Tuesday, October 09, 2007

The Attachment Parenting Book

I've just finished what will probably be the last book I have time to read on parenting before the Resident Alien arrives. Whew. If studying for the bar is anything like this, I should kick ass. I feel supercharged as a mom, like I'm well armed to go into battle. But I'm also a realist, fairly certain the first time I get my baby's arm stuck when I'm trying to dress him - I did this exact thing to my niece when she was only a month old - or the first time he wails that blood-curdling cry that causes his baby face to go all red and angry, I'll lose all confidence and turn to Darr to fix it. ("It" being the situation, not the baby.)

The book explains the seven Baby B's -
  • bonding
  • breastfeeding
  • babywearing
  • balance
  • bedding close to baby
  • belief in the signal value of baby's cry
  • beware of baby trainers
Why they are important, what they do, how you can use them to create a trusting relationship with your child, etc. It has some good info that coincides with a lot of what I read in The Happiest Baby on the Block. Apparently I am turning into a bit of a tree-hugging hippie. Who knew? If I stop eating steak, somebody had better proceed with an intervention.


Cathy said...

What's the balance all about?
And breastfeeding? Are they talking about feeding for comfort as well as for nutrition? I did a lot of that with Liam - people would say, "he's using you as a pacifer" and I'd say, "he's not screaming."
I've never read that book or heard about the 7 Bs - sounds interesting. My cousin used a baby bed type of thing right in the middle of her bed. I don't remember what it was called, but she loved it. The baby slept between them for the first 3 months, then they moved the whole thing into the baby's crib for awhile and she said that made for a nice transition.
Sounds like you're well prepared and have a crap load of knowledge to fall back on once the R.A. arrives.

christie said...

Balance is about understanding and meeting your needs as a person so that you can respond to your baby and meet your baby's needs. My interpretation of that is "If mom isn't happy, ain't nobody happy." :) But beyond that, it's also about striking a balance between what you give your child, yourself, your marriage, your husband, and everything else in your life.

Breastfeeding, as science now tells us, is in fact the best thing you can do for your child. And there are (apparently) societies that don't have super fussy babies that have colicky, crying fits because they 1. wear the babies nearly 24/7 after they are born (the baby is always with mom or a mom substitute) and 2. the baby has access to breastfeed pretty much whenever it desires (replicating the way the baby receives nutrition in the womb).

One argument made in this book is that newborn babies don't immediately know how to manipulate their parents by crying incessantly or having tantrums but rather they are using the only method they have to alert their parents to a need. The faster and more reliable you are at meeting that need, the happier your baby will be.

Based on some of the comments you got, you had some "baby trainers" nearby. It's not that there is anything wrong with how they choose to raise their children - it's just a different philosophy - but this book does say that new parents can feel as if their confidence is undermined when folks make these types of critiques. After all, we are all just trying to do the best for our children.

All knowledge is theory at this stage. And there is much said about "high need" children, who can make it infinitely harder to use these methods. I know in our birthing classes they said to find mom mentors to seek out when you have questions, etc. I'm hoping all the moms I've run into as of late won't mind the occasional question I'm bound to have once the R.A. is here. :)