Attachment Parenting with Twins?

by Hatchet on April 24, 2008

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Am I an AP parent?

Is it possible to be an AP parent with twins?

  • I don’t wear them in slings (Two babies @ 30 lbs + sling(s) = sprained back).
  • They don’t sleep in my bed (Any more. Ask me about their first 3 months.).
  • I fed them formula in their first 6 weeks of life (Before my breasts learned to count to two.).
  • I had a planned c-section.

Am I still eligible? Could I be an AP parent?

According to Julie, of course I am!

Attachment Parenting is not about what you don’t do. It’s about what you do do.

There’s a spectrum of AP parenting, if you will, and I am on that spectrum.

  • I breastfeed. Twins. On demand. (That’s a lotta milk!)
  • I’m making their solid food from scratch! (Extra points for effort!)
  • They sleep in the co-sleeper next to our bed. Well, one of them does, anyway. The one that is currently the better sleeper. This week it’s Logan while Emma gets to sleep in the fabulous room we made for them.
  • We carry them around a lot. A whole lot.
  • We snuggle them. A lot.
  • We don’t let them get eaten by sabertooth tigers. Much.

There are probably plenty more examples that I could come up with if I wasn’t so tired. The twins insist on snacks at night and I, being an Attachment Parent, comply.

The cuteness, you see, ensures it.

Emma reaches for Logan’s bib after he’s finished eating carrots. The carrots are always…errr…oranger? on the other guy.

Emma considers eating solid food. “Naaaah! I stick wif meeyulk.”

I am an AP parent. With twins.

And an almost seven year old.

Dual cheek squeezing.

Life is good.

- Woman with a Hatchet

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Hatchet (2 Posts)


{ 13 comments… read them below or add one }

Sarah April 25, 2008 at 7:14 am

Oh my goodness, they are so adorable!!

And what a great reminder that AP isn’t about a check list, but rather is something to be adapted to each family and to each individual circumstance!

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Scylla April 25, 2008 at 5:26 pm

AP back at you Contributer buddy! I find it interesting that we both fit the AP bill, given that we both share fairly strict parenting attitudes.

However, AP doesn’t equal “boundary-less pushover parent” so it turns out our innate snuggliness combines well with our strictness to produce a strong AP environment.

It is very important to remember that parenting styles may be similar, but that doesn’t mean we all do the same thing.

Variety baby! It’s the spice of life. Wait, that may be cinnamon.

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Hatchet April 25, 2008 at 8:09 pm

Scylla: Cinnamon. Definitely cinnamon.

Sarah: Thank you! Yup, take what works for you and yours and do the best you can. And what works changes, too, as the kids age. Lots of stuff no longer works on my eldest daughter. Le sigh!

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Claudia Pariente April 26, 2008 at 2:41 pm

Nice!! I want to share this web with you (about multiples and breastfeeding) http://www.multilacta.org
Warm regards from Spain!

Claudia.

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Shannon April 28, 2008 at 11:22 am

I really appreciate this. I don’t like to call myself an attachment parent, because it feels like giving up my authority as the parent to some outside theory. And I don’t like the judgmental tone of so much AP writing.

But about 75% of my favorite parenting techniques overlap with AP theory anyway. I do what feels right and what I judge to be right based on the information I have (which includes knowledge of myself and my kids) and it comes up mostly AP, lots of the time.

So thanks for letting me in the “club” with this post!

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API Speaks April 28, 2008 at 12:05 pm

Shannon, thank you for your comment! I hear again and again that people shy away from AP because of the judgment and dogma you mention. We strive to be inclusive, supportive, and non-judgmental at API!!

Part of the reason I wanted to start this blog is to show that there are many, many ways of practicing Attachment Parenting, and that intuition and responsiveness to each unique child’s needs is at the heart of it, not how many years you breastfeed, how many groovy slings you have to carry your baby in, or how long you co-sleep.

Any parent who is interested in learning more about the many benefits of attachment, and getting tips & techniques to help promote that attachment, is welcomed here and at API support groups around the world.
:) Julie

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Hatchet April 28, 2008 at 10:00 pm

Shannon, I know what you mean. I felt similarly myself and then I met Julie. I think labeling the practice is just a way of getting you closer to a group of potentially like-minded parents and then from within that group you need to find the people with whom you mesh well.

Just like if I ever joined a twins group (Still haven’t – I’m such a slacker!) I’m certain there are plenty of folks I’d have lots in common with other than the fact that we both had twins. I’ve been building my community of moms (my village) in bits and pieces wherever I go. So far, so good!

I’m glad I could help open the door to this club for you!

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Ethel April 29, 2008 at 1:44 pm

Thanks for this post. I feel like some of the choices I made with my twins resulted in me being “kicked out of the club” by other AP mothers – even other AP mothers of twins – in the online AP community.

AP has a lot of value, but it shouldn’t be a set of laws. It should be a goal – attatchment – with a set of best practices – breastfeeding, co-sleeping, sling-wearing, gentle sleep experiences – and with an acknowledgement that the practices that are generally best may not be best for every individual situation. Even practices that are generally bad may, occasionally, be correct for an individual situation.

I was in a situation where the generally bad practice was correct. I spent two months trying to be a good attachment parent, before I realized that I was trying to keep a title without actually doing what I think needed to be done to keep the attatchment.

So I broke the rules. I ignored the AP experts, in the way the AP women told me to ignore “experts” when my maternal intuition told me to do something different. I did what I thought was right, and the result was WONDERFUL. The actual advice of the AP philosophy worked, and by working to maintain attatchment with my children I was able to do the right thing, even when so many I asked for advice said it was the wrong thing.

But I lost my “AP” badge and was essentially kicked out of the online AP community by about a third of the moms I had come to know and respect.

After reading this post, I’m hoping that this blog may be a crack in the door so I can get back in the club. I like the goal of AP, and I like the recommended practices. I don’t like the assumptions some AP moms seem to make that if you didn’t do things the official AP way (if you didn’t follow a best practice), you just didn’t try hard enough. Sometimes continuing to try without succeeding is just too harmful, and my lingering regret is that it took me two months to learn that lesson. Some damage was already done, but it was repairable. And at least things didn’t get worse.

I still really miss the AP community. I still miss sharing the joys of a parenting philosophy that says parents can be attatched and still be strong parents – in fact, it makes them stronger as parents! I want to tell those parents who I used to think of as friends how independent and strong my children have become in the year and a half since that incident. I want to discuss the joys (and occasional frustrations) of nursing twin toddlers, who are weaning in such different ways. I want to seek out AP twin moms and AP working moms, I want to know if anyone doing AP has the dad staying home because they believe full-time parental care is valuable but can’t manage full-time maternal care. I want to know if other AP twin moms saw their kids start sharing toys months before they started fighting over them, without much coaching.

Maybe I’ll stop by the online group that used to be my favorite again. Maybe they’ve mellowed out. Maybe AP, as a movement, is starting to mature and be less defensive – much like the breastfeeding movement seems to have done.

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API Speaks April 29, 2008 at 1:59 pm

Ethel, thank you for your comment. Have you checked out our forums (http://www.attachmentparenting.org/forums) or our support group listing (http://www.attachmentparenting.org/groups/groups.php) to see if there is a support group near you?

At API, our focus is, as you mentioned, on the attachment, and the Eight Principles are tools to help us get there, not laws written in stone that must be followed regardless of your individual situation. We welcome everyone who is interested in learning more about the benefits of attachment.

Personally, my hat is off to all of you mother of twins out there. I have a hard enough with my two littles ones, and they arrived 19 months apart ;)

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Hatchet April 30, 2008 at 9:09 am

Ethel: thanks for dropping by! I gear what you’re saying and I’m sorry those were your experiences in the past. Let us know what happens if you do drop in on your old online group!

I hope they welcome you back.

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justine April 30, 2008 at 3:22 pm

Ethel,
My hubby stayed at home with our last baby and will be doing it again with our newest addition! We feel pretty strongly about parental care and this works for us. I’d give anything to stay home full time, but Daddy is the lucky one!

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katef May 9, 2008 at 4:53 am

I just stumbled across this blog and had to comment on this post….

Every now and then someone says to me ‘How can you possibly AP twins?’ and often I wonder that too. My twins were not born gently (anything but at 29 weeks gestation after a very medical pregnancy that saved their lives), they were not even held or touched for the first weeks of their lives, they didn’t have an ‘in arms’ period, their first food came via an IV line, later an NG tube, after that a bottle and only after that from my breasts and even then they were comped with formula. They didn’t sleep in our bed (but did sleep in our room) they spent time crying on their own because evolution didn’t come to my rescue and grow me an extra pair of arms…. But they were loved, treated with respect and understanding as humans, weaned to 100% breastmilk (no more comping but they were eating solids) by 12 months and self weaned at 2.5 years….

I often feel like I am too mainstream to be AP and too AP to be mainstream. Sometimes it makes me feel a bit lost but I try hard to remember that it just makes me, me. Parenting the best way I know how to stay attached and in tune with my kids – four year old twins and an 11 month old.

I am really enjoying reading this blog!

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Jessi July 25, 2013 at 10:14 pm

Hi! I’m not sure if anyone still checks this post for comments, but I am an AP parent of 14 mo old twins who co-sleep and breastfeed. But we’re struggling right now with bedtime routine and still allowing them to breastfeed, snuggle, etc to fall asleep; the twins are so good at keeping each other energized! Any resources or comments would be greatly appreciated. Thank you!

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