Sunday, April 18, 2010

Attachment Parenting and Creating Healthy Children

We recently had the honor of hosting our friend Karen Ranzi for a few days while she began her first major book tour in West Palm Beach, speaking about her new book Creating Healthy Children Through Attachment Parenting and Raw Foods. I was familiar with the Attachment Parenting concept before I met Karen, but after meeting her when I was about 6 months pregnant at the Raw Spirit Fest 2008 in Sedona, she left a strong impression on me that helped me understand the importance of Attachment Parenting, especially the first 3 months of an infant’s life. We only had a brief discussion, but she advised me to not do anything for the first 3 months post-partum, not to worry about housework, cooking and shopping. Karen said that my main job is to hold my baby 24 hours a day, and even take showers with her! I thought that 24 hours a day seemed a little extreme, but now looking back I completely understand her urgency. Keeping our newborns close to us at all times is the most important thing they need!

I may not have been able to hold Noa 24 hours a day, but we did incorporate Attachment Parenting into our lives about 90% of the time. I carried her in a sling almost all day while she napped or just hung out. She immediately went from the car seat to my chest anytime we went anywhere. I began bathing with her and letting her sleep on my chest at night. It was amazing! I fell so in love with her and really felt a strong bond that continues to grow. Being so close to her allowed me to intuitively meet her needs and really get to know her.

Now at 15 months, she is maybe in the sling about 50% of the time. She prefers to run around and explore and is becoming very independent. But when we are out and I prefer her to be with me, then I put her in the sling and she is perfectly happy.

There are so many benefits to incorporating Attachment Parenting, and I hope to go into more detail in the future. If you are interested in learning more, please check out Karen’s book Creating Healthy Children Through Attachment Parenting and Raw Foods. I am reading it now and it is filled with so much valuable information. This book is well researched in so many areas. Karen shares her own experiences, references and testimonials as well as her wisdom and scientific knowledge of the human body. We may not be in agreement with every single issue Karen discusses, but we respect all points of view and encourage others to have an open mind and try things for themselves.

I remember when Paul and I were figuring out the things that we needed after Noa was born and I really wanted to buy this high-end stroller for about $600.00 because I thought we “needed” a bassinet. After discussing it with Paul, and then our midwife who said we don’t even need a stroller if we are doing Attachment Parenting, I decided that maybe it would be wise to spend less on a stroller and now I am so thankful we did! Noa would have grown out of the bassinet within months! I barely used the stroller until Noa was about 9 months, and then I started taking her for walks around the neighborhood once or twice a day. I continued to use the sling, and never really brought the stroller anywhere. Now Paul and I joke about how it would “not” be funny if I got my way and spent so much money on a stroller we hardly used. Thankfully Dave Ramsey has instilled in me some of his money wisdom and I can talk myself out of some of these “wants” that I think are “needs.”

If you are in the market for a stroller, then check out Karen Ranzi’s new book and maybe it will change your mind completely about even “needing” one at all.

I am continuing to understand the importance of Attachment Parenting everyday. Another great book to read is the Continuum Concept by Jane Liedloff. This book really enhanced my understanding of child wearing and co-sleeping. I understand that Attachment Parenting may not be for everyone. But I do believe that even incorporating wearing your child part-time will be of a tremendous benefit to both you and your child. I even encourage mothers with two, three and four year-olds to start wearing their children part of the day.

I look forward to writing more extensively about all of these topics in the future. Please let me know if you have any questions, comments of concerns!


Karen Johnson said...

I love what I've read and heard about Karen's book, and I'm sure it would be great read. Thanks for sharing your experiences with us, and encouraging mama's with their babies. I never thought I could do the 'family bed', but its been one of the best things I ever learned to do (done it with 7 of the 9). Although I feel quite attached to all my dc, I wish I'd been more consistent to do more attachment parenting with all of them. Hindsight is always clearer. However, I am thankful I read the Continuum Concept years ago & some of the concepts stuck!

Thanks again, Andrea, for sharing.

Jessicadelight said...

dude I am sorry but Noah is 4 years old and I could not imgaine "wearing" him for even more then 3 minutes! The kid is heavy!! Sounds a little crazy to me! hahaha :)

Catherine Lowe said...

Sounds comfortably beautiful. How nice is it to bath with your babe, we only ever washed our little man in the shower with us. His 15months now, I cant help myself and still love to jump in when its bath time too. (Now that im in a house with a bath)