I wrote about Attachment Parenting (can’t you tell I was trolled after writing that! I edited it!) Ollie a while ago and reading back I’m pleased to say I stand by everything I wrote back then, Ollie was 10 months old when I wrote that post so not far off Ted’s age now so I’m going to write an update.
I did write an updated Attachment Parenting post when Ollie was 18 months and I pretty much agree with everything I thought back then but I do have slightly different views on the breastfeeding element.
I’m going to stick to the same structure and write in terms of the 7 B’s as I like this theory…
Ted was born via planned c-section but I insisted on skin to skin and so did my anaesthetist! As soon as he was ready the anaesthetist wanted Ted placed on my chest almost as much as I did! No matter what your parenting style I think everybody agrees with this, it is a very instinctive thing to do. I think it is something that stays with you especially in early motherhood. Many new moms hate the thought of anyone else holding their baby and only let people hold them for minimal time. I think this is a very normal instinctive behaviour to want to keep your babies close!
I’m also pro bathing together! It’s skin to skin = happy baby! But if they’re due a poo, put a swim nappy on haha!
2. Belief in the signal values of your babies cries.
I stand by everything I said in my previous posts. Babies do not cry for no reason or to piss you off! It is their way of communicating and they have different cries for different needs. The only advice I’d really give to new mothers (apart form don’t take any advice) is learn their cries. Life is so easy when you know why they’re crying. Ted cries for these reasons; hungry, tired, belly ache/ wet nappy (uncomfortable) and what I call cheeky – haha! When I take something off him if he’s grabbed something like a wire or hard toys.
Each cry has a distinct sound and so I don’t bother trying to feed him if he’s tired. Tired is the only cry that I let him cry, if you know what I mean. Everything else has a need to be met, whether it’s something I can give him or just a cuddle but tired is one where he needs to go to sleep! I help him by rocking him in the pushchair or sometimes if he’s not too worked up I can feed him to soothe him to sleep.
I’ve always been pro breastfeeding but never really seen eye to eye with the majority of breastfeeding moms! My opinions have changed slightly. I said in one of my previous posts that it didn’t affect my bond with Ollie, that is true and I don’t think a formula mom feels any less bonded to their baby as a result but I do think theres an argument for a breastfed baby feeling more securely bonded to it’s mother.
What I’ve learnt about breastfeeding is that the milk isn’t really the advantage. In todays modern, scientific age we have the intelligence and resources to recreate Momma’s milk. It is nutritious and perfectly capable of keeping a baby fit and well. The aspect of breast milk that we can’t recreate is nature.
Ted didn’t open his eyes for two days but he knew me. He knew me because of my smell, warmth and how I felt. This is imprinting and secure bonding. My midwife always advised me to just lie down with Ted on me and let him find me when he was hungry. This is something that there is no artificial version of. I used to praise formula for making it easy to get a schedule but looking back now I think why is that good?
I know as we grow up we do become regimented with mealtimes in a way, most people eat three times a day at very similar times everyday and this used to be my argument for a schedule but now I think it’s more important to feed on demand because for babies feeding isn’t simply – I’m hungry. It is about bonding and learning about the world and learning about the mother but more importantly, feeling safe! And the safest place for a baby is with their mom and breastfeeding guarantees that they will spend most of their day with their mommy!
4. Baby Wearing.
I loved baby wearing Ollie and I was the same with Ted. Both my boys spent their first 3 months attached to me. I used to do all my housework with them on me. I used a fixed sling with Ollie but with Ted I loved my fabric wrap. It was also easy to breastfeed with him in there. He used to sleep so peacefully on me and it was great for taking Ollie to the park and being able to follow Ollie around and keep Ted close at the same time.
This post is getting quite long so I’m going to split it and continue the other B’s in part 2 tomorrow…