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Attachment Parenting, Granola-Hippie-Crunchy vs. What Comes Naturally

(This post was inspired by Booshy's breasfeeding:crunchy granola post)

Lots of labels out there, each conjuring up a certain "type" of person or stereotype.  For attachment parents, and for hippie-granola-crunchy moms, the picture you'd come up with would probably be the opposite of me.  I mean, I don't love being in the woods and I dislike camping; I don't own Birks and my thumb is distinctly black.  I fear most animals (save for dogs - love 'em) and enjoy fluorescent-lit streets a la Vegas-style.  AND I am not a crazy-recycling type, and I don't thrift, and I don't make my own soap.  I don't even cook, really.

So, I will reject these labels since they don't really "fit" with me and people would die laughing if I used them to describe myself, anyway.  However, that's not to say that I do not have elements of crunchy in me, or that I do not adhere to some of the basic principles and practices associated with these labels.

To me, it just intuitively feels "right" to parent in a way that is similar to attachment parenting; that's not to say that there is only one "right" way.  It's just what comes naturally to me, and it happens to coincide with a more "natural" and organic form of baby-rearing.  When Baby L was still baking inside my oven, I felt strongly that I wanted to give her every opportunity to be healthy and to thrive while she was developing.  To me, this meant mineral make-up and lotions, avoiding certain types of foods, and not taking any medication whatsoever. 

Now that she's a very active and alert 3.5-month-old, I continue to want her to grow up healthy and well-balanced, confident and curious.  So, some of the things I'm committed to are:

* breast-feeding until she's at least 6 months, and preferably until she weans herself (supplementing only because of my low production)
* co-sleeping with her (and bed-sharing for naps)
* using organic and/or green products as much as possible on her and for her clothes (e.g. no sulfates, parabens, harsh chemicals)
* avoiding medicating her as much as possible (but we do plan to get her immunized)
* not letting her cry-it-out; in fact, doing the opposite and trying to read her cues and proactively address her needs before crying happens
* bathing with Baby L to maximize skin-on-skin contact
* baby-wearing (whenever I can make it work) and baby-carrying/cuddling most of the time
* not using physical punishment (e.g. spanking) to discipline her when she's older (but using choice to proactively manage behaviour)
* not using the TV to baby-sit or entertain her, but provide her with age/development-appropriate toys and games
* speaking both Chinese and English to her throughout her life
* making my own baby food for her when she starts on solids

It makes me feel good to know that I'm doing the best that I can for my kid.  Again, not that this is the way everyone should do it; I know that resources and time and a bazillion other factors affect the choices parents have to make in raising their babies, and there are many different ways to grow a healthy, well-rounded child.  This just happens to be my way, and my way just happens to be a bit on the crunchy, AP-side of things.  Which, if you know me and how I usually am, is highly ironic ;)


Comments

Ditto! Crunchy I am not. Organic for sure! I plan to nurse for as long as possible, make my own baby food and never ever spank. I also look forward to our daily naps and God knows I am snuggling and cuddling this baby 25 hours a day!

We are great mommies!!

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