Attachment Parenting

During our Natural Baby Care Class one of the big topics that came up was Attachment Parenting. Attachment Parenting is based on forming and nurturing strong connections between parents and their children. We discussed Attachment Parenting International‘s (API) Eight Principles of Parenting*:

  1. Prepare for Pregnancy, Birth and Parenting
    • Examples: Work through negative emotions surrounding pregnancy. Explore different types of healthcare providers and birthing options. Educated yourself about developmental stages of baby.
  2. Feed With Love and Respect
    • Examples: Breastfeeding and attachment. “Bottle Nursing”. Nurturing through feeding. Introducing solids. Nurturing a taste for nutritional foods. Gentle weaning.
  3. Respond With Sensitivity
    • Examples: Needs and the benefits of responding with sensitivity. Responding to tantrums and strong emotions. Responding to the old child.
  4. Using Nurturing Touch
    • Examples: Needs and the benefits of nurturing touch. How to provide nurturing touch. Nurturing touch and the older children.
  5. Ensure Safe Sleep, Physically and Emotionally
    • Examples: The case against solitary sleep.  What is Co-Sleeping (co-sleeping versus bed sharing).  Nighttime routines.
  6. Providing Consistent and Loving Care
    • Examples: Create schedules with baby in mind. Practical tips for short separations. Working and alternate caregivers.
  7. Practice Positive Discipline
    • Examples: The dangers of traditional discipline. A gentler approach to discipline. Tools for positive discipline.
  8. Strive For Balance in Your Personal and Family Life
    • Examples: Balance is the foundation upon which attachment grows. Practical tips for maintaining balance. Tips for supporting new mothers. Tips for balance and the older child. Tips for dealing with parent “burn-out”

*Information provided from Mother Rising Childbirth Services

The most important thing to remember about attachment parenting is that you don’t have to do it all or go to the extreme.  Finding what works best for you is most important.  We have done our best to prepare for pregnancy, I am planning to breastfeed, we will be co-sleeping for the first few months (not bed-sharing but rather sleeping in the same room) and are planning to keep all of these principles in mind as we begin our lives as a family of three.

Do you practice attachment parenting?

Pregnancy Ups and Downs

Pregnancy Ups

  • Date night at home. Sunday night Neil and I enjoyed a date night at home.  It was one of those date nights where it took us hours to prepare dinner and we spent time in the kitchen cooking together.  Neil prepared a batch of bread and made homemade burger buns.  He also prepped potatoes to make The Pioneer Woman’s Perfect French Fries.  I fried up the french fries, prepped burger toppings and cooked up our veggie burgers. Then we sat down to enjoy them together and watched Young Adult. We had no computers, no distractions and hours of time together just talking and cooking.  I spent the night trying to soak it all in knowing that this would probably be one of the last times for many years that just the two of us would be able to do something like this, however it also made me excited to share nights like these one day with our child.
  • Diapering. I finished washing all of our cloth diapers and pre-folds, which unfortunately have to be washed at least three times.  I am looking forward to stuffing diapers tonight and getting them all ready for our little one’s arrival!

Pregnancy Downs

  • Uncomfortable. Unfortunately it has been ridiculously hot and humid here lately which is making me really uncomfortable.  The other night our bedroom was so hot and humid I slept on the couch until that got uncomfortable and then I slept for a little while on the floor in front of the A/C before finally heading to bed.  I am so glad that it is finally cooling down a bit.
  • Never Ending To Do List. You know you’re nesting when….your to do list is four pages long. Okay so they are small pages but still it’s a mile long and although we crossed off a number of items this weekend there is still so much to do.

Pregnancy Ups and Downs

Downs

  • Water spots.  It seems this week that someone at work has enjoyed leaving a watery mess on the sink, allowing the water to drip off the edge.  Now that my belly is so huge, I have to lean in a little further to reach the knobs which has resulted in a watery mess all over the front of my shirt. Tip: If you spill water all over the counter make sure you wipe it up!
  • Lack of food options.  We found out this week that although the food is supposed to be good at the hospital/birth center, that unfortunately the vegan options are limited.  Anyone else experience this issue? Also unfortunately the town is really small and the take-out options are just as limited. I guess we will have to plan on bringing meals with us!

Ups

  • Laundry done.  We finished (almost) all of the baby laundry including sheets, baby carriers, and other baby gear.
  • Touring. We were FINALLY able to tour the birth center! We have been trying to find time for the past two months to tour the birth center. However, between our busy schedules, the distance away from the birth center (we’re 75 minutes away) and then how busy the birth center has been lately we haven’t been able to tour.  On Friday, we had our 36 week appointment and so I called in the morning to see if we could tour before our appointment and they finally said yes! We were so excited and we’ll tell you more about the birth center in a later post.

Creating A Baby Registry

When it came to creating our registry I must have created, deleted and re-created our registry at least four times before finally settling on items we really wanted/needed. At first I just went by what I liked and then I started to do more and more research.  Reading tons of blog posts and recommendations from other parents which caused me to re-think what we should register for. Finally we decided what to register for and set up an Amazon Universal Baby Registry and a Babies “R” Us registry (they do online registries which are also available at the store for those family members who aren’t comfortable with the internet).  Below we’ll share some tips for creating your registries and examples of items on our registry.

Tip:

  • Use a universal registry – Amazon is great, but sometimes you can get products elsewhere.  Amazon’s universal baby registry allows you to add items from any website as well as items from Amazon.  Amazon is also a great option, because you can get the gift cards at just about any grocery store these days.  This allows those not comfortable with shopping online to give you something you really want.
  • Create a We’re Expecting Website/Blog and under the registry category make note of things that you would really like–> example: “Items that we really need: Seventh Generation Wipes, California Baby Products, Cloth Diapers (Bum Genius, Applecheeks, Fuzzibunz, Charlie Banana or Bummis), gift cards for baby clothes (since the gender is being kept a secret) and anything organic or Eco-friendly would be great! If you live in the Burlington Area, Butter Noodles in Williston has a number of the items on the Amazon Baby Registry.”
  • Make changes as necessary. We used our registry as a reminder list and if we found and item on our list for a good deal on BabySteals, EcoBabyBuys or Craigslist we just removed the item- it is nice to hope that someone will gift you something but if you really want it don’t hold back on buying the item, especially if its a good deal.
  • Don’t be afraid to register for big ticket items.  Many times a few people will go in on one more expensive gift such as a  car seat, stroller, or cloth diaper kits.
  • Don’t register for clothes, receiving blankets or burp cloths.  People are going to give you these items anyway and if you don’t they are easy to purchase on your own over time.
  • Register for items you REALLY need.  It is easy to get overwhelmed with all the options out there and it is easy to overload on all the cute baby items out there but make sure you really focus in on the items you need and avoid the novelty items.
  • Don’t be afraid to encourage people to only buy from the list – While your loved ones have good intentions, you’ve created this baby registry to be full of things that you and your partner want for your baby.  Encouraging family and friends to buy from the list helps you ensure you are not getting too much of a good thing.

 

Examples of What We Registered For

Feeding Gear:

Bath Gear:

Changing Gear:

Travel Gear:

Books:

 

What are your baby registry tips?

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