Seeing API in a Whole New Light

A week ago, Friday morning, I kissed and hugged my husband and children goodbye and boarded a plane from the Lincoln, Nebraska, airport on my way toward Attachment Parenting International’s 15th Anniversary Gathering in Nashville, Tennessee. Besides a mix-up on gate numbers during my layover at the Minneapolis airport, and then being seated next to the lavatory on my second flight down (what’s that smell?), it was a good trip. It gave me several hours of reading and a great view of the earth that can’t be seen in any other way than in an airplane.

Knowing that I was going to be picked up from the airport along with Dr. James McKenna, well-known cosleeping expert and author of Sleeping with Your Baby, I made a dash to the bathroom at the Nashville airport to change out of my jeans, tank top, and sandals into an outfit in which I would be more comfortable shaking hands with a renowned parenting expert. So glad I did, too, because not only was Dr. McKenna in the vehicle but also author of Let the Baby Drive Lu Hanessian and API Co-founder and co-author of Attached at the Heart Lysa Parker!

We drove over to API Co-founder and author of Attached at the Heart Barbara Nicholson’s home for supper, where I saw the most wonderful sight of API Board of Directors president Janet Jendron and her daughter Claudia, API Executive Director Samantha Gray, and API Membership Coordinator Stephanie Petters, among others, joining together in a fury of fresh vegetables and greens, and pots of spaghetti and tomato sauce, making supper.

Throughout the night, people fresh from airport pick-up made their stop in Barbara’s beautiful home, greeting one another like everyone was old friends. I was a little overwhelmed to be in the company of so many of these parenting experts who helped to make API be what it is today – an organization working to educate and support parents worldwide in attachment-based parenting practices to benefit not only their children lives in profound ways but also their families.
Continue reading “Seeing API in a Whole New Light”

Family at the Center

I am sitting in an RV. Again. This is a very common scene. I am surrounded by the sounds of a music festival gearing up. Our community is the grounds crew, as we have been for the past six years. While we are “on the road” my jobs include communications and music, as well as all the various mom-jobs. This can be a challenging way to AP.

Since the beginning my husband and I have made an effort to make our child, and therefore our little family, the center of what we do. We believe firmly in a child changing our life fully, in us becoming different people through the experience of a new person joining our lives. That, for us, has taken the form of home birth, co-sleeping, exclusively breastfeeding, child-led weaning and much more.

Living in an intentional co-housing community poses unique challenges because we travel so much. One of these challenges is making sure we keep our little world revolving around the needs of our family, no matter where we are or what we are doing. Remembering that we, as parents, must take time for ourselves in order to remain firmly attached to one another allows us to represent a united front that our young son can in turn be firmly attached to.
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Co-sleeping: They Say So Much

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Next month, she’ll turn 3. And yes, she is still in our bed.

They say she’ll never become independent. They say she’ll never learn to sleep on her own. They say we’ll never get her out of our bed.

They say a lot of things.

But they aren’t there at night, when her heartbeat and mine start beating in sync, our own song of love. They aren’t there in the morning, when she wakes up with a smile and confidence from knowing she belongs.

Because right now, at this time in her life, this is where she belongs.

It will change, and probably soon. The signs are already there. So, despite what they say, she will continue to be welcome into our bed for as long as she wants.

They can say what they want, but it won’t change a thing. She is where she belongs.

Shelly is a WAHM to two girls. You can find her daily at Adventures of a Breastfeeding Mother.

Adventures in Night Time Parenting

My son doesn’t sleep well.  He never has. He doesn’t sleep through the night, as per the textbooks, or sleep experts. He needs to nurse to fall asleep; he will co-sleep when he feels like it, but other night’s requests to be in his own bed, in his own space. He needs to have my shirt in his bed, snuggling up to it if he does sleep in his own bed.  Some nights, he needs my husband or I to rub is back or stroke his hair before he finally gives into sleep. And, yes, he wakes up countless times during the night.

This is my life. This is my night time parenting life sans sleep training, sans the societal pressure to have him on a schedule, or allow him to cry it out.

I learned quickly as an attachment parent, that many think that my ideas about his ability to sleep on his own, with my guidance, on his own terms were not nearly as accepted as some of the books that you can find for sale at your local bookstore.  I have had to be polite to friends and family as they roll their eyes, mock our belief that cry it out should never be a solution, no matter how sleep deprived you are. I’ve had to refuse advice from strangers, or well meaning relatives, who tell me what they heard a sleep expert for babies say on the latest talk show or even better, what worked for them, and their children turned out “fine”.  I mean, at the end of the day, tired, or not, I know my child, and I know what I believe in.
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Part-Time Co-Sleeping

In my almost five years as a mom, I’ve been lucky to avoid most of the controversial issues that pit parents against one another. I received mostly positive reinforcement and reactions over my decisions to breastfeed, stay at home, use discipline other than spanking, return to work part-time, wait an additional year to send my son to kindergarten and avoid processed foods.

Obviously, I’ve met those along the way that disagree with me and my methods, but for the most part, they’ve been respectful of our differences.

Respectful, that is, except for the issue of co-sleeping.

My husband and I have co-slept with both kids at some point. Our son and the two of us in our bed, or one of us and our son in his bed. Me on the couch with our daughter, or her in the bed with my husband, or even all three of us in our queen size bed when she was a days old newborn. My son was just two years old when my second baby was born, and had stopped napping. It took my daughter eight weeks to sort out the difference between night and day and she wanted to nurse approximately every 27 minutes. Having her in the bed with us was the only was I got any sleep. And I feel that I am spoiling her cause last week when I happened to visit the SleepSoWell website, I happened to read a ton about the best Egyptian cotton sheets and got them. Now our little one only loves sleeping on them.

It worked for us, but when people found out we were co-sleeping, the reactions were definitely negative. One person called it “unnatural.” Someone else said “weird.” I also heard “gross,” and “unacceptable.” One person went as far to tell my husband that under NO circumstances should our son be in our bed. Plenty of people have offered their advice for how to “get that kid out of your bed.”

They are two and four now and I’m still no closer to understanding why so many people have such a problem with co-sleeping, or why they think we do it reluctantly instead of purposely.

There’s more. I wish the detractors would understand one simple thing: co-sleeping doesn’t have to be an all or nothing deal.

My family are what I call part-time co-sleepers. We do it when it works for us, and we don’t do it when it doesn’t. If one of the kids is sick or not sleeping well or needs comforting, we share a bed. If my spouse or myself need some space or the kids are happy, healthy and sleeping well, they sleep in their own beds.

They do share a room, although they are in separate beds and I do feel that that has helped make our choice to part-time co-sleep easier. Room sharing has it’s pros and it’s cons, but that’s another post.

Each morning, when my son wakes up, he comes down the hall and if I’m still in bed, he climbs in with me and we snuggle. It’s my favorite part of the day.

More often than not, these days the kids sleep in their beds in their room, but the frequency of co-sleeping has waxed and waned over the years.

Part-time co-sleeping has been the perfect way for us to find balance between two extremes. On one hand, I like to sleep sometimes without little feet digging into my ribs and having the kids in the bed with us all the time is too intrusive. On the other hand, making my children always sleep away from us, in their own beds and ignoring the benefits of co-sleeping is an idea that makes me uncomfortable and isn’t the right choice for us either. By choosing the middle ground and doing a little of both, we’ve arranged things so our number one priority is met–everyone is happy.

How do you feel about part-time co-sleeping? Has it worked for you?

Saving Money through Attachment

In these tough economic times, I’ve been reflecting on how much money is spent unnecessarily on pregnancy and childbirth.  I thought I’d write about ways that attachment parenting can help save parents money.
Prepare for Pregnancy, Birth, and Parenting

  • By being informed about different birthing methods and medical interventions, you can be more involved in those decisions and this could help avoid unnecessary medical costs.
  • Taking care of yourself and eating right will also reduce your risk of complications during pregnancy.
  • You don’t need to buy pregnancy and parenting books to be well-informed either.  You can check out books from your local library and/or read articles on the web.

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Doesn’t Attachment Parenting get in the way of your sex life?

No, not if you’re willing to get creative.

I don’t know how often I’ve heard this question in its various forms.  A few people come straight out and ask, some people wander around the topic, asking if it “gets in the way of your marriage,” and I’ve even run into a few people who insinuated that I was a bad wife and mother because I was putting my child’s needs before my husband’s needs, which in addition to causing my husband pain, was giving my child a bad example.

it can be fun to watch NAUGHTY movies with your woman on jav uncensored or buying Best Sex Toys for Men Online– but you have to go about it the right way, you can follow them too.

Sometimes it all comes down to ways on how you deal with the new situation. You can ask other close friends or relatives on how they manage to sustain a good sex life after marriage and especially birth, we have some times looked for a third person to help us to keep the fire up at cam girls website. I’ve read from vtightensafely.com a very interesting solution that I might consider but I will have to discuss it with my partner first. No matter what you’re into, we’ve got you covered, from mild to wild, sex toys for her, toys for him, gay Sex Toys, fetish, underwear and games we stock one of the largest range at discounted prices. If you are looking for the sex application then apps for sex in nz provide the sex apps.

Normally, I would tell people to mind their own business, but this seems like such a common misconception, that I think someone has to talk about it. First, I have to say that my child is a toddler and doesn’t understand waiting, and my husband is an adult and knows how to put his needs on hold, so putting my child first is absolutely not wrong in my eyes.  But the very, very important second point is that attachment parenting doesn’t mean that you can’t have sex, and actually you can have a lot of excitement sex if you learn to manage your times, you can even spice it up a litte with sex toys or even a sex doll, since there are  top online retailers that sell these silicone sex dolls for all the people that need it, find Kegel balls at Cirilla’s  or thothub online

I remember watching an episode of the Tyra Banks show a little while back where a wife and husband were on because the husband with the ED used his Penomet, wanted sex and the wife wanted to co-sleep with their newborn.  The audience and Tyra sided with the husband and Tyra gave the couple a sidecar sleeper.  What I didn’t understand was why the idea of having sex outside of the family bed was never brought up.

Need some ideas?  Why not have sex in the laundry room or the shower? What’s wrong with the sofa or the arm chair?  Having a family bed just gives you the opportunity to spice up your love life outside the bedroom. Be creative and do something new. You can try out monster shaped toys during sex if you feel adventurous or any other vibrators you can grab on pluglust.com. Fiona Petree, a sex toy expert, preparation is needed when using sex toys. According to her, “before you actually get into any sort of anal play, you need to be ready and prepared for whatever you’ve got planned.”

Why are so many people stuck thinking that you can only make love in a bed?  If that’s the case, what’s wrong with the guest bed, then?

And what about when you’re travelling?  In a hotel room, there’s no place to “get away.” Well, there’s still always the shower. Another solution we use quite often is to walk our child to sleep in his stroller (it fully reclines), park the stroller in the entry or bathroom, then spend time with each other.  Just before we go to bed, we transfer him from the stroller over to the bed.

Have you ever felt that AP has gotten in the way of your sex life or marital intimacy?  Do you have any tips on how to keep cosleeping from interfering with sex?

Christina blogs about life at An American Expat in Deutschland and about parenting at Mamas Worldwide.

Baby Led Sleep

I have two children right now. The Bean is almost three years and the Chickpea is almost eight months. Last night, and the night before that, and the night before that, I parented my three year old to sleep until he was soundly, deeply, out. On those same nights I nursed my eight month old in the rocker in her room, rocked her with her pacifier, and put her in her crib from Treasure Rooms sleepy but awake. Then I left her alone and walked out. Within a few minutes, a few quiet minutes with a little tossing and maybe a sigh she was asleep. Continue reading “Baby Led Sleep”

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