October 29, 2011

keeping them close

this is a post i've wanted to share for a while... attachment parenting!!! before you assume we're just weird hippy types, which we aren't at all (well maybe a little), please read on. :)

"And these words that I command you today shall be on your heart. You shall teach them diligently to your children, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, and when you walk by the way, and when you lie down, and when you rise." Deuteronomy 6:6-7  if the Lord has commanded us to teach our children ALL THE TIME then we should probably keep them close. (which is one reason why we're going to homeschool, but that's for another time. ;) )

most of you know that we lean toward the side of natural things. we had a home birth, we're basically vegans, we take weird herbs ;), etc, etc. before we had caroline i had done some reading on attachment parenting vs. the whole baby wise method, but i didn't really have a ton of things that i knew i wanted to do as far at physical parenting techniques. when we had jude i wanted him close ALL THE TIME! we were going to have him sleep in a bassinet next to our bed, but after the 2nd night of waking up & getting him out of bed to feed him & trying for forever to get him to go back to sleep & being exhausted all day long... i did some reading on co-sleeping here. (btw, i love Dr. Sears!) & so jude slept with us for the next 8-10 months. it was amazing for numerous reasons.
*when he was hungry i would just lay there & feed him & fall right back to sleep & SO WOULD HE! no more of this awake for hours thing. i was getting better sleep, so was he & so was mike.
*there have been studies done that show that co-sleeping actually reduces the risk of SIDs because baby & mommy get on the same breathing cycle & so babies are less likely to stop breathing.
*also, i was so aware of him all night. if he moved or made a funny noise... i was right there & able to take care of him.
we co-slept with sammy as well & plan to do so with the rest of our little ones.
i also STRONGLY disagree with sticking a baby in a crib in another room & making them cry themselves to sleep.
*they can barely see very far away, so when mommy leaves them in a room by themselves they have no idea where they are & if mommy is ever going to come back.
*they went from being in mommy's belly, all warm & cozy, to a bright, loud, uncomfortable world. they need to be kept close & know they are safe.
*the only thing they know is your voice & your smell & so when they don't have those 2 things they feel very unsafe.
*if a baby is left to "cry it out" they are spending all their energy on crying & not enough on resting & growing.
*attachment parenting/co-sleeping makes for happier & more secure adults in the future. (we have noticed with jude & sammy that they are quite happy & confident little boys already.)
here's some more great information on attachment parenting by Dr. Sears. he also has a book about it (i haven't read it, but i have his Baby Book that has a lot of info in it as well).
other things we do with attachment parenting...
*baby wearing- in a sling, carrier or just holding them A LOT.
*breastfeeding & nursing on demand- feeding that baby WHENEVER they are hungry/fussy. newborns will not over eat. again, they went from being inside your belly & getting whatever they needed whenever they needed it. give them the nourishment/comfort they need.
*let the baby decide their own schedule- let them eat when they want & sleep when they want. with co-sleeping they learn from an early age to sleep at night because you are sleeping right next to them. our boys decided their own schedule & it was always different for the first year of their lives, it was always changing. eventually they got to where their feedings were at the same times & their naps were at the same times. they put themselves on their on routine... we didn't have to train them. so many parents want their baby to be convenient for them & get on their routine... you can't expect a baby to do that. keep everyone happy & go with your baby's signals... they know what they want/need.
*we also used this dvd to learn how to calm & comfort our boys.
*a lot of parents that co-sleep & nurse believe in doing it for years & years... we do not. we believe as followers of the Lord we also need to teach our children how to be more independent of mommy & daddy & trust the Lord. (they make a transition from knowing what they need as brand new babies to mommy & daddy knowing what they need as toddlers.) when they are at an age that we think they are ready (around 8-10 months for our boys) we start transitioning them to sleep in their crib (here's some info). this process takes a few months. first, we start with mommy feeding the baby & then passing them to daddy so the baby doesn't just smell mommy & want to nurse. they start to stretch out their feedings this way. after they get to the point of sleeping most of the night with daddy we start putting them to bed in their crib. when they wake up during the night mommy goes in & feeds them & puts them back to bed in the crib. all of this takes awhile & it's definitely a process... but so worth it.

there is not a lot that's convenient about having children... but they are a such a joy & a blessing from the Lord & it's worth all the extra time it takes to figure them out & help them as they grow. enjoy your children. listen to them. & do your best to seek the Father on what is best for your family.
"Behold, children are a heritage from the LORD, the fruit of the womb a reward." Psalm 127:3


Jenn said...

We co sleep with our kids, too. We had two queen beds on the floor when Maisie was born. When she was two we separated them, but was still in the room with us. When she was three we moved her in to her own room. She and David both have very intense, vivid, upsetting emotional dreams, just about every night. It makes so much more sense to spend a minute (sometimes less!) comforting them and helping them back to sleep, than listening to the cry for 10, 20, 30...? minutes while they try to make sense of what's real from a disorienting and upsetting dream. David sleeps with us and he is such a snuggler! Every night I am so thankful for this short window of time to be so close to him, and for the time we had with Maisie, remembering that 30 years from now, I will not regret a single night of co-sleeping with them. One of the things I LOVE from the Dr. Sears book is when they say "No one ever gets to the end of their life and wishes they'd held their children less".

mr valdez and mrs valdez said...

i love this. this is exactly what i've done. i was hoping to write a blog about it soon also...i may steal some of what you put. :)

allison barker said...

i can't wait to read your post! please use as much info as you want... i want more families to do this!

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