Friday, July 23, 2010

Giving Them Up Too Soon?

Now that I'm not a silly goose trying to follow modern advice on baby care and I've embraced baby wearing, co-sleeping, and breastfeeding on demand, I've begun to wonder if in this day and age we moms give up our babies too soon after birth.

My son is just over a month old now and I already hear people say, "Are you bringing the baby, too?" Um, yeah! I can't leave him with a sitter! I'm the only way he can eat!

I've read things in the past about, "getting your baby to sleep through the night in their own crib" at this age. What?!

When my daughter was born, she practically lived in the swing. She was quiet and seemed happy so I didn't think anything of it. Until later, when I noticed she wasn't affectionate. It was hard to hold her and hug her. She was late to talk and screams a lot. And yes, I do believe it was because of a lack of interaction. She was schedule fed and left to cry it out. All these things were due to modern advice I was given to make baby more "independant." It was supposed to be a good thing. To this day she is not a good sleeper. She sleeps lightly and wakes often. (As a side note, she is not autistic.) Thankfully, I've noticed this and we've been working on correcting it with plenty of interaction and affection which she loves giving. She's a cuddler now.

We have all sorts of gizmos to keep baby away from us. Everything from bouncy seats to day care centers. Are they really such good ideas? Now, I'm not opposed to letting a baby sit happily in an infant swing once in a while so you can finally wash that pile of dishes in the sink or make dinner safely or even engage in a hobby, but to make it a habit to leave them in there....well, I just can't see doing that anymore.

So, do you think as a general modern culture we give up our babies too soon?


Anonymous said...

A very hearty YES.

Stephanie said...

My firstborn son was raised mostly following modern conventional parenting advice (he's the only one I lost my milk supply with when he was 8 months old...go figure) and he is very similiar to what you've experienced with your daughter and to this day he just isn't as affectionate as the other children.

I wisened up while pregnant with my second son when I learned of ecological breastfeeding...and from there I learned of other (so-called) "crunchy" parenting techniques...I personally prefer to call it "Traditional Mothering" since it is the way our great grand mothers and earlier generations, before the industrial revolution and widespread availability of formula, probably mothered their children.

I find Traditional Mothering so much more fulfilling and my children are much happier, more affectionate and calmer, and more self-assured. Contrary to what most people think, it seems to me that these mothering "techniques" produced children that are more self-confident and less least that has been my experience with my second born son who is now five years old and my third born son who is 2 1/2 years old.

I personally would NEVER want to leave my almost one month old daughter for any reason at all other, save for a DIRE emergency. For goodness sake, my husband and I didn't even leave my third born son with a sitter (my mom) till he was 16 months old and that was only for a 2 hour date...

Why would anyone have children if they want to escape them?? I love my children and I love being around them, yes it can be stressful at times, but I have found that the more I interact with my chidlren and remain "in tune" with them and cultivate a REAL friendship with them the less they feel the need to misbehave...which is often just a tactic to garner attention that they aren't recieving but should. My oldest son is now 7 and he is my right hand man and such a helper to me and to my husband whom he helps runs our E-bay business. My 5 year old son also, he LOVES helping me with his baby sister. And I just can't help but think that if they are already such a blessing to us now, working as part of our family "team" much more so when they are 11 or 12 or 16?? I'm going to have 3 strapping young men running around here doing all kinds of fun and unusual things and hopefully also helping with the chores!! ;-)

Anna said...

Kate, you are absolutely on the right track. In parenting there is no free lunch. You try to get away with something now (like give your baby less of yourself than they need and deserve), you pay down the road (with an unattached preschooler--and worse).

Courtney said...

AMEN! I have friends who follow certain methods from a very popular parenting book, and I think it's tragic. There is no need to push a baby to be independent-- it happens on its own soon enough! I've heard it said, "Baby them while their babies, and you won't have to when they're older" (or something to that effect). I think the best thing we can do is lead by example, and let the results speak for themselves. My boys receive compliments all the time, and while certainly some of it is nature, there is no doubt much of it is also they way they were cared for as babies and young toddlers.

I haven't commented on your blog in ages, Kate, but this topic is very near and dear to me!

Kelly said...

Wow, I was surprised to hear this since you seemed to feel so strongly in favor of parenting in the other direction previously. I'm glad that you're following your heart and trusting in yourself to make the right decisions for your family now, and not so much about following the book. :)