What’s Your Parenting Style?

When I was preggers with my oldest child 8 years ago I bought and read every book on parenting that I could find.  Baby Whisperer, Babywise, Parenting Your Toddler are just a few of the books I read.  What I quickly learned was that everyone had an idea about what was best and apparently if I didn’t read their book then I would forever be a clueless, ignorant parent.

But what I also realized is that no two children are the same.  Therefore I believe that we have to raise our children in the way that is best for our family and most importantly, our child.

So over the years Aaron and I have just done with our three girls what makes sense to us and what comes naturally to us.  That meant/means breastfeeding on demand, co-sleeping, babywearing, and attending to our children when they cry (I’ve never believed in letting babies “cry it out”).  I recently learned that “our” style of parenting actually has a name:  Attachement Parenting.

The 7 B’s of AP are:

1.  Birth Bonding

2.  Breastfeeding on Demand

3.  Babywearing

4.  Bedding close to Baby

5.  Belief in the language value of your baby’s cry

6.  Beware of “baby trainers”

7.  Balance

We don’t believe in making schedules and expecting our baby’s to follow them.  I remember babysitting for a couple when I was in college and they had their baby’s day planned and written down for me to follow.  9am–feed baby 4 ounces of breastmilk, 9:30am–tummy time for 10 minutes, 9:40am–lay baby down in crib and do not pick him up if he cries, etc, etc,etc.  I remember the mom specifically telling me that she was trying to get her baby on a schedule and that I was not to pick him up if he cried because he needed to learn when it was nap time.  I’ll confess, I NEVER let him cry for more than 5 minutes.  Even if it meant that I just went to his room (he was sleeping on his own in his own room from birth) and talked to him to calm him down.

It seemed like torture to me!  Let a baby cry…really?  They cry because they are trying to tell us something and I just don’t understand the rationale of letting a baby “cry it out”.  Anyway..that could be a whole blog post to itself.

So we figured out early on that schedules were NOT for us or our babies.  We feed them when they are hungry.  We hold them (or I wear them in a sling) often.  Our babies have slept in our room with us until they have been around 4-6 months old.  We watch our babies and NOT a clock or a schedule.  We try to listen and discern what their cries mean.

I’m interested in hearing what your parenting style is?  Are there certain things that you do or don’t do when it comes to parenting?  I’m not saying there is a right or wrong way…just saying what has worked for us.

You can read more about Attachment Parenting on Dr. Jim Sears’ website or in his book (which I recently purchased!):


3 Responses to “What’s Your Parenting Style?”

  1. 1 Lindsey December 1, 2009 at 8:51 am

    We are definitely APers! It just makes sense. We do have loose schedules now with Silas because that is just what works best for him. Mostly that means in bed between 7 and 8. Everything else is just whatever. I like it. It doesn’t stress me out as bad.

    With Savannah I haven’t even tried to schedule her. She seems to be figuring out a normal routine though.

    • 2 lsaufley December 1, 2009 at 6:51 pm

      I think babies just kind of figure out what works. It kills me to hear parents talk about getting their baby “on a schedule”.

      I agree….it is much less stressful to just roll with the punches. That’s my philosophy on pretty much everything. We are very anti-schedule with homeschooling too. We get all our work done but I’m not a slave driver about completing it in a certain length of time!

  2. 3 Karen December 8, 2009 at 8:56 pm

    My youngest homeschool kids are eleven, but I could never let a baby cry either! Glad to know someone else believes the same.

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November 2009

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