research into AP. I would define it as doing what will meet the best needs of my daughter and our family. We breastfeed, baby wear, bed share, and I think bond as much as we can (considering we both work full time). 

    It hasn't caused any marital issues. We're both pretty laid back and have just made the best out of having a LO. 

    And we did get comments when she was little...about EBF, cloth diapering, bed sharing, baby wearing...mostly from my family (which is not very AP). But I never let it bother me. I am her mom, and I get to make the decision about what is best for her. My grandmother made that decision for her kids, and now it's my turn. I never really 'argued' with anyone about our choices, just let people know (if they asked) and moved on.



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  • 1- Honestly I didn't realise what we had been doing with our now, 7 year old DD from his first marriage, was AP until I found this board when I joined the PgAL board while pregnant.  He has had full custody of her since the day she was born and I have been there since 14 months.  Everything we have naturally done with her and our DD and now DS was just instinctual. 

    We follow a lot of the AP guidlines but not all, like PP said it is all about what works best for you and your family to have the best bond and most accepting relationship with each other. 

    You don't have to follow every bullet point, I don't think anyone on here follows every single one, each family is different and unique.  Not to mention is is hard to get a kid to follow a rule book : )

    2- It hasn't caused many problems at all.  The biggest source of contention is CIO, I am willing to allow it but not until after a year, he is gung ho for right now so he can get more sleep.  Eye roll.

    Other than that, we have an incredibley strong relationship, hey it survived losing our 2 year old DD which was impossibly hard. I think that as important as the relationship with your child is the relationship with your spouse should be just as strong, if not stronger.

    3- You will find people will question your parenting no matter what you choose to do.  You will also recieve ALOT of unsolicited and unwanted parenting advice no matter what.

    I will answer specific questions or explain why I am doing something the way I am doing it if someone asks.  The only time I get pushy with my parenting style is if someone is directly doing instructing or "parenting" my child against my beliefs. 

    IE- spanking my 7 year old with a hickory branch (MIL)

    If it directly involves my child I will speak up if it isn't my kid than it isn't my buisness.  Unless of course it is outright abuse..you know. 

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  • I agree with most of what the PP have said.

    Especially "people with criticize you no matter what." 

    You'll either get: 

    OMG, you're still breastfeeding? 


    OMG you aren't breastfeeding?! 

    [insert anything in to the above and it works. BLW? or purees?, you get the idea]

    And also, never say never. I said I didn't want to cosleep or own more than 2 wraps, but we are still cosleeping and I have 5! 

    And listen to your instincts, most of all. I remember putting LO in a stroller to go for a walk when she was about 10 days old, because that's what you do. take baby for a walk in the stroller, right? haha - how I wish I would have just wrapped her. I finally learned after picking her up after 5 minutes every time. My instinct was to always pick up my crying baby, and I don't regret doing it every time. But the few times I didn't because of pressure from someone to "let them be" I regret it. 

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  • 1) When I was pregnant, I thought AP was for the crazy mothers who martyr themselves for their children, and need to get a life. Then I had my daughter and really found that AP approach to be what suited us, it felt right and in many ways was also easiest. I never had to battle a child who wasn't doing the "right" thing at the right time. I simply had to feed, change, put to sleep and snuggle as she needed it.

    2) I think DH struggled because he felt neglected. Although i think that was as much about the demands that a newborn puts on your time regardless of how you parent. He also thought CIO was best etc etc but when she was born he became as responsive as me, and would no more leave her to CIO than fly to the moon. 

    We've gotten much better at doing little things to show we care and to look after each other on a daily basis, because the options for weekends away are very limited right now. 

    3) Both our mothers were of the, "get that baby on a schedule" and MIL is very keen on CIO and making the baby fit your timetable. I just nod and smile, and then go on my merry way.

    If I'm in the mood I talk loudly about bedsharing and extending BF, but just to wind my MIL up really.

    Both mothers have given us up as a lost cause, but as our girls are both happy and contented and DH and I are happy with how we live our life, they really have nothing to say, "I told you so about."

    I think you need to be careful about who you moan to. There will be times when you are desperately tired. If you moan to a CIO advocate then you'll hear all about how that's what you should do.



    Elizabeth 5yrs old Jane 3yrs old

  • First of all, lemme just say I'm a PCOS mama and pregnant with #2. Lots and lots of luck to you, and if you ever want to talk about it, just PM me. Also, my husband loves foxes. :)

    I haven't read previous posts so some of this is likely duplicates. When I first found AP I discovered we were pretty much already following it, and so while we don't let any parenting style dictate our decisions, we've found that AP is a good jumping off point.

    As to whether you'll get any flack, it really depends on your area and your family/friends. Does anyone you know wear their baby? You may get some side-eyes, but you'll also get lots of people who think it is neat (and even a new invention...eesh). 

    The biggest opinions I've gotten have been from my MiL. She says off-hand things like how we're "so nice" to our son but in a "too nice" kinda way. She tried early on saying that we were spoiling him and would make him clingy, but she lives across the country from us and each time she sees him she is amazed at how well adjusted and independent he is. I don't know if she realizes that he is exactly what we told her he'd be like if we did things our way, but she does at least give us some credit now.

     Other people will give you unwanted advice sometimes. "Oh, I just let my 3 month old cry it out and now we don't have any sleep problems." or "Yeah I started putting rice cereal in her formula at 4 months and it helped so much." or whatever. I do a lot of smiling and nodding if it isn't someone I feel like debating. My philosophy is each child and parent unit has to figure out what works for them...and even if I don't agree with something doesn't mean I'm going to tell you you are doing it wrong. I love giving advice WHEN ASKED...but a lot of people don't want my advice.

    As an example as to areas, I used to live in Madison, WI, which is full of natural mamas who baby wear and cloth diaper and breastfeed past a year. It was lovely. Then I moved to Milwaukee, and almost everyone I meet is surprised that I'm still nursing, and I've only met 2 other cloth diaper-ers. The natural mamas are out there, though, and I think I'm slowly figuring out how to find them. You just have to look harder sometimes. If there is a birth center (preferably not a hospital one) that offers New Mom's Groups, that is a great first step to finding  like-minded people.

    As far as how it changes your relationship with your SO...it does, but it doesn't have to be a bad thing. DH and I are tired more, stressed more, running in different directions more....but we always make time for each other, and having a kid together has helped us grow closer (and we were already quite close). We love being parents together. It sounds like you two already value your time together and are on the same wavelength. That will continue when you have a baby...you'll just have less sleep! ;)

    Oh, realistically it may be more important that whichever of you is working at the time has a space away from the baby for focus.

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  • We never went out and chose a style of parenting. We just do what works for us like PPs have said. I am not one to go out and buy a baby book and then do what it says. I just trust my instincts and we do what we feel is best for DS and our family. For us, that meant breastfeeding, cloth diapering, co-sleeping (100% room sharing, sometimes bed sharing), we don't do CIO, etc. We don't do BLW for a few reasons (DS has severe food allergies so I can't just give him the food we're eating, he still hates texture, etc) but regarding food, I still listen to his cues and just feed him when he's hungry and interested and I don't force anything. We just are the way we are and it happens to mostly line up with AP. We do things that work for us though and not just because it is the AP way to do it. 
  • i just found this board about two weeks ago, my son is 9months old and i realized that i have been doing this all instinctively.  dh and i have discussed issues but have never fought over anything.  my parents at times have asked when i'm going to wean but i just brush it off. no biggie.

    wish u the best 

  • Okay so this is the first time I'm posting here, just recently discovered this board myself. To answer your questions:


    1. We didn't really pick AP, we just did what came naturally to us and later figured out there is actually a name for it. We both come for fairly AP style families as well, so I'm sure that influences the way we parent as well.

     2.  So far, no one has said anything negative. Both our families are very supportive of AP, though not sure how much they'll love BLW. ;-) As for friends, we have a number of different parenting styles in our group, and all respect the others choices. I have received quite a lot of comments on babywearing while out & about with the sling though! Most people are very curious and think its a great idea, over here babywearing isn't very common, except among the very poor people who carry their kids on their back.


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