With Crunch

Lately, I’ve been thinking about parenting choices and styles, especially when it comes to babies (hmm, wonder why?) and I’ve come to the conclusion that rather than just being in the middle of the spectrum, I’m somewhat conflicted.

I mean, Baby Wise and ecological nursing both sort of equally scare me (please don’t take offense if either of these saved your life or you believe wholeheartedly in their correctness, they just aren’t for me) but I’m still not sure where I fall in between these two extremes.

I’m not particularly crunchy yet I’m a passionate subscriber to certain “crunchy” ethics, like environmentalism and natural birth. But I certainly don’t follow attachment parenting priniciples in any religious way. Some things make sense–I cosleep when it seems to work, crib it when it doesn’t–but when I read about what some people do to follow that type of baby care, I know I could never in a million years do that and mentally survive. It’s hard enough having a newborn nurse off and on all day, or wake up all night. I could never do that for years on end. I like to wear my babies when it works, but it doesn’t truly solve all the problems of how to get things done. Showers? Cooking on the stove?

I also don’t think cosleeping and nursing while I (half) sleep is the answer to sleep deprivation. I can’t really sleep through feedings and I feel worse in the morning from being half-awake a dozen times. At a certain point, I can’t function without regular long sleep stretches. Maybe those parents are just tougher than I am and I give them a lot of credit. But I think it’s also that I don’t 100% philosophically buy into the theories behind it.

I don’t schedule my babies until they are older, but I can understand why people do it. I’m breastfeeding but if it was making my life miserable, which I can see how that happens sometimes with different problems, I would stop. So I guess all this makes me pretty uncrunchy, but then again I’m not completely sure HOW I feel about strict baby schedules and I don’t expect my tiny baby to be able to put themselves to sleep necessarily, or sleep alone in their own room, or be as independent as I’ve read in some sleep books. Although at times, like now, when I’m tired, and I’m holding my son all.day.long. it sounds pretty attractive.

I’m just not sure. And I think that’s okay. I’m just going to go forward doing what works at any given moment and hope it all sorts itself out.


Do you pick and choose from different parenting philosophies? Do you fall squarely into one, or another camp?




Filed under Life & Style, Parenting

2 Responses to With Crunch

  1. Barb

    My husband recommended I read this: http://www.mothering.com/community/t/1254015/the-10-best-things-about-a-high-needs-baby
    Our son, who I lovingly refer to as “King Leo” is most definitely a high needs baby. He rarely likes to be just put down to be alone. He wants us around *all the time*. He refuses to nap during the day in his crib (thankfully night time he is pretty good with the crib) which results in us wearing him in shifts for his naps. We stroll up and down the city streets for 2 hour chunks so The King can sleep. Would I love to just be able to put him down? Sometimes, yes. However, his large needs and his big voice to tell us what he likes and doesn’t like I think will serve him well in the future.

    That said – more to your point. I definitely mix styles. I don’t co sleep – except at 5AM when The King is ready to start his day and I’m not ready to start mine. I bring him into the bed with me for another hour or two (if I can push it) for *at least* relaxation.
    Yes, I wear him all the time. Mainly because it’s easier on transit, and it’s the only way he’ll nap. But sometimes I’d really love the *option* to put him in a stroller and push him around. But why should he like the stroller? Why should he want to be that far removed from a warm body?
    Have I “trained” him to sleep in the crib, not really. But we *do* have a schedule and a nice routine throughout the day.

    I think because every baby is different it makes sense to mix and match things. Go with whatever works. Nay-sayers be damned! :)

  2. I love this post. It is so honest:) And I think if all parents really were honest they would fall in the same camp. I think that when we talk with other parents about our parenting styles we tend to make it sound like we do it “perfectly.” But I think the truth is that we all just do what works for us and for our kids and most of the time its a little of this and a little of that. I think you’d be hard pressed to find a purist of one method or another.
    I read Baby Wise and liked some of the ideas but found the book ridgid and not very helpful. I really liked The Baby Whisperer, but along with her methods she has the caveat of doing what is best for you.
    With Sophia I waffled back and forth and tried a bunch of different things, switching back and forth between trying to sleep train and feeding on demand and scheduling and etc. And she really struggled and didn’t sleep though the night until she was 8 months old. Those eight months were really brutal. This time around I decided that whatever we were gonna do we were gonna be consistent from the get go. And that has made a big difference for Jack: he’s been sleeping 6 hours straight at night for the last week. I think consistency is what a baby needs (I’m not talking about rigidity to a shedule), but consistency in approach. It doesn’t have to be “an” approach, but “your” approach. We follow a schedule duirng the day, but that is mostly so I can get things done and we can have a life outside our house:) I think every parent has to figure out what works for them. Even though we all think our way is best. Haha.

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