- She doesn't want to eat. Instead she only wants snacky foods including popcorn, gummy vitamins, juice, tortillas, etc. Then her behavior tanks because she needs protein but refuses to eat it.
- Then all she wants to do is nurse.
- She is very difficult to get into a rythm because she often sleeps badly if at all for several hours a night during which time I am also not sleeping. She then sleeps in till 8 or 9 which makes her nap later than is ideal.
- When she takes a later nap she doesn't want to go to bed.
- She often wakes up in a state of needy, clingy, unhappy, miserable both from nap and in the morning.
- She often spends a good amount of time crying at bedtime.
- She has several meltdowns a day which include hitting, yelling, and complete noncooperation
My criticism of Attachment Parenting is not the information about infant physiology and psychology as seen here (thank you Sheila), such as infants needing closeness to their mothers and crying for extended periods of time being harmful, but the lack of information of how to appropriately transition your child at developmentally driven stages. Neither is there information regarding signs of developmental stages. For example it is true that an infant (very young) should probably not cry it out nor sleep alone. But where is the information about when that changes?
Where's the info about how to balance baby lead nursing with sanity? I'm a huge advocate for baby led nursing in the early days, but when is it appropriate developmentally to begin a rythm? Where's the information relevant to our current state of insular family units who don't have live in aunties and grandmothers? Where's the dialogue about how not to be a martyr parent?
I see AP as an incomplete model. While it offers some excellent observations and unique perspectives, it is really only one generation in. Its not tried and true, well tested and modified for use.
The big problem I have with parenting in the US is that most of our practices fluctuate so much rather than being grounded in community, experience, multigenerational communication and mentorship. We instead listen to the person who got a degree and wrote a book based on their own observation and experience.
Then we talk about it theoretically and then we try to do it and believe me if I believed that Ami's behavior was better when she slept with me I'd sacrifice the next years of sleep to do it. But its not working.
A big influence on my parenting recently is an article by a Waldorf Kindergarten teacher. I really started to get the breathing in and breathing out thing. So for me that has been the answer, the balancing point for attachment and independence.
Before I got this I felt like I was failing at both. Neither was I present enough for her nor was I getting the tasks done that I wanted to do.
So my current plan:
- No snacks or vitamins or juice. Real food only.
- Regular bedtime and naptime.
- Quality time together (breathing in) before and after sleep.
- Sleep in the crib (breathing out)
- Eating meals and snacks together (breathing in)
So my experience so far...She's eating again and she woke up this morning happy and independent after quietly waiting in her crib till she heard me stirring. When she heard me she called me and I brought her in the bed for a few minutes of cuddle. Then she asked for water and we started our day without nursing which is a huge deal because only a few weeks ago she wanted to nurse 12 or more times in 24 hours.
Just now I put her in the crib for a nap. She cried for one minute. Then she calmly asked to come out. Now she is cuddling her dolly. I expect her to be asleep in the next few minutes.
Thank you for all your comments and blessings friends and family.