Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Attachment something

I tend to approach every challenge in life as though I were preparing for a test in school: by studying up and reading everything I can find about it. It worked great when I was a student—I always did well on tests—but I'm not sure it's quite as effective when dealing with Real Life. Still, it's what I'm used to, so I keep doing it.

In keeping with this habit, lately I've been reading up on baby development like it's my job. Guys, I swear, I should've pursued a career in neurology. Infant neurological development is FASCINATING. I've been asking around for book recommendations (please leave your favorites in the comments!) and someone mentioned "The Baby Book" by Dr. Sears. I was interested, but before requesting it from the library, I decided to read the free preview chapter on Kindle.

It turns out that "The Baby Book" is about attachment parenting. Who knew? Well, you did, probably, so don't laugh, but I didn't. I also had no idea what attachment parenting was. I had vaguely heard of it from that ghastly Time magazine cover story a few years back, but pretty much all I knew was that it had something to do with not letting other people hold your baby? Maybe? And considering I love to pass off the baby to the welcome arms of friends and family, and my very social and extroverted baby loves it as much as I do, I was pretty sure this strange attachment-parenting thing was not for me.

So I innocently began reading the first chapter of "The Baby Book" and pretty much the first thing I found was a list of the seven principles of attachment parenting. I scanned down the list and stopped in surprise. The list included baby-wearing... co-sleeping... breastfeeding... belief in the signal value of baby's cries... woah. I practice all of those things.

I turned to Frank, who was sitting next to me on the couch. "Hey honey," I said. "I think we're attachment parenting." Great thing to figure out when your baby is nearly 3 months old. :p

We are definitely not super strict about following those principles, or any style of parenting—our philosophy still is, and always will be, the fancily-named but very low-key policy of adaptive response. But it is cool to know that there is a name for what we're doing! Have you ever had the experience of finding out belatedly that there is an official name for something you've been doing all along?

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