Attachment Parenting

I wasn't really sure how I would feel about being a parent so I had no idea of what kind of parenting style I would want to follow. Once Keira arrived I knew I didn't want to let her go and much preferred her being held to being put in her swing, chair or bed. And while I was pregnant I knew I would want to baby wear as opposed to using the stroller.

I searched around for a parenting book and found the Attachment Parenting book by Dr Sears (you can learn more here most matched what I wanted our parent/baby lifestyle to look like. So here are the basic principals are my thoughts on them:

1) Birth Bonding
I wrote in my birth plan that I wanted to do immediate skin to skin contact with baby after she was born but that got lost in the shuffle when my regular doctors weren't available during birth. We did bond once they got Keira weighed (she wasn't ready to eat yet though). We continued to bond during the hospital stay and the days following at home.

2) Breastfeeding
I knew I wanted to breastfeed because I knew it was healthier but I was skeptical about the bonding portion but it has been great. It is sometimes exhausting being the only source of nutrition for another person but I consider a continuation of pregnancy where you grew baby inside of you, now I'm growing her out in the world! And there's nothing more special than baby falling asleep on your chest.

3) Babywearing
I had hip problems in my past (and present) so when I read about a baby carrier company that is hip-friendly I was thrilled- my BOBA carrier was the first thing I registered for. 

It can also be used with newborns without an insert so we were able to take Keira for a walk the day after we got home from the hospital! I use it frequently at home doing housework and for walks (it's much easier than pausing a stroller and holding a dog leash). I'm branching out and going to try a wrap style carrier which is supposed to be better for hands free nursing and a little cozier (my Baby KTan is on the way!)

4) Bedding Close to Baby
As beautiful as Keira's nursery is and cute as her crib is we knew we didn't want her sleeping in there for a while. When my sister recommended the CoSleeper I shortly after took the trip to buybuybaby and bought one for our baby! We love having her in our room and I can easily see and touch her without moving at all. At the first whimper of hunger I can feed her. Mike never even wakes up because the crying is rare.

5) Belief in Baby's Cry
Keira's cry kills me. She rarely cries but when she does the only thing I can do is immediately try to fix whatever is wrong. We quickly realized that when she is upset - there is something she needs. She mainly cries when she is hungry. But sometimes it's gas- so we burp her, or she is overly tired- so we comfort her. We trust that when she is crying- she needs us. Dr Sears explains that attachment parented children grow better because they spend less time crying and instead can spend that energy on growing!

6) Beware of Baby Trainers
Before I got pregnant I remember hearing about books that got babies sleeping through the night quickly and telling parents to just leave their babies to cry and eventually they will just stop. Ill admit that the idea of maintaining my pre-baby sleep schedule sounded alluring but the fact is you should not try to get a newborn to sleep through their feedings. We let Keira sleep when she's tired and eat when she's hungry, and we don't try to force anything on her. And guess what? She has started sleeping for 7 hours at night all on her own! I'm not counting on it staying this way for long but I'm appreciating it while I can.

7) Balance
This is the hardest one! You can to maintain things for yourself and your marriage. I've tried to still of things to keep my sanity- attending my breastfeeding support group and taking walks and I've managed to get a shower every day since Keira was born. And Mike and I talk LOTS - communication is key. We've learned to be very forthcoming with our needs as there is no time for guessing once baby is in your life. Oh and I still take time once a week to give myself a manicure!

I highly recommend attachment parenting to anyone out there, I feel like it's been so helpful in all of us bonding as a family. 

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