Why Emily Ditched Attachment Parenting

Attachment Parenting worked in some ways for Emily @Holistic Squid...but not in others.

This is a photo she made:

Is-Attachment-Parenting-Ruining-Your-LIfe

Photo © HolisticSquid.com

Attachment Parenting worked for me. It pretty much rocked and I'd say it worked for me...mostly. There are a few techniques I'd adjust next time around, and a bit more balance I'd bring into it all.

As Emily has with her 2nd baby.

In any case I'm genuinely interested to hear what you think about Emily's blog post:

Why We Ditched Attachment Parenting

Please hop on over to Holistic Squid, read the whole thing, and then hop back on over here and tell me what you thought in the Comments section below....

xx Andrea

Loved this post? Here are a few more:

Andrea Olson

About Andrea Olson

I'm Andrea and I spend most of my time with my 3 children (5, 2, and 5 months) and the rest of my time teaching other new parents how to do Elimination Communication with their 0-18 month babies. I love what I do and try to make a difference in one baby or parent's life every single day.

37 Comments

  1. Andrea Jane Loubert Perry on December 11, 2012 at 2:06 pm

    Uh. Ok I think some people take AP way to literally. They think that if they just do the Bs perfectly for like two years it will all be great. What is more important is the overall philosophy of AP, you know, responding to your infant and toddler, not using coercion or punishment, being respectful, treating kids like they are the humans they are. If you read up on it, like actually read Dr. Sear’s book cover to cover, you find that he’s actually very open to doing what is right for your family, which might mean skipping some of the Bs. Personally I did very little baby wearing, it just hurt my back too much and my son was born in summer, so it was too hot to hold him that way. We got a stroller and it was amazing. But I still consider myself an AP mom, I didn’t flunk out of AP momdom because I rarely babywore. You can formula feed and still be an AP mom. Not EVERY AP mom bedshares. The Bs are just tools for in case you are feeling disconnected from your child, you can go back to them to help that connection. I loved AP when I read about it because it was so open, it was the first place where I saw anyone write about how it’s OK to bedshare, in fact it might make your life easier. Not everyone’s life, but I think I got more sleep than most moms for that first year of my sons life because I coslept, not in spite of it. AP is made out to be this exclusive cult but if you actually read the books and go to the parent meetings and play groups, you find that it really is not. Everyone is different, everyone does things slightly differently, and we ALL make plenty of mistakes.

    • Andrea Olson on December 11, 2012 at 4:36 pm

      Yes, Andrea…I totally agree with you as well. I also slept very well for the first year of my son’s life, but the more I look back, the more I wonder: did he get as much sleep as he needed? Is that why he was so fussy? Once he moved to his own bed he was all of a sudden a champion sleeper…and much happier in day to day life. Yes, I’ve read Attachment Parenting by Dr. Sears from cover to cover…multiple times through. And I do agree that he lays it out as a wonderful menu that you can choose from and customize to the t. Unfortunately, I think that this must be coming from *somewhere*…this pressure to be 100% “something.” Am I making any sense at all?! :o) Thanks so much for contributing to the conversation Andrea! xx Andrea

  2. amy on December 11, 2012 at 3:28 pm

    Wow. Isn’t one of the main principles of API, balance? Also, just because you don’t co-sleep or baby wear doesn’t mean you are any less an ap parent. Geez. AP doesn’t mean literally attached to your kid every second of every day. It means loving your kid unconditionally, and being a responsive, gentle parent.

    • Andrea Olson on December 11, 2012 at 4:32 pm

      Hey Amy! It absolutely is. I’ve often wondered why Dr. Sears didn’t list it as the #1 of 8 Baby B’s. It’s like in our desire to be responsive and gentle we lose that part…that most important part…balance. Thanks for sharing your POV! <3 Andrea

    • Emily Bartlett on December 12, 2012 at 12:06 am

      HI Amy – I couldn’t agree more. BUT balance was never a principle stressed to me by AP parents or in any part of Dr. Sears book. It would have been WONDERFUL if “Beware of sleep trainers” was replaced by “Balance is key when it comes to parenting so make the best decisions that work for your family.”

      • Andrea Olson on December 16, 2012 at 7:10 pm

        Emily I agree with you wholeheartedly (and I still agree with Amy too…all at once)…..I was so sold that “Beware of Baby Trainers” was the hard-and-fast rule that I didn’t even glance at ANY other parenting advice…as much as some of it out there IS awesome (like Elizabeth Pantley’s The No Cry Sleep Solution) and could’ve fit my family situation much better than co-sleeping the whole 2 years (with a baby who really does sleep better by himself…who knew?!). But anyway…I just love how you nailed something I was trying to put my finger on. Thanks Emily! xx Andrea

  3. Audrey 'Huss' Charba on December 11, 2012 at 5:51 pm

    what does it mean to exclusively babywear?

    • Lana on December 13, 2012 at 5:00 pm

      I think it means you don’t use a stroller ever. But I could be wrong.. it’s the interpretation I get from some of the AP Nazi’s I have met online. Not all AP parents are jerks but A LOT of them are. Too bad if you have an injury or something.

      • Andrea Olson on December 16, 2012 at 8:42 pm

        Yep, far as I know it does mean that you only wear your baby and don’t use a stroller. Like I did for 18 mos until I moved into my mom’s house for a couple months in February! She had a Jeep stroller and my son ADORED it. Goodbye exclusive babywearing, hello “I love my stroller!” I had to get over some strange (inner?) stigma that I was no longer an AP purist. Some guilt and self judgment ensued. It was weird. But my son was so happy (and so was my back). And I do think my son and I had long since received the bulk of the value of wearing baby close to my heart…it was SO worth it. Funny that my ex refuses to use a stroller even at 28 mos…to maintain his image of being an AP dad. As if it were a status symbol. ;o) He is an example of “exclusive babywearing”. xx A

        • Lana on February 18, 2013 at 2:34 pm

          oh no!! not a stroller! totally gonna be scarred for life and end up lying on a shrinks couch when I’m 40 g saying “and after the stroller she tried to give me non organic grape juice”

          I do get it. My babe is now almost 11 months and I’m still nursing but only another month til he’s one and I am ecstatic though sad too. Part of me wants to go cold turkey on his birthday the other part is that familiar “oh.. my baby isn’t a baby anymore” sadness and I feel strongly compelled to keep at it because natural parents feed for a couple years minimum and the back lash and so on and so forth.. but I know that my being sane is better for him than anything else and it will be a better fit to feed him in another way,

          Plus if baby LIKES the stroller then he’s in there by his choice! not like your throwin him away he’s leaving you!

          • Lana on February 18, 2013 at 2:42 pm

            and it totally IS a status symbol. Just like breastfeeding. EVERYONE associates AP with breastfeeding and baby wearing and co-sleeping. Not using a pacifier or anything other than yourself as a comforter etc etc.
            My own point of view after using a paci is that well.. maybe some people don’t use one out of an internal need to be needed. Not all But some certainly. Because that lil piece of latex (one piece pacifier) was MY best friend. Forget the baby I needed the paci as a result of a kid who wouldn’t sleep without something in his mouth and he was so reflux prone so over filling that tum was a no no. Hello SLEEP…



  4. christinabaris on December 11, 2012 at 6:15 pm

    I think, AP is great. I love it. But when you stand alone with your baby, it’s a really hard job. Then the mother need a lot of self-abandonment. In my opinion the best way is to have personal tribe – grandparents, aunts, uncles, even a social network – which support the mother in baby caregiving and in doing the housework of daily life. Life can be so much easier.

    I like this article http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2012/mar/07/selfish-cooperation-existence .

    Greetings from Germany! :)

    Christina – windelfrei.blog.de

    • Andrea Olson on December 16, 2012 at 10:51 pm

      Christina, I love this share – thank you!! I looked at the article and really appreciated this view of the human race. “…mothers in hunter-gatherer tribes needed help, especially from older women, to cope with child-rearing and to supplement the food brought back by hunters. The babies most likely to survive would have been good at eliciting support, showing pro-social tendencies and emotions.” and “infants willingly co-operate with people they do not know.” So interesting!! Thanks so much for your input and greetings to Germany. :) xx Andrea

  5. Bonnie on December 11, 2012 at 7:11 pm

    Articles like that really annoy me. How does she know any of those issues in her son were specifically created by AP? He sounds like a very high needs baby, one that probably would be challenging regardless of parenting style. There is no mention that medical or other reasons were investigated for the constant screaming, he may have had reflux, sensitivities to some type of food or something, as a ‘holistic health practitioner’ you would hope she investigated all these sorts of possibilities.

    As for her daughter sleeping through at 9 weeks, surely she should know that that is not good for the baby and can be an increased SIDS risk. You also can’t compare babies (even siblings) with each other like this. I know of many families who parent all their children the same way but the children all respond in different ways, some sleep through earlier than others, some are more confident than other etc. All babies are different, it may have been her daughter was always going to be an ‘easier’ baby just due to her personality and lack of any other issues.

    Common sense always has to prevail. If her back was really that bad and the baby didn’t like the sling why on earth would you continue and martyr yourself like that? She seems to have missed a lot of the point to AP and then swung to the other extreme and embraced Gina Ford or all people! The mind boggles!

    • Emily Bartlett on December 11, 2012 at 11:27 pm

      Hi Bonnie – I find it amusing that my article annoys you, since I was merely sharing my experience and opinion. Most likely if you met me in person, you would not be so judgmental.

      At the bottom of the post I write, “There is not one right way to parent a child. As such, each family needs
      to find the best methods that work for them. Hopefully this will
      include some attachment parenting principles such as skin-to-skin
      contact and breastfeeding, but co-sleeping vs. sleep training as well as baby wearing are simply personal choice.”

      If this doesn’t have enough common sense for you, perhaps you need to have your sense-meter checked.

      • Andrea Olson on December 16, 2012 at 11:51 pm

        Hey Emily! I am honored that you are over here on my blog posting in reply to others’ replies about your original post. Quite an honor. :) (Although I wish it were under slightly different circumstances.) Please read my additional reply to Bonnie, above, and I also have some things to say directly to ya (all positive btw).
        I do see that your article was *experience-based*…and I found it incredibly touching due to your raw honesty about what you went through with both children. I am a lover of story-telling and I think you told your story VERY well.
        A few days ago I got REAMED on Facebook about what I’d originally written in this blog post in reply to your post…about my honest EXPERIENCE of what I endured that resonated with pieces of your post. I think the FB woman thought I’d written *your* post (she must’ve been skimming) and it resulted in some hefty judgments as well. Did not feel good. So, I edited my post. I feel a little sheepish having done so, but the majority of my audience adheres (however strongly or weakly) to AP principles and *any* talk about the negative sides always stirs up emotions…understandably but also unfortunately.
        We all need support. We all try hard. We all have disappointments. Some are more open and honest than others, and receive whacks for it.
        Anyway, I am fine having edited it as I am more interested in what others have to say about it anyway, but I didn’t want it to become about you…but more about the practice of AP. So there’s that.
        I absolutely did read what you quoted above and funny enough…that is EXACTLY what stuck with me. I felt open to receiving your overall message…and this last bit is incredibly WISE.

        Thank you so much for writing an honest portrayal, and for all of you reading this out here, I do NOT (and neither does Emily) endorse CIO or other harsh methods of child-rearing.

        But I DO believe in the power of choosing your own path…common sense intact…and I trust YOU all to do what feels best for YOUR child and your family. All personal choices. (And, like Emily, I do hope that it includes as much AP as you wish!)

        Thanks so much Emily! xx Andrea

    • Amy on December 11, 2012 at 11:30 pm

      You must have missed this when she said “Each baby has a unique temperament, and every child will respond differently to different methods. There is not one right way to parent a child. As such, each family needs to find the best methods that work for them. Hopefully this will include some attachment parenting principles such as skin-to-skin contact and breastfeeding, but co-sleeping vs. sleep training as well as baby wearing are simply personal choice.”

      This was simply her experience with AP…so I’m not sure why it would annoy you? You asked “How does she know any of those issues in her son were specifically created by AP?” Well how do YOU know they weren’t? AP wasn’t working for their son so they changed methods & found something that worked. And that’s what matters.

      • Andrea Olson on December 16, 2012 at 11:56 pm

        Amy…thanks so much for adding to this conversation. Your reply is very well thought out and makes a lot of sense. It is true that it is “easier to read the label from outside of the bottle”…we can all posit our opinions about this woman but we don’t really know the truth of things because it wasn’t any of US. It’s being in this place of not knowing that is difficult for most of us….and some lash out because they know not what else to do. I agree…AP was not working for their son so they found something that worked. And their children are both very happy. Dr. Sears wrote this a lot “a happy Mother is a happy baby.” Emily definitely achieved that…and my wish is that we all do! No matter “how”…because no one visiting this site (or hers) is the type to abuse their children. There is a distinct difference between neglect/abuse and making hard decisions about parenting that positively impact the whole family. So, yes, thanks for chiming in Amy! xx Andrea

    • Erin on December 14, 2012 at 1:44 pm

      I think what is a bit annoying about the article, is the title, and the sense of victimization that it conveys. Naturally, it’s helpful for authors to pick provocative titles, and I think the author did a great job on that count. But I have to agree with the previous poster here…in a world where strollers are abundant who bears the responsibility for baby wearing until one’s back gives out? Is it really fair to put that on Dr. Sears or whoever these hyper-judgmental AP people are? And although I’m not sure the author directly implied this, other than through the title, there’s plenty of moms who haven’t even heard of AP whose babies don’t nap.

      All of that said, Dr. Sears’ tone also annoys me a bit. I haven’t read the attachment parenting book, but I have read big chunks of the baby book, and I found him a little less than balanced. My baby has an intense need to suck, I mean, I know they all do, but I’ve seen other babies, and my baby has it a little more intensely than many others. Dr. Sears’ take on pacifiers, first that they can lead to nipple confusion (fair enough), but second he throws something in there like “wouldn’t you rather comfort your baby yourself rather than use a piece of plastic.” He basically says suck it up. That struck me as somewhat unhelpful, and after doing some research and realizing the guy has like 8 or 9 kids and has veered from being a sort of convservative roman catholic to being an evangelical christian and back to the catholic church…well, I think you have to take that into account when you read his stuff. I mean, it’s great that it all worked for him and Martha, but his religion and lifestyle must have some effect on how he reads and interprets the research.

      The problem, ultimately, is the atomization and sense of isolation in our society. We don’t have that tribe of elders and sisters standing by to help us. It’s easy to feel a little insecure as a new parent, and to cling a little too tightly to something that appeals to us. My recommendation is “They F*ck You Up” by Oliver James, (as well as his follow-up, “How not to f*ck them up”) fun to read and offers some well researched ideas without a lot of super specific details to get people all riled up about.

      • Erin on December 14, 2012 at 2:10 pm

        I see now, the title I was referring to is a subtitle (?)…”Is AP ruining your life?”

        • Andrea Olson on December 16, 2012 at 11:35 pm

          I figured that was the title you were referring to. Yes, the image+text is quite over the top but I think it’s done in a great way. Like poetic or something. Drama. It certainly got me to read the post. :) But, back to what amazing points you brought up, Erin.
          I do really LOVE this part you added: “It’s easy to feel a little insecure as a new parent, and to cling a little too tightly to something that appeals to us.” Nailed it with that one. Thank you for saying something that I was trying to articulate myself. It must be something inside that mind of the new parent, desperate for the answer to “how not to f*ck them up (ironically!)…as it was for me. I do think a lot of the details can trigger. And I also do think that Dr. Sears sets the tone that his is the be-all, end-all answer for most things. Have you seen my blog post on Dr. Sears being wrong about diaper rash? Case in point:
          http://ecsimplified.com/why-dr-sears-is-wrong-about-diaper-rash-elimination-communication-cures-it/
          Thanks so much for contributing to the conversation here! :) Andrea

      • Andrea Olson on December 16, 2012 at 11:57 pm

        Btw…thanks for offering those two books as resources, Erin! I’m going to check them out right away. xxxx

    • Andrea Olson on December 16, 2012 at 11:40 pm

      Sorry this article annoyed Bonnie, and I appreciate you chiming in with your thoughts on the topic. Yes, all babies, even within the same family are different…and I do agree that a mother needs to set boundaries for herself. AND…being sleep-deprived is an absolutely awful state to be in, limiting all sorts of things, especially brain functioning, as Emily pointed out in her post. I am certain that Emily, being a responsible parent herself, weighed all of her options and the possible causes and outcomes of her actions. She cared enough to AP in the first place, right? We ALL do our very, very best and I am sure if you met Emily in person that you’d feel a bit differently. I also have a bad back and wore my baby through 18 months…but he loved it. It was the ONLY thing I could think of to console him…and I never tried a stroller because The AP Book so encouraged babywearing…and I stuck fast to believing that was the only way, and if I considered a stroller it’d bust up my identity factor (and god forbid I’d harm my child by not wearing him!!! no way!). So, I wore him much to my back’s detriment. I can relate. But I do believe that we should cull and harvest tools from various places, as WISDOM lies in unlikely places. She did say that baby #2 was sleep trained without a cry in the world, and that she does not agree with Ford’s feeding schedule ideas and opinions. So, I’d say that she was indeed using her common sense but I can also see why you think she wasn’t. And I wasn’t when it was me doing it despite my back. But I WAS doing my best. So…some stuff to chew on. Thanks for your input Bonnie!!! xx Andrea

  6. mommaof4 on December 12, 2012 at 7:54 am

    makes perfect sense & I can totally relate…if I had to do it all over again I would follow my instincts more & tell my MIL to wank off!

    • Andrea Olson on December 16, 2012 at 11:12 pm

      You are too funny!! Thanks for the laugh. But seriously…I am happy to read this. Funny how we don’t really know we HAD instincts til after the fact. But that they would’ve been right…every time…is telling. :) xx Andrea

  7. Lana on December 13, 2012 at 4:51 pm

    I wanted to co-sleep but was afraid to because my mum had 5 kids and the ones she slept with still slept with her at ages 8 (my sister after which she began locking the door) and then a DECADE later my younger brothers stopped sleeping with my parents aged 9 years and 11 years vs my older brother and myself sleeping all night in our little bassinet.
    Anyway long story short my first would ONLY sleep in his bassinet, he hated anything “soothing” except for wrapping and a pacifier. The more I tried to get him to go to sleep in my arms the more he screamed. I discovered this on his 5th day of life when out of sheer desperation I wrapped him gave the pacifier and put him down before I had a meltdown and he rolled over and went to sleep! He slept 7:30pm- 6am from then on, I also took to feeding him every two hours during the day but none at night and NEVER to sleep.

    2nd time around my little munchkin was completely different in personality and unless he is right against me I’m too far away. We use a side car arrangement of a crib with drop rail removed and he sleeps in there and is happy. I love most of the AP principals but would never call myself one because like Emily I find them to be very nasty to anyone who doesn’t do everything exactly the same as them. I prefer the term “gentle parent”

    • Lana on December 13, 2012 at 5:09 pm

      I’d also like to mention I breastfed my first until he was 27 months old and that meant tandem nursing until my 2nd was 6 months old which was awesome because he was a very gentle and happy feeder, my youngest is almost 9 months old and I often RESENT having to feed him because he is rough and constantly bites me, he even split my breast open from aureola to nipple tip which required stitches. I am still breastfeeding but if he doesn’t start behaving- I will wean him at 12 months unashamedly. As it is he gets expressed milk in a cup every second day because if I nursed him everyday I’d cut my boobs off with a kitchen knife.

      • Andrea Olson on December 16, 2012 at 11:10 pm

        OUCH!!! Wow, I am in full and complete support of you weaning if your babe doesn’t become gentler with your parts. I commend you for making it this far. So sorry this is happening, Lana. I’m feeling for you over here. Thanks so much for sharing your perspective and experience on cosleeping with two very different kiddos. Just goes to show that Emily’s comment (above) about what the balance advice could sound like is, indeed, true. It depends on the family’s needs, the parents’ needs, and the baby’s needs to find out what works for which child and parent…and when. Thanks for sharing your experience. And I totally resonate with loving the AP principles but fearing lashback if you’re not in line with everything to the “t”…..at first I was thinking that this just came from inside my own head but then I recalled many a time back in Berkeley when mothers would reprimand me for various behaviors and actions that they deemed to be not in-line with their AP (or even gentle) parenting dogma. It was very discouraging and very, well, violent! Ironic. But yes, the principles themselves are for the most part wonderful, and I base a lot of my EC book on them. :) Andrea

  8. Alexis on December 15, 2012 at 4:45 am

    In my opinion, I think there are too many titles on how to be a mommy. It gets too confusing and overwhelming for some. I just think a mom should parent as if she were on a deserted island, and make her choices based on what she feels is best for her child. Honestly though, usually what I do is ask myself, how did mothers raise their babies back in the day, before their was “options”?? I think we should get back to those days. No mother should feel pressured or guilty for not parenting the “right” way, because there is only one way, and that is how you choose to interact and love your child. But to the author: I think that there are lots of factors that contribute to the differences in your children and the ways you did parenting. For instance, their personalities and your experience. With your son you never had any hands on. And when your daughter came along you had all those months of hands on experience. And as far as your back.goes, maybe you needed a different way of carrying?? And also, Chiropractor Care is amazing! :) I don’t want to sound like I am arguing with you, I just want everyone to know that I find it kinda ridiculous that there has to be titles and such. As far as I am concerned…the title is MOM. :) Thanks for sharing your stories. Side note- ai can’t wait to have a homebirth! :)

    • Andrea Olson on December 16, 2012 at 10:58 pm

      I can’t wait for you to have a homebirth too!! Mine was awesome. And hard. But whatever…they’re all hard in some way, aren’t they? :) Good luck! And, yes, Alexis, there are way too many titles on how to be a mommy. We are very far removed from our parenting wisdom and roots and even our intuition (as I outline a bunch in EC Simplified, in fact). And we must remember that Emily had and has the best intentions with her children just as we do…and that there are a bunch of parents who do resonate with her article that are keeping quiet for fear of a ‘whacking’…we can be supportive of everyone. :) And surely agreeing with you that chiro can be amazing!!!! Thanks so much for chiming in! And here-here to throwing out the titles!!!!!!! xx Andrea

  9. Kathey on December 16, 2012 at 12:07 am

    I just finished ‘Our Babies, Ourselves’ by Meredith Small about how biology and culture shape the way parenting happens all over the world. I learned how obsessed with our babies sleeping we are in the west. And it’s true! That’s all I saw in this woman’s article. In other parts of the world it is considered pathological if a baby sleeps more than 6 hours…and in the US many babies are doing that by 3 months! We practice AP and at times have felt out of balance. But this book gave me an attitude adjustment. We’ve given up a lot in our family to raise our son with a deep level of connection, but think we can make this type of parenting work at a pretty heavy level of AP…I mean we EC full time!…because I can be with my son all day; don’t have to get to an office in the morning. I can see how when both parents or a single parent has to get on with their life they could burn out pretty fast.
    And I was confused with the article…it sounded like she was co-sleeping but then kept referring to her son’s bed. When I think co-sleeping I think they are in bed with you…that’s what has worked for us. Our guy doesn’t want to sleep alone..even if it’s two feet away from me on a ‘co-sleeper’. And nature hasn’t designed them to do that for a while but our society expects them to. I strongly recommend Meredith Smalls book….hard to put down it’s so fascinating!

    • Andrea Olson on December 16, 2012 at 10:55 pm

      Thanks Kathey!! I will definitely pick up a copy of that book…they have it at my library and I was wondering about what it was all about. I read Emily’s article as her son coslept but is now in a separate bed, and that it took a lot of tears to get that to happen. I moved my son onto a separate bed in same room at first and then into his own bed and room soon after and he seemed to be the type of baby who wanted to sleep alone, and perhaps from MUCH earlier on than I was willing to see. Looking back, we both got terrible sleep from about 6 mos on. I also full time ECed and can feel ya! I could do the intensive parenting styles, and it was awesome. And then when he and I were ready to transition it was kinda hard in some areas…esp within my own thoughts if that makes sense. But yeah I do think babies are designed to sleep with us but that if my next baby is anything like my first I might try to separate our sleep spaces earlier using Pantley or some other resource. Ford seems a little suspect. Dunno. Anyway, I am glad you posted. xx Andrea PS – which book gave you an attitude adjustment? :o)

      • Kathey on December 17, 2012 at 1:11 pm

        Our Babies Ourselves for an attitude adjustment. Especially on sleeping, crying and caretaking…or more so the reality of the burden of it as nature intended it to be. It’s good to hear your’s and other’s story on transitions. 4.5 months in I can already fell my own resistance to their approach. Like when my son no longer needed to sleep on my chest as he did for the first 3 months. In regards to this woman’s article though I just feel that we should never let babies cry it out. It breaks a parent’s heart for a reason…it’s breaking the babies heatr and it’s not meant to be. I think it only gets better because the babies learn no one is coming to help them. And that lack of trust in people isn’t what humans need. Especially in the wake of the recent shooting at the elementary school, why would you not want to hold your babies as much as you can while you can and while nature intended us to? It’s really only about 3 years out of their entire lives, not much in the grand scheme. I have an extreme view I know, but I just feel that our western society, with all it’s schedules and careers is thriving at the cost of proper parenting, leaving holes in hearts and communities until we are all strangers, many suffering alone. There is no greater gift than full-time mothering; for our babies, ourselves and our society. The woman’s lib movement lost that in claiming power. Extreme I know, but I think true. You might also enjoy ‘Whole Child, Whole Parent’ about the perfection of it all. Quite spiritual, but necessary. Thanks for responding and starting conversation! KM

        • Andrea Olson on December 19, 2012 at 8:18 pm

          I totally agree with you Kathey – CIO is horrid. Emily, the original writer of the post, did not do CIO – she used a sleep training technique and here and in other articles of hers she mentions that her daughter didn’t cry at all. She simply taught her how to fall asleep on her own by getting her all ready for bed and then laying her down somewhat awake. So, just to clarify that little point. CIO is not part of Emily’s existence. Nor mine for that matter! I totally agree with what you write and I don’t think you’re being extreme. I for one am extremely interested in more balance, though, and not repeating a lot of things that went awry with AP and my son. And I am reading up on ways to achieve this. More to come soon, I hope! I will dutifully write back on what I’ve discovered. I think a blend of the good in all things is a good place to start. :) Thank you for the additional book suggestion – will definitely check it out! Thank YOU for conversing. Please post if you have more thoughts. :) xx Andrea

  10. Baz_mommy on December 19, 2012 at 8:13 pm

    I have had a great experience co-sleeping with my son, but totally agree with all the comments that it depends on your child’s needs and personality. I had the opposite experience as the blogger. I am a big fan of attachment parenting but also a balanced approach. I knew I was going back to work at 6 mos. so I was hoping to he would be sleeping through the night in his own bed by that time, so not planning on co-sleeping long-term. In fact, several people recommended to me to get him used to sleeping on his own and sleeping through the night early on so that there would be no transition to worry about later, such as what the blogger said she did with her second baby, and that was my plan. But it just wouldn’t work for him. We had a co-sleeper attached to the bed for the first 4 mos. and he would wake up and cry at night if sleeping in that (even though he was right next to me and I even draped my hand over onto him) but he would not wake up and cry at night if he was 6 inches over next to me on my mattress (he would wake, but would go immediately back to sleep after eating). He was never a good sleeper or good napper, and slept considerably less that the books said he should. I tried every single method that was suggested to me to get him to sleep longer (swaddling, extra feeding before bed, changing bedtime, consistent routine, sleeping in own bed, etc, etc), that other mom’s insisted would work because it worked for their kids, but none of it worked for him. In the end the only thing that worked for him to sleep longest and cry least was co-sleeping, and I think that was his way of saying that’s what he needed to meet his needs. It turned out to be the way we all got the best sleep, so we gave up on the idea of transitioning him to his own bed. But I totally believe it is possible to still practice attachment parenting without co-sleeping if your baby does not need co-sleeping to meet their needs.

    • Andrea Olson on January 12, 2013 at 6:05 pm

      Thanks for sharing your experience! I think you make a really great point that, no matter what other moms do, all babies are so different. One size doesn’t fit all. It’s great to know there are indeed so many options for sleep…but to find the one that works perfectly for *you* is priceless! Thanks!! xx Andrea

  11. GreenMomma on February 3, 2013 at 6:21 pm

    Every baby is different. After reading this article, I felt very offended initially. AP, breastfeeding, ECing, co-sleeping, baby-wearing has worked for us (my son is now 19 months) and I am excited to start again as we are expecting a little girl in April. I think people need to remember EVERY BABY IS DIFFERENT and our roles as mothers is to nurture and love our babies which means observing what works and doesn’t work for baby. Yes, we might be sleep deprived for a few years but we will live. I shuttered when I read that her-however-month-old was sleeping 7 straight hours without a feeding (yikes). But parenting now a days is all about convenience… does it fit into my schedule… does it allow me to continue to live my life as I want to live it, etc. I think us westerners need to study the ‘underdeveloped” countries’ parenting styles (such as Africa)… mothers go about their daily chores while wearing baby and (gasp) baby never wears a diaper and is usually “potty trained” (as we like to call it here) by 9 months. They live simply, no each child has their own bedroom nonsense. I really think her knock on AP was uncalled for. Simply state that certain things didn’t work for them but don’t bad mouth a parenting style that reaps so many benefits for the child.

Leave a Comment