I wanted to re-post something I wrote several months ago, it’s still pertinent today 🙂
I like to think that I’m fairly well educated and I enjoy learning new things / concepts / ideas. I’ve never been one to just ‘follow the rest of the sheep’ and do what is normal orexpected. I have had quite a few years experience with young children and not everything I have done or been asked to do has felt 100% right to me. That doesn’t mean that it was wrong, just that it didn’t sit well with ME. A lot of the things I choose to do with my daughter are not conventional and this does seem to bother a lot of people.
For example, we co-sleep. I love it. Not only does it give us a chance to cuddle with my baby, she sleeps a lot better especially now that it is cold at night. It also means that if she want to nurse I don’t have to get up, we can both do it half asleep and fall asleep again nice and snuggly warm. She naps in her own bed and 90% of the time goes to be in her own bed joining us at around midnight or 2am when she wakes up cold or lonely or peckish 🙂 I also follow baby-led weaning ( http://www.facebook.com/BabyLedWeaningLetYourBabiesFeedThemselvesweeblylink_new_window ) and do baby sign langauge ( https://www.facebook.com/pages/Baby-Sign-Language/135339096490587 ), use cloth nappies ( https://www.facebook.com/pages/Doodle-Bums-Diapers/149935841685302 ) , ‘wear’ baby in a sling and have recently started Elimination Communication or Early Potty Learning with my baby (http://www.earthbabies.co.za/index.php?option=com_content&view=category&id=32&Itemid=78 ) .
I don’t think there’s a reason I do this except that it feels right to me. I listen to what my baby has to say and try and follow her needs. My 7-month old feeds herself. It is awesome! I don’t have to cart around specially prepared food or worry about where she will eat. She sits at the table with us (either on my lap or in a highchair). She eats whatever we are eating. She can tell me when she’s hungry, when she’s had enough and when she need to go potty 80 – 90% of the time. None of this has been ‘forced’ or ‘taught’ in the traditional sense, but gradually learnt by both of us as we grow together.
I practise some form of attachment parenting with all the children I look after. My biggest ‘ideal’ is responding to children appropriately, quickly and lovingly because to me this is the essence of attachment parenting. A lot of my charges have been worn in a sling and most have been demand fed, but this doesn’t make me rigid to MY parenting choices and I respect other parents and their choices. I have worked for parents who parent differently to me and I have always been able to do as they wish whether or not I agree with it.