Post # 1
So, has anyone here actually tried attachment parenting (either in part or on the whole) with your kids? How did it seem to affect your children during the toddler, preschool, grade school years?
I have to say that even though I had originally planned on being an extremely responsive, accommodating parent to make my child feel more secure with me and in life in general, I have (1) come to distrust parenting books because every piece of advice I’ve read about infants has turned out to be untrue and ineffective and (2) I’ve seen my responsiveness have a bad effect on my daughter already. She was a pretty chill, easygoing baby for that first week and has become a shrieking diva at 6 weeks. I think my efforts to not allow her to cry have already made her accustomed to having whatever she wants instantly and at this point, she’s almost unbearable. Example, in the 3-ish seconds it takes to move her from one boob to the other or from the 2nd boob to the bottle, she completely falls apart. Screaming, purple crying, the whole histrionic mess. She now exclusively sleeps while I’m holding her—with the additional stipulation that I be moving. The one exception is that she will sleep a couple of hours in the middle of the night in her bassinet, but between 6 AM and midnight, I have to carry her or have her in the front pack and be constantly pacing the floor to keep her from shrieking.
So, while I want her to be secure and I want to give her the advantages that attachment parenting claims to offer children, I wonder if the whole theory is a load of shit like every other baby book I have read. Have any of you used this parenting style without turning your kids into entitled assholes?
Post # 2
Your baby is 6 weeks old? And you’re worrying that she’s going to turn into an entitled asshole? Am I reading that correctly?
She’s just trying to survive at this point. A 6 week old is not rational, most of the time they are screaming, crying messes. If you are feeling overwhelmed, stressed out, exhausted (all normal at this stage) then ask for help. Have someone take over for you so you get a break. Call your health line and speak to a nurse/midwife etc if there is no one at home who can help.
Post # 3
Your baby is six weeks old. She is in no way a “diva” Please pick up your child and comfort her. Newborns should not be left to cry it out, they cannot self-soothe. That is your job.
Post # 4
I am not a parent yet, so my opinion may be totally invalid. Nonetheless, every baby is different and what works for one baby, may not work for another.
Post # 5
helixthecat : you are really in the thick of things right now, but from a developmental perspective you are not teaching your child any bad habits by responding. She has exactly one way to communicate everything- by crying. Babies are often sleepy that first week and wake up over the next few months. This is all normal.
do you have another caregiver that can swap and give you a break to sleep? You sound very frustrated and tired – i get it. My daughter had reflux and refused to sleep except on me for months. Safe co sleeping really helped me survive. It might be worth running things by your pediatrician but this goes way beyond parenting style – your daughter is 6 weeks old and needs you to respond when she cries.
Post # 7
As noted, babies can be super sleepy the first week or two, and change as they ‘wake up’.
Have you seen a doctor to rule out physical discomfort? I know they can’t always even tell, and often give you a ‘well you could try eliminating dairy’ type answer, but if she has bad reflux then maybe eating and lying flat are painful.
Babies that old can’t manipulate. If she is crying to be held it’s a need for her. Whether for physical or emotional comfort. She could be colicky too, perhaps, which unfortunately doesn’t reallt have any actual answers.
Post # 8
I think you should reach out to any support network you may have and maybe someone can come give you a break? My understanding is that newborns are super tough because crying is the only way they can communicate. I’m not sure that responding to your baby’s cry counts as attachment parenting – to me that is just caring for the baby. Letting a newborn “cry it out” can be very detrimental to their development.
Post # 9
I mean.. I don’t think it’s possible to spoil a newborn and turn them into a diva from 1 week old and 6 weeks old because you have been too responsive.
Thats a very short period of time and she can barely hold her own head up never mind gave the critical thinking to manipulate and be a diva.
Sorry you’re going through a difficult time, hopefully this is just a phase.
Responding to the cry’s of a literal newborn isn’t really the definition of “attachment parenting” and 6 weeks is way to young for even thinking cry it out could work.
Post # 10
You did not spoil your newborn. She did not become a diva from one week on because you responded to her whims. She doesn’t even have any “whims” right now, just you know, an instinct to eat, sleep, and have her diaper change. It’s waaaaaay too early to determine her personality.
is her father around? It honestly sounds like you need more help with your child.
ETA, also I joined a high needs baby group on FB, and it helped tons. I had a fussy baby, and knowing that it was other moms that had similar babies like me made things easier. They also had great advice. Good luck. You are definitely in the thick of it where the other side is difficult to imagine, but it’s there. Promise.
Post # 11
I am a physical therapist that works in the NICU.
I agree with the other Bees that what you are doing right now is not considered attachment parenting. We encourage as much hands on as possible at that age and studies have shown that lots of physical contact has positive effects and in no way makes your child a diva.
It sounds like your little one is colicky. Doctors don’t really know what causes colic, but the theory now is an immature nervous system. Even if a baby is born full term at 37-40 weeks, their systems (mainly GI, pulmonary and nervous) are still not fully developed and it takes a lot of time to transition from the world of amniotic fluid to the “outside” world. Your baby is still likely in this adjustement period.
At her age, it’s survival mode, for both of you. Ignore all those parenting books for now. Attend to her needs. Please believe us that you’re not creating a diva by doing that.
Post # 12
To clarify, I am not classifying responding to her crying as attachment parenting. But holding her or wearing her 24/7 is wildly impractical and I haven’t met a single other person who has to do that. According to everything I have read or heard, newborns sleep 16-20 hours a day and she literally does. Not. Sleep. Unless. She. Is. Being. Held. Supposedly, the solution is to swaddle her, put on white noise, give her a paci, and put her in her crib so she can sleep. She just screams.
It’s dangerous because I am falling asleep while holding her (who wouldn’t after getting 30 min/night for 6 weeks) and I’m having to drive to doctor appointments every couple of days. It’s hard to understand what this feels like if the only babies you’ve been around nap every couple of hours, but this is an extreme situation. I am starting to wonder if it’s realistic to guarantee that your baby never ever cries even for a minute especially when her temperament has her screaming even when she’s been fed, burped, changed, held, rocked, cuddled, sang to, read to, etc. If you have only had normal babies who only cry when something is actually wrong, then of course you can’t understand what it’s like to be screamed at 16-18 hours a day literally no matter what you do.
Post # 13
helixthecat : i, too, had a child who screamed literally all day and didn’t sleep unless held. She had a medical issue – reflux and milk protein intolerance. Has your pediatrician suggested any possibilities to look into there?
it is SO hard and nobody is suggesting that your baby will never cry, but attending to her when she’s crying is still very much needed at this point. Do you have a partner who can trade off with you? She might cry with them, but she’ll be safe and cared for you and you need more than 30 minutes of sleep to function. Please take care of yourself and talk to your OB if you feel like you may have any symptoms of PPD/PPA. It is so hard, but you will get through this.
for what it’s worth, i don’t know a single person who has had a baby who can swaddle them and plunk them in their crib at 6 weeks and have them sleep happily. That’s a myth not reality.
Post # 14
While I definitely don’t adhere to attachment parenting myself, I don’t think it’s possible to “spoil” a six-week old baby. Most likely your baby is going through a developmental leap (leap 1 happens around this time I think…check out the Wonder Weeks app if you haven’t already) and that’s why she’s being difficult. She could also have colic as pp suggested.
Is it possible for your husband to take a shift in the night caring for the baby, while you sleep in another room? Newborns need a lot of attention, but your needs matter too. To be the best parent you can be, you need to be able to get some rest.
It sounds like you must not be sleeping AT ALL if you’re spending the entire night, every night, walking around with your baby cause that’s the only way she will settle. That’s just not sustainable. When we were in this phase, my husband would take the graveyard shift from 10-2am or so, so that I could get a few hours of uninterrupted sleep, and then I’d take back over after that. It was the only way I could survive those brutal early weeks. Would something like that work for you guys?
angieawesome : “Newborns should not be left to cry it out, they cannot self-soothe. That is your job.”
OP has literally described sitting up all night with her screaming baby, night after night, for over a month. From the sound of it she probably hasn’t slept more than a couple interrupted hours a night since her baby was born. That type of sleep deprivation will do a real number on your mental health. I think what OP needs is support, not condescending reminders that caring for her baby is “her job.”
Post # 15
helixthecat : I dealt with reflux and colic so I know how hard is. We ended up having to switch to a hypoallergenic formula and give him reflux meds until he was over a year old. Ask your doctor about trying medication for reflux, and if you’re breastfeeding you might need to try eliminating major allergens from your diet. Milk/lactose allergies are common and can cause a lot of discomfort for baby. The other thing we had to do was hold him upright for 30-45 minutes after every single feeding. Also the only way I could get him to sleep in the early morning hours was to put him in his swing right next to the couch. I’d keep my hand on him to feel his breathing, and it allowed us to both get a bit more rest. I’m not necessarily recommending this because I know the safe sleep guidelines, but I was like you with not functioning and falling asleep while holding him, so this is what worked for us.
And most importantly, you need to get some help. Is your partner around to take some of the night shifts? It sounds like you might be starting to suffer from postpartum depression as well. Can you talk to your doctor about how you’re feeling? You’re doing a great job. Being a new parent is really hard, especially with issues like these. It’s absolutely okay to feel overwhelmed and to seek help.