Why babies don’t “behave”

Have you ever had someone comment to you how “well-behaved” your baby is? If not, don’t worry, just read on. This compliment reflects a pervasive Western misconception about how babies function. Have you ever met an under-one-year-old who understood what society expected of him and adjusted his behavior to accomodate those expectations? I haven’t. I was among the lucky parents who was approached by strangers who commented on my baby’s “good behavior” (as opposed to Read More …

Baby: from Other to Teacher

If you survey mainstream Western baby-care advice from the past two centuries, you’ll see a common theme: the perception that babies are wild beings who need to be tamed in order to be incorporated into family life. The concept of “otherness” is familiar in the history of humankind – it’s a driving force behind the identification of the great family of people into distinct races, nationalities, religions, etc. While what makes us different is cause Read More …

Motherhood: Is It Holding Mothers Back?

“The Conflict: How Modern Motherhood Undermines the Status of Women,” is the latest release of self-effacing mom lit, by prominent French intellectual Elisabeth Badinter. From her recent piece in the Huffington Post: Today’s ideal of motherhood requires that we give birth in pain, without benefit of an epidural, since this robs us of our first act as a mother. We are enjoined to nurse for six months, a year, or longer, day and night, whenever Read More …

Diaper Free in the Middle East

API appreciates encouragement and support of our parenting instincts, and enjoys when the support transcends geographic borders and language. Please note that Attachment Parenting helps parents reclaim their instincts through API’s Eight Principles of Parenting and grow in their parenting confidence, to make the choices they find best for their own families. Elimination communication, going diaper free, is a practice some parents employ as part of their family choices, however it is not a practice Read More …

Flirting with babies

As the parent of a young toddler, the idea of “flirting” has been on my mind for a while. Whenever we’re at a restaurant, my daughter – like many other young children – enjoys catching the eye of new people, and making them smile. Our society likes to call this “flirting.” Our perceptions of babies tend to be skewed by the cultural beliefs we’ve inherited, and then reinforced by the language we’ve been taught to Read More …

Habiba and the Indictment of Attached Parenting

Loving parents around the world are mobilizing to support an everywoman named Habiba, a Moroccan mother living in Spain. Habiba was down on her luck, living in a Madrid women’s shelter run by the Instituto MadrileƱo del Menor y la Familia (IMMF) with her 15 month old nursling, Alma. The shelter disapproved of Habiba nursing Alma on demand, and enrolled Habiba in a “parenting class” to persuade her to wean, providing medication to end her Read More …

Reflections on Our First Year

I entered parenthood with a crib and an epidural. I had never heard of attachment parenting, and was pretty sure the family bed was something that could wreck a marriage. As my baby turns one, and my husband and I celebrate our eighth year of marriage, we happily (and a bit nervously) went out for our first time alone as a couple since her birth, and reflected on the highlights of our year. In addition Read More …

On American Parenting and Independence

I’ve been reading Our Babies, Ourselves, recently, and it really drives home why Americans parent the way they do. Land of the free, home of the brave. Our country was founded through a popular uprising against the British monarchy. Our credo can be found in the Declaration of Independence. And the economic system we embrace is capitalism, which generally equates to “every man for himself.” Given that we’re born free and raised to be independent, Read More …

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