Posts Tagged ‘attachment parenting’

Transformation: Complete

Saturday, April 17th, 2010

It’s official, I have become a crazy hippie tree hugger. First it was the breastfeeding. Then the co-sleeping. Then the baby wearing. Then the baby-led weaning. Then I started foraging for all my food in the woods, sticking mainly to twigs, berries and the occasional mushroom cap.

Ok, so not that last one. But I am FINALLY making the switch to cloth diapers.

It was something I have considered  before, but never got around to actually doing. Sort of like scrapbooking, making my own whole wheat bread and learning Italian. Only with a lot more poop. But the stars aligned and suddenly it seemed ridiculous NOT to cloth diaper. The final straw was the promotion Franklin Goose ran, where they paid $5 in store credit for each product review you wrote. After racking up over $200 in totally free money (seriously, whoever came up with that promotion is SO TOTALLY FIRED) I broke the news to E that we were switching to cloth and he couldn’t object because they weren’t costing us anything.

Of course, then I spent $60 on accessories at Papoose. And then $95 on a huge lot of (barely) used diapers from my friend Emily. But she gave me a really really great deal – REALLY great, like, I sort of feel bad taking advantage of her great – and I’ve heard you really can’t have too many.

Since I don’t have all my diapers yet, I’m currently only part-time cloth diapering. And by “part-time” I mean “after I know Baby Evan has already pooped because I’m not sure I’m ready for that mess yet.” Plus I’m still not entirely sure what I’m doing. For example, laundry detergent. I usually use Dreft and All Free & Clear for the babies clothes and our clothes, respectively. But for some reason I’m not supposed to use Free & Clear on diapers? So I bought a bag of Charlie’s Soap powder for my diapers. Although apparently Charlie’s is an all-or-nothing sort of soap, so I can’t switch back and forth with the detergent I already have. But I’m not willing to throw out 100+ loads of laundry detergent just because I’ve got THREE diapers to wash.

Like I said, I don’t really know what I’m doing.

But doesn’t Baby Evan look adorable?

This one is a Katydid, which is a pocket diaper. If I stuff it with both the regular insert and the infant insert it hold a LOT of pee. It’s also a nice soft cushion on his butt when he falls down. Plus I don’t have see Elmo in my kid’s pants anymore. THANK GOD.

Unattachment Parenting

Tuesday, December 15th, 2009

No I didn’t change my entire parenting philosophy, but the baby sure did. Or maybe all this attaching I’ve been doing has made him the world’s most independent 8 month old. Which I think is the point of attachment parenting, so…yah?

First there was the church nursery adventure, where despite my own hang ups Baby Evan didn’t show the least bit of apprehension at being abandoned left in the care of someone else while I actually listened to and enjoyed the service for the first time ever.

At Stroller Strides on Monday I volunteered to hold (and by “volunteered” I mean “grabbed out of his stroller without permission because OMG TINEEEEEEE BEBEEEEEEEEH”) a friend’s newborn for a few minutes. Instead of being jealous or upset, Baby Evan sat in his stroller and chewed on his shoes. You’d think seeing another baby that close to his boobs mama would have made him mad but he was totally nonchalant about it, like “Whatevs, woman, I’m too busy being cute to notice your shenanigans.”

Then at nursing group Baby Evan ran away. Ok, crawled away. But at a very high rate of speed. He then spent the entire hour climbing on other moms and/or babies. At one point he threw himself into our group leader Holly’s lap and leaned back to gaze adoringly at her while she talked about breast pumps. When he was done getting attention from Holly, he tried to crush hug Baby T and attempted to lick kiss Baby El (although she was also guilty of some licking). I could have easily left the room, or the building, or probably the state and he wouldn’t have given a damn until he was done playing and ready for lunch.

It’s kind of a relief to find that all my baby wearing and nursing and comforting and rocking to sleep has not spoiled my child to the point that I am his only source of security. Although I have to admit it makes me a little sad that our cuddly baby days are already over and we’ve moved on to not wanting to be seen with me. I thought I had about 12 more years before that happened.

The Nursing Mother Has Two Faces

Thursday, December 10th, 2009

Yeah, I’m going to talk about boobs again. Deal.

Happy Face :)

I love breastfeeding. It’s totally amazing that if you combine my pregnancy with the months of exclusive (really really exclusive) breastfeeding, I’ve kept this baby alive with just my body for 17 months. I’m practically a superhero, although thank God I don’t have a spandex outfit. I’ve given my baby the best start possible and he (and I) will both be healthier for it. I’ve saved an enormous amount of money by not buying any formula and an enormous amount of time not sterilizing, heating and preparing bottles. Nothing beats snuggling with a warm sleepy infant on a cold morning and starting my day feeling absolutely attached to my baby. I feel like I repeat all this stuff so many times a day I might as well get it tattooed on my forehead. Or at least embroidered on a pillow. A pillow I can throw off a cliff.

Sad Face :(

I’m so so so tired all the time from getting up at night to nurse this baby. Now that he’s mobile he’s like a tiny Michael Phelps – his body burns calories faster than he can get them in and he needs to eat fourteen times a day. Not to mention possibly suffering from a case of the munchies. When I committed to breastfeeding, I was relieved to learn “extended nursing” usually only involved a couple of feedings a day and not the round-the-clock sessions of a newborn. Unfortunately Baby Evan didn’t get that memo. My nipples feel like they’re going to fall (not from pain, just from pulling) and it only gets worse when he’s teething – which he’s doing AGAIN. This time it’s the top teeth, which means in a couple days he’ll be able to bite with the same power as an average sized dog. Think about how much that would hurt. And despite MY anytime, anywhere approach to breastfeeding the baby refuses to eat if there are people, noise, colors, sounds, dogs, cats, other babies, music, or toys within 100 feet. If I don’t plan for quiet time at home he goes all day without eating and the nighttime feedings go from 2 or 3 to 4 or 5. At this point, I couldn’t give up on breastfeeding even if I wanted to. The battle we have every time I try to give him a bottle or cup is EPIC and his refusal could easily outlast my will to force one on him. Every time I mention my frustration I’m told “don’t worry, he’ll grow out of it” and that 8 months is a totally normal age to still be nursing exclusively. THANKS FOR NOTHING advice givers. Why don’t you come over here and breastfeed this baby at 3 am? For 8 months in a row? Oh, I’m sorry, you’re too busy sleeping at 3 am? THEN SHUT YOUR PIEHOLE. Sorry, sleep deprivation is making me cranky. And complaining about it makes me feel a little better. Especially complaining about it in LARGE CAPITAL LETTERS. LOUD NOISES.

You can sleep when you’re…bored to death with all this nighttime schedule talk

Thursday, October 29th, 2009

While E was out of town for a couple nights, I decided it was time to make a few adjustments to the baby’s nighttime schedule. (Changes go a lot better when I implement them myself and declare a new Baby Law.) As much as I loved our cuddles and the ease of nursing the baby without getting out of bed, this 7 month old little monster child is NOT the sweet little baby who snuggles. This one kicks and squirms and thrashes and the other night he stuck his fingers up my nose, Three Stooges style. Let me tell you, that is at the top of the list of uncomfortable ways to wake up, right behind with a car on top of you.

So I sat Baby Evan down and explained it was time for him to sleep in his own room, he agreed, and we lived happily ever after. AHAHAHAHA if only babies were that easy, I’d have a dozen more. The first thing I did was move our entire bedtime routine upstairs – bath in the bathtub instead of the sink, nursing in the nursery instead of on the couch. I also decided it was time to do away with the swaddle, in the hopes that he wouldn’t wake up trying to break free. And the third thing I did was drag out the Baby Go To Sleep music cd I tried months ago but never really seemed to work. I’ve also been trying to convince Baby Evan that the blue blanket my mother-in-law knit for him is his lovie (or as I called mine, Favorite Blankie) so it can take over some of the comforting during the night.

Pretty much the only thing my The Baby Books agree on is that infant sleep cycles are only 90 minutes, and ever hour and a half babies wake, check their surroundings and resettle. The “resettle” part is the key word in that sentence, because according to The Books, I have created some Bad Habits with my baby and breaking those Bad Habits means anything from 4 nights of screaming to 8 weeks of sleep deprivation to three more years of getting kicked in the kidneys all night. I have not allowed my baby to learn to resettle – because of the swaddle and the rocking or nursing to sleep – and now I must pay the price. Luckily for me, my baby didn’t read The Books and has no idea he’s supposed to torture me for my poor planning. Letting him sleep unswaddled allows him to literally check his surroundings at night, rolling around to get comfortable or scratch his nose or get closer to his blanket. Playing the Baby Go To Sleep cd while we rock him to sleep and setting it to repeat all night is enough of a reminder that it’s bedtime (and as a bonus it drowns out a lot of the tossing and turning noises so I can sleep more). And now he’s nursing just when he’s hungry instead of using me as a pacifier all. night. long.

While he was sharing our room, I was getting about 4-5 total hours of sleep. That is definitely not enough for a functional human being, unless you are currently the parent of a baby who sleeps even less than that, in which case I am so, so sorry. With the baby in the nursery last night, I slept EIGHT HOURS, even including getting up to nurse at 2 am and getting up to bring the baby to bed at 5 am, where he slept happily until 8:30. I’m not banishing the baby from our bed permanently – I’m not even taking down the co-sleeper yet – because when he’s teething/having a growth spurt/reaching a developmental milestone our night schedule might could will change again. And I’m dealing with a little bit of attachment-parenting guilt for choosing my sleep over maintaining a family bed. But after 7 months of exhaustion, I think even the most ardent attachment parenting expert would agree it’s time for a change.