Why I Like Attachment Parenting

Ladies, I’m knee deep in newborn care at the moment. My days are filled with making sure our newest guy’s needs are met, and it is a blessing to do so!

Related: Our Ninth Child’s Birth Story

My parenting philosophy has changed throughout the years. Starting with our sixth child, my care philosophy changed to what I would call “attachment parenting.” I had studied out many different methods and I decided that this philosophy would probably match my parenting goals best. I had learned how taxing crying or “crying it out” could be on baby’s little systems and I wanted to avoid this at all costs.

This article and study helped me to make this decision. From the article:

A study has found youngsters who are deliberately left to cry themselves to sleep eventually appeared to settle themselves without being comforted.

But, it found, their hormone levels showed they could remain just as ‘stressed’ by the experience as if they had remained crying.

The method, sometimes called ‘controlled crying’, has been a popular parenting choice, with some believing it trains babies to settle into a routine.

So yes, I wanted to avoid crying when possible! Our sixth child was a very happy child when I was with her, which was the vast majority of the time. The same can be said for our 7th and 8th children.

So far, Moses is a super happy baby as well. He is held pretty much all of the time, which is definitely a perk of large family life! I’ve made him my priority. While I do realize that new babies need to fit into the family’s schedule, I put high value on his needs as well, since I believe Moses is forming important connections about trust in his little brain right now.

Right now this looks like nursing on demand, baby holding/wearing, and co-sleeping in a very safe environment. To help his little tummy out I’m avoiding most dairy and sweets.

As a mom, I realize I’m called to care for my baby 24/7. This can be hard at times, but it is so worth it. Our little ones are used to a warm and safe environment in our wombs, and I believe they thrive when we give them the closeness they continue to crave.

Things I’ve Learned Since Having a New Baby

Time has both slipped away and lingered on since Mabrey has been born.  Does anyone else know the feeling?

We’ve been thoroughly enjoying our new little one while walking through a few challenges at the same time.

I’m a stickler for keeping new babies away from germs.  We’ve stayed close to home, and the preschoolers have stayed out of church with me and Mabrey for the time being.

So imagine my surprise when almost three weeks ago my two-year-old came down with a fever.  A high fever.  Mallory also room shares with us and I just knew Mabrey was exposed.  I locked myself in a room and cried, while imagining hospilitizations and spinal taps on my newborn.  How was I going to care for my sweet toddler without exposing my infant?  I couldn’t think of a good way to handle this dilemma.  I felt totally helpless.

Pretty soon the rest of the family came down with fevers, vomiting, and eventually cold symptoms.  Mallory is in the epitome of the “terrific twos,” and is into everything.  Including Mabrey’s face and stuff.  Mabrey was fine for around a week.  She eventually developed a cough, but no fever.  Praise God!

We then got word that whooping cough was going around the church we’ve been attending, and that it would be wise for families with young children to stay away for a few weeks.  My heart sunk.  What we had couldn’t be pertussis, could it?

Just when I thought everyone was getting better, Mallory once again spiked a fever. To the doctor we went, and she was diagnosed with an ear infection and mucus in one of her lungs.  Her oxygen level was high, so the nurse practitioner prescribed a basic antibiotic.

Two days later I knew something was still not right.  We returned to the doctor, and this time her oxygen level wasn’t so good.  She was diagnosed with pneumonia.  Pneumonia! I could hardly believe it.

While at the doctor’s office Mabrey was checked out too.  She still sounded good, but was given a precautionary antibiotic just in case.  I mentioned the whooping cough notice, and our doctor said he was sure this illness wasn’t that.  But he recommended that Mabrey stayed away from church for the remainder of the fall, especially since we carefully select and delay vaccinations.

This all happened two days ago.  Mallory is recovering super well, and Mabrey’s cough made a turn for the better yesterday.  Praise God!

Boy, I’ve learned so much through this so far.  First of all, I’ve been reminded time and time again that God’s plans are not my own.  While I don’t understand why our house has been riddled with sickness almost as soon as our new baby arrived, I know that He has a plan for it.

I’ve learned new lessons in perseverance.  

I’ve learned the meaning of praying without ceasing.  At first I begged for mercy, but then I also realized that I had to let go of my own wants and pray that His will be done.  Boy, can this be hard!  When my babies are at the center of my prayers, all I want is for their health to return.

But I need to remember that they are His children first.  They aren’t just my own, and God’s plan will always trump mine.

Prayers are much appreciated.  We are returning to the doctor tomorrow to have Mallory’s oxygen level checked and to make sure her new prescription is working!