I have to admit that I thought attachment parenting and helicopter parenting were the same thing, which turns out to be a common misconception. I didn’t do a whole lot of research on parenting styles before or during pregnancy — I have taken a “do whatever feels right” kind of mantra. Somehow, we slid right into attachment parenting because it just felt completely natural. So natural that I can’t imagine doing things any other way! I was reluctant to label it (and I kind of still am) because I just feel like we are simply doing what feels good.
Our version of attachment parenting follows along pretty closely with everything in Dr. Sears’ books (from what I have heard; I haven’t read them). We cosleep every night, and for most of our naps. We breastfeed through almost all of his feedings, and he gets bottled breastmilk for the other meals. I wear him in a carrier or wrap when we leave the house and rarely use the stroller. We don’t let him “cry it out” ever. And I am adamantly opposed to doing any kind of “sleep training” with Henry.
I love the idea of treating our parenting adventure as a whole new lifestyle for us. Not an inconvenience to complain about, but the privilege to raise a human being. I lay here in bed each night, listening to Henry’s soft breath against my bare chest as he sleeps deeply beside me. His hands reach out subconsciously to make sure I am still there. Throughout the night he barely stirs except to latch back on to nurse, and without ever opening his eyes or making a peep he is back sound asleep. I do miss having endless swaths of time to watch TV and spend time with Luke, but these moments are so fleeting. He won’t be tiny forever. I don’t ever want to regret not cuddling him enough. If it means I have a 9pm bedtime for awhile, so be it.
He will learn to be strong, independent, brave, and confident because he will always have us supporting him.
He won’t wake up feeling alone and afraid and hungry.
If he cries, he knows we are there for him.
He won’t ever feel like an inconvenient burden on our lives, because we love spending as much time with him as possible.
My greatest joy is watching his little brain work as he figures out new things and sees new sights. He is my most precious creation.
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