Attachment Parenting Myths

There are the ones that get repeated and responded to all the time (“I would go crazy being at my child’s beck and call”) and the ones that are addressed less often and are thus more persistent (“Tummy time is the only way my baby will learn to hold her head up”)- but all of them annoy the mess out of me.  Allow me a moment to respond to these statements that I dare not open my mouth to answer in real time, for fear of venom spewing from my throat.

Attachment Parenting is all about spoiling babies.  Okay, number one: Attachment Parenting places a strong emphasis on family *balance*.  Attachment Parenting is the healthiest thing for me, for my marriage, and for my baby.  By the way, as an AP mom, I know I have the responsibility to communicate to my child that she needs to be aware of others’ needs as well as her own.  At nearly two years old, she is extremely empathetic and understands that sometimes mommy really needs to pee, but will come back and cuddle with her on the couch as soon as possible.  She understands that I will do everything I can to help her have a good day and feel understood.  She also understands that sometimes I am very tired and at those times she plays on her own.  Not something you expected from a baby who was breastfed, worn/carried *constantly* when she was an infant, slept attached to mommy, and was always responded to with love?

Attachment Parenting creates little people who are over-dependent upon parents.  Look, by the time Gwenna was mobile, she was so sick of being strapped to me in a baby wearing apparatus that she barely looked back as she left a trail of dust behind her turbo crawling self.  It may not be that sentiment exactly that was operating in her baby head, but it’s difficult to explain to many people that if babies are extremely sure mommy will be there when they want to come back, they are more likely to explore with enthusiasm.

Breastfeeding is kind of gross.  You mean to tell me that you choose not to do something that gives your baby much higher odds of just surviving the first few months, as well as gives her immunity, a better chance to have a high-functioning mental capacity, and lowers cortisol (stress hormone) levels- just because you can’t get over the idea of boobs being sexual?  Okay… I’m not touching that.  I’m also a little offended.

My parents used tough love and I turned out fine.  Elie Wiesel was tortured by Nazis, and he turned out “fine”- but you wouldn’t starve your child, hopefully.  This is a mega statement, but I feel comfortable making it: people are not “fine”.  Our society is plagued by mental and emotional disorders and trauma, violence, murder, rape, and the list goes on and on.  Everyone should be aware of the power of parents- we can raise loving, empathetic, free-thinking individuals, or we can continue the trend of “unidentified” issues with members of our society.  The answer is love, lots of it, and AP fully promotes love.

Babywearing must really put babies behind- how do they ever learn to walk?  I love this one.  Gwenna lived in the Moby wrap for the first few months.  We did tummy time maybe 3 times total, and she hated it.  All babies do.  They struggle, they can’t control their body in the way they want, and they can’t do anything about it.  I didn’t want to communicate to Gwenna through leaving her on the floor upset that I didn’t care about what she was telling me- that she was uncomfortable and it wasn’t working.  So I stopped putting her on her tummy.  Now here is the best part: Gwenna was sitting up by the end of three months, crawling by the end of 5 months, and walking by the end of 9 months.  Being in the Moby wrap upright and looking around (as opposed to spending a lot of time in the car seat, in her bed, on a play mat, in a swing) really strengthened her core muscles.  On top of that, she really loved being snuggled up to me for walks, naps, chores, shopping… and I credit the fact that she is so affectionate now to how we used to always hold her snuggled up to us.

The Cuddle IV

Most days, I’d add a disclaimer to make sure I’m not unintentionally offending anyone, but today, I’m just going to ask you to use logic.  If you’ve ever suggested breastfeeding is gross, I mean to offend you.  If you didn’t breastfeed because you couldn’t produce milk due to thyroid issues or something, notice that I didn’t mention anything about you and therefore do not mean to offend you.  And so forth.

Feel free to leave questions/comments and I’ll address them in the next post, when I will definitely be in a better mood.

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2 thoughts on “Attachment Parenting Myths

  1. I think you raise some great points that I never thought about before in terms of attachment parenting. I’m still somewhere in the middle on this one (as someone who never had kids though, I don’t really have to worry about it just yet….), but you definitley gave me some perspective from the AP side I never thought of before. My only opposition to it are the people who start to make it about themselves and not their babies, without even really realizing it. When I read that Time article recently on AP I feared for the mothers who had never, in four years, been separated from their kid for more than one or two minutes. That can’t possibly be good for anyone’s sanity. Your point about Gwenna knowing when you need your time addresses just that. Even the doctors who pioneered AP said that some of the mothers were taking it to the extreme and were making this very simple concept seem nuts.

    And on a side note, I’ve been around babies who were allowed to “cry it out,” as well as babies who were “spoiled,” and honestly, all of my maternal instincts tell me to pick up a crying baby and try to care for him/her, even if you can’t seem to figure out what’s wrong, or even if the baby simply wants to be held. Why are you worried about your baby wanting to be held all the time anyway? Is it because YOU dont want to have to hold them all the time? really? interesting. I’d much rather be the child of a mother who wanted to be with me when I wanted to be with her than a mother who let me cry because she couldn’t stand the idea of “spoling” me into thinking I could be cuddled whenever I wanted to… kids instinctively will know when to find the balance, as you said.

    Great read 🙂

  2. I’m really enjoying your blog…while reading this one I saw that you said Gwenna didn’t spend time in a carseat…did she ride in the car in a car seat on in her Moby go? I’m curious bc I don’t know much about the Moby go and I always see you reference it and am interested in it for baby #2

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