Today I'm introducing a new feature on The Baby Head Diaries and that is an interview with a mom of color who practices Attachment Parenting. In the blog-o-sphere it seems like the majority of parents who practice AP are not moms of color (MOC) and I get so excited when I find one who is. So, this will be their introduction to the world via my blog. I hope their interviews inspire other moms of color to research and practice Attachment Parenting. So, for the inaugural interview, I will be interviewing myself and monthly on the last Thursday of the month we will be interviewing a new MOC that practices AP. If you'd like to be interviewed and featured, please send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
How old is your child(ren)?
31 mths. and -8 weeks (I'm baking a late Oct. baby boy)
How did you come to be an Attachment Parent?
I actually started doing a lot of things that API recommends for Attachment Parenting intuitively. I researched many things going into the birth of my eldest son and knew that I wanted to breastfeed and that I wanted alternative pain management techniques in addition to having the option of an epidural. Once he was born it made sense to me that we would bedshare because it was the easiest way to breastfeed at night and I loved snuggling with my bundle of joy. I ended up babywearing because it was easy and my son was most at ease in my arms or close to me. It always made sense to me to listen to my babies cues instead of trying to force my will upon him and I've never been a fan of violent discipline. Then early this year I found Attachment Parenting International and I was like, "Hey, there's a name for what I've been doing and great research behind it." That was really a turning point for me.
What do you enjoy most about Attachment Parenting?
The closeness that I have with my son. He's now two (and a half) years old and he is simply THRIVING and I attribute that to the way that we parent in our household. He is secure and independent, yet very attached to us, which is the way it should be. He also is doing exceptionally well academically and was just moved up to the Pre-K3 class at his school.
What do you enjoy the least?
What I enjoy the least is people who extend their unoffered opinion about how our son is being raised and equate Attachment Parenting with spoiling your child. However, these are the same people who think that holding a baby at any age is a recipe for "spoiling". I don't know what it will take for people to understand that you cannot spoil a baby, their wants and needs are intrinsicly linked. People think that if he/she "just wants to be picked up" it's not a need, but it is! The AP principle of nurturing touch states:
- For the child, nurturing touch stimulates growth-promoting hormones, improves intellectual and motor development, and helps regulate babies' temperature, heart rate, and sleep/wake patterns.
- Babies who receive nurturing touch gain weight faster, nurse better, cry less, are calmer, and have better intellectual and motor development
- Cultures high in physical affection, touch, holding or carrying, rate low in adult physical violence
Attachment Parenting isn't new, crunchy, or hard; it is however intuitive, intentional, and a full-time job (as parenting should be). Also, AP isn't a list of do's and don'ts, it is a collection of 8 Principles to guide your parenting and to produce secure, joyful, and empathatic children in order to strengthen families and create a more compassionate world. Who doesn't want that?
What do you think is the most common misconception about Attachment Parenting?
That it is the same as permisive parenting, that it's too hard/takes too much time, and that it's new agey/crunchy.
Do you blog or twitter? What is your link?
Yes, you're on the blog http://babyheaddiary.blogspot.com
My twitter is http://twitter.com/babyheaddiarist
Any final words?
I hope to be able to spread AP to MOC all over the US, starting with my own corner of the world and eventually moving further. I believe that with more MOCs practicing AP we can create a better world.