I do not think of myself as an attachment parent, or an earth mother type. I was quite surprised when told recently that I seemed to be a natural at it all, so not my personal opinion!
I breastfeed, yes, but that’s because on my research it appears to be the best way to feed a baby. And if you are doing anything, surely you’d want to do it the best way? I stuck it out with breastfeeding because I’m stubborn, and I wasn’t going to give up – it was a point of personal honour that Big never took formula to nursery with her, only ever expressed milk. She was weaned at a year though, as she bit 🙁
No cloth nappies that time around, though I did have a huggababy ring sling, can’t really remember why I got it. Must have seen somewhere that it was good for babies 😉 And even at that point, despite the career and her start in nursery I was planning on home education.
With Small I was at home full time, courtesy of a redundancy package from the bank. He was cloth nappied, breastfed and slung, because it was easier. When he got to big to be comfortably carried in a sling, he graduated to an Ergo Baby Carrier, I <3 my ergo 🙂 And he didn’t bite, so he self weaned somewhere around 2 and a bit.
He was a very easy baby though, and everything AP-style I did with him, I did because it was easier.
I don’t really understand when ppl are surprised by parenting in response to babies’ needs. It’s the way we are set up. My personal opinion is that breastfeeding on demand is likely to lead to fewer ppl with food issues – it surely can’t be helpful to start life by fooling the appetite by overfeeding to a schedule determined by someone other than the individual concerned? (which is not to say that I think formula should be banned and all mothers forced to breastfeed, I still think the most important thing for a happy healthy baby is a happy healthy mother and breastfeeding does not agree with all women!) Carrying babies makes them feel more secure, so surely will lead to more confident children, generally speaking. And cloth nappies just don’t ruin the planet 😉
So to soa and the slinging. I’m not slinging her although I do have a ring sling or two around. This is because the physio said it was a bad idea – I’ve only just discovered that the root of the pain I’ve had in my hip most of my adult life is down to legs that are markedly different lengths. So I have a heel lift in one shoe, and I’m supposed to avoid any activities that would load my body unevenly, and wearing a sling would definitely fall in that category.
Instead, I’m wrapping 🙂 I was rather intimidated by the length of stretchy fabric to begin with, but with assistance from a handy friend and that stubbonness I referred to above, I got it cracked. Baby loves it, my back and hip love it, I love it. It’s warm for her, comfortable for me, and raises eyebrows wherever we go. Can’t lose really. I don’t often wear it just around the house, but have done in order to get stuff done, soa generally sleeps once she’s installed, as long as I keep moving, so it’s got to be good for the exercising too?
So, does all of this make me an attachment parent? Nope, it just makes me who I am. Each of my choices, to my mind, flows logically from a consideration of the best for babe and for me. And yes, sometimes I am tired, and emotional and would dearly love to be able to hand the baby to someone else and clear off for 12 hours sleep. But I know that this too will pass, and baby days will all too swiftly be forgotten. Unless I blog them 😉