I apologize in advance to all of you non-parents out there… and I will say, “you’re welcome” to all of those parents out there with newborns-1 years old. By NO means am I an expert on parenting, an expert on raising children, nor am I giving any sort of medical advice… seek a pediatrician for that, not a blog. But, what I am sharing is my family’s unveiling of how we became parents that practice “attachment parenting.” Really, it should be called “parenting…” but here we go. I want to take you back to Feb. 2012 when we found out we were going to become parents… WHAT A THRILL! Here we were, two people, who tried for 9 months to get pregnant and we were about to embark on the best challenge in the world, parenthood.
Marvell and I disagree on things here and there, but what we did not disagree upon was the way we would raise our baby – liberal. Outside of that, we thought we had it down, pat. Boy, were we proven wrong – right at the birth date. Zaccai was due 10/31 – you probably read all about my labor by now – if not – you can read all about it in “My Second Post.” I know, I’m clever. Anyhow, I was due on the 31st and went into labor on the 31st but this little pip squeak didn’t come until Nov. 4th (you do the math) you can see he was setting us up for parenthood success. NOT. We have both become parents we thought we would be and parents we NEVER thought we would be. THOSE PEOPLE. So, here we go – attachment parenting 101. The amber necklace – the link will take you to a page that gives you in-depth information about the benefits of the teething necklace and the key properties that help with teething. Yes, most people are skeptical – and even say they are dangerous. If your baby doesn’t sit up on his/her own or is not eating solids maybe put it around the ankle. However, we put the necklace around Zaccai’s neck at 3 months and never turned back. You will see the necklace in literally every picture that shows his little chest. All I can say is that he never had a teething episode or cried due to teething. Also, the drool is substantially LESS during the drooling time period – usually 3-9 months. He has never tried to chew it or swallow it – most of the time he has no idea it’s there. I would suspect it is because we put it on him at a young age and he’s really just grown accustomed to feeling it there… kind of like your wedding ring.
Attachment Parenting- there are so many great books out there that will help guide you through this but here are a few tips – again, take them or leave them – no harm, no foul. I breastfeed from the moment he was born. This was probably the second most important thing to me. First being a natural delivery – and you saw how that unfolded. So, I was determined to get it right…. and we did. BUT, it took practice, crying, fighting (Marvell and I, Z and I- the whole family up in arms). When people say it’s not easy – it’s NOT – but – it’s also not impossible… if it was we wouldn’t be here – right? My success in bfeeding was (in my opinion) support of my friends and lactation consultants, that just got it. If you don’t have that support consider finding it – LLL, La Leche Leauge is a great resource. I called in tears – multiple time – for multiple issues and there was always someone that truly cared and wanted to help you through it – use them.
The next (that surprised us) was our sleeping situation. We “bed-shared” – I KNOW – people say DON’T DO IT! You will have a snotty nose 16 year old in your bed forever… haha, whatever. We bed shared until Marvell said he needed more sleeping space and he moved out (to the guest bed or the couch) that surprised us too… gone are the fun nights as married peeps – GONE. Oh, well. Z will be 16 one day and will care less about us. When he was a tiny babe we used an official “co-sleeper” and that worked – OK. Not great since our bed wasn’t huge – but it worked. When they are so small I will say it was a safer route. As he got bigger and Marvell got tired of us kicking and waking him up nursing at night we took over the bed – and there we are today… sleep and sound. The next of course, cloth diapering – I was stoked that Marvell was so into it. I wrote a blog- “cloth diaper me, momma.” I gave some quick tips… Read it! Cloth is so easy – we even travel and cloth!
If there is one thing I have learned these past 20 months of Zaccai’s life it’s – be flexible. And know, on your worst day as a parent – your child loves you and needs you. I also think about those parents that can’t hug their little babies anymore – for whatever reason – and just think, they would love, love, love, to hold their crying, screaming, tantrum throwing child any day instead of holding – nothing. So, think about it…. on your child’s worst day/your worst day… if you can hold your baby – it’s your best day. Hold them. Smell them. Make them smile. Give them chocolate. Run with them. Cuddle them. Love them. Do whatever feels right to you – be the parent that you want to be – not the parent society wants you to be.
What surprised you as you ventured into parenthood? Anything that you followed through on as well? I would love to hear from you!