9 things never to say to an attachment parent

1. Are you STILL breastfeeding?

Yes, we are still breastfeeding. Many of us continue to nurse until our children outgrow the need. Others choose to employ some gentle weaning strategies. We will probably point out that the World Health Organization recommends breastfeeding for a minimum of two years, and thereafter as long as the mother and child desire. (Note: not as long as the nosy relative desires.)

2. When are you going to wean?

In college. Unless I send pumped milk.

3. When will the kids stop sleeping in your bed?

When they are ready. Just as many APers allow their children to wean on their own schedule, many also allow their children to move out of the family bed on their own schedule.

4. Isn’t she getting too big to be worn?

Nope.

5. But how will they learn to self soothe?

Self soothing isn’t something that babies or young children are capable of doing. It requires abstract reasoning skills far beyond the ability of young children. An adult with a fear of flying may be able to soothe themselves through the trip by telling themselves that statistically, it’s very safe to fly and that they will be back on land shortly. A baby who is left alone has no such ability. For all they know, when you are out of sight it’s because you’ve moved to Timbuktu.

6. Can I hold the baby? I don’t mind if he cries. 

You may not mind, but we mind.

7. You should definitely get the epidural! (Or, you should definitely have a home birth!)

There is no wrong way to give birth. Some mothers want a scheduled c-section and others want a solo birth in the ocean among the dolphins. Everyone should have a chance to give birth the way they want. Attachment parents choose a variety of birthing options, but are often interested in natural birth to make bonding and breastfeeding easier. Of course, birth doesn’t always go according to plan A, and that doesn’t make anyone less of an attachment parenting.

8. I was spanked and I turned out fine.

You believe in violence against children? You did not turn out fine.

9. Can’t you just get a sitter?

No. We believe attachment is critically important. We will not hire just anyone to watch our child. Plus, we like hanging out with our kids.

Pocketful of Pebbles Nina

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