Posts Tagged ‘Family Bed’

Responding with Sensitivity

This post is for the April “Respond with Sensitivity” Blog Carnival hosted by API Speaks.  Since February, the Attachment Parenting International (API) blog has hosted a monthly “carnival” — a blog event in which writers are invited to post about their experience with the designated topic.  Each month they are focusing on a different Attachment Parenting principal. According to API:

“You can build the foundation of trust and empathy by understanding and responding appropriately to your infant’s needs. Babies communicate their needs in many ways including body movements, facial expressions, and crying. They learn to trust when their needs are consistently responded to with sensitivity. Building a strong attachment with a baby involves not only responding consistently to his physical needs, but spending enjoyable time interacting with him and thus meeting his emotional needs as well.”

Responding with sensitivity is one of those super touchy subjects with a wide range of opinions among parents — especially when parenting infants. Within the AP community, responding with sensitivity essentially means tending to your baby whenever he or she cries and not engaging in sleep training.

Some of my closest friends are all about sleep training and I do not want them to feel judged by me because we’ve chosen a different path. I think as parents we all essentially want the same thing:  we want our children to be happy, healthy, and emotionally secure. We just have different ideas about how to reach that objective. Some parents believe that guiding a baby toward this security means learning to self-soothe and cry-it-out. Others, like me, believe that the emotional well-being comes with establishing trust.

And you know what? It’s likely that all of our children, regardless of our efforts to care for them in the best way we know how, will have their own issues to wrestle with when they’re older that they will blame us for. And we can just hope they forgive us and know that we parented with love in our hearts that they won’t be able to comprehend until they are parents themselves.  On that note….Mom, if you’re reading — I really get how much you loved me as a baby, a child, and now as an adult — and I do not feel bad about having cried myself to sleep a few times learning to sleep through the night.

Despite my pragmatic view of the big picture reality, I remain committed to following AP principals in a way that works best for our family because it feels right to me.  So how does “responding with sensitivity” play out in our home currently?  In a way that will likely remove us from any kind of Orthodox AP-er label. (more…)

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