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  • new... need some encouragement...

    I am so glad I found this forum because sometimes I feel like I am pretty much alone in this...

    I have a 7 month old baby girl and I am an attachment mother.
    I was NEVER planning on attachment parenting before my daughter was born but then I somehow turned into one and I enjoyed it and to this day I mostly do but there's some days where I almost envy parents whose babies fall asleep on their own in their own crib, who take bottles and who are able to self soothe.
    My daugher is doing none of these things... she only sleeps in our bed, she wants to be held a lot and she loves to breastfeed and absolutely refuses bottles and pacifiers (but at least she loves solids)
    I am also starting to notice that she is extremely attached to me. Maybe too much? I am not sure... I am pretty much the only person who has been around her pretty much every second of her life from the moment she was born (my husband is in the military and therefore gone a lot) so it's only natural that she is very attached to me but I am just a bit worried that she might cling to me too much...
    She just got her first tooth and of course she already bit me a couple of times and it HURTS. I know she is not doing it on purpose but now I am almost scared to breastfeed because I am worried she might bite me again...
    And the co-sleeping... I don't even think I could sleep without her next to me any more and I know for a fact that she can't... I sometimes try putting her in her crib (that we put in our bedroom now right next to our bed) when she's in her deepest sleep and what happens? She wakes up and refuses to go back to sleep until I take her back in our bed with me and then she goes back to sleep right away...
    I am just worried that if I keep letting her sleep in our bed, she will still be there when she's 4 (no offense to those whose kids do or did)

    I am just torn... I only want the best for my daughter and attachment parenting has worked for us so far but sometimes it is just so draining and I wish I had a little more time to myself, especially because I go to college and really needed some more time to study...

    I just need some encouragement...
    Sorry that this ended up being so long...
    Thanks for reading

  • #2
    Mine is only 4 mo, but I already don't sleep well if she's not beside me. Every now & then, if we've had a rough night, my husband will take her so I can get some sleep. Every time I have trouble getting to sleep & don't get good sleep. I think our sleep cycles are in sync & now I need her as much as she needs me! And you know what? That's completely fine! Wouldn't have it any other way (although ask me again in a few months, hee!).

    I don't really have advice, just wanted to share my experiences!

    Comment


    • #3
      Hello novembermommy83,
      First of all lets find you some local AP folks so you don't feel isolated. Texas groups---call the nearest, even if its not in your area -they might know someone in it -----Texas is big I know! http://www.attachmentparenting.org/groups/webtx.php

      There are some great books you should get your hands on. I really like Our Babies, Ourselves: How Biology and Culture Shape the Way We Parent

      With the sleeping thing, remember that abrupt change is unsettling to babies. You could keep laying her in her crib for a quick 'visit' just for her and you to get practice at sleeping in there. Just because you pick her up when she is unhappy and bring her back into bed, does not mean she will not eventually see the crib as a safe place to sleep. I have done a similar method with both my sons. It was slow and gradual ( over many weeks) and I still always remove my new one when he fusses. I can assure you with gently guidance your child will sleep in his own bed when he is ready. If you are wondering about the long term wisdom of co-sleeping, look at What are the long term effects on my baby of sharing a bed?

      I am also starting to notice that she is extremely attached to me. Maybe too much?
      Oh this is so wonderful and never too much, especially at 4mo old! You may be feeling like you long for more independent time and that can be harder on an attached parent in the earlier months. It is most healthy for her and shows how emotionaly connected and safe she feels.
      This is from the Respond with Sensitivity API principle
      -Needs and the Benefits of Responding with Sensitivity
      -Babies' brains are immature and significantly underdeveloped at birth, and they are unable to soothe themselves
      -Through the consistent, repeated responsiveness of a compassionate adult, children learn to soothe themselves
      -Some babies and children appear more sensitive to the environment and stimulation -Understand your child's natural inner rhythms, and try to schedule around them
      -It is perfectly normal for babies to want constant physical contact
      -High levels of stress, such as during prolonged crying, cause a baby to experience an unbalanced chemical state in the brain and can place him at risk for physical and emotional problems later in life
      -Symptoms of burnout or inability to cope with baby's needs are signals that extra support and/or professional help are necessary
      Click Here for all of the principles

      Keep asking questions, find some local people, and give that baby a smile for me!
      Last edited by naomifrederickmd; 06-28-2008, 07:02 AM.

      Comment


      • #4
        your story is echoed throughout this forum. most of us either are in or have been there, so know that you are not alone. i ditto that the attachment is good. i would worry about my child if he WERENT attached to me. this is the foundation of a lifelong relationship.

        when people present their fears to me about children in the family bed too long or bfing forever, i say "if he comes home from a date and climbs in bed to nurse, i'll start to worry."

        naomi gave you lots of great info, please come back for more support.

        Comment


        • #5
          I'm very new here and my little guy is only a month old. I just wanted to say good for you for being such a good mom so far and building such a great bond with your baby. I look forward to the time where mine starts showing me he's attached to me a bit more. Do you have any friends or family who could come to your house and watch your little one? I have noticed that if I have my mom or husband in the same room with me while I'm doing some cooking or just relaxing and they hold the baby everyone is happy. He is still right by mommy but gets to interract with other family and as much as I adore baby wearing sometimes you just need to give your back and arms a rest not to mention how hot it gets in the summer with a small body snuggled to you. Just know you are doing great and keep it up. She will become more independent but then that has it's own challenges.

          Comment


          • #6
            Hi November Mommy, I am in the same boat as you. My 7 month old refuses to let anybody else hold or entertain her. Its all me, all the time. I do worry that she isn't better socialized. But all she knows is me. With her dad at work most of the day, she just can't have the same level of trust in him. He leaves her where I don't. It is very tiring sometimes. And even though I love that she trusts me so implicitly, I do wish that I could share that.

            I keep reminding myself that I only have a baby for a very short time. Her first year is nearly over already I know I don't have any advice, but it helps me to know that others are in the same boat.

            Comment


            • #7
              Oh my, I so know the "only mama" phenomenon! I wish I could share my 7 month old daughter's trust with others too. But I keep reminding myself that one day all this closeness and attachment to me will help her grow into a confident, kind, loving person. It may take longer than the three years that most books say is the time that the little ones take flight, but it will happen!

              big hugs to all you mothers
              sabrina

              Comment


              • #8
                We're about to hit the sixth month mark on Sunday and boy oh boy, there are times when I wish we had taken the easy route and let him cry to get used to his crib, or other people's arms, or the playpen, etc. But thankfully I've got lots of support from my DH so those thoughts are fleeting. It also helps to come on here and be reassured that the extra work we do now to build those close relationships will benefit us later in life.

                Comment


                • #9
                  I wish we had taken the easy route and let him cry to get used to his crib
                  This is never easy even for those parents that do it! Its a difficult lesson for the babies to learn also. Its not easier for them!
                  Lets put that idea to rest!

                  AP methods can appear harder because of the time and emotional investment needed from the parents perspective, but its always better for the babies.
                  Last edited by naomifrederickmd; 11-06-2008, 12:58 PM.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by novembermommy83 View Post
                    I am also starting to notice that she is extremely attached to me. Maybe too much? I am not sure... I am pretty much the only person who has been around her pretty much every second of her life from the moment she was born (my husband is in the military and therefore gone a lot) so it's only natural that she is very attached to me but I am just a bit worried that she might cling to me too much...
                    My husband is also in the military and has spent the better part of the last four years away from home. Being away from someone you love is hard enough when you are well rested and only have your own needs to attend to. Then you add a little person to the mix who also has needs. She has learned to trust that you will always be there for her. You are the one daily constant for her and that attachment is important. I believe it helps foster an attachment to dad (when he is home). Being in the military is hard work for, not only the service member, but for the families as well. I hope your husband is able to enjoy some time home with both of you.

                    Originally posted by novembermommy83 View Post
                    She just got her first tooth and of course she already bit me a couple of times and it HURTS. I know she is not doing it on purpose but now I am almost scared to breastfeed because I am worried she might bite me again...
                    OUCH! DD3 was a biter for a few weeks and I was also scared everytime she nursed. I slowly began to see the clues she was giving just prior to clamping down. We breastfed in a room where there weren't any distractions (for me) so I could watch for her clues. I often wonder if my being tense caused the biting to continue longer than it otherwise would have. The biting stopped and we can now nurse without any problems.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      First, good for you for reaching out for support! And for being an attached parent. It is a commitment and it will carve your character. I've become someone with a lot more integrity and compassion for the world around me. It's been a great journey thus far.

                      My DD is 26 months. when she was 9 months and under I think I bought just about every contraption under the sun that swore it would get her to sleep. So that I could sleep more during the night....I even bought the Amby bed for her on the Dr. Sears website in the middle of the night while visiting family. The best place that I could place her to ensure that we both slept?.....in bed with me. None of those things worked, well the swing worked for a while. My cousin did the sleep method training with her dd who is 4 months older than my DD. I notice differences in the cousins as far as security, confidence, attachment, and speech development.

                      It won't always be this way. This to shall pass. I know it doesn't feel like it but your child will be 2, 3, 4 before you know it. See if you can keep that in mind. Take naps when they do and find contentment in the very very simple things life has to offer. Don't worry about the rest of the stuff, it really isn't important. And I've found, for me, that Mother Guilt lasts much longer than sleepless nights. All that being said, do take care of yourself. It is amazing what an hour alone can do for your mood/mind.

                      What part of Texas are you in? I'm in Houston.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        I just wanted to say that I remember feeling like you, Novembermom, when my baby was that age, I was full of doubts and worries, this being my first child, being a single mom, and new to AP.... I was exhausted and very insecure about what I was doing. I think reading about AP and unconditional parenting, etc was very important for me.... (no support groups here)

                        My daughter is 2 now, she is very independent, organized (!!), sweet, and I could keep going.... she stopped using diapers at 1yr and 10 months by herself, she just didn't like them.... What I am trying to say is that what seems to be "to attached" for you right now will really pay off in the future.... and it definitively does not mean she will cling to you.... there will come a time where you will be chasing her for a kiss

                        my baby still breastfeeds and cosleeps... i have no partner so I don't worry about when she will sleep by herself.... but she does takes naps in the afternoon in her daybed.... (she wouldn't when she was younger)....

                        Remember that in the long run this will pay off!!!!

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          All I can say is that don't worry, you will get by with the situation you are in.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by novembermommy83 View Post
                            I am so glad I found this forum because sometimes I feel like I am pretty much alone in this...


                            My daugher is doing none of these things... she only sleeps in our bed, she wants to be held a lot and she loves to breastfeed and absolutely refuses bottles and pacifiers (but at least she loves solids)
                            I am also starting to notice that she is extremely attached to me. Maybe too much? I am not sure... I am pretty much the only person who has been around her pretty much every second of her life from the moment she was born (my husband is in the military and therefore gone a lot) so it's only natural that she is very attached to me but I am just a bit worried that she might cling to me too much...

                            You will see as she gets older that it's the complete opposite. The more attached the child, they more independent. it sounds like you don't have much support in this area, perhaps you are being criticized by family and friends? I had the same, MIL telling me that if I didn't "teach" my baby to be independant she would never become it. Really independance comes through attachment... Dr. Sears is a good book to start with, Gordon Neufeld too.

                            I had to laugh when I read your post because I am feeling the same way with dd1, will she ever sleep in her own bed, and she just turned 7! ha ha... I know this probably sounds crazy to you, but you will find that as the years go by things will change and it won't seem so strange. She seems almost ready to go in her own bed, but still has fear.

                            I loved Gordon Neufeld's comment in the course I took with him where he said with one of his first children he told him, "son you'r going to have to start sleeping in your own room soon" to which his son replied "why daddy? you don't sleep in your own room?"... it's human nature for us to want to be together when we are sleeping. I can't think of many mammals who sleep separate from their young.


                            Originally posted by novembermommy83 View Post
                            She just got her first tooth and of course she already bit me a couple of times and it HURTS. I know she is not doing it on purpose but now I am almost scared to breastfeed because I am worried she might bite me again...
                            ouch! I remember those days. You will find that the biting usually occurs when the babe is latching on or falling asleep, so you just need to be more aware of that, and as she falls asleep slip your finger in and unlatch her. It's abit of a re-training.

                            I remember an amazing comment from my La Leche League leader when a mother said she wanted to wean her 12 month old so that she could sleep all night... and the leader said "weaning a child does not mean you will no longer be night time parenting, and in fact sometimes it means less sleep for you because you need to comfort your child in a different way...



                            Originally posted by novembermommy83 View Post
                            I am just torn... I only want the best for my daughter and attachment parenting has worked for us so far but sometimes it is just so draining and I wish I had a little more time to myself, especially because I go to college and really needed some more time to study...

                            I just need some encouragement...
                            Sorry that this ended up being so long...
                            Thanks for reading
                            Just keep remembering that this too shall pass, and if you find you need some time to study, see if you can find other solutions, during the day time perhaps, if you can get someone to play with her so you can go to a coffee shop and study,... it's so much easier to get away during the day than at night time.


                            You definitely should find some like minded mamas in your area... go to a la leche league meeting (google la leche league) that will make all the difference if you can talk with other mamas who are going through similar issues... it's wonderful that you are not resisting your natural instincts...

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