Photo Credit: gentleparenting.co.uk
I’m an advocate of Attachment Parenting.
Go ahead, call me a granola tree-hugging hippie whose child will be breastfeeding and sleeping in the family bed until college.
What can I say? Part of being a full-fledged grown-up is being secure enough to accept, that, occasionally your views will deviate from the conventional wisdom of your time and place.
But since there are plenty of other forums devoted to preachy parenting advice, I’ll spare you the soapbox.
Instead, I want to talk about how Attachment Parenting has aligned well with my own goals to be healthy, happy and fit.
(No self-righteousness here.)
Just some nice perks to consider, whether you choose to embrace this philosophy full-throttle or just pick bits and pieces.
Why is Attachment Parenting (AP) Pro-Health?
- Breastfeeding is a Calorie Scorcher – AP advocates breastfeeding until your child is ready to self-wean, the result of which is often breastfeeding past the first year, and even past the second. Breastfeeding burns up to 500 calories per day, meaning you can eat robust, calorie-dense meals and still lose weight.
- Baby-Wearing is a Built-in Workout – AP advocates “wearing” your baby in a sling or wrap. Wearing your baby for 3+ hours each day means you’re toting around an extra 8-20 lbs, depending on your baby’s weight. A great AP-friendly workout is to go for a walk with your baby in a sling or wrap! You’ll torch some serious calories walking up hills with an extra “weight” in tow.
- You’re Still Your Baby’s Food Source – Since breastfeeding means you’re still your baby’s primary food source for the first year, you’re likely to be more mindful of what you ingest. I’m conscious of taking my daily vitamins, eating fresh and organic produce, and limiting alcohol and caffeine. Okay, I fail too often on the caffeine, and boy do I pay the price when baby won’t sleep at 10pm!
- Surrendering to Your Baby’s Needy Phase Means Less Anxiety – The essence of AP boils down to responding to your baby’s needs and cues, rather than trying to reduce or control them. Accepting my baby’s neediness was very hard as a first-time parent, but once I did, I became far more happy and relaxed. I perceive that our culture’s preoccupation with making babies more convenient causes parents unnecessary anxiety and self-doubt.
It robs them of the peace of accepting this life phase that demands we slow down, surrender, and smell the roses for one brief season in our lives.
I so regret how many hours I spent in the early days wondering if I was spoiling my baby by holding her too much or whether she’d never leave our bed if we didn’t sleep train her by 6 months.
Lean into the need and spare yourself the anxiety. Your body will thank you.
I’d love to hear your thoughts on this – but be nice to each other!
No Mommy Wars here!