Childrearing

Baby Blues: I Would Not Have Committed To Attachment Parenting If I Knew I Was At Risk For PPD

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But at 18 months old she’s still in our bed and I’m still nursing her to sleep, so I give up a huge chunk of my personal time at night to get her settled in. She usually wakes up two or three times throughout the evening, too, meaning I don’t really get a chance to spend time alone and “reset” before bedtime. I have no doubt that this contributes to my own sleep problems, and an interrupted sleep schedule makes my depression worse.

Aside from attachment parenting, I also would have taken our health insurance situation (lack thereof) much more seriously. Seeing a therapist helped me immensely when I was in my early 20s, and knowing this, I would have found a plan that would make this option a little more affordable than paying straight out of pocket.

I just wonder if I could have eased up on myself all-around if I’d had this testing early on. So much of my stress as a mother came from believing I could give all of myself to my daughter all the time — and furthermore, if I didn’t, she would fail to thrive. This sounds ridiculous, but I really, truly believed that being a perfect mother was an attainable goal, and if I wasn’t doing it, I wasn’t trying hard enough. So when I went from “nearly perfect” to having PPD, I didn’t take it as an opportunity to focus on my own health. I took it as another example of how I’d failed.

Even though this research is still incomplete, and we may not have PPD pre-testing for quite some time, I’m hopeful when I think of how this may help other women prepare for the throes of new motherhood. Maybe if more women can find out that they’re susceptible to this common condition, we could see a cultural shift in expectations for mothers, allowing us all to ease up on ourselves when we’re not doing everything perfectly.

(photo:ย agrinoย / Shutterstock)

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66 Comments

  1. Valeri Jones

    May 29, 2013 at 12:12 pm

    Please don’t take this the wrong way, because I’m not judging you at all. But I’m honestly curious as to why you’ve kept up with the AP method if you think it’s a large contributor to your depression?

    I’m not one that believes that parenting falls into a neat little slot for everyone. I have taken some aspects of AP (without even realizing that’s what it was, at first) and adopted them into my own parenting style. It seems to me that you can take what you love and leave what you don’t, especially if it makes you healthier. I know your daughter is the same age as my son, and if she’s anything like my boy, she’s pretty stubborn. But that doesn’t mean she can’t adapt to changes in patterns or routines.

    Again, not judging. I love reading this column, but at the same time, I just wanna give you a big ol’ hug and do whatever I can to “fix” you. (Even though I know it just isn’t that simple.) My heart goes out to you, babe.

    • Amanda Low

      May 29, 2013 at 12:38 pm

      Aww, thanks Valeri ๐Ÿ™‚ I’m not sure why I’ve kept up with AP. I think maybe I spent so much time drilling it into my head that it was the ONLY way for me to feel like a good parent, that I’m having a hard time letting that idea go. Also I’ve gotten used to it. I don’t even know where to start regarding sleep training, for example. Like, she sleeps fine in a cot at daycare, but if we ever lay her down by herself at home she cries her head off. What do I do?!

    • Justme

      May 29, 2013 at 1:00 pm

      Do it in increments – go in for a few minutes and pat or rub her back (I usually counted to 200 pats or something like that) and then come back out for two minutes. Go back in and pat for a little while and then come out for five minutes. Repeat for as long as you can. The first couple of times that you try it will be absolutely exhausting but once she falls asleep…it’s a good feeling.

    • Amanda Low

      May 29, 2013 at 1:13 pm

      Thank you ๐Ÿ™‚ Should I try this in a crib? She’s old enough for a toddler bed, but I’m worried she’ll just keep crawling off.

    • Sarah

      May 29, 2013 at 1:22 pm

      Keep her in a crib! Until she’s well-established in a new sleep routine where she can put herself to sleep at the beginning of the night, and when she wakes periodically through the night, you don’t want her being able to get up and find you. Also, once you commit to sleep training, you have to fully commit, or it will be a huge disaster. The first few nights are really, really hard, and stressful. But she will learn very fast and within a week, you will see a huge improvement. And, contrary to what people who advocate against sleep training may tell you, she won’t hate you for it and need therapy as an adult to get over it!

    • Justme

      May 29, 2013 at 2:38 pm

      My daughter turned two in March and she is still in a crib because she would cry on her own for 5 – 10 minutes before falling asleep on her own. But now that she is getting better about going “night-night” on own, we will transition her to a toddler bed this summer…or not. I think you can do this in a crib or a toddler bed. I am assuming I’ll have to go through a whole other round of “pat and wait” once we take the front off her crib.

    • Valeri Jones

      May 29, 2013 at 6:49 pm

      I would love to know about her transition from crib to toddler bed when you do it. My son is 18 months, and I have been considering putting him in a toddler bed….. But I think I’m just going to wait until he either starts climbing out of his crib or he completely outgrows it. He’s a very independent little guy and a busy one, at that. I’m afraid of him getting out of bed and getting into something without waking me first.

    • Justme

      May 29, 2013 at 7:47 pm

      I think the child has to have some sort of reasoning skills to understand “going to bed and staying there” and every kid develops those at such different times. We’ve only just noticed in the past few weeks that she is starting to grasp the idea of going to bed and snuggling down without pitching a fit. I figure when it’s time to really take the front off (after school is out and I don’t have to get up early the next day) I’m going to talk to her about reading books and playing with her dolls before bedtime. And we will do the same routine of pajamas, prayers and story time….just with her in her bed. Then if she does the whack-a-mole bit, I’ll go back to the above mentioned method. At least tis is all MY plan….the two year old might feel differently.

      We’ve also introduced panties and potty training lately – might as well get it all over with, right? She understands the concept of ‘not wanting to get Ariel (panties) wet or poopy’ and that motivating her right now so I’m hoping the bed will be the same way.

    • Blueathena623

      June 1, 2013 at 9:54 am

      Was at my ped yesterday, and he recommended holding off on a toddler bed until 2, maybe even 2.5 depending on if/when the kid totally learns how to climb of a crib. He then of course told me a lovely story about a kid who just transitioned to a toddler bed and they very next day fell our a window because the parents had cracked the window, and the kid managed to push a few things so he could climb and managed to open the window more and push out the screen. This made me realize I will probably need another year to totally toddler-proof my kids bedroom.

    • Valeri Jones

      May 29, 2013 at 2:38 pm

      I made my own version of Ferber’s method when I was sleep training C-Man. I put him in his crib and sat on my bed with my laptop. I turned on some kind of classical lullaby (Brahm’s is a good one) on YouTube, and just played Solitaire or cruised facebook. I made NO eye contact with him whatsoever. And I didn’t talk to him, other than to say “Shhh” or “Mommy’s right here” in a soft, soothing tone every few minutes. The first night took over an hour. The second took 20 minutes. The third was less than 10. And after that I didn’t even have to sit in there. I just turned on a lullaby and left him alone. It was heartbreaking to listen to him cry and not pick him up or comfort him at first, but I knew it would be better for us both in the long run. Granted, he was only about 5 months old at the time and super adaptable. 18 months may be a little more challenging, but I think it’s still feasible. Also, Daddy can do it, too. It might even be better if he did it, and she will be even more susceptible to the change because she’s used to nursing with you.

    • katia

      May 29, 2013 at 4:51 pm

      neat

    • Blueathena623

      May 29, 2013 at 1:15 pm

      I know this method won’t work for everyone, but I’ve suggested it to some friends and they said it helped.
      Do your normal bedtime routine, put her in bed (awake), pour yourself a drink, set a timer for between 5-10 minutes, and then just listen. I don’t suggest this as sleep training,but to help you decide what type of sleep training to do. If you want to kill yourself listening to her cry, check out the no cry sleep solution. If her cries are increasing and escalating, you could try Ferber. If her cries are decreasing, a modified Ferber/extinction method might work (and by modified extinction, I mean start off at 10, 15 minutes before you go into soothe, instead of 2 minutes or whatever with normal Ferber).
      I tried no cry and then Ferber, and both were disasters. Finally, one night I was exhausted and out him in bed and just let him cry for about 7 minutes, but then I realized his cries were tapering off. I held out, and by 11 minutes he was asleep. We still go by the 15-20 minute rule, which I know means that some people might find me a monster, but if I go in there more frequently I just rile him up.
      This was a long comment. You do what is best for you and your baby, no judgement, but I wanted to pass this along.

    • Amanda Low

      May 29, 2013 at 1:17 pm

      Thank you, and a helpful comment, as always ๐Ÿ™‚

    • Blueathena623

      May 29, 2013 at 9:46 pm

      Thank you for taking my comment so nicely, and hopefully with a grain of salt ๐Ÿ™‚

    • Rachelle

      May 29, 2013 at 1:32 pm

      I keep praying that my sleep-trained 6 month old will continue her amazing nights. I’m banging on so many wood surfaces that I’m going black and blue.

      I learned to recognized my daughter’s cries early on (using Dunstan), and since then it’s been so much easier knowing whether her naptime cries should be answered to (escalating towards a shriek) or if it’s just a tired cry (a muffled sounding moan) – she’s clearly outgrown the newborn cry patterns, but once you get to know your child’s voice, it’s easy to recognize what she’s trying to say. Her routine has always been based on her own body language though so I’ve rarely had nap time issues (and never had bedtime fights beyond getting her from her bath into her pjs).

      That being said, I just recently learned that you can categorize the majority of my parenting style into RIE, so beyond teething and tummy pains, I have an amazingly content, independent baby. I truly 100% believe that it was thanks to sleep training so early that we have been able to sleep our night through (her first wake up is 8 hours into her night).

      Now… let’s just pray I don’t one day have to come back to this post to see if I can add anything on to my own sleep training techniques which she may potentially grow out of. http://whatwouldshethink.com/2013/02/23/the-sleep-routine-and-how-it-saved-my-night/

    • Amanda Low

      May 29, 2013 at 1:47 pm

      Thank you! And your baby sounds so laid back! Haha.

    • Rachelle

      May 29, 2013 at 2:01 pm

      As long as she’s not around my mother. lol ๐Ÿ˜‰ She had her moments (she was anti-social at 3 months and had a lot of tummy issues until then), but otherwise she is an amazing girl. I let her discover and play alone a lot (under my supervision, obviously), so she’s totally comfortable with herself and likes doing things her way. Mind you I also breastfeed, so we get a lot of snuggling and nuzzling time – she’s super cuddly. But otherwise she’s on the floor playing, doing some type of sensory activity, or in her bouncy chair dancing to music or her favourite movie. That let’s me do what I have to do around the house during the day, and she knows the bedtime routine like the back of her hand. She’s only ever deviated from it 3 times (for exceptional occasions) whether she fell asleep on the boob or was wide awake when I put her down.

    • Vรฉronique Houde

      May 29, 2013 at 10:31 pm

      i wish upon a star that she will keep at it ’cause right now, her cousin is giving me quite the challenge!! ๐Ÿ˜›

    • Rachelle

      May 31, 2013 at 2:13 pm

      In the words of Rob Schneider

      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-hjqrxfvJ0A

    • Tabatha

      May 31, 2013 at 12:30 am

      Has anyone let you in on the fact that Ferber has recanted EVERY bit of his work, and now devoted his Life to being a co-sleeping activist? His methods were damaging, science has said so, he has said so. Please do not offer this as advice.

    • wmdkitty

      May 31, 2013 at 1:40 am

      Citation Needed.

    • Blueathena623

      May 31, 2013 at 8:20 am

      Oh, and in case you can’t tell from the link, fever has in no way recanted.

    • Guest 2

      May 31, 2013 at 7:42 pm

      Agreed, citation needed. please and thank you

    • Valeri Jones

      May 29, 2013 at 2:46 pm

      (See my other comment about having Daddy do the sleep training.)

      The fact that she sleeps fine in a cot at daycare proves that she is adaptable to other methods. She’s fine at daycare because that’s what they do there and she accepts that they aren’t her mommy and they don’t do it the same way. This is why I say it may be better for Daddy to be more involved in the sleep-training process. That way, she won’t feel like you’re doing it to her rather than she is adapting to “Daddy’s way.”

    • Myriam

      May 29, 2013 at 3:10 pm

      My daughter was 1 1/2 when we decided to sleep train her. I’d recently stopped breastfeeding, and she had spent a night at my in-laws, where she had no trouble getting to sleep on her own. We knew she was ready, but we were going on a family vacation with my family. My sister (who has 2 older daughters) offered to help us. So that 1st night, she cried for 5 minutes, and the next night for 2, and then nothing after that! We were so relieved. We have a two-way video minotor, so instead of going into the room to soothe her, we would talk to her over the monitor. I think she realised even though she coulnd’t see us, we were still watching over her…

    • Valeri Jones

      May 29, 2013 at 4:04 pm

      Awww…. That’s awesome.

      I really have no experience trying to make major changes to my toddler’s routines. He’s a lot like me, and I knew from the minute he started kicking when I was pregnant with him that he was gonna be a stubborn little handful (just like me). So I knew the things that I wanted for his toddler-hood, like no pacifiers, sippy cups instead of bottles, sleeping in his crib and taking naps and going to bed on a regular routine. And I made all of these changed before he turned 1. Actually, all of these were done before he was 8 months, but 1 year was my goal. Therefore, I haven’t had to do any of these changes with a toddler and I must say, I highly recommend it.

      So to those of you, like Amanda, who are sleep-training or weaning or whatever with your toddlers…. Good luck to you! I wish I had more helpful advice. :/

  2. Cassy

    May 29, 2013 at 12:16 pm

    I dunno, I think that even if you know PPD could be coming, you’re probably still going to have it, right? Even if you can do things to help prepare yourself for it, it’s still going to happen. And, I don’t think asking “what if” about a test that isn’t even fully developed yet is helping your particular situation much.

    As for the Attachment Parenting, I’ve never subscribed to the theory, but I get why people do. I think the root of the problem could possibly be that we, as mothers, think that we have to parent a certain way. Like we have to explain to everyone who asks or who will listen “how” we mother. Why do we all need to know this about one another? It just perpetuates the cycle.

    I still struggle with subscribing to other people’s theories or trying to explain how or why I do things a certain way with my daughter, but I think I am happiest when I’m able to “just be.” Just mother the way I do. And I realize that, with PPD, that’s probably the problem right there: you can’t “just be.” I don’t have advice for you, but I can say that I think you should parent however it makes you and your daughter happy, bearing in mind that often, as long as your daughter is safe and fed (which I know yours is) a comfortable mom might come before a baby who needs you RIGHT THEN.

    • Amanda Low

      May 29, 2013 at 12:41 pm

      That’s very true that moms seem to want to group each other into parenting categories. I think, because moms can be very judgey, it’s kind of a way to feel out whether someone else will be generally “on our side” or not. Now, I know this isn’t true of all women, as you and I have very different parenting styles yet we’re still good friends! And same goes for my cousin’s wife, who is possibly my polar opposite as a mother and a person, yet I still love hanging out with her and feel like I have so much to learn from her.

      But yes, that whole “zen” sort of mentality, just letting go and doing what we do, is very healthy, and I think that’s what I’m working toward. I’m glad that’s working for you, too!

  3. HaydenT

    May 29, 2013 at 12:40 pm

    My son is almost one years old and my method of caring for him has shifted as he has become more independent. I full-on AP’d him up until he was three months old and that absolutely helped me save my sanity.
    As he has gotten older, and more independent, we have moved away from AP and toward other techniques that support his burgeoning independence while always letting him know that we are here and love him.
    Now, I set “gentle boundaries” with him because, for me, two of the most important things for me are (1) making sure I am taking care of myself so I don’t end up on the 6:00 pm news having murdered my child, and (2) that he is developing emotional resilience.
    In the mornings, when he wakes up before me and my husband he plays and explores quietly until we are ready to get up. He can entertain himself, which has been huge for me. He does still sleep in the room with us, but we are transitioning him to his own Montessori style bed. And we are working on making sure he is a whole, healthy person.
    A huge part of that, for me, is that he needs to recognize that I am my own person, with my own needs, as well. I am a lot better about hearing him cry (I can’t even describe what that used to do to me) because I recognize that he is allowed to be sad, just as I am. Crying is not his only method of communicating his needs anymore and I know that he now has ‘wants’ in addition to his needs.
    AP was a fantastic tool for me when he was younger but I know I have laid a foundation of trust with him that allows us to embrace mostly baby-led steps toward independence.
    Good people get very anxious about parenting the ‘right’ way and how that can effect their children later on in life. Please take my word, as someone who was abused as a child, love your child and treat them the way you want to be treated. You are creating a relationship with your child and your needs in this relationship are just as important as hers are.

    • Amanda Low

      May 29, 2013 at 1:15 pm

      What’s a Montessori style bed? I’m considering Montessori school, so this interests me.

    • Rachelle

      May 29, 2013 at 1:20 pm

      A futon-style mattress placed in the corner of a room directly on the floor with a cushy rug placed at its foot. It promotes movement and discovery while providing a safe environment. I was also considering it but my MIL purchased a beautiful crib for our daughter.

  4. Ashley Feit

    May 29, 2013 at 1:07 pm

    Thank you for your candid post. This makes me feel even more at ease with my decision not to AP. I think even with a test to predict PPD, you cannot be fully prepared for how it will affect you. I had serious breastfeeding issues (very low supply no matter what I did) as well as PPD.

    I am very much a “free range” parent with a happy and independent child. I still can’t bear to let her cry it out more than a couple minutes, though! I’m sure there are aspects from about 100 different parenting “styles” that I have incorporated without even knowing it!

    There is so much pressure to fit into specific philosophies that we forget that children and parents are individuals and there is no one set of rules that apply to us all. Yes, children need stability and consistency, but we have to be flexible to do what is best for the whole family. Changing horses mid-stream, when it comes to raising a child, is not failure, it’s adaptability!

    • Amanda Low

      May 29, 2013 at 1:16 pm

      Preach! You sound like a great parent.

  5. Joe bob

    May 29, 2013 at 1:12 pm

    18 months old and the baby still sleeps with you? Yeah I’m sure you’re husband is happy about that. Do yourself a favor. Put the baby in the crb.

    • Amanda Low

      May 29, 2013 at 1:15 pm

      My husband is happy about it, but he’s frustrated for the same reasons as I am. It doesn’t hurt our sex life, however, if that’s what you’re referring to.

    • Joe bob

      May 30, 2013 at 1:37 pm

      ok, I honestly don’t mean this offensively. I’m asking a serious question. How could having your 18 mo. old daughter sleep with you not affect your sex life?

    • Heather W

      May 31, 2013 at 12:41 am

      Is your bed the only place you have sex? That sounds kind of boring to me…

    • Psych Student

      May 31, 2013 at 2:25 am

      Maybe they have sex outside of the bed/bedroom and at times that aren’t morning or night when they are in bed. ๐Ÿ˜‰

    • Blueathena623

      May 29, 2013 at 1:32 pm

      Because that is the whole point of this article — the husband *may* be suffering from a reduced amount of sex.

    • Joe bob

      May 30, 2013 at 1:40 pm

      Yes, but perhaps that should be a consideration? Not necessarily the sex part, but the husband part. I can guarantee you that the husband does not want to share the bed with both his wife and their toddler. He may just want some precious alone time with his wife. It doesn’t have to be sexual.

    • Blueathena623

      May 30, 2013 at 2:53 pm

      The author says her kid is still waking up a couple times of night. Maybe the husband doesn’t mind bed sharing because otherwise he would be the one getting up with the kid at night?

    • Amanda F.

      May 31, 2013 at 8:13 am

      Blueathena is right. It may shock you to know that some men actually don’t mind, and even enjoy!, cosleeping with their babies. Our baby’s crib is in our room, but she no longer is in our bed (she was more comfortable in her own crib after 3-4 months). If I weren’t breastfeeding, or if baby were in her own room, my husband would definitely be taking his turn to get up and get her. Believe me, he likes it this was MUCH better.

  6. Carmen

    May 29, 2013 at 8:51 pm

    Can we be friends please? I think I have mild PPD. My daughter is a year old and I’m a mostly AP parent (much like the commenter who said she fell into it.) I love breastfeeding – it’s the only thing I’m good at. But I’ve conditioned her to always nurse to sleep and share our bed so I’m a prisoner in our bedroom from 8pm on. I love this kid but I’m going crazy. Not having time to do normal things like fold some laundry our have a drink ifs making me crazy but I’m terrified to sleep train her. She’s an expert at crying until she throws up… let’s just be miserable together. I’ll get a t-shirt that says Enabler. XOxo.

    • Blueathena623

      May 29, 2013 at 9:54 pm

      Sleep training is a very personal decision, but when I decided to sleep train, knowing two things helped me:
      1. The major “study” quoted on a lot of AP sites about how CIO causes serious stress is basically a bunch of crap. I give you the link to a site that really breaks down the flaws and limitations of the study if you like.
      2. Research also shows (even mommyish had an article recently) that kids this young have the memories of goldfish. After sleep training my son did not love me one iota less. In fact, he loved me even more, because he was happier with the better sleep patterns and he had a happier mommy to play with him.

    • Carmen

      May 30, 2013 at 9:56 am

      I’d love to read more about that study if you have the link. Maybe I’ll read it over and over while I wait for her to fall asleep.

    • Blueathena623

      May 30, 2013 at 2:49 pm

      Ok, disqus is being a jerk and won’t let me paste a link! Google “one fit mom middlemiss”minus the quotes.
      The blog owner is the one fit mom, and the study was done by middlemiss, hence the search term ๐Ÿ™‚

    • MissMaryMac333

      June 1, 2013 at 12:11 am

      The Middlemiss study was researching the asynchronicity between mom and baby that results from sleep training. They were both stressed by the sleep training at first but then mom stopped being stressed when baby stopped crying. The surprise of it all was that baby was stressed after falling asleep which the researchers hypothesize means that self-soothing isn’t happening, the babies just simply stop expressing their stress (ie stop crying). The researchers are doing further studies.
      There was just another study released that concluded:
      “These results indicate that an early history of co-sleeping and breastfeeding contributes positively to cortisol regulation in 12-month-olds.”

      I can’t link but the title is “Cortisol regulation in 12-month-old human infants: associations with the infants’ early history of breastfeeding and co-sleeping.”

    • Blueathena623

      June 1, 2013 at 9:43 am

      I know what the middlemiss study is saying, but there are also limitations to the study, which are outlined nicely in the blog I tried to link to. The fact that its a very, very short study, in a non-home location, using very few infants, means its difficult, from a scientific point, to extrapolate what it might mean for the general population.
      Which the study you linked to, I think it was performed better (has a much higher subject population for one), but there are still other factors. Poor sleep habits also raise cortisol levels. We know that dangerously high levels of cortisol aren’t good, but there are still arguments about medium levels. Even in the abstract of the article you’re talking about, there is something about positive maternal actions (sorry can’t quote exactly because disqus hates me and if I change tabs to look disqus messes up), although these factors aren’t as well understood.
      I have never, and will never, say that CIO is for everyone, and I have never and will never say that co-sleeping is bad. But if co-sleeping is causing a parent to be miserable and/or a child to be cranky due to lack of solid blocks of sleep, I cannot see how that wouldn’t be causing equally problems any worse than some potential spikes in cortisol that may occur during sleep training.

    • Rea

      June 1, 2013 at 7:33 am

      yes! Post the link! Please!

    • Blueathena623

      June 1, 2013 at 9:22 am

      Google “one fit mom middlemiss” disqus is being a jerk about posting links.

  7. Holla

    May 29, 2013 at 11:13 pm

    OH, yes, please go through your own personal heartache and sleep train her in whatever way you can. I say your heartache because it’s not going to permanently break your daughters heart right now; she won’t even remember. My 2.5 year old is still in his crib because we tried the “big boy bed” too late in my opinion. The kid regressed totally after 3 weeks of failed big boy bed sleepovers. Now he’s back to where he can’t go to sleep without us right next to the crib, he wakes up at least once during the night cuz he lost his paci (he regressed to using that again) and if we are not there when he awakens, he cries. With a newborn in the house neither my husband nor I get a full night’s sleep. We switch as to which kid we have to wake up with. I blame ourselves for waiting so long to try, and for trying with a baby on the way (I”m sure he already felt off and that something was “different” with that impending event). Lesson learned with this new one. I’ll be dammmmmmed if I’m gonna be trying to reason with another almost 3 year old to give up his paci and get out of the crib.

  8. Lucy

    May 30, 2013 at 7:55 am

    Wow definitely related to some stuff in this article! thankfully i’ve never had to deal with depression but i have a very clingy 17 month boy who knows nothing different to the AP method. Literally i have to let him sleep on me or put him down once he’s completely flat out and very slowly pull away, he also wakes up constantly throughout the night and cannot be without me for longer than about 15 minutes, literally i have not been able to leave him with anyone since he was a tiny baby, not even his father! I Also completely related to “Carmen” who commented earlier. Hugs to both of you! It’s a difficult cycle to break but sometimes there just comes a time when you have to find it in yourself to stop it, which is what ive finally decided i need to do once my son gets over the ear infection he currently has ๐Ÿ™

  9. AP

    May 30, 2013 at 11:15 pm

    You’re raising a baby, not doing a science experiment. You don’t have to have a method. You don’t get a ribbon when your hypothesis and conclusion match.

  10. thetruth

    May 30, 2013 at 11:28 pm

    PPD is buyer’s remorse. Sucks to be you, mommy.

    • Amanda F.

      May 31, 2013 at 8:14 am

      That is probably one of the most awful comments I’ve ever read. Do you know a damn thing about PPD??

  11. Heather W

    May 31, 2013 at 12:26 am

    STOP with the blaming parenting styles for your own issues with guilt and unrealistic expectations. Look, we ALL want to be supermom, but sometimes that means recognizing your boundaries and using what works and leaving what doesn’t. That DOESN’T mean you have to check things off a list so that you can be accepted by a certain so-called “elite” group of parents. What’s with all the attachment backlash in the media? So it didn’t work for you. Great. Now you know that. Stop with the guilt and stop spreading the judgment of parents for whom this works. I, for one, am sick and tired of hearing how I’m ruining my children by responding to them.

    My husband deployed 3 days after our 3rd child was born…talk about being at risk for PPD. AP is the only way I survived. So. Take that for what you will. I use a swing AND a baby carrier. I love my stroller and use it without feeling like I’m giving my child anything less than what works for us. I breastfeed exclusively AND had enough milk leftover to donate to other moms. I use a pump because of oversupply and to build a stash. Who said you can’t use a breast pump? Who said you HAD to do it all? There is no “checklist” that you have fill out in order to be securely attached to your child. I assure you, with 3 children it is IMPOSSIBLE to soothe every whimper, every cry, but it doesn’t mean that isn’t something to shoot for. The difference between us, I guess, is I am not carrying this huge burden of guilt around with me everywhere I go. Let it go, mama. I just don’t understand why the need to write an article essentially bashing a parenting style that didn’t work for you.

    • Amanda F.

      May 31, 2013 at 8:08 am

      AMEN! My husband couldn’t even be here for the birth of our first child. I literally saw him for a total of two months out of my entire pregnancy. I was alone for it all — pregnancy, birth, and postpartum period. He didn’t even meet our baby until she was a month and a half old because he was working in Asia and couldn’t come any sooner. Then he had to go straight back to Japan after only 6 days with us. We weren’t together as a family until our baby was 3 months old. My doctors were very concerned about my PPD risk, and had me assessed multiple times, but AP wasn’t even on their radar for risk factors.

      AP was the only thing that kept me sane — having her near me, breastfeeding, cosleeping, and responding quickly to needs kept her happy and allowed me to more easily deal with the difficulties of basically living like a single parent for those three months. I, too, chose not to introduce a bottle. Yes, it has been a big challenge, but the rewards have been worth it for me.

      It didn’t work for you? That’s okay. But don’t bash the parenting style. Your issues are just that — something for you to work through. You said you were high risk, so you would probably have developed PPD anyway. That isn’t your fault, but don’t blame that on AP either. It isn’t for everyone. If it doesn’t work for you and your family, then you didn’t have to do it and you don’t have to continue doing it. Do what works for you, and forget about living up to some imaginary elite parents that don’t even exist.

    • Guest

      May 31, 2013 at 4:59 pm

      Why the defensiveness? She wasn’t bashing attachment parenting, she was saying it contributed to her depression, i.e. it didn’t work for HER. There is no “backlash” against attachment parenting. Where are you even getting that from?

  12. Tess

    May 31, 2013 at 3:39 am

    Hi,

    I am so sorry that you have struggled with PND it is a really really nasty thing to have to struggle with. However I would have to also say that that as someone with a history of depression you were at high risk of PND and it is very wrong that the health professionals that you saw during pregnancy did not warn you of this.

    I think attachment parenting can get a lot of bad press and in terms of it’s effect on depression i think it is swings and round abouts. I have 4 children and i really did too much when i had my 4th rather than too little. Breast fed all the time etc, but because she was in a sling could just do it on the move. I think the adjustment to parenthood is hard what ever approach you have. I didn’t co sleep with my first and did sleep train, it only ever worked temporarily for her, so I constantly felt I was failing, but with the last, totally co slept and just chilled, she was fed to sleep, I could always sooth her what ever the fret and knew that it was a phase that would pass.

    I think my message would be, really well done for managing being a mum with PND, it is soooooo hard, but know that your style of parenting is research based,( see any research by the wonderful Prof Helen Ball or the equally wonderful Dr James Mckenna) and that is all any of us can do. read the latest research and make informed choices.
    Check out this

    How can I get my baby to sleep through the night – James McKenna, PhD

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UFSPtTiVx5Y.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UFSPtTiVx5Y

  13. Jess

    May 31, 2013 at 7:59 am

    I didn’t end up breastfeeding (lack of support and information), and only bed-shared until my daughter was 4 months (change in meds), but found that everything else really helped. My daughter did cry a lot in the first months – she had silent reflux, gas issues and lactose intolerance, plus is a high needs or spirited child – and I found that the more I responded to her cries, the easier it was for us both. Babywearing helped us so much. I’ve had many people comment on how confident and happy she is and that’s got a lot to do with babywearing and knowing that her cries will be responded to. She’s still learning to sleep through every night now at about 21 months, but she’s getting there. I refuse to sleep-train her, recent studies have shown that it is detrimental for many reasons (look up “Dr Sears CIO article” – he has a list of over a dozen studies).
    For me, the PPD (and occasional hallucinations) where all signs I needed more support, so I asked for help, went back on my meds, etc. I wouldn’t change how I’ve raised my daughter at all.

    • ejohns313

      June 2, 2013 at 4:35 pm

      The Dr. Sears article isn’t trustworthy. I read some of the research he cited, and it didn’t really say what he claimed it said. I’ve seen other posts by people who reviewed the cited studies, and they also found major misrepresentations.

  14. MissMaryMac333

    May 31, 2013 at 10:05 am

    Oh mama, AP doesn’t mean doing those things ALL the time!! I consider myself to be a “hard-core” APer (and free-range, and Montessori) and there were plenty of times DS laid on a sheepskin or blanket on the floor and played quietly while I worked.
    Where was your baby carrier? That was a lifesaver for me so that I could get things done around the house and run errands and ds could also nap in it while we were out and about.
    For naps, I had to *slowly* work with ds so that I could nurse him to sleep but he didnt need me next to him. Once he was mobile (8mo) we introduced a Montessori floor bed in our room. He’s nap in it then happily come out to us when he woke. And he’d start the night there then come to the big bed to nurse. It was a good way for us to provide him with opportunities for independence (and give myself some room) but without forcing it.
    By 18mo he’d come nurse then go back to his bed, STTN at 2yo, falling asleep without nursing around 2.5 and asked for his own room right before he turned 3. He’s always welcome in the bed with us and usually winds up there in the morning for snuggles ๐Ÿ™‚
    Also, where’s your DH in all of this? It’s called Attachment PARENTING not Attachment Mothering!
    It was HUGE for me for dh to get up in the mornings with ds. Around the 4 month sleep regression when I was losing my mind with an infant that had slept well then started waking hourly (and did so for another 8months!). So dh strapped on the carrier (with me hysterical and touched out) and started taking ds for a walk every morning to give me a break. It started with 10 minutes to the coffee shop across the street and eventually morphed into over an hour and the guys making breakfast together. It was a great way for them to bond too.
    It’s so so so important for us with depression and PPD to find support so that we can find ways to cope while also achieving our goals. You don’t need to give up AP because you are having difficulty coping, but you do need to seek out support and creative solutions that will help you cope.
    Good luck to you mama!!

    • MissMaryMac333

      May 31, 2013 at 2:31 pm

      Also please check out dr Laura Markham’s book Peaceful Parent, Happy Kids. It focuses on moms mental health and happiness on our quest to AP our kids.

  15. Stacey

    May 31, 2013 at 5:13 pm

    Thank you for sharing this–I can relate completely. I, too, have suffered from clinical depression for much of my life and it was particularly bad during my pregnancy. I actually had to spend a week at a psychiatric hospital during my first trimester. After recovering from that I made the decision–with input from my OBGYN and therapist– to not breastfeed so I could be on much-needed medication that is not considered safe for breastfeeding. My baby got a bottle of formula from day one. At first I felt guilty, but have come to view it as one of the best decisions I’ve ever made. Being on the right meds allowed me to escape PPD entirely after my daughter was born. I was a happy, healthy, content mother who was able to give her my all. I would not have been able to be available and present for her had I not been receiving the proper mental health treatment. It is so important for us moms to take good care of ourselves so we can be the best mothers possible for our children. I think sometimes we forget that.

  16. failedAP

    April 7, 2014 at 8:15 pm

    Holy moly…. You have just described me down to a T.
    Just been realising this past month that “AP” is way too hard for me to handle. I’m in need of time away from my 9 month old, but because we co-sleep and EBF this is not possible.

    I am an introvert and get peopled out. I need time every day to be myself and to reflect for my mental health. Hard to do with a baby on you 24/7.

    I’m trying to work out a balance and to continue following my instincts. Recently I am weaning her from comfort suckling. I am doing the next gentle step under; rocking… and she inconsolably screams and ends up vomiting. Well, so much for “it’s ok to let a child cry in your arms” lol.

    I will figure it out… just wish I knew before that I wouldn’t be able to handle having her around/on me 24/7. I’m sad I can’t, but I can’t help my feelings. I need to be happy in order to parent properly.

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