Wednesday, September 30, 2009
Monday, September 28, 2009
* Thanks to PhD in Parenting's weekend post!
Friday, September 25, 2009
Today I am at home, unexpectedly, just haven't been feeling my best. I'm nearing my 36th week (officialy starts on Sunday) and I'm really ready to just get this baby out! I do feel blessed to have had a healthy pregnancy since my early emergency room scare. I've been reading about so many pregnancy issues that I am so happy and relieved that I've had pretty smooth sailing.
In other mommy news I am so proud of my big boy, he's been sleeping in his bed really well. As I've said before this is all thanks to Elizabeth Pantley's No-Cry Sleep Solution for Toddlers & Prechoolers. Well, I will definitely be buying the original No-Cry Sleep Solution in order to get Na'im off to a good start with his sleeping habits. I know as a new mommy you may want to respond to every single noise that your baby makes at night, but the best thing is to let your baby sleep by knowing what noises are sleeping noises and what are waking noises.
According to Pantley, the first step to helping your baby sleep longer is to determine the difference between sleeping noises and awake noises. When she makes a noise: Stop. Listen. Wait. Peek. As you listen attentively to her noises, and watch her, you will learn the difference between sleeping snorts and “I'm waking up and I need you now” noises.
When I learned this eye-opening piece of information, I started “playing asleep” when Coleton made a nighttime noise. I would just listen and watch — not moving a single muscle — until he began to make actual wakeful noises. Some of the time, he never did; he just went back to sleep!
The idea, then, is to learn when you should pick your baby up for a night feeding and when you can let her go back to sleep on her own.
This is a time when you need to really focus your instincts and intuition. This is when you should try very hard to learn how to read your baby's signals.
You need to listen and watch your baby carefully. Learn to differentiate between these sleeping sounds and awake and hungry sounds. If she is really awake and hungry, you'll want to feed her as quickly as possible. If you do respond immediately when she is hungry, she will most likely go back to sleep quickly.
So, the key here is to listen carefully when your baby makes night noises: If she is making “sleeping noises” — let her sleep. If she really is waking up — tend to her quickly.
Such great advice and I can't wait to read the rest of the book to pick up some more tips!
Thursday, September 24, 2009
Age: Almost 31
How old is your child(ren)?
How did you come to be an Attachment Parent?
I actually always had certain beliefs about pregnancy and parenting and I always knew I wanted an all-natural birth, to breastfeed and cloth diaper, because those are the things my mother did with me. When I was pregnant, I reconnected with an old friend on MySpace and we began emailing back and forth. I told her about my pregnancy and how I was seeing a midwife for childbirth classes and I was nervous about a hospital birth because I didn't want any medical interventions. I asked her to recommend some books to me on pregnancy and parenting. She immediately responded, "Oh, it sounds like you're going to be practicing Attachment Parenting" and recommended Dr. Sears' The Baby Book. At first I was like, "Attachment parenting? Is she nuts?" but I picked up the book and everything seemed to fall into place. Yes, this is what I wanted to do with my child. It was everything I intuitively felt and believed, confirmed for me by a doctor.
What do you enjoy most about Attachment Parenting?
I love that my son is secure in the knowledge that I will always be there for him. When I see how well he is turning out, how smart and independent, I know that we are doing the right thing.
What do you enjoy the least?
Feeling like I have to defend my parenting choices to strangers, family and friends. So many ideas about child rearing that are mainstream and considered "normal" just don't work for me. I hate that people have no qualms about telling me how I'm going to spoil or ruin my child, how he'll never sleep alone, will still be nursing in college, etc. For some reason, AP beliefs seem to be up for ridicule. I would NEVER talk to another parent that way about their choices, even it was something I didn't agree with, like using cry it out.
What would you tell other MOC's about Attachment Parenting?
When you are able to follow your instincts and nurture your baby the way your guts tells you to, everything is easier. Breastfeeding is not only better for your baby, but bonds you to him in a way that bottle-feeding can't. Learning how to discipline our kids without physical force could make such a difference in the entire community. Think about how much violence there is in the black community and all of it starts in the home, with corporal punishment. We need to let go of some of those "old school" ways if we want to heal our community. Attachment Parenting gives you the tools to raise your baby in a way that is healthy and loving.
What do you think is the most common misconception about Attachment Parenting?
That people who practice AP are hippies who don't discipline their kids. I don't hit my son, but he is definitely disciplined and even at a young age knows right from wrong.
Do you blog or twitter? What is your link?
Yes, I blog about breastfeeding at Blacktating (http://blacktating.blogspot.com) and you can also find me on twitter. I'm @Blacktating (http://www.twitter.com/blacktating)
Wednesday, September 23, 2009
Monday, September 21, 2009
So imagine my surprise when some people expressed the notion that this class would "cost too much", especially if I planned on having him in Spanish Immersion until school age and/or he was fluent. I know some people don't like to talk about money, but here goes...this class is 10 wks. and is $180 for each 10 wk. session, that's $18 a session. On a normal weekday I spend at least that on breakfast and lunch (when I'm working), so why would I not invest that same amount of money in my child? I see people who spend money on loads of things for their children, toys, designer shoes, clothes, etc. but don't invest in their children's future or education. This money is an investment in my child's future and even if it was burdensome for my family to pay this I would try and make sacrifices elsewhere in my life to accommodate my child's education.
It's so funny that I received this response because earlier in the week I was reading an article about an elite high school in Northern Virginia and how currently the enrollment is majority Asian, the reason given was that, "Many Asian families will do whatever they can to support their children's education," said Fairfax school board member Ilryong Moon. "They will garner any and all financial resources."
As parents (shoot as an individual) look at where your money goes because it tells you a lot, where your money goes shows you what your values are. Or as the Good Book says, For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also - Luke 12:34
Friday, September 18, 2009
For this reason this site exists and I hope that you are able to enlighten others through your site as well about the way you parent, some people just need to see a living example of what to do to change their minds. :)
Thursday, September 17, 2009
Personally, my son was a bit resistant to certain foods, but I discovered a fun and sneaky way to get him to eat things he wouldn't normally. Instead of eating a piece of chicken, a scoop of mashed potatoes, and a forkful of brocolli, we make COMBOS! A combo is all of those things on one fork or spoon and he LOVES to eat this way. He always says, "Mom we're eating combos!" I even got him to eat grits for breakfast this way. Grits to him were a foreign yucky substance, but not when you have turkey bacon and egg with it on the fork, suddenly it's a BREAKFAST COMBO! LOL!
Wednesday, September 16, 2009
Thursday, September 10, 2009
The first principle of Attachment Parenting is to Prepare for Pregnancy, Birth, and Parenting, which is really an apropos topic to tackle considering that I am pregnant with my second child. I will admit that this pregnancy was a surprise one, I initially thought I was food poisoned, LOL! However that doesn't mean I slacked on preparing myself once I learned I was pregnant.
I've been reading up more on Attachment Parenting specifically on how I might do things differently this time around. For example, I bed-shared with my eldest, but I am choosing to co-sleep with Na'im first in a co-sleeper and then in a crib in our room. I've also investigated ways to diffuse any conflicts that arrive from outside influences on my parenting choices, so now I have an arsenal at my disposal, which I didn't have before. Not knowing how to a stand on your parenting choices can cause havoc in your marital relationship as well as make you second guess yourself (espescially as a first time mother), however if you have done your research and trust your instincts no one should be able to stop you from parenting the way you choose to.
Another very important part of your preparation is preparing for the actual birth of your child. So many of us get caught up in buying onesies, booties, blankets, and strollers, that we forget to get to that point, you actually have to give birth! Think about how you want your birth experience to be and what are your actual options at your hospital. I wanted to be as active as possible with my eldest and because I knew from attending birth classes given by my hospital that they are a lay you down and hook you up with monitors hospitals I delayed leaving for the hospital for a while (or what I thought was a while because I ended up at the hospital for 12 HOURS!!!). The time that I did spend at home I spent eating a good breakfast (the hospital I went to didn't let you eat while in labor!), took a nice warm shower, and bounced on my birthing ball (exercise ball) to relieve some of the contractions. I had also previously created and printed out a birth plan that I had made using a template from BabyCenter, that I gave to my doctor before and to my nurse when I arrived at the hospital.
Here are some of API's suggestions on preparing yourself for pregnancy:
- Reflect on childhood experiences and current beliefs about parenting
- Explore parenting philosophies
- Work through negative emotions surrounding the pregnancy
- Prepare physically for pregnancy; eat nutritious foods, exercise regularly, avoid stress when possible
- Explore different types of healthcare providers and birthing options. Consider reading "Ten Questions to Ask" and "Ten Steps" by the Coalition for Improving Maternity Services, and visiting the Baby Friendly Initiative website by UNICEF.
- Recommit to a strong, healthy relationship between expectant parents
- Educate yourself about breastfeeding
- Be alert and physically active during childbirth
- Research all aspects of "routine" newborn care, such as bathing, circumcision, eye drops, blood samples, collecting cord blood, etc. Document your preferences and share them with health care providers.
- Prepare to have extra help in the first few weeks after birth
- Consider a birth and/or postpartum doula
- Be prepared with questions to ask should unexpected birth or newborn situations arise
- What are the benefits of this intervention, and what are your instincts telling you?
- What are the risks and possible outcomes if I choose to do this or if I choose not to?
- What are the other options?
- How long do I have to make the decision?
When preparing for the birth of a child, it is easy to get caught up in the material things associated with pregnancy, childbirth, and newborn care. Tiny infant clothing, the latest maternity fashions, and baby gear can all be part of preparing for a baby, but the lasting investment of preparation involves becoming informed so that you can create a peaceful, loving environment in which to grow, birth, and care for a new life.
Wednesday, September 9, 2009
Tuesday, September 8, 2009
Baby’s senses are continuing to improve -- when light peeks in through your (extremely) stretched belly, those tiny eyelids and irises blink and dilate. And, baby can now recognize and react to simple songs… time to start practicing your lullabies! Growth (at least inside your womb) is starting to slow, and you may notice baby descend into your pelvis at the end of this month.
My baby is a HONEYDEW! I am just so excited and still a little mystified that I will be giving birth in a matter of weeks!
Thursday, September 3, 2009
I am a huge fan of PhD in Parenting's blog, she's also an attachment parent and speaks so eloquently and knowledgeably about Attachment Parenting. I've included her as a blog link on my sidebar, but I could have easily put her under resources as well. She has a wonderful post on what Attachment Parenting is NOT, that I will refer you to later.
I was thinking the other day about the reasons why some parents choose to not attachment parent their child and I think they do it more for reasons that are based in what AP is not, rather than what it is. I say this because I just cannot fathom why any reasonable and loving parent would reject any of the 8 Principles of Attachment Parenting, so I believe that the misconceptions of AP overshadow the principles at times. Here is my list of what AP is NOT.
Attachment Parenting is Not:
- Using elimination communication and never wearing diapers. Although some AP parents practice this, it's not an AP principle.
- Homeschooling or Unschooling your children, though some parents feel that their children will learn better in this environment.
- Totally crunchy, i.e. organic foods, making your own baby food.
- Against circumcision. My son is circumcised and more than likely his brother will be as well. It is a personal and/or religious choice to choose to circumcise, but if you are on the fence here's some info. from Dr. Sears.
- For more on what AP is Not, read PhD in Parenting's List