Attachment parenting: 50 shades of black and white

abstract striped 3d the image for a background

If there’s anything I’ve learned in more than 25 years of parenting, it’s that different children, even from the same family, need different things. And if there’s anything I learned from practicing medicine, it’s that there are many different ways (cultural traditions, religious traditions, family traditions) to raise children successfully.

But not for attachment parents, for whom there is only one way, their way.

I’m reminded of the famous quote from Henry Ford, describing the sale of the Model T:

Any customer can have a car painted any color that he wants so long as it is black.

In the world of attachment parenting, any mother can have any birth she wants, so long as it is vaginal, unmedicated, and “unhindered.”

Any mother can feed any baby what ever way she prefers, so long as it is breastfeeding.

Any mother can carry her child anyway she wants, so long as it is strapped to her body, not in a stroller or, heaven forfend, not carried, but placed in a playpen.

In other words, in attachment parenting, there are 50 shades, but all of them are either black of white, bad or good. Attachment parents don’t do nuance.

Hospital birth bad.

Homebirth good.

Never mind that homebirth dramatically increases the risk of perinatal death.

Cesarean bad.

Vaginal birth good.

Never mind that there are countless situations in which a C-section is the better, safer mode of birth for both baby and mother.

Bottle feeding bad.

Breastfeeding good.

Never mind that there are women who can’t make enough milk, find breastfeeding too painful, or simply prefer bottle feeding.

Epidurals bad.

Cranio-sacral therapy good.

Cribs bad.

Family bed good.

Vaccines bad.

Ground up herbs with unknown quantities of active ingredients good.

All parenting choices can be characterized as bad or good, nothing in between. There is absolutely no appreciation for the concept that what is good for one mother-child pair may need to be modified slightly or dramatically in order to be best for another mother-child pair. There is absolutely no appreciation that when it comes to parenting, there are infinite shades of all colors because there are infinite combinations of mother and child.

Why are parenting choices black or white in the world of attachment parenting? Because attachment parenting has nothing to do with parenting and nothing to do with children. It’s all about women and how they view themselves in relation to other women. There’s only black (not a good mother like me) and white (mirroring my own choices back to me).

But real parenting is about trying to meet the varied needs of many family members, within varied cultural and religious traditions, not to mention a multitude of family traditions. In the real world, there is no magic recipe for raising healthy, happy children.

In other words, in the real world, there are infinite shades of every color, not simply black and white.

292 Responses to “Attachment parenting: 50 shades of black and white”

  1. pankaj kumar
    October 7, 2018 at 3:09 am #

    Nuts and seeds contain high levels of minerals and healthy fats. Although these are common additions on superfood lists, the downside is that they are high in calories. Portion control is key. Shelled nuts and seeds, in this regard, are ideal because they take time to crack open and slow you down. A quick handful of shelled nuts could contain more than 100 calories, according to Hyde. [Related: Reality Check: 5 Risks of Raw Vegan Diet]
    Organifi complete protein
    purathrive lipsomal turmeric reviews
    organifi green juice

  2. cungkeh haloween
    May 1, 2017 at 9:27 pm #

    I Like Your Article Nice

  3. Dadang Sulaeman
    August 16, 2016 at 5:09 am #

    Nice article guys , im waiting update the next article .

  4. Rita
    January 28, 2014 at 11:57 pm #

    AP is about sensitive & appropriate responsiveness, not a set of rigid techniques. And it also means sharing that same attitude with others. At least that’s how I see it, which I got from Attachment Parenting International

    • KarenJJ
      January 29, 2014 at 12:05 am #

      How is that different from any other caring parent? What makes “attachment” parenting different? Why not just call it being a parent?

  5. Jamila
    January 21, 2014 at 10:41 pm #

    Agree wholeheartedly and I practice attachment parenting, which doesn’t mean I consider myself an attachment parent. This bug seems to bite first time mothers really hard.

    I would like to tell these mothers to get off the internet and just breathe for a second. Stop trying to be a character from the attachment parenting book. You are insecure and that’s why you’re doing that. No one is that rigid if they are truly authentic. I know this is the most important thing you’ve ever done in your life, you want to get it right, you want to be perfect for your child. I understand that. But please understand we all want that, we all want to be a great mom. Stop for a moment and reflect on this: are you doing it for the ego boost? Do you resent the parenting you received and want to do things differently? Do you like the feeling of being superior to other people in this one activity? Do you feel extreme guilt if you fail at being the perfect mother (perish the thought) as defined by Dr. Sears? Are you flirting with depression? Can you hardly stop yourself from spewing vitriol about mothers who seem to have it easier or who are actually honest about how hard this is?

    You know what’s really sad? You judge other mothers so harshly that you can’t even imagine changing course and doing what could maybe work better for you because then you’ll end up on the other side… the side you sneer at so much. It’s a loooong way down from that mountain top.

    I absolutely refuse to judge other mothers unless there is actual abuse, in which case I will call authorities instead of feeding righteous gossip monkeys just so I can bond and be part of a group. Bottlefeeding is not abuse, neither is sleeping in a crib, pushing babies in a pram or giving them actual medicine. Regular diapers are fine, as are pacifiers for those who wish to use them. Organic food is nice, but definetely not required. Vaginal birth is excruciating and amazing, but sometimes it just doesn’t work out. So as much as it seems like I’m judging you, I’m actually just asking you to be real and stop judging/bullying other mothers.

    If you “fail” at any of these or other attachment parenting laws, please know there are mothers out there who will not judge you and who know you are doing the very best you can. You will make mistakes along the way. We all will. But we have one very important thing in common: we are raising the next generation of human beings and we love them more than life itself. Be kind.

    • Jamila
      January 21, 2014 at 10:47 pm #

      Almost forgot: I live in a third world country surrounded by many other third world countries and we do not babywear or sleep with our babies. Many moms here are doing it now because of Attachment Parenting, whose bible was written in the good ol US of A. Funny how that works. And lots of moms here don’t breastfeed either.

  6. Daniel Seely
    January 20, 2014 at 10:19 pm #

    You suck bitch! You must have the patients skills of a rock you cunt!

    • Box of Salt
      January 20, 2014 at 10:30 pm #

      Daniel Seely:
      Misogynist insults make such effective arguments, don’t they?

  7. leah
    January 20, 2014 at 5:05 pm #

    I’m an attachment parent and I wouldn’t have it any other way. But if someone else does something different, then it’s fine with me, they aren’t my kids! Not all home birthing, extended breastfeeding, attachment parents think like you say. And it’s very insulting that you’d put us all in that light. If you want a scheduled c section, go for it. You want to formula feed and practice cry it out? Do it. It would never work for me, but I’m not expected to raise your kids and you’re not expected to raise mine. Isn’t loving them and teaching them right from wrong and nurturing them the most important thing? You spew so much hate, and I feel very sorry for you.

    • KarenJJ
      January 20, 2014 at 8:00 pm #

      You’ve divided parenting options into “good” (home birthing, extended breastfeeding) and “bad” (scheduled c-section, formula feed and CIO) in your comment. Do you think it would be more helpful to think of parenting more as having a “smorgasbord” of options that fit within healthy range depending upon the kids and family’s need? Therefore you could do away with the good and bad labels you’ve used above?

      Once you accept that the vast majority of kids are happy and healthy and doing fine, including your own, then labels like “attachment” parenting become pointless and it all just becomes “parenting”. I’m someone that used a wide range of options for my kids at various stages and they look to be like happy normal kids to me.

    • Box of Salt
      January 20, 2014 at 10:34 pm #

      wow, leah: “You spew so much hate, and I feel very sorry for you.”

      Do you know what this says to me? In spite of your protests to the contrary, you are exactly the black-and-white kind of thinker Dr Tuteur described in this post. It seems to me what you are really saying is: I don’t care what you ( you parents who choose poorly) do because I know my way is really much, much better.

      If you were truly secure with your own personal parenting choices, you wouldn’t be elevating criticism to hate.

  8. Vespertina
    January 20, 2014 at 2:27 am #

    I can tell I lost a friend because I wasn’t able to tolerate seeing her turning her lovely, intelligent 1 year old girl into a tantrum-monster, scared of “strangers”, who was still being breastfed at 2 years old (and certainly, each and every time she throw a tantrum and to “sleep better”), while her mom was “unexpectedly” pregnant of her second child, because “she thought breastfeeding was a natural contraceptive”. And the way she left her newborn baby girl, less than 12 hour after home birth, to go and calm her first child, because “she doesn’t want to cause any trauma on her”. It was painful and certainly horrifying to listen that kind of things form an educated mid-class woman with a university degree… Many of my friends have had children, and I love to see them experiencing it without diluting themselves into “motherhoodland”. I couldn’t cope with this.

    • Dr Kitty
      January 20, 2014 at 2:59 am #

      Sorry, I’m not sure what you mean by “left” the newborn?
      If you mean that she put the baby down and went over to the other child to cuddle her I’m not sure I see the problem.
      Getting a new sibling IS traumatic for some very young children. “We love you so much we thought we’d have another one just like you, and you have to love them too” isn’t easy for a toddler.

    • Siri
      January 20, 2014 at 3:38 am #

      Errmmm….it’s normal for sociable 1-yr-olds to turn 2 and start having tantrums; it probably wasn’t the mother’s doing. Breastfeeding a toddler is also normal. And why are so judgemental of her 2nd pregnancy? Why does it matter to you?

      To be brutally honest, you don’t sound like a very good friend; you seem too preoccupied with your own feelings of outrage at perfectly normal human behaviour. But perhaps you withdrawing your friendship is the best way forward; parenting is hard enough without being judged at every turn.

      Do you have children of your own? The bit about her ‘leaving her newborn’ sounds more like you having a down on your friend and her toddler, and identifying in some weird way with the new baby.

  9. Young CC Prof
    January 18, 2014 at 3:10 pm #

    Apparently, other parts of the Internet feel the same way this week.

  10. Mommy V
    January 18, 2014 at 12:26 am #

    My kid had a stomach bug the other day, and a hardcore AP friend offered to bring me an essential oil mix. I asked what I was supposed to do with it, and she said to rub it on the soles of his feet and along his spine.

    PASS. Already cleaning up enough sh!t around the house, no need to add oil to the mix!

  11. ol
    January 17, 2014 at 1:56 am #

    I wonder why natural parenting looks like some sort of denialism. But what is denied? If the idea that all problems are from childhood mostly due to wrong parental behaviour and parents are responsible for all become more popular, new parents want to be “good parents”, not so bad as previous generation of parents. So I think natural parenting is a kind of denialism of parenting practices of previous generation (not only anti-mainstream movement)

  12. gaffagirl1
    January 16, 2014 at 4:12 pm #

    Oh boy what a timely post. I love wearing my baby in a $30 Mei Tai from Target, but I’m not AP or even really all that crunchy.. I joined a “babywearing” group on Facebook right after my baby was born because I was having problems getting her to “like” being worn and wanted help. That group is really comprised of privileged AP moms who only make playdates during the week and buy $300 handmade wraps. They think so much of themselves that they designed and bought babywearing business cards to hand out to moms they see in public….they even approach moms in “crotch danglers” in hopes that they will join the Facebook group and see the error of their crotch dangling ways. That’s how presumptuous they are.

    I was almost crucified when I called out our local natural birth guru for lying to her classes about epidurals. The mom’s in my group could not conceive of anyone from the natural birth world lying to women – but when I was still drinking the natural birth kool-aid I took the class, and I know exactly what she is spouting.

    Today someone in my babywearing group asked about getting a wrap from a 3rd world Asian country and what kind she should ask for. These women are so full of themselves as to think that babywearing is part of a natural, indigenous parenting philosophy which they are “in on” and non-crunchy mom’s are ignorant of. They probably think I’m a troll by now, but I informed them that babywearing in the third world means mommy has to work in a field or a factory. In fact, in certain places, it’s the only way to prevent human trafficking of children. But no, these lovely ladies think that babywearing means you love your baby more.

  13. Jpow
    January 16, 2014 at 2:27 pm #

    Normally I am 100% in agreement with your posts – but I find myself disagreeing with this one! While I realize there is certainly a community of “hardcore” AP moms, I don’t think this militant version of AP is really what AP is intended to be! I consider my an attachment parent. But I had an epidural. In a hospital. And a c section. I am breastfeeding, but I also vaccinated my daughter. She sleeps in a crib, in her own room. But I babywear frequently and tend to leave the stroller at home. I strive to be sensitive and responsive to my daughter’s needs. I try to respect her feelings and take her cries seriously. And I certainly don’t care if you choose to use a stroller. Or formula. Or the family bed.
    I guess I feel that while calling out attachment parents for being so rigid and black and white, you are also being rigid and black and white for not recognizing that not ALL attachment parents are so close minded!

    • LibrarianSarah
      January 16, 2014 at 3:02 pm #

      I think “attachment parenting” is like “god.” In that it has so many different meanings that it is practically meaningless. If you want to have a conversation about “god” you have to ask the person who said that word what exactly he or she means by that word or else about 30 minutes into the conversations you might here something like:

      “Oh when I say god I don’t mean an all good, all knowing, all powerful man in the sky. My god is (love, energy, the singularity, the universe, life, the sun, this coffee cup, a philandering dude-bro who throws lightning). I am not like all those OTHER theists”

      Just like “god” we have a phase that is so ill defined that anyone can claim ownership of it. If you do any of the things that people who call themselves “attachment parents” you are apparently an attachment parent.

      I’m also an attachment parent, sure I don’t have kids but..

      I don’t mean to pick on you (really I don’t I promise) but this is something that is posted here on every AP article with different “I do this but not that” and it gets old. You are a parent, you do what works for you and raise your kids the best you can. No further sub-classification is necessary.

      • The Bofa on the Sofa
        January 16, 2014 at 4:05 pm #

        “No true APer”

    • Guestll
      January 16, 2014 at 11:19 pm #

      So what you’re saying is, you’re a parent.

  14. Dr Kitty
    January 16, 2014 at 11:55 am #

    Meanwhile, in the rest of the world…

    Mrs Fowler Iorio should take note.

  15. January 16, 2014 at 4:52 am #

    But real parenting is about trying to meet the varied needs of many family members, within varied cultural and religious traditions, not to mention a multitude of family traditions. In the real world, there is no magic recipe for raising healthy, happy children. I think I’ll steal that quote. Brilliant! And great post- as usual!

  16. Lynnie
    January 16, 2014 at 2:31 am #

    I tried to implement (my understanding of) attachment parenting with my son when was a baby. Of course, this was during my guilt over my son’s “unnatural” birth and my breastfeeding failure so I may of overcompensated my “failures” as a mom thus far. (Of course now, I don’t see them as failures, it is just what is.) Well anyways, my son became clingy and whiny and I was unable to put him down and get anything done. I began to not trust my husband to take care of our son “properly”. My husband has a different personality than me and thus a different parenting style. Well, needless to say, attachment parenting did not and will not ever work for me and my family. My son is now almost 4 and is independent and smart and not all affected negatively by being fed formula when he was a baby.
    If attachment parenting works for a person, that is fine. I personally don’t understand it, but it’s up to the parent. My personal parenting style is “try it, and if it works, use it”.

  17. hurricanewarningdc
    January 16, 2014 at 1:44 am #

    IMO, if it’s what a woman wants and can afford to do (b/c who has the time to do AP unless they have expendable income or someone else to do the household chores), go ahead. I think it’s bizarre and that some of the practices (like the family bed) are outright dangerous, but there’s nothing to do about it. Where it pisses me off is where they try to impose this lifestyle/philosophy/militancy on others. You want to wear your baby 24/7 and breastfeed til the kid is in college, lovely, but stfu if I choose to do something different. Oh, and no, being AP does not make you a better, more dedicated mother than the rest of us. It doesn’t define you – unless it’s intended to broadcast to strangers that you harass that you’re a deviation from normal.

    • gaffagirl1
      January 20, 2014 at 9:43 am #

      Agreed. AP moms think that 24/7 babywearing and breastfeeding until the age of 3 or 4 is a natural and loving method of parenting that’s been around since the dawn of man and therefore is superior…In indigenous cultures being attached to your child is NOT about love, it’s about necessity. I work in global manufacturing and I asked all of my international colleagues about baby wearing in their country…The answer I got was ALL the same…only poor women who have to work baby wear. No daycare, no formula, and safety issues at home lead to 24/7wearing…not love. It’s actually a pretty grim reality that AP parents are completely oblivious of.

      • AlisonCummins
        January 20, 2014 at 10:18 am #


        When I lived in a country where babywearing was pretty much universal, babies were only worn in the home if they were complaining while the person looking after them was trying to get work done. Newborns were not often worn. When needed, babies would be worn by mothers or worn/carried by siblings.

        Young children were typically supervised by groups of somewhat older children, close enough to an adult that they could call for help if needed or carry a baby over for feeding. In this way they were free to wander around anywhere a trusted adult was in shouting distance. Infant care, unlike farming or business, was not something that needed the full-time involvement of an adult.

  18. Kathleen Neely
    January 16, 2014 at 1:15 am #

    Women who define their self worth by vaginal birth and extended breas feeding, need to get a life, a job, a hobby. My God….

  19. fatfatchicken
    January 15, 2014 at 11:43 pm #

    Amy, I read your blog for the same reason I listen to Rush Limbaugh – entertainment! Keep it up!

  20. Vyx
    January 15, 2014 at 6:57 pm #

    OT: I’m wondering what the brain trust here thinks of Gripe Water (alcohol free)? My friend swears by it for fussy babies, and has been giving it to her newborn since she was a few days old.

    • Sue
      January 15, 2014 at 7:18 pm #

      “Gripe” or ”colic” in young babies remains a mystery – so any benign treatment seems to be as good as another. And you are only temporising, trying to do something while the infant grows out of it.

      It is unlikely that any herbal ingredients (traditionally fennel) would be in any concentration that would do any harm. And it’s likely to be much cheaper than homeopathic magic water or placebo chiropractic ”adjustment”.

      • Vyx
        January 15, 2014 at 7:29 pm #

        And in a baby that is not colicky?

        • Mishimoo
          January 15, 2014 at 7:56 pm #

          I wonder if it’s the circumstances rather than the gripe water. Dose of gripe water + rocking/cuddling/soothing while waiting for it to ‘kick in’, maybe that causes something akin to Pavlovian conditioning?

          • Vyx
            January 15, 2014 at 11:33 pm #

            That’s a good point, this baby has four older sibs and I think she gets the most attention when she gets gassy. I bet the ritual of Gripe water and one on one time with her Mom is very soothing. It’s probably nice for mom too.

          • Antigonos CNM
            January 16, 2014 at 11:48 am #

            If a baby has been crying for a while before a feed, he’s got air in his tummy — babies swallow a lot of air. Feed him his bottle or give him the breast, and when he burps, not infrequently that air bubble UNDERNEATH the milk comes up bringing most or all of the milk above it. Panic! Baby has vomited! Something’s wrong. Situation usually improves when mother burps the baby after he’s had just enough to calm the hysterical crying, not the entire feed. He’ll still bring up some milk with the air, but nowhere near as much. Some babies need burping 3 or 4 times during feeding anyway.

          • Trixie
            January 16, 2014 at 3:58 pm #

            This was definitely my experience. I had a couple milk ducts that sprayed strongly at odd angles and necessitated a lot of gulping.
            Feeding while lying stomach to stomach helped quite a bit, also.

          • Mishimoo
            January 16, 2014 at 4:50 pm #

            That’s my experience too, two of our kids needed burping all the time but had reflux as well. The youngest has had the worst time with it, so we started solids at 4 months since he was acting like he was ready. We talked to our doctor about it, Gaviscon being an option if it didn’t work. The solids did, and it was amazing because I was finally getting more than 4 hours of broken sleep. (he wouldn’t take formula)

        • Sue
          January 15, 2014 at 11:01 pm #

          ”And in a baby that is not colicky?”

          Sorry – I thought ”fussy” and ”colicky” were vaguely synonymous.

          • Vyx
            January 15, 2014 at 11:33 pm #

            I always thought colicky was fussy turned up to 11!

          • Siri
            January 16, 2014 at 3:25 am #

            Colic is just one attempt at describing/explaining the amount of random crying that many/most newborns do. The kind of crying that starts at teatime and lasts until midnight, or happens randomly throughout the day or night. The crying that has us say, Well, I’ve fed him and changed him and fed him again, and nothing I do makes any difference.

            The people who came up with the concept of colic (thought to be gas pain) decided that if a baby pulled his legs up while crying, he had colic. (Forgetting that all crying neonates pull their legs up while crying hard, and are anyway incapable of deliberate movement). Remedies such as Infacol and gripe water were invented, and still sell in large numbers, not because they’ve been tested and proven to work, but because they’re cheap and let parents feel they’re doing something to help.

            Interestingly, in the UK there is an expensive remedy called Colief, which people put off buying due to the cost. They work their way through the cheaper remedies, finally give in and buy Colief, and then tell me that at last they’ve found SOMETHING THAT WORKS!! I don’t tell them that it’s likely their baby, by now 6 weeks old, would probably have grown out of it anyway. ..

            More worrying to me is the current trend of diagnosing and medicating large numbers of babies for ‘reflux’; every other baby seems to be on ranitidine and gaviscon. We used to call crying colic and spitting-up possetting; now it’s all reflux. Makes me feel old and indignant.

          • Dr Kitty
            January 16, 2014 at 5:08 am #

            Totally agree Siri.
            But if the parents feel happier doing something (and that something is basically harmless) why not.

            GORD in babies is physiological- they all grow out of it, but some of them really do seem much happier with Losec mups or Carobel until they do.

          • Siri
            January 16, 2014 at 6:29 am #

            Glad you’re here, Dr Kitty, so I can ask you what I’ve been meaning to ask a GP for ages! Do you think infant Gaviscon and ranitidine are overprescribed? And if so, is it a problem? When my elder kids were little (1990s), no babies had reflux; now it’s a very common diagnosis.

            I agree entirely that there’s no harm in giving Infacol or gripe water, but I do worry about the number of babies being given prescription drugs. Should I worry? Or is there no need? I do try to explain to parents that possetting is normal and not usually a sign that something is wrong.

          • Dr Kitty
            January 16, 2014 at 11:36 am #

            Personally, I prefer to prescribe carobel (which is carob seed flour) rather than PPIs or H2receptor antagonists, but I don’t think it hugely problematic to prescribe them for genuinely distressed, vomiting babies (or if you have genuinely distressed parents of vomiting babies).

            There is, though, a HUGE motivator to get your child diagnosed with CMPA, because you can get free formula (Nutramigen…yuck). A trial of Nutramigen is also on our local infant feeding guidance as a colic treatment.

            I try and tell people that some babies spew more than others, and not to worry unless the baby seems very distressed during or after feeds.

            Since most of them are only on the medication for a few months, there are few drawbacks.

          • Wren
            January 16, 2014 at 12:52 pm #

            I was wondering the same thing. Thanks Dr Kitty.

          • Box of Salt
            January 16, 2014 at 1:07 pm #

            Could you define what you mean by “possetting”?

            I’d also like to ask you exactly how much spit up (per feeding, and per day) takes a child out of “no need to worry” category.

          • Siri
            January 20, 2014 at 3:31 am #

            Possetting, to me at least as a non-native English speaker (in Norwegian it’s called gulping, and is applied exclusively to the upchucking young babies do), is a layperson’s term for ‘any amount of chucking up of milk a young baby does without its affecting baby’s ability to thrive’.

            Some babies never spit up, some spit up a LOT, but it would only worry me if it led to failure to thrive. A healthy, developing baby can bring up what looks like huge amounts without suffering any ill-effects.

            Obviously as a health visitor I also have a special category, the ‘I’m not concerned about this, but parents are REALLY worried, so better take it seriously in case I’ve missed something their instincts have picked up on’.

          • fiftyfifty1
            January 16, 2014 at 12:10 pm #

            GORD, Losec, mups, Carobel. 4 words in one sentence that I have never heard before! UK English and American English are so different!

          • Dr Kitty
            January 16, 2014 at 12:22 pm #

            GORD= GERD (because it is oesophagus, not esophagus).
            Losec mups= Omperazole Multiple Unit Pellet System (capsules with granules inside- used for babies as you can break open the capsules and sprinkle the pellets in milk, water or yogurt).
            Carobel= Carob seen flour powder
            Baby Gaviscon= alginate powder

            I’m not sure if that helps much though.

          • AmyP
            January 16, 2014 at 10:24 am #

            “More worrying to me is the current trend of diagnosing and medicating large numbers of babies for ‘reflux’; every other baby seems to be on ranitidine and gaviscon.”

            My first spat up a lot and my second had horrible colic (and also spat up). The doctor told me to feed the second less, but at the time I just couldn’t follow through on those instructions, as eating was the only thing that calmed him down, and it just seemed so WRONG not to feed a baby that wanted to eat. I thought all of that was perfectly normal, right up until I had my third baby, who barely spat up at all. She could go weeks without spitting up.

            That’s when it finally dawned on me that spitting up isn’t necessarily “normal” and it made me reevaluate how we managed our second baby.

            (Looking back, I think my doctor should have suggested a slower nipple for the colicky second baby or possibly even medication.)

    • Starling
      January 15, 2014 at 9:41 pm #

      I was assuming the sodium bicarbonate was probably the ingredient with some effect.

      • Vyx
        January 15, 2014 at 11:36 pm #

        When I worked as a baker years ago, many a heartburn was treated with some baking soda in milk. It was not very nice tasting though, and you would not believe how much gas came up (I assume though that that was from the CO2 produced by the chemical reaction).

    • Mindy
      January 16, 2014 at 3:45 am #

      I’m not into AP at all and used and still use gripe water for upset tummy at 16 mos.

    • Box of Salt
      January 16, 2014 at 4:07 am #

      How fussy is her baby?

    • The Computer Ate My Nym
      January 16, 2014 at 8:55 am #

      I’ve never heard of gripe water, don’t know anything about it good or bad. I’m worried about any supplement or naturopathic medication, though, because they aren’t regulated at all. How do you know that it really is alcohol free and doesn’t contain something dangerous like opiates or barbituates? (To re-emphasize: I have no particular reason to suspect this specific product, just that I have no reason to think it safe either, given the lack of regulation on such things.)

      • Dr Kitty
        January 16, 2014 at 9:30 am #

        Gripe water is sold in the UK as a medicine, so it is regulated. It contains dill oil and sodium carbonate.
        Perfectly safe, if completely ineffective.

      • Antigonos CNM
        January 16, 2014 at 11:43 am #

        Tends to be extract of fennel, dill, and ginger, more or less. Madhur Jaffrey, in her books on Indian cuisine, points out that ginger and turmeric are often added to lentil and legume recipes to avoid flatulence and indigestion. The name “gripe water” has always struck me as humorously archaic, but I confess I’ve seen it work wonders. I also take “gripe water” when my inbox fills up with bills. It’s also known as single malt whisky, and I don’t feel like griping [complaining] at all any more if I drink enough of it.

      • Guest
        January 16, 2014 at 12:01 pm #

        Where I’m from, gripe water is sold as medicine and the AP crowd don’t touch it. I “wear” my children because it is convenient and easy, I breastfeeding because I like it (both well into toddlerhood), I work and I don’t use gripe water, but perhaps if my children had been fussy I might have.

  21. Jessica
    January 15, 2014 at 5:49 pm #

    I adhere to the “if momma ain’t happy, ain’t nobody happy” parenting theory. 🙂 (Forgive me, dads out there. This totally extends to you, too.) At the end of the proverbial day, the moods with which a child was fed, rested, played will far outweigh the method.

      January 15, 2014 at 6:45 pm #

      Yes! I know many mothers who embrace the “attachment parenting lifestyle”, yet address their children hatefully or handle them roughly because they are unhappy. Everyone has their moments, but I mean a persistent behavioral pattern. It seems to apply more to those who are “performance parenting”.

  22. Zornorph
    January 15, 2014 at 4:48 pm #

    The one thing that I have certainly noticed about AP is the inherent sexism in it. Men are reduced to spear carriers in a Tarzan movie. Apart from the whole must EBF part (God forbid you pump, baby won’t bond without mummy’s teat in his mouth), the only way men are allowed to get near the baby is if they act like women. I don’t mean to stereotype, but the male half of AP couples I have seen tend to be neutered and have bought into their wife’s ‘thing’. Very rarely does the idea seem to have come from the man.
    There are some things I do that would be part of an AP approach, but they are all cases where it best fits my situation. I ‘wear’ (God, I hate that term) my baby some of the time, but that’s because where I take my doggie for walks, the stroller would be hard to push. But when I go to the grocery store, I keep him in the car seat and plunk it in the cart – a big no-no among the AP set who think that the car seat should never leave the car. But this enables me to smile at him and make faces while we are shopping, something I could not do were he in a carrier. And besides, I’m using a Bjorn – something no ‘true’ AP parent would use because they don’t like the way baby sits in it – you have to use one of those emasculating Moby wraps if you want to do it ‘right’.
    I have him in my bedroom because it suits me, but he’s not in bed with me, the crib is just right next to the bed – gasp, separation! Of course, I was disqualified on day one because he’s snppped, anyway.
    But the thing is, AP women really don’t want to engage me because as a man, I don’t think they believe I can properly AP anyway. They would never let me into their little club, but that’s fine as I’d never want to join.

    • The Bofa on the Sofa
      January 15, 2014 at 4:54 pm #

      But when I go to the grocery store, I keep him in the car seat and plunk it in the cart – a big no-no among the AP set who think that the car seat should never leave the car. But this enables me to smile at him and make faces while we are shopping, something I could not do were he in a carrier

      We had that discussion with the poster-who-shan’t-be-named (which is good, because I can’t remember his name, anyway), when he made some crack about parents who are pushing their kids around in the car seat in the shopping cart.

      I pointed out this exact thing – in fact, when my babies were in the car seat, we spent the time looking at each other and I was always talking to them. It was actually a very intense “bonding” time (for lack of a better word). I liked to take the kids to the store when they were babies because we had such a great time there. It was awesome 1 on 1 time.

      That he could criticize it showed how clueless he was about it.

      • Trixie
        January 15, 2014 at 5:14 pm #

        The AAP actually recommends against car seats in shopping carts, not for ideological reasons, but because it causes a lot of injury. Especially if you put it on the top of the cart and not down in the basket. It makes the cart top-heavy and prone to tipping over.

        • Dr Kitty
          January 15, 2014 at 5:39 pm #

          Trixie…we did that with the nameless poster too…

          • Trixie
            January 15, 2014 at 5:55 pm #

            Okay, that was before my time. Is it disputed that it causes accidents?

        • Karen in SC
          January 15, 2014 at 6:08 pm #

          Most car seats these days won’t fit except in the depth of the cart. Mine had no way to fit except for down there and I packed items in the “seat” or to the sides.

          • Trixie
            January 15, 2014 at 6:10 pm #

            Almost every infant car seat manual explicitly prohibits putting the car seat in the top of the cart, these days. Some were redesigned to no longer give the appearance of snapping into the shopping cart.

        • Zornorph
          January 15, 2014 at 6:17 pm #

          I put the cat seat down in the cart – the only way there could be an injury would be if I somehow overturned the whole cart. It would be much more likely for me to slip down with him in the Bjorn than for that to happen.

          • SkepticalGuest
            January 15, 2014 at 6:19 pm #

            Now I’m curious..where did you put your groceries????

          • Karen in SC
            January 15, 2014 at 6:28 pm #

            You would be surprised what you can fit underneath and around, when you need to. I never took to baby carriers at all and happily used alternatives.

            January 15, 2014 at 6:47 pm #

            On top of the baby.

          • Zornorph
            January 15, 2014 at 6:54 pm #

            I don’t buy a huge amount of stuff at one time and most of it fits in the basket thingy right by the handle (where toddlers usually sit). Some stuff fits around the sides of the car seat. Anything really big goes below the car.

          • me
            January 15, 2014 at 7:05 pm #

            Yeah, see I could never make that work. I go grocery shopping once every two weeks (maybe I’ll pick up milk and fruit in between, but everything else is on ‘shopping day’). I never trusted the seat perched precariously on the handle of the cart, so, yeah, my infants got “worn” until they could sit up by themselves in the shopping cart seat.

          • Zornorph
            January 15, 2014 at 8:05 pm #

            I don’t like frozen meat, so I go every couple of days and buy fresh what I’m going to need for the next meal or two. If I have to do a ‘big’ shopping, I do put him in the Bjorn.

          • SkepticalGuest
            January 15, 2014 at 8:51 pm #

            Ah. That’s how I used to shop pre-baby. Post-baby it’s become a once-a-week grocery run with maybe a short trip for a few produce & meat items mid-week–often as part of an evening, baby-free walk.

          • Karen in SC
            January 15, 2014 at 10:22 pm #

            Somehow I was able to delegate the “big shopping” to my husband after we had our first baby. Mainly since a nice new store opened right on his way home from work. It’s still his job 20 years later. YAY says I !!

          • Trixie
            January 15, 2014 at 6:28 pm #

            Oh, yeah, that’s much safer. 🙂

      • SkepticalGuest
        January 15, 2014 at 6:18 pm #

        I was always amazed that anyone wanted to lift the baby AND the carseat up together. I had a heavy baby (9 pounder at birth) and a heavy carseat (ours was 10+ pounds). It was so much easier to just carry him in an ergo or, by 6 months, plop him sitting upright in the carriage!

        • Trixie
          January 15, 2014 at 6:30 pm #

          Yeah, I pretty much went straight to a convertible the second time around, for that reason.

          • SkepticalGuest
            January 15, 2014 at 8:50 pm #

            On the plus side, those infant carseats are awesome with the Snap-and-Go stroller base. We used the carseat mostly for that, and then carried the carseat inside when he (miraculously) fell asleep.

          • Trixie
            January 15, 2014 at 9:37 pm #

            Ha! I have heard tell of this thing called sleeping in the car, but have yet to witness it firsthand.

          • Antigonos CNM
            January 16, 2014 at 11:54 am #

            Oh, #2 child, a.k.a. The World Champion Picklepuss and Jewish Princess, a.k.a. The Curly-Haired Monster, who had a scream that sent people to bomb shelters and got day and night mixed up until almost a year old, LOVED being driven around. In fact, there were times it was the only way to make her fall asleep. My husband joked that the car ought to be registered in her name.

            I had to fly to the US with my son when he was 10 days old, and the vibrations of the plane’s motors lulled him for almost the entire trip [11 hours]

        • Zornorph
          January 15, 2014 at 9:13 pm #

          Probably the whole ‘me-big-strong-man’ thing. But I can tell you, when I am carrying him in his car seat, it’s the one time I wish I had twins because I can carry a load much better when I’m balanced.
          More often that not, though, I can find a cart in the parking lot and don’t have to carry him far.

          • Amy M
            January 16, 2014 at 7:45 am #

            My twins are small dudes, and they fit in their infant car-seat buckets until they were 18mos old. They started walking a little after a year. Thankfully, our daycare provider was very helpful because getting two heavy buckets full o’ not-quite-toddler from the car to the house was becoming detrimental to my back. There was a stage there, where I couldn’t take one out and trust that he’d stay put and not wander into the road while I tended to his brother, you know?

      • me
        January 15, 2014 at 7:03 pm #

        I could never manage to fit the kid and the groceries in the same cart. after a few awkward attempts at hauling around two shopping carts (one with baby in bucket and toddler in seat, the other with the groceries) I decided baby could be worn in carrier and toddler could walk or sit in seat as needed.

        It got really interesting with #3. But by then toddler was preschooler and could walk the whole time, baby was toddler and could sit in cart, and new baby was in carrier on my chest. I had use of both hands, the two littler ones contained, and room for my groceries.

    • Young CC Prof
      January 15, 2014 at 6:35 pm #

      When I was 1 year old, I had a stay-at-home dad and employed mom for a while. He’d take me places, ride the subway together, mommy and me class, etc.

      In 1982, this was a fairly radical arrangement, and he says that any number of strange women on the streets and trains felt totally free to just walk up to him and start criticizing his parenting choices.

      Sanctimommys: They do indeed predate the Internet.

    • January 15, 2014 at 6:38 pm #

      I do not AP, but there is some stinky gender essentialism in this post for sure. Men aren’t ‘neutered’ if they ‘act like women’ (aka act like human beings with the capability to care for others). Robert Jensen has written extensively about how masculinity as an ideal is bad for everyone, including men.

      • Zornorph
        January 15, 2014 at 7:01 pm #

        We probably wouldn’t have the same opinions about Robert Jensen. Obviously, as a single parent, I do feel like I am a human being with the capacity to care for another. But my approach has been to try to be a really good father – I’m not a woman and am not capable of being one. That doesn’t mean I wouldn’t let my son cry on my lap when he’s a bit older or anything like that. But I do parent in a masculine way, albeit one how likes to dress his kid up really preppy.

        • theNormalDistribution
          January 15, 2014 at 7:52 pm #

          What makes you think that your parenting style is “masculine”?

        • Eddie Sparks
          January 15, 2014 at 10:07 pm #

          I know what Zomorph means. Gender essentialism assigns different roles to men and women based on their gender, with no room for flexibility. The opposite (I don’t know the appropriate jargon) assumes that men and women are identical, and are not only capable – but should prefer – to do exactly the same things in the same way. This is equally wrong, IMO.

          It is a true statement to say “men are taller than women”. It says absolutely nothing about any individual man or any individual women, or imply we should be anything other than accepting of men and women of all heights. But the statement does highlight a broad difference in physical stature between the sexes.

          I think there are other broad differences, including differences in parenting style. I don’t have any better words to describe it than Zomorph is using – “masculine”, “neutered”, “emasculated”, etc. – although I recognise the clumsiness of the vocabulary. And, in my experience, AP often excludes men unless they “feminise” their parenting style.

          • Zornorph
            January 15, 2014 at 10:33 pm #

            You got it. I do recognize that my wording is a bit awkward. I just can’t find a more eloquent way of saying what I want to express.

          • Eddie Sparks
            January 15, 2014 at 11:39 pm #

            I thought of an example and found a bit more time to kill typing stuff on the Internet:

            Two four year old boys at the park head away from the group of parents to a small creek. They pick up sticks and start mock sword fighting, pretending to be Jedi knights. They are balancing on rocks in the little creek, trying to force each other to step off into the water.

            Example a): Dad of one of the boys notices what they are doing and wanders over. He finds his own stick and joins in the game. Soon he is Anakin and the boys are jointly Obi Wan. They dance around on the rocks, but eventually the dad allows the boys to overpower him and he slides off his rock into the water, letting out a blood-curdling scream as he is consumed by the “lava” and completing the transformation to Darth Vadar. One of the boys slips on a rock and skins his knee. His lips wobble, but he looks up at his Dad and grits his teeth. “You OK?” Asks the dad. The boy nods. “Let’s wash that off in the water and then go back and get a bandaid,” suggests the dad. The boy nods again and slowly limps over.

            Example b): Mum of one of the boys notices what they are doing and wanders over. She engages her son in conversation, mentioning that she doesn’t like it when they play “fighting games” and that the rocks look a bit slippery. She is worried that they might fall over and hurt themselves. She sits on one of the larger rocks and starts piling up smaller rocks, sticks, etc. across the creek, to make a small dam. She wonders aloud how much water she could back up in the stream and whether it would run dry. The boys are interested and come over to help make the dam. They create a sizeable pool of water, before the dam is finally overrun and the water escapes down the creek with a great rush and cheers from all concerned. One of the boys slips on a rock and skins his knee. He looks up at his mum and bursts into tears. The mum picks him up and hugs him tight. “I wanna go home,” cries the boy. The mum carries him back to the group and sits under the tree, cuddling him for 15 minutes until he feels OK, at which point he runs back to the playground.

            I don’t have a problem with either of these parenting styles. Parents are different, just as kids are, and everyone finds a style that suits them. Ideally, kids would have a number of adults in their lives with different parenting/caregiving styles and would learn a variety of lessons about the world. It wouldn’t even matter if the parent in example a) were a mum and the parent in example b) were a dad. No biggie.

            Example c): Dad of one boy and AP mum of the other boy both notice what they are doing and wander over. Dad picks up a stick to join in the game, while mum approaches her own son. Without addressing the dad at all, she speaks loudly to her son. “Tommy, you know that we don’t play violent games. I want you to stop that right now. You’ll just slip over on those wet rocks, anyhow, and get hurt.” She approaches her son and grabs his free hand. “Put the stick down now, we are going back.” The boy has no choice but to drop the stick and go with his mum. The dad and his son are standing by, staring. As the boy turns to follow his mum he slips on a rock and skins his knee. He looks up and bursts into tears. “See, I told you this wasn’t safe! Look what you have done!” the mum remonstrates. She picks up her son, turns her back on the dad, and heads straight back to the group. She nurses her son for 15 minutes and he stays with his mum for the rest of the time in the park.

            In this example the AP parent has excluded the other parent, dismissed his parenting style as violent and unsafe, and therefore unacceptable. All without even having the courtesy to address him directly. She is also subtly undermining her son’s independence, emphasising the message that he is not safe without her, and that he shouldn’t stray so far away.

            If the mum and dad were actually partners and parents of the same boy it would probably have been even worse. The number of times I saw AP mothers publicly belittling and scolding their partners for their more “masculine” (again for want of a better word) parenting styles was sickening.

          • Zornorph
            January 15, 2014 at 11:51 pm #

            Well done! That says it perfectly.

          • Lynnie
            January 16, 2014 at 2:34 am #

            I parent like scenario A. My husband parents like scenario B.

          • Ennis Demeter
            January 16, 2014 at 7:10 am #

            I did both things at varying times during my daughter’s childhood. Nothing you are describing is a “masculine” or “feminine” style of parenting, and probably both A and B scenarios depend more on the child’s personality or on whether the parent has something urgent to attend to, like another child.

          • Eddie Sparks
            January 16, 2014 at 3:14 pm #

            We’ve already discussed the fact that the words “masculine” and “feminine” aren’t quite right, are clumsy and full of connotations that aren’t intended. Do you have any alternative vocabulary suggestions?

          • AlisonCummins
            January 16, 2014 at 3:25 pm #

            What’s the context?

            “long-haired” vs “short-haired”
            “muscular” vs “soft”
            “conciliatory” vs “aggressive”
            “foul-mouthed” vs “polite”

            Any of these are qualities that can easily be attributed to men or women. If you focus on the quality that you are talking about rather than the gendering that convention assigns it you can be more precise in your thinking.

          • Eddie Sparks
            January 16, 2014 at 3:34 pm #

            The context of the example I posted above. A short-hand, mutually understood descriptive word or phrase to describe the parenting styles in examples a) and b).

          • AlisonCummins
            January 16, 2014 at 3:45 pm #

            Well, we know the parenting styles described have nothing to do with genitals and that both men and women practice all three styles so gendering them isn’t not “not quite right” it’s flat-out “wrong.” Which is why I didn’t understand your question.

            How would you describe them? There’s a lot of literature on parenting styles and there are way more than those three. Conspicuously missing from the scenarios are the authoritarian and uninvolved styles.

          • theNormalDistribution
            January 16, 2014 at 3:50 pm #

            As others have pointed out, the only thing masculine or feminine about those ‘parenting styles’ is the fact that you attributed each one to a specific gender.

          • auntbea
            January 16, 2014 at 10:04 am #

            Who cares about the parenting approaches! WHY IS HE WASHING OUT THE WOUND WITH STREAM WATER? Does he WANT his child to get necrotizing fasciitis?

          • Eddie Sparks
            January 16, 2014 at 3:36 pm #

            Edited to include “Betadine and a bandaid.”

          • Siri
            January 16, 2014 at 3:39 am #

            Well, talking about emasculating Moby wraps is a bit extreme, and hints that you’d think less of a man who chose to wear one. Plus you seem to assume that he would only wear one if he’d been coerced by his female partner. Why not say, I personally would feel silly/like a dork in a Moby wrap? You needn’t say ‘like a woman’; again, this would reduce half of humanity to beings of lesser value, which I’m sure is not representative of how you feel.

            We already know you’re a red-blooded male, who lusts after Maria Kang and likes porn (so do many women, but that’s by the bye); no need to denigrate men who enjoy the softer aspects of parenting.

          • Eddie Sparks
            January 16, 2014 at 3:33 pm #

            “no need to denigrate men who enjoy the softer aspects of parenting.”

            I didn’t read Zornorph’s post as denigrating those men who enjoy the “softer side of parenting”. I read it as defending those men who DON’T enjoy parenting that way. People replying have criticised his use of particular words or examples, but have tip-toed around the actual issue without addressing it.

            “The one thing that I have certainly noticed about AP is the inherent sexism in it.”

            I happen to agree with this central premise. AP mothers (in particular) can be very harsh on men who don’t enjoy parenting according to an extremely soft/feminine/ style. It’s not so much of a problem for a single father who can simply choose to hang out with a different group of people. However, for father’s whose partners are deep into AP it can be a major problem.

            I have seen committed fathers unhappily stick around in a relationship that is clearly destructive in order to continue supporting their children. I have seen relationships destroyed because of this issue. The root cause seems to involve the rejection of any kind of parenting that is not soft/feminine/ enough. And the rejection is often subtle, harsh, unforgiving, belittling, public, manipulative, “emasculating”. And sexist.

          • theNormalDistribution
            January 16, 2014 at 3:42 pm #

            I think your description of AP and your problems with it both sound pretty sexist.

          • Ennis Demeter
            January 16, 2014 at 7:07 am #

            You can say that a father feels minimized or that his opinion doesn’t count. When a woman gets her way, she is not doing anything to her husband’s manhood and she is not figuratively castrating him. That way of thinking is sexist in the extreme.

          • toni
            January 16, 2014 at 4:35 pm #

            I think it’s strange when people deny that there tend to be differences between men and women that aren’t just a result of social conditioning. ‘Fatherly’ and ‘motherly’ do have slightly different meanings like it or not. I think some people here are being deliberately obtuse. Is it not generally the case that fathers are better at roughhousing and mothers are better with scraped knees? Munchausen by proxy is much more common in women. There are disorders more common in men, why is this? I always assumed because we usually have different personality traits so men and women love in different ways and so abuse in different ways.

            Neither of my parents are particularly affectionate. Rather stern and Edwardian (and equally so) I would say but the biggest difference is that my father is quicker to forgive transgressions and my mother worries a lot more about me. I think it’s *almost* a universal truth that mothers worry more. Who disagrees?

          • AlisonCummins
            January 16, 2014 at 5:15 pm #

            Straw man. It’s not the tendency that’s at issue, it’s the essentialising. Men (as a group) tend to be taller than women (as a group) but we all know individual women who are taller than individual men, and there is more variation in height among women than there is between men and women. That is, for the US population the average man is about 5.5″ taller than the average woman, but the difference in height between a woman at the 5th percentile and a woman at the 95th percentile is about 10″.
            That’s why we say “she’s taller than he is” instead of “she’s more masculine than he is” or “she’s more dutch than he is.” When height is what we are talking about, we talk about height.
            Maybe women worry more. I think in families people tend to split up their jobs. If person 1 worries about X then person 2 doesn’t have to. Person 2 might be perfectly capable of worrying about X but it’s pointless if that’s already being handled. In my relationship it’s my [male] partner who does the worrying. I make health decisions, he makes money decisions. I map out the big picture, he executes. I’m the breadwinner, he looks after the housekeeping. That doesn’t mean that I can’t make money decisions or execute or that he couldn’t earn more money than he does. It just means we work as a team, collaboratively.
            Jews have a reputation for worrying more than goys, especially about their children. Instead of referring to “feminine” and “masculine” parenting style we could just as easily say “jewish” and “goyish.”
            Or we could just say “anxious” and “relaxed,” if that’s what we mean.

      • Guestll
        January 15, 2014 at 11:48 pm #

        Well, if Robert Jensen says so…

      • Ennis Demeter
        January 16, 2014 at 7:04 am #

        Not an AP parent either, but how I wish words like “neutered” and “emasculated” would disappear from common use. All it ever means is: “woman won an argument with her husband”, or “husband does things her way”. It is EXTREMELY revealing when a man uses these words to describe what happens with himself or other men.

    • Tsabhira
      January 15, 2014 at 8:39 pm #

      The hospital at which my son was born less than three years ago forced us to watch a breastfeeding propaganda video in which the father’s sole purpose (and I am not even kidding) was to open the window and let in a cool breeze for mom while she breastfed. This remains a standing joke between my husband and me to this day, as we shared feeding duties equally, he did most of the night feeds, and he wore that baby all the time because my back couldn’t take it (and because he was too lazy to get out a stroller).

      It took me a long time and a lot of guilt to realize how much I would have robbed my husband of finding this piece of himself if I had done what the domineering AP moms do and insisted on claiming the entirety of feeding and nurturing and everything else for myself, never mind what it would have robbed from me and my son.

      FWIW, my guy in a Moby wrap never looked emasculated; he looked like a Jedi. With a baby. Does not get better than this.

      • Young CC Prof
        January 15, 2014 at 8:50 pm #

        Actually, while we were still in the hospital, my husband basically managed breastfeeding himself a few times. There’s just no other word for it, he took a dazed and confused newborn, carried him to a mother 2/3 asleep and unable to move and got a latch.

        • Zornorph
          January 15, 2014 at 9:11 pm #

          Well, my LO did latch on to me a time or two, but I had to stop him because I didn’t want him to get hairballs.

          • Siri
            January 16, 2014 at 3:31 am #

            Get the wax out, you caveman!! Sheesh….:-b

        • Siri
          January 16, 2014 at 3:30 am #

          Was the 2/3 asleep mother you or another woman?

      • Zornorph
        January 15, 2014 at 9:11 pm #

        Glad your hubby can pull off a Moby, I never would be able to! But given that you two split everything, I don’t see why you need feel any guilt. But those ultra-crunchy times with their talk of ‘mama wisdom’ and all that – they never seem to think that ‘daddy wisdom’ might exist or talk about it. Mind you, I just use a mix of logic, knowledge and instinct. I don’t try to suggest it’s some mystical power. It’s just a combination of motivation and practicality.

      • AmyP
        January 15, 2014 at 11:17 pm #

        “he wore that baby all the time because my back couldn’t take it (and because he was too lazy to get out a stroller).”

        With my third baby, I was totally planning to use a sling a lot. However, I had been on physical restrictions for my second trimester and was just plain immobilized by my bulk for the third, so that after the baby was born, I was disappointed to find that wearing the baby just made me hurt all over, particularly the back. It would have been so convenient to be able to use a sling, but it just didn’t work this time. (I carried my second around in a sling a lot with no such problems.)

      • Trixie
        January 16, 2014 at 5:30 am #

        See, for our family, neither of us feels like my being the only one to feed the infant robbed anyone of anything. I don’t think feeding a baby equals bonding with it.

    • SK
      January 16, 2014 at 2:25 am #

      I found the Moby wrap impossible. You should read the negative reviews about it on Amazon – very funny.

      • Lynnie
        January 16, 2014 at 2:32 am #

        I had a Moby wrap. I liked it…… once I figured it out.

      • Trixie
        January 16, 2014 at 5:25 am #

        There are other brands of wraps that work better. I lived in mine for the first 4 months or so!

        • Wren
          January 16, 2014 at 12:57 pm #

          My son hated them all, especially the Bjorn, but my daughter loved being in a wrap or sling. I used a ring sling for the first few months, then an Ergo or a mei tai, then a Patapum toddler. She loved being “worn” and it left me with just one kid to chase after.

  23. Guest
    January 15, 2014 at 3:03 pm #

    Here’s a fun example. I have several friends and family that reside in my hometown where the chemical spill tainted the water in West Virginia. One friend was featured in a Huffpo article about the difficulties of caring for triplets during all this which can be found here: Of course, first comment on the article from a user who knows nothing of the circumstances is this “Good argument for breastfeeding your children – and yes, it is possible to breastfeed triplets, lots of women have done it! No worries about finding potable water, cleaning bottles, etc.”

    • Guestll
      January 15, 2014 at 3:06 pm #

      That’s one of the many irritating things about these members of the 101st Keyboard Warriors Brigade — they filter every possible situation through the narrowness of their own lens. Attempts at edification are mostly futile as they are tone deaf.

    • MaineJen
      January 15, 2014 at 3:20 pm #

      *sigh* But other than that, Mrs. Lincoln, what did you think of the play?

    • Young CC Prof
      January 15, 2014 at 3:25 pm #

      I especially like the part where another commenter points out the basic biological fact that a breastfeeding mother STILL needs lots water to drink, or else she’ll stop producing, and the original jerk basically denies it.

      • Trixie
        January 15, 2014 at 5:21 pm #

        I suppose it is less dangerous for the adult mother to drink the water than the baby directly, though.

      • Siri
        January 16, 2014 at 4:48 am #

        Let her drink cake… errr… lemonade. Made with… errr…lemons and sugar and…..forget it. Let her drink Diet Coke.

    • The Bofa on the Sofa
      January 15, 2014 at 4:37 pm #

      Speaking of triplets, recall a couple weeks ago that I mentioned my wife’s friend who just had her second set of triplets (in less than two years). They were born on Fri, Jan 3, and went home, I hear, on MONDAY Jan 6!

      All are doing just fine.

      I don’t know if she is breastfeeding at all. I don’t ask.

      • SkepticalGuest
        January 15, 2014 at 6:21 pm #

        I’m hoping those are fertility-treatment triplets. Because no mom deserves to be subjected to naturally-occurring triplets more than once!

    • Life Tip
      January 15, 2014 at 5:53 pm #

      I saw something similar on Facebook today. There was an article about a nurse bringing a mom the wrong newborn for a midnight feeding. The first comment: “That’s what you get when you send the baby to the nursery! Mamas and babies should never be separated!!”

      How helpful.

      • SkepticalGuest
        January 15, 2014 at 6:20 pm #

        How about wrist bands with mom’s name and room number?

        • Young CC Prof
          January 15, 2014 at 6:22 pm #

          We had that. Ankle band for baby, matching bands for mom AND dad, with a baby code number on them. The nurses checked every time.

          • Jessica
            January 15, 2014 at 6:48 pm #

            And our hospital has alarms that will go off if you take the baby past a certain point. Not the mother though, I guess they aren’t as concerned if she disappears. (Ha! Little joke there.)

        • LibrarianSarah
          January 16, 2014 at 2:36 pm #

          Eh just put a chip in them. It works for my cat.

    • Jennifer2
      January 15, 2014 at 10:11 pm #

      I had a friend who was pretty depressed when she gave up breastfeeding her twins (one wouldn’t latch and she couldn’t pump enough for both). As zealous and crazy as I got about breastfeeding for a while (until I had a baby and couldn’t breastfeed him) I never once questioned her formula feeding her twins. I mean, there were two of them. That’s twice as many babies as one baby. That’s 100% more babies than I had. Triplets would be crazy time. That’s 50% more babies than boobies. I’m not saying it’s not possible, I’m not saying it shouldn’t be attempted, I’m just saying that if no one should judge a mom of one for not breastfeeding, then it is doubly wrong to judge a mom of twins for not breastfeeding and it’s triply wrong to judge a mom of triplets for not breastfeeding.

      • Young CC Prof
        January 15, 2014 at 11:08 pm #

        As I understand it, most doctors don’t recommend even attempting EBF for higher-order multiples. Instead, they suggest trying to get all the babies SOME breast milk during the early weeks if feasible.

      • Antigonos CNM
        January 16, 2014 at 11:59 am #

        The theory is, the greater the amount of stimulation, the larger the milk supply. Nipple stimulation = hormonal stimulation = brain says “hungry kid!” Up to a point, that’s true. It is certainly true that when attempting to end breastfeeding, the worst thing a woman can do is manually empty her breasts because they are painful. Brain does not distinguish between baby and hand or pump. If milk remains in the breasts, eventually the brain gets the message that it is making too much milk, and begins shutting the system down.

        • Trixie
          January 16, 2014 at 4:00 pm #

          You shouldn’t really quit cold turkey and just stop expressing milk, totally, though. It can lead to mastitis. It’s better to slowly express a bit less every few days.

  24. Guest
    January 15, 2014 at 2:09 pm #

    I love this article! I personally love so much about attachment parenting, but hate those who are so close-minded that they can’t accept that different people need different things. I think lots of people seem to forget that what may bring a close bond between some mothers/ fathers and baby, may torment another mother/ father and hinder the bonding process.

  25. January 15, 2014 at 2:01 pm #

    This – there is a profound lack of empathy, sympathy and understanding for why a different family may choose differently. In sum, a lack of confidence about one’s own choices that enables a person to tolerate someone else’s different choice. I think it is a kind of social ignorance that is not unlike the ignorance that says its okay to be racist or homophobic. An ignorance that says its okay to harm those who do not share your views, and that one’s own views entitles them to some kind of privledge…it’s a rather disturbing form of elitism. It must be awful to have such a barrier between oneself and finding happiness.

  26. crunchy renee
    January 15, 2014 at 1:24 pm #

    This is so very true, at least where I live, the APers are super rigid. You aren’t even allowed to bring up non approved topics (weaning before kid chooses too, cribs, elective CS, mentioning risks of any of the things they do, like bed share w infants or HB, etc), unless to say they are bad and you need to know how to fix the damage.

    Your opinions and likes *outside* the group are scrutinized for conformity as well, and not loving HB can make you “unsafe”. Even if you never bring it up around them. It is more rule bound than the reviled Babywise, and any of the things they claim to be against. They are also ruthless with culling “friends” that fall out of line. Not a loving group at all, unless you participate in groupthink with them 100%.

    I didn’t realize this at first, as AP is used by so many, so loosely, its almost meaningless. Still, we ALL know what type of group I am referring too.

    I think parenting depends on what the kids AND parents needs are, and even though these APers pretend to follow the kid needs, its all a lie. A smokescreen to hide the ugly. The kids always “need” whatever the AP ideal demands. Period. Baby not like being worn? Too bad. Baby on days long nursing strike, maybe wanting to wean? Better starve baby into BF, no other food allowed! Baby cannot sleep well in your bed? Tough luck.

    Same thing for the family. Mom is as trapped as baby: hate BF? Too bad, FF is poison. Cannot sleep safely and soundly w baby? Don’t you know baby was MADE to sleep w you? Want an epidural? You are drugging baby and a bad mom. ANd poor Dad, his needs and wants for his kids are thoroughly ignored. Don’t want to see wife have a HB? Your body, your choice. He gets kicked out of bed for baby? Oh well, thats how it has to be. He wants to feed baby too? Nope, bottles are a no-go. Doesn’t like some of your choices? Divorce him, mama!

    Personally, I don’t even see how HB and NCB have anything to do w AP, other than they are considered crunchy. Those things are dangerous, and birth is not parenting. The do not agree, of course.

    I cannot imagine formula parenting. I have had such totally different kids.

    DS was very independent. He was FF, had his own bed in his own room, wore disposables, and loved his stroller (hated carriers). He spent hours in the swing, and in a baby seat watching his Daddy paint. We had a mothers helper, who took care of him too. I worked full time.
    Classic mainstream baby.

    DD was born (33W) when I wasn’t employed. From 34W, she wanted BF, never took a bottle once home (and still BF at 2). She was always fussing, screaming, and was only happy in the Ergo. All day. She slept in a bassinet next to me, and moved in our bed when older. Never tolerated a swing, bouncy seat, other peoples arms, and I tried them all. We used CD and did EC, which was easy w her.

    Both were vaxxed on schedule, I didn’t change my mind about woo or NCB, but both needed different parenting. I simply used different tools for different kids, and was happy to have such a wide range to utilize. Even now, at 2 and 3, they need different approaches as they have such different personalities.

  27. Guestll
    January 15, 2014 at 1:22 pm #

    My main problem with AP is twofold. One, it subjugates women. Two, it’s a label, and an offensive one at that.

    If you’re going to be truly AP, you can’t work. Forget about if you have to or, in my case, want to, it’s just not possible to be a true attachment parent and have your child cared for by someone else for the bulk of his/her waking hours during the week. All of the discourse is framed in terms of what mothers do. Helpful suggestions (from Bill Sears himself, no less) include starting a home based business, or leaning on one’s family for financial support — because of course, it’s assumed that you have to work, not that you want to work. AP is just another way of getting women back where they belong, in the home, taking care of the needs of others.

    I do or have done many of the things deemed AP, even the ones that make me scratch my head for being designated as such (what do cloth diapers have to do with attachment, f’irinstance?) We bedshared for the first year and a bit, nursed exclusively and on demand. I have a number of slings and carriers and still use them with my daughter (she’s 2.5). I wouldn’t have circumcised her, had she been a boy, and we don’t do CIO/sleep training. We don’t do timeouts. We didn’t own a swing. We bring her pretty much everywhere with us, unless it’s a situation where her presence isn’t needed, wanted, or wouldn’t be safe. She attends a pretty liberal Montessori preschool/daycare and will continue with Montessori once she hits elementary school.

    We do own a few strollers. We vax on schedule. I work full-time (so does my husband, but that’s his job, in the realm of AP).

    Why does any of this have to be labeled? And why “attachment parenting?” Is there any empirical evidence to suggest that cloth diapers, co-sleeping, babywearing, and all the rest of it make happier and healthier children? No. And the flipside is always met with derision — “mainstream parenting.” You know, the assholes like your parents, who raised YOU.

    I wish this privileged navelgazing fad would just go away. It’s anti-feminist and there’s no proof that AP kids are better off than children raised by parents who don’t label themselves as such.

  28. Dr Kitty
    January 15, 2014 at 12:40 pm #

    I was thinking about alcohol…

    You know when you’re a teenager and you imagine drinking something terribly sophisticated like a dirty martini or a whiskey on the rocks…and then you actually try it, it isn’t anything like you thought it would be, in fact it is horrible! Then you decide you’d much rather have a wine cooler or an alcopop…

    All those people who say before they have kids how they’re going to do X and Y and never do Z…they need to remember drinking their first martini…

    • LibrarianSarah
      January 15, 2014 at 12:46 pm #

      I’m more of a Rum and Coke girl myself. But I get your point. It’s like when you first begin college and you make all these plans to be the best student ever. You’re going to read ahead, get up at 8:00 to study in the library and finish all your papers a week ahead of time and then the semester starts and reality sets in and all that goes out the window.

      Does all that make since or am I just a huge nerd? Or not a big enough nerd?

      • Dr Kitty
        January 15, 2014 at 1:57 pm #

        Not just you…
        My favourite thing at the start of the year was buying my notebooks and folders and pens…
        Yet somehow I’d always end up with “notes” that were the same scrunched up bits of paper in a pile under my desk at the end of every term.

        • KarenJJ
          January 15, 2014 at 7:10 pm #

          My first week of notes were completely legible. I could barely read my own writing at the end of the semester.

      • The Bofa on the Sofa
        January 15, 2014 at 2:55 pm #

        My first semester of college, I had an 8 am class 4 days a week. I got breakfast for my meal plan.

        After about the first week, I started missing a few of those 8 am classes, and don’t think I made it to breakfast ever.

        • The Bofa on the Sofa
          January 15, 2014 at 4:44 pm #

          When I was in college, one of the dorm magazines had a list of “25 things everyone has to do in college.” I remember a couple

          *Schedule a semester with 8 am classes every day
          *Schedule the next semester with your first class not until 11 am
          (I almost did that – I think my first class the next semester was 10)
          *Get drunk on tequila
          *Swear off tequila for life
          (did that, too; although I succumbed last spring; I did make it 25 years, though)

          Speaking of 25 years…my wife and I realized last night that we first met 25 years ago this week or so. I’m pretty sure it’s around the 17th of Jan. Our first date wasn’t until Mar 4, though. I know that one for sure.

          • Dr Kitty
            January 15, 2014 at 5:42 pm #

            Congrats on the landmark anniversary!

        • auntbea
          January 16, 2014 at 10:17 am #

          I, on the other hand, was so frustrated that the dining hall didn’t open before seven. And not until ten (TEN!) on Sundays. I was a weird kid. A weird, very hungry kid.

    • Meerkat
      January 15, 2014 at 9:33 pm #

      You hit the nail right on the head. Before my son was born AP ideas seemed right and loving. I even remember arguing with a friend on Facebook about CIO right after my son was born, telling her that a good parent would not allow their baby to cry and cry and cry.
      As the time went by I realized that none of the AP practices worked for our family. I was exited by the idea of baby wearing, but trying wrestle Moby wrap around myself while my son was shrieking and I was leaking milk and sweating profusely was awful. He hated it, too, because it was too hot. I hated it because it was too bulky. I ended up buying another carrier, Beco, but I didn’t use it much because my son is a pretty large and heavy guy, and it was hard on my back.
      I tried to co-sleep when my son refused to sleep in his crib. I was afraid of SIDS and smothering him, so I ended up sleeping while firmly holding him around the middle to prevent rolling accidents. As you can imagine I didn’t get any sleep. It was horrible, and after a couple of weeks of extreme sleep depravation I started sleep training. It was a lot of work and stress, but it paid off. I can now put my son down in his crib (gasp) and leave the room (gasp). I ignored his crying (gasp gasp gasp) and he learned to soothe himself to sleep.

    • Siri
      January 16, 2014 at 4:57 am #

      Ah, I remember being 15 and spending a fortnight in Brighton to learn English (= lie on the beach, falsify ID to get into over-16 discos, shopping, illicit drinking, indiscriminate snogging etc); two friends and I had made it upstairs to the bar area, and I was trying womanfully to drink a glass of horrid lager. A young Englishman called Jay Hartley (my big crush that summer, tried and failed many times to get me to agree to anything beyond snogging, fully clothed, haha!) bought me a snowball (Advocaat, limejuice, lemonade, v sweet and sticky), and Heaven! Alcohol that tasted nice to my childish tastebuds! Yum yum. Forget the beer or Martini; mine’s a Snowball every time.

    • auntbea
      January 16, 2014 at 10:16 am #

      I have never had a martini, because I already know I will not enjoy it. I never bought a Moby either. For the same reason.

      • Dr Kitty
        January 16, 2014 at 10:28 am #

        I have, thankfully overcome my aversion to martinis…it took a lot of work (and vermouth) but I’m now quite fond of them. I am also very firmly in agreement with Dorothy Parker about never having more than two.

    • Antigonos CNM
      January 16, 2014 at 12:08 pm #

      Prior to getting married, my daughter told me she and her fiance had decided on 4 children.
      My granddaughter Shir will be 3 in two months, and Naomi will give birth again in June. When she went for her ultrasound a few weeks back she said, “If the doctor tells me it’s a boy*, I think we probably won’t try for # 3”.

      I smiled. Of course, some of that was occasioned by the fact that she has a rough first trimester. But let’s face it: parenting is SUCH a full time job that it can be absolutely exhausting [and she works full time]. She’s seen just how much attention ONE child can take, now.

      Of course, three years from now, she might feel differently. Shir is currently going through a highly independent and negative phase.

      *It is, btw, a boy.

  29. Mac Sherbert
    January 15, 2014 at 12:24 pm #

    This is OT, but I had to come vent. I’m taking a master’s level education course and what should I find in my master’s level textbook? The author going on about how the United States has the highest infant mortality rate. Now I read this site. I know that’s not TRUE! I’m yelling at my text book.

    • Amy M
      January 15, 2014 at 12:32 pm #

      Well, it IS true that our infant mortality rate isn’t so great, but just to keep in mind that it is a measure of death from birth to 1yr of life. That include preemies, which aren’t always included in other countries’ stats, (and depending on when they die, preemies may also end up in the perinatal/neonatal mortality stats), and also that we have a very heterogeneous population that includes a lot of people living in poverty. They don’t tend to have access to health care, and those babies don’t do as well as a result.

      • Mac Sherbert
        January 15, 2014 at 12:34 pm #

        Yes. Exactly. The text is just using broad sweeping statements, which ignore the facts you have pointed out.

      • Trixie
        January 15, 2014 at 12:46 pm #

        We also include preemies in our mortality statistics that other developed nations count as stillbirths.

        • Young CC Prof
          January 15, 2014 at 12:50 pm #

          The CDC article examines that possibility, and comes to the conclusion that, while reporting differences are part of the issue, the biggest part is that we just have too many preemies, period. The author demonstrates that if our births had the gestational age distribution of Sweden (one of the best countries on almost all vital statistics) then our infant mortality rate would be only slightly higher than Sweden.

          The authors then conclude that the solution is to prevent prematurity. Figuring out HOW is left as an exercise to the reader…

          • Amy Tuteur, MD
            January 15, 2014 at 1:19 pm #

            Yes, if our population of pregnant women were as white as those in Sweden, we would have an infant mortality rate like that of Sweden.

          • stacey
            January 15, 2014 at 1:36 pm #

            Do you think the higher rates of prematurity, and death, among blacks (and hispanics IIRC) is due mainly/in part.wholly to the difference in their overall health care, and institutional racism? I know black woman are not only underserved their whole lives, but ignored, treated with derision, actively harmed more often, and often have access to the very worst possible care.

            Even if they finally get good maternity care, its often after a lifetime of poor care, as well as all the things racism has to offer: less nutritious food over a lifespan, less educational opportunities, more stress due to financial insecurity, stress due to overt and “hidden” racism, etc.

            I am sure there are some biological difference, like more sickle cell, higher weights, more diabetes, and such, but how much is nature vs the way blacks and minorities are treated over their whole lifespan?

          • Young CC Prof
            January 15, 2014 at 1:41 pm #

            There was actually a post on this here a few months ago. Black women are three times as likely to deliver prematurely, and the reasons are complex.

            It’s definitely not just poverty, and there’s some reason to believe it may be genetic. One study examined only college-educated married black women between 20 and 40, and still found a much higher rate of premature birth than the national average. West African women in general just seem to have a lot of premature babies.

          • Trixie
            January 15, 2014 at 2:06 pm #

            I wonder if there is some sort of attribute that made people more likely to survive the awful passage to the new world on slave ships, but that contributes to other health problems? Or does that also apply to West African women in other parts of the world?

          • Antigonos CNM
            January 16, 2014 at 12:31 pm #

            There are too many variables to be able to give a succinct definitive answer. Something black Americans do not particularly like to remember is that, genetically, they are a unique group, within which there is huge variation: black African [not all West African, either] with a great mixing of tribes who do not intermarry in Africa, Native American blood from tribes from Central America as well as North America, European blood from a variety of countries and backgrounds. The term “Negro”, which has now become un-PC because of the historical associations is really a way of delineating this unique situation.

            There really isn’t any group in Africa which is comparable because the gene pool is narrower, and there are fewer admixtures of other races or exogamy between tribes. But there do seem to be a certain number of risk factors which are more present in black/Hispanic Americans than in white Americans and which are often found in Africa: the prevalence of the anthropoid pelvis, for example.
            It ought to be studied more, but someone always plays the race card, and the idea gets shelved.

          • stacey
            January 15, 2014 at 2:24 pm #

            Thanks! I remember that post. I know it is a complicated issue.

            In America, institutional racism still effects those that are married and went to college, just a little less. It’s a spectrum. Even middle and upper class blacks get more poor treatment, are ore likely to be mistreated by healthcare providers, and are likely to have more stress because of racism.

            Many that made it to college still had deprived childhoods, or at least deprived when matched with women of equal educational, SES and family situations as adults. Few black children have equal access, and equal health care options as white ones. Even when both races are in extreme poverty, whites get better treatment, even if only marginally.

            I don’t doubt there is a genetic component, maybe smaller babies were more likely to fit and not kill the mom? Who knows. I was just curious if anyone had started to untangle the genetics from the racism.

          • LMS1953
            January 15, 2014 at 6:55 pm #

            Stacey – Google “Mississippi preterm birth rate and you will see a CNN article about “Nation gets a C in preterm birth. In the body of that article is a link to the problem of the infant death rate in MS (about 9.6 per 1000 vs 6.0 ave US) And the black rate is double and the rate of SIDS is (I think) triple. Anyway, they explore all the great questions you asked

          • Dr Kitty
            January 15, 2014 at 1:39 pm #

            And you had same the health and social inequalities and teen pregnancy levels as Sweden…

          • LMS1953
            January 15, 2014 at 1:50 pm #

            Mississippi has the highest infant mortality in the nation at about 9.6 per thousand (US average is 6.0). MS is on par with Costa Rica, Sri Lanka and Botswana. MS has the highest preterm delivery rate at 17.6% whereas national average is nudging below 10%. About 40% of all deliveries in MS are to black mothers whose rates of SIDS and infant death and preterm desires are at least double that of white mothers, even when matched for college education and income. If we discounted the numbers from Alabama, Mississippi, Louisiana and Arkansas, we would have rates similar to the star players.

          • Guestll
            January 15, 2014 at 1:58 pm #

            That’s really depressing. Wow.

          • Antigonos CNM
            January 16, 2014 at 12:18 pm #

            And if our women all had the kind of free antenatal care Swedish women have, our statistics would be better, too.
            During the period 1967-1974, when I worked at Beth Israel Medical Center in NYC, fully 75% of our “clinic” — i.e. uninsured, non-paying — patients [it is a teaching hospital underwritten by a major charity] had exactly 1 antenatal visit during pregnancy, and that was so they could register to deliver in our hospital. They arrived in labor with every problem under the sun.

      • Lisa from NY
        January 15, 2014 at 12:46 pm #

        We also have a high drug abuse rate.

        • Lisa from NY
          January 15, 2014 at 12:50 pm #

          For Marijuana addiction, lifetime addiction rates are about 40%.

          • AlisonCummins
            January 15, 2014 at 1:32 pm #

            *Addiction*? Do you mean that by the time we reach 75, that 40% of us will be addicted to marijuana? Or do you just mean that 40% of us will have used it at least once?

          • Ainsley Nicholson
            January 15, 2014 at 1:46 pm #

            Maybe you are considered an addict if you have ever tried it…welcome to the country founded by puritans.

          • Antigonos CNM
            January 16, 2014 at 12:14 pm #

            As someone who inhaled, deeply and frequently, in the 60s, all I can say is that I am amazed that, if marijuana is addicting, there is anyone of my generation NOT addicted. In fact, I am amazed there is anyone of the Age of Aquarius still alive. [and yes, I was at Woodstock]

            Statistics of this variety I always take with a grain of salt unless the definitions are extremely exact.

          • Box of Salt
            January 15, 2014 at 1:50 pm #

            Lisa from NY,
            The page you link cites surveys about use, not addiction.

          • Lisa from NY
            January 16, 2014 at 12:28 am #

            Oops. Thanks for the education. It did seem kind of high.

      • AlisonCummins
        January 15, 2014 at 1:39 pm #

        Yes, those are some of the things that infant mortality is measuring. When I hear that a particular country — say, Syria — has a high infant mortality rate I don’t jump immediately to the conclusion that it’s because their doctors are bad. I think of things like poverty, inequality, war, water supply, education and access to medical care. A country with high infant mortality is doing something wrong.

        Same for the US. Your high infant mortality is unlikely to be due to bad doctors.

  30. Amy M
    January 15, 2014 at 12:16 pm #

    I can’t imagine there are many people who attempt to extreme attachment parent twins, though I imagine it happens occasionally. I’d be curious to see that. The logistics alone are daunting: clearly trying to carry two on your body is not easy for anyone, and not possible for many. Cosleeping with two infants isn’t really considered safe, and while exclusively nursing twins is certainly possible, the majority of multiples parents use bottles at least sometimes for obvious reasons. Having two in cloth diapers simultaneously reduces your already limited free time to even more laundry time. Generally when one gets sick, the other does too, so God forbid they pick up a vaccine preventable illness ’cause they’ll both have it. Potty training two wasn’t as bad as I’d feared, but EC’ing two would be kind of a nightmare I imagine, unless you had a maid and a cook, so you could spend all day hanging out in the bathroom (and the laundry-room).

    I never had any intention of practicing any of the above AP practices with any child, except maybe some nursing (I’d hoped to combo feed, but it didn’t work out), but when we knew twins were on the way, I just laughed if anyone even suggested any of that stuff, because really?

    Meanwhile, my twins are identical, and have been “parented” with the same general style by their father and I since birth, but despite that, they have distinctly different personalities, just like any other siblings. We most certainly have to tailor what we do to the situation and the child in question…assuming that what works with one will work with the other will backfire eventually, and leave us trying to force a square peg in a round hole. I’m pretty sure that’s the same for most parents who have more than one child.

    • Therese
      January 15, 2014 at 2:58 pm #

      I am on a board for crunchy parents of twins, there are several hundred members…none of the AP practices you mentioned seem to be very big obstacles for the majority of the people on it. Of course, people are going to be more vocal about when they’re successful at following AP then when they’re not but still, there seems to be no shortage of AP twin parents. And actually it has been found that becoming pregnant while breastfeeding increases your chance of twins by as much as 9 times, so I do wonder what the rates of twins among crunchies compared to non-crunchies would be. Kind of ironic that following a crunchy practice like extended breastfeeding puts you at higher risk for a pregnancy where AP becomes significantly harder.

      • Amy M
        January 15, 2014 at 3:13 pm #

        Well, there you go…they exist, but I bet most of them are right there on that board! 🙂 Of course it is POSSIBLE to do those things with twins, but I work a full time job, so AP was never appealing to me anyway. If those crunchy parents you mention choose to take on the extra challenge of AP’ing twins, that’s their problem.

        • drsquid
          January 16, 2014 at 7:56 pm #

          yay co full time working twin mom. im also single.. but luckily even if i only had one, didnt work etc the idea of ap didnt appeal. i wanted to baby wear but.. hey strollers have somewhere to put stuff and hang the diaper bag. yay strollers

      • Elaine
        January 16, 2014 at 11:49 pm #

        Does breastfeeding at the time of conception increase the odds of twins, or is it that mothers who are fertile enough to conceive while still breastfeeding are more likely than the average to have twins? Kind of a rhetorical question–I don’t expect you necessarily know the answer to it–but just something I felt I should point out in the spirit of correlation not equaling causation.

    • Guestll
      January 15, 2014 at 3:16 pm #

      I have a friend who AP’d, EC’d, cloth diapered, tandem wore, and exclusively breastfed twins (in total they were nursed for 2 years). I can honestly say that I’ve never met a more depressed and overwhelmed mother. Her life was consumed with make-work projects, the purpose of which seemed to be to validate her choice to immerse herself in motherhood, to the exclusion of almost every other facet of her life pre-children.

      She now has 3 under 3, and she’s given up most of her former “crunchy” practices. She spent almost a year in therapy before the birth of her third child and I think she’s happier now, though still quite overwhelmed at times.

    • KarenJJ
      January 15, 2014 at 7:31 pm #

      Holding up AP practices as an ‘ideal’ in parenting is such an elitist practice. Once you have disability, multiples, a child with health problems, a job or other commitments a lot of AP goes out the window and instead becomes an impossible standard. It adds a layer of guilt that really shouldn’t exist.

      Apparently I shouldn’t feel guilty for not parenting in an ‘ideal’ way because I have some health issues, but it doesn’t work like that. I’m a member of the human race and I want to give my kids the best just like any other parent does and guilt does not turn off automatically. It wasn’t a rational feeling for me. I’m relieved I got past it.

      • Amy M
        January 15, 2014 at 8:10 pm #

        I’m glad you did. I don’t feel guilty for not AP’ing. I had PPD as it was, I probably would have been suicidal if I’d tried to do AP.

  31. Busbus
    January 15, 2014 at 12:14 pm #

    I love this post!

  32. EmbraceYourInnerCrone
    January 15, 2014 at 12:12 pm #

    Not to be an ass but can we remember that there is (often) more to parenting/family than the mom and baby. Partners/Spouses/Dads are parents/family also and I feel like they get erased. Not every family is a mommy and daddy either…

    Sorry for the derail.

    • Josephine
      January 15, 2014 at 1:14 pm #

      That’s one of my biggest quibbles with attachment parenting. It’s very mother-centric and it makes me very angry because all the language is very exclusionary. My husband is very involved with the raising of our children – as is my mom’s husband of 1.5 years (who has fallen utterly head over heels for my boy despite having several grandchildren with his late wife), my mom, my husband’s mom, my husband’s almost-moms who live in the same neighborhood, multiple blood related and honorary aunties/uncles, etc.

      My son (and children on the way) has access to all sorts of loving people with different talents, interests, and ways to interact. I don’t really believe in the superiority of the nuclear heterosexual family as a self-contained unit, because I welcome the support.

      The idea of wanting to shut that all out for the first couple years so that my children can be 100% devoted to me and needy of my care and mine alone makes me shudder. I practically get a rage stroke when AP moms get all haughty about how their baby wants no one but them, EVER, even as their baby is no longer a baby, and gloat about dejected grandparents/others.

      Anyway apologies for the rant. Point being most here agree with you, I would guess. I don’t think it’s being an ass to point that out. The more extreme tenets of AP pretty much exclude everyone but mom.

    • stacey
      January 15, 2014 at 1:43 pm #

      Of course that is true. For an AP mom, Dads job is to make money, not to parent. Since AP IS all about Mom, that is what will be discussed. It is ALL about what she does, and really, how to keep her home and tending to babies at all times. He may give Dad a page or two, but its all about mom.

      It should be no big surprise that the elder Dr Sears, that started this whole thing, is an evangelical Christian that believes women should stay in the home, taking care of children and the home, while the man works. He may not actively hate women, but his writings are misogynist and anti woman all the way.

      • The Bofa on the Sofa
        January 15, 2014 at 2:51 pm #

        As someone very wise once said, “Being a Dad does not mean just doing whatever Mom tells you to do.”

        Another piece of wisdom:
        “The goal of team parenting is not to think alike, but to think together.”

        However, that one presumes that the goal is team parenting, which does not appear to be true for AP.

  33. PrimaryCareDoc
    January 15, 2014 at 11:57 am #

    Pertussis vaccination- bad.
    Sodium ascorbate until you’re shitting your brains out- good.

    • Burgundy
      January 15, 2014 at 11:58 am #

      hahaha, I have to google Sodium ascorbate to get the joke =p

    • Trixie
      January 15, 2014 at 12:27 pm #

      Plus doesn’t taking a bunch of it for a long time increase your risk of disease?

      • Therese
        January 15, 2014 at 3:01 pm #

        Sodium ascorbate is just vitamin C, right? I don’t think it has been found to increase the risk of disease, but maybe someone else will know for sure.

        • Young CC Prof
          January 15, 2014 at 3:54 pm #

          There is some evidence that taking mega-doses (far beyond food quantities) of antioxidant vitamins actually increases the risk of cancer.

          So, eat fruit not vitamin pills?

          • toni
            January 15, 2014 at 10:02 pm #

            Oh my gosh this conversation reminds me of the time I ate a whole tube of those effervescent vitamin c tablets because I wanted something sweet and that was all I could find. I don’t think I’ve ever felt sicker!

          • Dr Kitty
            January 16, 2014 at 6:29 am #

            There were some studies that suggested vitamin C improved excretion of uric acid and could prevent recurrence or reduce severity of Gout flares…further studies suggested this wasn’t the case.


          • Box of Salt
            January 16, 2014 at 7:11 am #

            Dr Kitty, any thing peer reviewed on gout vs vit c? I’ve done my own anecdotal studies with cherries yearly. No effect, in spit of the fact it’s anecdotal.

          • Dr Kitty
            January 16, 2014 at 7:55 am #

            This is Stamp’s study- published in Arthritis and Rheumatism.

            This is the study that suggested higher dose of vitamin C were beneficial

            Stamp was also part of a team studying sugar and gout.

            To say that there isn’t much actual research is putting it mildly.
            We know what causes gout ( too much urate) and we have good pharmacological treatments (allopurinol, colchicine, fubuxostat, steroids, NSAIDS) and lifestyle interventions to lower uric acid levels and reduce the pain and inflammation, so it isn’t a particularly fruitful research topic.

        • Sue
          January 15, 2014 at 7:25 pm #

          The best evidence is for mega-doses of Vit C increasing the risk of kidney stones (cos it’s excreted through the kidneys)

      • R T
        January 15, 2014 at 3:33 pm #

        It’s vitamin c so I don’t think so. All I could find is it may increase the risk of kidney stones if you take too much for a long time. Currently it’s recommended to take 2,000mg per day or less which seems like a lot. You would have to eat 20 large oranges to get that much naturally!

        • Box of Salt
          January 16, 2014 at 1:39 am #

          Here are the actual RDA recommendations for vitamin c according to the Mayo Clinic:

          I’ll quote sections relevant to R T’s suggestion:

          “The recommended daily intake by the U.S. Food and Nutrition Board of the nstitute of Medicine for men more than 18 years old is 90 milligrams f vitamin C daily; for women more than 18 years old, it is 75 illigrams daily; for pregnant women more than 18 years old, it is 85 illigrams daily; and for breastfeeding women more than 18 years old, it s 120 milligrams daily.”

          “The upper limit of intake (UL) should avoid exceeding 2,000 milligrams aily in men or women more than 18 years old (including pregnant or breastfeeding women).”

          Even the Linus Pauling Institute (the original and continuing promotors of vitamin C as panacea) are calling for an increase in the RDR to 200 mg – NOT to 2000 mg (10 times higher!).

          R T, do you realize that posting this clearly incorrect information is dangerous? Please, please fact check.

          • Box of Salt
            January 16, 2014 at 1:46 am #

            Forgot to include the Linus Pauling Institute link:


          • R T
            January 16, 2014 at 4:18 am #

            I’m confused as to what you’re referring to? It says “should avoid exceeding 2,000 milligrams daily” that’s what I said! It seems excessive to take 2,000 and can’t imagine anyone actually taking that much.

          • Box of Salt
            January 16, 2014 at 4:51 am #

            Re-read what you wrote, and compare it to what’s on the Mayo Clinic site which I posted above. I will not repost your incorrect information, just the link.

            You misquoted the vitamin C recommendation by more than an order of magnitude, which overestimates the correct daily intake into a range that could be harmful.

            I’ll admit I have bias here, because I fell for the same confirmation bias nonsense you did – until at one point in my life I skipped the extra doses of Vit C when I was getting the cold and . . . I still got better in the same time frame. And have so in for longer than back I was popping the megadoses.

            But I do not understand why you are confused about the fact that what you stated about the RDA for vitamin C in the comment linked above is WRONG. That is NOT the recommended amount. What you quoted is the upper limit before adverse affects occur.

            Do you understand the difference, R T?

          • R T
            January 16, 2014 at 2:10 pm #

            I think you’re confused about what I wrote. I was stating you would have to take over 2,000mg a day before adverse results occurred and I was surprised it was that high. It IS recommended to take 2,000mg or less per day to avoid adverse reactions! I said exactly that and went on to say the upper limit seems high to me.

          • Box of Salt
            January 16, 2014 at 6:53 pm #

            R T, I am not confused.

            The RDA per Mayo Clinic ranges from 75 to 120 mg daily, NOT 2000!

            You mis-stated the recommendation.

            Seriously, R T, re-read what you wrote.

            And when you do, pretend you don’t know what you are now claiming you meant to say.

    • R T
      January 15, 2014 at 3:26 pm #

      All I know is that stuff will knock a cold out ASAP! I love it! I was getting colds all the time after I had my son and I got some of that and haven’t had a cold since! When anybody in my family starts have cold symptoms they take it and it stops it!

      • Trixie
        January 15, 2014 at 3:45 pm #

        It actually does nothing for the common cold. That was suggested by Linus Pauling but it’s been disproven over and over again.

        • R T
          January 15, 2014 at 9:42 pm #

          I have no idea who that is, but I KNOW it works for me! I don’t think it’s been “disproven” though. It hasn’t been studied well enough to say that!

          • Trixie
            January 15, 2014 at 10:01 pm #

            Linus Pauling was a very famous scientist with many legitimate and important scientific achievements. Late in his life he went off the deep end and started promoting woo. It was his idea that vitamin C would cure the common cold. It didn’t, and it doesn’t. He was proven wrong during his lifetime, but he refused to believe the evidence, and the public believed him no matter what, and here we are today. He also thought vitamin C would cure cancer.

          • ClamShoes
            January 15, 2014 at 10:15 pm #

            Unfortunately not the only famous scientist to have gone off the rails.

            Orac at Respectful Insolence refers to this as the “Nobel Disease”

          • auntbea
            January 16, 2014 at 10:20 am #

            Isn’t is also that it CAN’T cure the common cold, because there is no mechanism by which vitamin C helps us fight viruses?

          • The Bofa on the Sofa
            January 16, 2014 at 11:08 am #

            Any effect of vitamin C on colds would not have anything to do with interactions with the actual virus, but would have to be a metabolic mechanism.

            It’s the same idea that Pauling had for cancer. That vitamin C creates a super body that fights it off?

          • auntbea
            January 16, 2014 at 12:44 pm #

            Right, but I thought that whatever the proposed metabolic mechanism was it was only potentially effective against bacterial infections anyway. Perhaps I have garbled several ideas from Bio 101.

          • The Bofa on the Sofa
            January 16, 2014 at 11:06 am #

            The idea that vitamin C cures a common cold has been around forever, so the claim that “it hasn’t been studied well enough” is nuts. The problem is that it has been studied all over, and the results are so bloody unremarkable. Thus, the conclusion is, “Well, these studies haven’t shown anything, but we need to keep studying it.”

            It’s silly. Any effect of vitamin C is going to be way too small to be worth doing, and instead of spending more time and resources on things that actually have potential of being useful.

          • R T
            January 16, 2014 at 2:19 pm #

            What I gathered was there may be a small benefit of perhaps 10% which would mean a 10 day cold would become a 9 day cold. It also seems to vary depending on the person with athletes and children seeing the greatest benefit. I would still take it for one less day of cold. Besides, Vit C does other important things for our body and we need it! I mean the flu vaccine last year, in retrospect was only 9% effective against stopping Influenza A in the elderly and only I think 22% effective at preventing Influneza B in the elderly. Elderly being over 65 in this case, just a few years older than my husband. This doesn’t stop them from getting it again this year with hopes it will work this time! It seems like the same frame of mind to me!

          • R T
            January 16, 2014 at 2:40 pm #

            Even Harvard Health says the jury is still out on Vit C because studies have been flawed and they go on in other articles to say results are too mixed to say one way or the other,L0113l

            No one is saying, “Vitamin C absolutely does not help prevent or shorten the symptoms of a cold. There are been many completely unflawed studies done proving this.” The only place I’m hearing that is here! Like I said even if it only shortens the cold by 10% that’s 10% less cold and and less is better! Besides, like anything else it may work better for some people than others.

  34. Erica
    January 15, 2014 at 11:54 am #

    OT: On the night my daughter was born, the OB kept getting paged to the ER for an emergency Csection, and kept telling them she was with a patient (me). She was probably in my room for an hour or more (20 min of pushing, 20 min of stitches, 20 min giving me an anatomy lesson with the placenta, chatting). At the time I thought, “Wow! She cares!”. Now I wonder if she was trying to avoid the emergency C section in the ER. Wondering if anyone has any insight… just curious.

    • stacey
      January 15, 2014 at 1:45 pm #

      She may have wanted her partner or the attending to get it, so she could be with you.
      I doubt its avoidance.

    • Lori
      January 15, 2014 at 4:17 pm #

      Was she the only OB on call?

  35. SarahSD
    January 15, 2014 at 11:52 am #

    Yes! Especially to the part about people wanting their views reflected back to them (although I think there is a certain degree of human nature in this, some people/groups are better at accepting diversity of opinion than others).

    I’m part of a group which is a high percentage of people who identify themselves with AP/crunchiness, some parts which I do/did, but none of which is part of my identity. Because of its size, there are regular incidences where some difference of opinion comes up, and how it gets resolved is very interesting. I’ve noticed that in order to remain on the group’s good graces, people have to take special care if they want to suggest something that challenges the crunch “orthodoxy”. For instance, you have to be extremely diplomatic in suggesting that amber might not work or be safe, or that there might be situations in which it would be preferable for a baby to be left to cry, even though the AP claims about amber and CIO have little to no evidence supporting them.

    Any people who make statements in favor of vaccination that go much beyond “this is what works for us and these are the individual choices I have made for me family” are immediately labeled as troublemakers and “negative”. And this is despite lots and lots of good evidence about the safety and efficacy of vaccination.

    So there are a few things that I find interesting about the way that opinion and disagreement self organize and are policed – one is the way that science is acceptable to mobilize only when it agrees with one’s beliefs (this is, sadly, the “crunchy” definition of “evidence-based”, and a theme often touched on here), and the other, related thing is the imbalanced dynamic of these various debates depending on the degree to which they exceed a model of individual choice. For many anti-vaxers, an individualist/choice-based world-view still operates, hence “live and let live” and “leave my freedoms alone”. But a pro vaxer automatically has a broader social stance that implicates the non-vaxer, which is one reason why pro-vaxing comments are especially policed. However, it’s fine to suggest that mainstream children are going to be brain damaged by not being held enough or by eating candy.

    • stacey
      January 15, 2014 at 1:52 pm #

      In the AP parent (mom) group here, you cannot even bring up anything that is not “orthodox”. You will have your comment deleted, a warning emailed, and if IRL, you will be shut down then shunned. This is a very crunchy town, and the AP circle isn’t too big, so maybe its easier for them to control every little thing. And boy do they ever! You cannot even mention wanting to wean, even a 4yr old, if its not about how to beat back that desire!

      I have also noticed this is one instance where a persons desire to be polite and not cause waves allows this type of groupthink and dangerous beliefs to flourish. The hardcore have no qualms about pushing their beliefs and shutting others up. Everyone else has social skills and wants be kind, polite and just to fit in, as most people do.

      When one or two people are bold enough to stick their necks out, often others will took. If they won’t, often they will come up to you afterwards in agreement. This is when you split the group and leave the crazies amongst themselves.

      • Mac Sherbert
        January 15, 2014 at 6:53 pm #

        Oh my. I want to wean. I want to wean. I really really want to wean…but my baby keeps getting sick and we go back to square 1. I’m so glad those women are not my circle of friends.

  36. Ra
    January 15, 2014 at 11:15 am #

    There was a post on a few months ago from a woman who was steeped in AP woo and pregnant with her first child. She was LIVID that her mother in law gave them a baby swing as a gift. She sounded like she was bordering on a complete breakdown due to the swing. The whole message was: “How dare she undermine my parenthing choices by giving me a swing!” It went on to say how her husband wanted to purchase a basic stroller but she refused because she knew that it would just lead to her husband abandoning the child in a stroller rather than carrying it everytime they went somewhere.
    On the other spectrum, my mind instantly says, “Hurrah! Free swing so that baby can hang out while mom cooks dinner! I’ll take that!”

    • Mariana Baca
      January 15, 2014 at 11:28 am #

      I hate this idea that suggestions, gifts or merchandise “undermine” their parenting. Nurse suggesting an epidural during birth or having it available? Undermines NCB. Giving a swing? undermines AP. Formula samples? Undermine BF. Same with strollers or keeping emergency formula.

      I understand wanting to avoid temptation and I understand that some grandparents do nag about their children parenting differently, But seriously, if the only reason you can bear to make the choices you make is if you are placed in an influence-free bubble, maybe they are not the right choices for you? And to then go on to deny other women and men those choices because it might contaminate your influence-free bubble….

      • The Bofa on the Sofa
        January 15, 2014 at 11:35 am #

        I understand wanting to avoid temptation

        If you’ve made such great decisions, why would you be tempted?

        We got a swing with our first child. Barely used it. Tried it here or there, and it didn’t seem to work, so we didn’t use it. And we WANTED to. How hard would it be to not use something that you don’t want? Unless you have to admit that it would help…

        • Mariana Baca
          January 15, 2014 at 11:55 am #

          Eh, sometimes comfort/laziness overrides what we logically think are good decisions. If I’m dieting for a good reason I don’t stock up on junk food in the house. That doesn’t mean I am angry if someone gives me a food gift or if my friend puts out some treats when I visit her.

          • The Bofa on the Sofa
            January 15, 2014 at 12:09 pm #

            Eh, sometimes comfort/laziness overrides what we logically think are good decisions.

            So it’s not about the temptation to let them use the thing, it’s about the temptation to not be sufficiently sacrificial?

            “Damn it, you’re a parent, you have to sacrifice for your children! And don’t let yourself be tempted to do something that might make you life better!”

          • Mariana Baca
            January 15, 2014 at 12:27 pm #

            Or temptation of short term gains vs. long term gains. Say your kids are overweight, you might need to start buying them more balanced food, changing the whole family’s habits, etc. Would be easier to just give up, but it is not the right choice.

            I don’t think it is a matter of a parent needing to be more sacrificial for the sake of being sacrificial — that is the opposite of the point I’m making. But all parents develop systems to make things easier for them to make the right choices for their children, and I understand that. On the flip side, if the only way you can make that choice is to demonize everyone making the opposite choice, that is not a “coping mechanism” but being rude and illogical.

            Now, I’m having hard time making this argument for any NCB/AP decisions because I don’t believe they have any significant long term beneficial effects.

          • Busbus
            January 15, 2014 at 12:31 pm #

            Mariana, I hear you, but I think Bofa has a point, too. I guess, it’s all about attitude. What I think about when I hear about “temptation” is that while many AP proponents and websites will tell you how much “easier” it is to do everything their way, they also clearly think that not doing so means you are lazy and not sufficiently committed to your child (contradictory, anyone?).

          • Mariana Baca
            January 15, 2014 at 12:35 pm #

            I think we are arguing at cross-purposes. I don’t agree with the APs way of marketing or philosophy. I think people have latched onto the word “temptation” as some sort of keyword that I’m secretly all for it.

            I’m just saying that I can see wanting to keep your house free of X if you don’t like X, despite its sometimes alluring qualities. But that doesn’t mean you should call people who like X evil, be really angry is grandma gives you an X, or decide all people with X’s are undermining you. X could be anything from tickle me elmo dolls, erotic novels, musical toys, legos, formula, popsicles, etc.

          • stacey
            January 15, 2014 at 2:11 pm #

            I see what you are saying and agree. I think a good example of your point is TV.

            Most people have a TV. Many of us realize that too much TV watching means less of other desirable, but harder to do, things. There are only so many hours of free time. You may love TV, but also love long walks with your SO, hanging out with friends, trips to the beach, even just going to the mall or movies, lets not ignore that sitting at home in front of the TV is much easier. No getting dressed, no making plans, no leaving the house. Just turn it on, and instant gratification.

            The problem is when you know you want to do those other things, but the TV is just much easier so you often defer to your laziness. If all you want to do is watch TV, have at it. But many of us like to have lives out of our homes, and TV can disrupt this if you cannot overcome the temptation to sit home w it.

            People do a variety of things to overcome a temptation for other goals.

        • Busbus
          January 15, 2014 at 12:27 pm #

          If you’ve made such great decisions, why would you be tempted?

          ^^I absolutely agree with that. On a related note, one of the reasons I chose home birth was so I wouldn’t be “tempted” to get an epidural. In fact, after my first labor I knew there was NO WAY I would be able to not get an epidural if one was readily available, and I thought that if there was anything that interfered even just one millimeter with whatever I was doing to keep from going crazy from the pain, like an IV or monitor, it would have sent me over the edge (I thought I was going to die every time my midwife made me move to check the baby’s head or heart tones). Now I think that I was crazy to think that this was a rational way to approach things. (And just for the record, if I have another baby, I’m going to get that epidural.) But back then, believed that epidurals were all kinds of bad and so I was willing to do a lot to make sure I wouldn’t be “tempted”. Ugh.

      • Trixie
        January 15, 2014 at 12:43 pm #

        I agree with this, but both times when I declined (not snottily, just said I didn’t need them, and please pass them on to someone who did) the formula samples in the hospital, the nurses got pretty huffy about it. One told me I was *not allowed to leave* unless I took them. She had to check it off on her form or something. It kind of seemed like she was trying to win a contest with the formula rep.

        • Mariana Baca
          January 15, 2014 at 12:46 pm #

          Bureaucracy/procedures like that is annoying for sure. Sometimes with those sorts of people it is just easier to take what they are offering and bin it/regift it/donate it.

        • NursingRN
          January 15, 2014 at 1:59 pm #

          And how weird is it now that in our hospital, we are becoming “Baby Friendly” which I’m starting to think was a term made up by a bunch of NCB/AP/BF fanatics- we aren’t allowed to have ANY “artificial feeding paraphernalia” visible in the hallways anymore. No more formula bottles in the hall closets, no nipples, no green soothies. Because according to the e-mail we got, we are not to appear as though we “endorse” artificial feeding in any way shape or form. There is also talk of making a woman who chooses to formula feed or supplement with formula sign an informed consent, acknowledging that she understands that breast milk is superior in every way to formula and that it is in fact, dangerous to feed your baby formula.

          We are not to encourage women to bring their babies to the nursery- no, in fact it is no longer called the nursery, it is called the neonatal observation unit, and we must have all the blinds down in the room at all times- lest someone peek in and think it’s a nursery! It’s like… it’s like having such a bad attitude about say, Diet Coke that you outlaw ANYTHING red and sliver, because that’s the color of a can of Diet Coke (I have Diet Coke sitting in front of me, that’s my inspiration) no longer can we have any plastic bottles…because Diet Coke can come in plastic bottle form. AND if you do have any kind of soda- you HAVE to put an orange juice label on it because HEAVEN FORBID you even **THINK** for a moment that we have Diet Coke in our home. NO! If you want to drink Diet Coke then you better sign this form essentially saying “I am a BAD PARENT! BAD BAD BAD because I’m giving my baby POISION!!” I’m getting sick of it, it’s like a cult.

          • stacey
            January 15, 2014 at 2:29 pm #

            It WAS made up by fanatics, and they used a smart marketing angle to make it happen. What hospital doesn’t want to be “baby friendly”?

            But its NOT mother friendly. It is insane, TBH. I have heard the actual plan isn’t so strict, but the way its being instituted sure it.

            If we don’t all complain, they will win, and push their bull shit views on everyone. The losers will be moms and babies.

          • rh1985
            January 15, 2014 at 5:01 pm #

            The hospital I am delivering at wants to become “baby friendly” and they try to pretend their nursery doesn’t exist. I guess it “works” since when I went to L&D at midnight there were only two or three babies in there. At least they aren’t hiding it behind giant shares….

            Also, that form? I would refuse to sign it if it existed and would make formal complaints if I had to.

          • Trixie
            January 15, 2014 at 5:19 pm #

            Oh no, I didn’t take it. I was pretty casual about it until she started telling me I MUST take the formula, and I started asking her questions like, are you saying the doctor won’t release me or the baby otherwise? What would be the consequences of my going home without the formula? And she backed down.

          • amazonmom
            January 15, 2014 at 11:01 pm #

            Informed consent for formula feeding? I wonder who has a good enough excuse not to have to sign one. I think that’s the biggest piece of crap I’ve heard of in a long time. I am quite sure I was no longer welcome on the donor milk committee at work because I demanded every child that had a medical need be eligible to get it no matter what a provider thought of mothers reason not to provide her own EBM.

          • rh1985
            January 16, 2014 at 2:54 am #

            I would flat out refuse to sign that form. What are they going to do, confiscate any formula the family brings in? Let the baby starve? It’s just BS meant to make women feel bad in hopes they can guilt them into BF.

        January 15, 2014 at 7:16 pm #

        I think AP is often an extension of consumer identity. “Let’s all go out and buy slings made by Cambodian silkworms” _ “OK, Let’s!”
        Sometimes my aesthetic choices in baby gear have exposed me to new parenting cults. I will even admit a brief desire to enroll my daughter in Waldorf school after purchasing a sackcloth gnome at a children’s fair. Ahhh ,,, shopping.

    • Dr Kitty
      January 15, 2014 at 11:34 am #

      We have videos of my tiny newborn daughter in the swing my SIL bought us.
      She is screaming blue murder right up until it is put up to the the most violent setting, at which point it resembles a baby fairground ride, immediately the screaming stops and she promptly falls asleep.

      Unlike the baby carrier, which we tried, on several occasions (well, my husband tried, with my back hands-free baby carrying was never on the cards) but in that case the screaming didn’t stop until she was taken out of it.

      So, for my N=1
      Swings on high setting: good
      Carriers: horrible torture devices

      Damn those babies and their unique personalities and independent thoughts and feelings!

      • EmbraceYourInnerCrone
        January 15, 2014 at 12:04 pm #

        This describes my now 19 year old daughter almost exactly. She loved the swing and the glider(sat on a table or floor and glides back and forth) she also loved car rides, and having us run to vacuum or put her baby seat on the dryer (when we went to the laundromat). She HATED the baby carrier and when held in your arms wanted to be facing outward or have her head high enough to look over your shoulder.

        The football hold also worked.
        Every kid’s different..

      • R T
        January 15, 2014 at 3:17 pm #

        My son hated the swing so much! Everyone had told me how amazing it was and I was so looking forward to being to put him in it to get things done. However, he would only stay in it for 15 minutes or so when he was newborn. Then he would start screaming. As soon as he got old enough to move he would splay out his arms and legs, arch his back and go stiff to prevent me from putting him in it! He was the same way with the bouncy chair.

        • Mac Sherbert
          January 15, 2014 at 6:57 pm #

          My son was the same way. At first he liked it because it had stary lights, but it didn’t take him long to figure out he was just getting put down. I wished we hadn’t spent the money on it. Then we had baby #2 and I’m so glad we spent the money on it!!

          • drsquid
            January 16, 2014 at 7:42 pm #

            mine hated the bouncy chair and swings (tried 3 different ones). they liked the rock and plays. were so so on carriers but with twins.. no way was i wearing both.

    • Jessica
      January 15, 2014 at 12:16 pm #

      My son is 19 months old today, and I so, so, so miss our swing. Best $150 I ever spent.

    • January 15, 2014 at 12:51 pm #

      We had a swing when my son was wee. He would unfailingly fall asleep in it. I felt so guilty napping him in the swing, I called it “the cheater.” Now that he’s 3 and still badly needs to nap but abjectly refuses to, I would give a great deal to have a swing big enough to knock him out sometimes. But this is the kid who screamed at sharing a bed when he was only 3 days old, too. I couldn’t AP him, even if I had desperately wanted to.

      PS, writing this in pediatrician’s office, waiting for checkup and vaccinations. The boy is curled against me, petting me and saying “I love to snuggle you Mommy! So I’m pretty sure he’s attached anyway

      • Sara N.
        January 15, 2014 at 1:40 pm #

        Haha, we called our swing robo-nanny! Best purchase ever.

      • Dr Kitty
        January 15, 2014 at 1:44 pm #

        When I was little we had Lebanese friends who had a king size hammock in their living room, which is where all the kids took their daytime naps. It was so cool…I loved naps at their house!

        • R T
          January 15, 2014 at 3:23 pm #

          When my husband was a child his toddler neighbor strangled to death in a hammock so he won’t allow them in our home! I think I’ve heard the story from every member of the family at some point. They were all traumatized!

          • Dr Kitty
            January 15, 2014 at 3:33 pm #

            Oh that is awful!
            This was a hammock about 2 feet off the ground in the main room of the house, and all the kids were piled in together. I think strangulation risk was minimal…my mother and her friend were usually eating baklava and gossiping in the adjoining kitchen while we slept anyway.

          • R T
            January 16, 2014 at 12:30 am #

            Yeah I would think under those circumstances an adult would have been able to step in or another child could have gone for help. However, I don’t think my husband or his family will ever see a hammock as anything but a death trap now!

          • auntbea
            January 16, 2014 at 10:27 am #

            I once fell partway out of a hammock that other kids were playing on. I got caught dangling head first, and ended up scraping off a large part of my face on the ground as the hammock went back and forth.

            I did not like that.

      • Siri
        January 16, 2014 at 5:14 am #

        Why did you feel guilty? Because it felt too easy? Because settling a baby to sleep ‘should’ take a lot of time and effort? Or were you afraid that your boy would get more sleep than was good for him? I think you tend to be much harder on yourself than on others; I’ll bet you wouldn’t accuse me of cheating if I let my baby nap in a swing! Why do we feel that certain tasks SHOULD be really hard, rather than just think ‘bonus!!’ if something turns out to be much easier than expected?

        I hope you’ve eased up on yourself in the interim, Kumquat!

        Ps tell me to bugger off if I’ve overstepped the mark..

        • January 16, 2014 at 11:09 am #

          You’re so kind, Siri! No offense taken here. At the time I felt it was too easy, and that I was DOIN IT RONG by plopping him in the swing. I worried that I was “forcing” him to nap because I was “lazy.” I got over that and now I know what forcing – or rather, ENforcing – naps really is (me, laying very still and faking sleep until tired kid gives up trying to stay awake). It’s the same stupid guilty anxiety I had about a c section – also so over it – and I resent the AP/NCB movement for imposing said guilt on me! 🙂

  37. Dr Kitty
    January 15, 2014 at 11:02 am #

    I suggested sleep training to a mother who hasn’t slept for more than 2 hours straight in the last 4 years (3 kids under 5, all of whom are up multiple times during the night). It did not go down well at first, but I think she might try it.Thankfully she was just muddling along and hadn’t thought to try it, rather than being wedded to AP.

    Maternal sleep deprivation does not a happy home make.

    • Karen in SC
      January 15, 2014 at 11:08 am #

      A person who has been successful at this could even start a business, sort of a Nanny McPhee of Sleep. Toss in a few crunchy nuggets to make it more palatable – organic cotton pillowcase, salt crystal light, or something – and I think it would be a winner.

    • auntbea
      January 15, 2014 at 11:35 am #

      I don’t understand how that woman is still alive.

      • rh1985
        January 16, 2014 at 2:55 am #

        No kidding… I definitely plan to sleep train if I do not get a child who sleeps easily on her own.

    • Burgundy
      January 15, 2014 at 11:47 am #

      Wow, I had that issue with my 2nd baby and I sleep trained her at 3 months old mark. She slept through the night by the 2nd week. I was miserable and and could not function right up to then. I totally agreed with you that “Maternal sleep deprivation does not a happy home make.”

    • OBPI Mama
      January 15, 2014 at 2:22 pm #

      When I had 3 kids, 2 and under, I realized sleep training was amazing. I could not function without adequate rest. I gleaned from Babywise and my boys cried it out some and learned and life was better. And it helped me a lot when I had my 4th baby in 4 years!!!

  38. Maria
    January 15, 2014 at 10:26 am #

    I have a couple of friends who follow many of the Attachment Parenting ideas, but the one area they don’t fit the mold as per Dr. Amy’s list, they both had hospital births (by choice!) and are staunchly pro-vaccination. I think that those who identify as Attachment Parents (with the capital letters) do then to be a bit more black and white in their thinking, but honestly most of the ones I know do it because they think it is best for their kid and don’t begrudge me my own, different, parenting choices.

    Having said that, my biggest pet peeve is in relation to sleep training:
    CIO (in any form) = bad
    Sleep deprived/cranky kid who doesn’t have a set bed time = good

  39. OBPI Mama
    January 15, 2014 at 10:07 am #

    Locally grown fruits and veggies: bad
    Labeled Organic (no matter from what country) fruits and veggies: good

    • Trixie
      January 15, 2014 at 10:21 am #

      Genetic engineering to come up with better varieties of seed — bad
      Blasting seeds with radiation to hope a random mutation produces a better variety of seed — good

  40. OBPI Mama
    January 15, 2014 at 10:05 am #

    Love this. I have 4 kiddos and have to agree with your statement of different children needing different things!!! Only 1 out of my 4 children seemed to seek me out more on a very mild “attachment parenting” level (loved swaddled, carried, loved nursing even though I only make 2 Tbsp. of breastmilk, etc). To try to force your child into a parenting style the PARENTS prefer does not sit well with me… we are the adults, we have the ability to adapt to them and their needs… funny how die-hard attachment parents do not like to adapt to their children’s needs…

  41. Trixie
    January 15, 2014 at 10:04 am #

    Ibuprofen bad, magic necklaces good.

    • Meerkat
      January 15, 2014 at 10:36 am #

      Yeah, what’s up with those??? I see toddlers wearing them all the time. One mom told me that amber is supposed to be healing, etc, etc. I am not sure that moms realize that most of the amber on the market is treated.

      • The Bofa on the Sofa
        January 15, 2014 at 10:39 am #

        I am not sure that moms realize that most of the amber on the market is treated.

        Or that magic is bullshit.

        • yentavegan
          January 15, 2014 at 6:53 pm #

          or that what they think is amber is just brown plastic from china re-packaged and marketed.

      • Jessica Nye
        January 15, 2014 at 10:54 am #

        What I don’t understand is how it’s just accepted that these necklaces somehow secrete an Aspirin-like compound, which is somehow absorbed through the skin, but although it’s supposedly absorbed in unknown quantities it must be enough to be effective but not enough to be dangerous- even though you aren’t even supposed to give kids Aspirin at all.

        • Young CC Prof
          January 15, 2014 at 10:59 am #

          But it’s all natural! *sarcasm*

        • EmbraceYourInnerCrone
          January 15, 2014 at 12:07 pm #

          And swallowing amber beads is probably very healthy! /Sarcasm

          I though you were supposed to keep same choking hazards AWAY from babies and toddlers?!

        • Trixie
          January 15, 2014 at 12:38 pm #

          It’s succinic acid. Which actually is in amber. But when it survives in the heat and pressure of the earth since the Cretaceous age, it’s supposed to just release compounds when gently warmed by a baby’s skin? Also, one of the side effects of succinic acid is skin irritation.

        • Meerkat
          January 15, 2014 at 5:19 pm #

          I just dug up my Gemology book, and it says that amber is a compound of carbon, hydrogen, and oxygen, with traces of sulfur. No magic anesthetic that gets somehow excreted and absorbed through the skin.
          Oh well. People want to believe in magic.

      • auntbea
        January 15, 2014 at 11:37 am #

        I wouldn’t expect it to do anything for her teeth, but I think they sure do look cute!

      • Burgundy
        January 15, 2014 at 11:53 am #

        The fossilized tree sap contains magical power of healing, don’t ya know?

        • Mariana Baca
          January 15, 2014 at 12:01 pm #

          Maybe it is the blood of dinosaurs fossilized within!

          • Burgundy
            January 15, 2014 at 12:06 pm #

            The blood is the secret Aspirin compound!

      • Lori
        January 15, 2014 at 12:12 pm #

        The amber necklaces are very popular where I live. I don’t know if they are just marketed more heavily or what but they are certainly not just being worn by the “crunchies”. One of my good friends who is a pro-epidural, formula feeding, sleep trained, occasionally spanks, liked Babywise routines during infancy, (i.e. pretty much the AntiAP parent) comes to mind. She swears by those necklaces and her kids get their first one by like 4 months and then she does it till the toddler molars come through. Lots of my other “mainstream” friends and coworkers use them too. I’ve yet to try it, but yeah, not so much a “granola hippie mom” thing where I live.

      • Trixie
        January 15, 2014 at 12:35 pm #

        They’re a choking and strangulation hazard, completely unregulated and probably illegal to sell them as a baby product. Treated or not, amber isn’t going to do anything for teething pain.

Leave a Reply

You must be logged in to post a comment.