I have loved being pregnant! Also I have loved preparing for the birth of our baby girl and how we are going to parent her in her first year. I have read books, talked with experienced mommies who I highly respect, Rob and I have discussed it at length what our belief systems are, and have read as many peer reviewed medical studies as possible *Note the keyword “peer reviewed”*.
So after eight months of reading, research, and a little prayer, we have a really good idea of how we want to raise our baby. Rob and I have deeply engrained in us what type of parents we want to be. We have a plan on where she will sleep, how long I plan on breastfeeding and what age we plan on weaning. We know when and how under what situation she will be baby worn, if/when she will cry it out, and if we will sleep train and at what age. These plans we made are flexible as we may have to do some adjustments based on her personality and needs.
And now I am not going to share ANY of our decisions with you! Why? Because it has been very clear to me in the last 6th months that there is a war against attachment parents and parents who choose to ferberize. Not only that but parents become extremely defensive of their choice. Even worse they think how THEY have chosen to raise their children is the magic way all parents should do it.
I have heard many attachment parents say over and over, “if you let your baby cry it out then they will stop communicating their needs.” Say that to any parent and they will be heartbroken for being such neglectful parents. I’ve heard Ferberizers criticize the harm that attachment parents are creating by not teaching their children independence and boundaries
I recently had a saw a very sad moment on Facebook when a mommy I know asked to borrow the book “Baby Wise” – if you are not familiar it is a book about babies and schedules. That was her only question was hunting down this book so she didn’t have to go out and purchase it. There was over 40 comments from other moms saying why she should not practice schedules and just go with the flow. That she should just absorb every moment with her child. All great advice but this was unsolicited advice. She was not asking for help, she was not asking for opinions, she was asking for a book. Here is another problem: these commenters are NOT the mother of this child. This mommy knows if her baby thrives under schedules or if he thrives with a more attachment style, this mommy is with her baby 24/7. She knows how he does best during the day and in the evening. All these mommies know who are giving advice is what work best for THEIR OWN CHILDREN.
So why the battle? I think the battle stems from the fact these styles are so different and there is valid research to support them both. That attachment parents believe letting a child cry it out is cruel and ferberizing parents thing that attachment creates children who lack independence and “wild children”.
When it boils down to it, we are all just trying to do what is best for our babies. A mother’s love is so strong that she would never do anything to hurt her child, she is just simply doing the best she can to raise the healthiest child possible.
No matter how you parent your child, I am proud of you. Parenting is the most selfless act. The love you have for your child usually means you would never do ANYTHING to harm your precious babe. Also every babes have different needs and some even with special needs where parenting style must be adjusted.
Example: I can’t do sleep with my baby. The pain meds I am required to take at night for chronic pain make me fear I would roll on top of her and a horrible accident would happen – hell I’ve even rolled onto my dog several times. Instead she is in a Moses Bassinet one foot away from me. It’s not because I’m a heartless mother but because I know this is the safest thing for my child.
So instead of tearing down each other and judging, how about we support and celebrate our differences! Why don’t we acknowledge how hard parenting is and realize we are all just trying to do our best. We have to know they all babies are different and require different needs! Even better, let’s celebrate the love we have as parents and the joy we found in our children. Our loving goal to create happy, healthy, selfless adults.