Attachment parenting by nature is not difficult but parenting, in general, comes with its struggles and difficulties no matter how you choose to navigate the journey.
Attachment parenting by nature is not difficult but of course parenting, in general, comes with its struggles and difficulties no matter how you choose to navigate the journey.
is a style of parenting that is connected to a strong sense of responsiveness from the parent. It requires a deep sense of empathy and a nurturing connection that is strengthened by physical closeness in terms of feeding
, sleeping and general comforting.
Many parents will have found themselves practising attachment parenting by complete accident. They may have felt naturally drawn to breastfeeding, co-sleeping and baby-wearing. They may have been acutely in tune with their baby’s needs from day one and naturally empathised and responded quickly when their baby needed them in any capacity. They may not have actively decided to be an attachment parent but their parenting style, as it happened, did fit the bill.
You might be wondering about attachment parenting when subsequent children come along. When you just had one baby breastfeeding and co-sleeping may have been really straightforward decisions. When baby number two comes along there may be some logistic and emotional issues that could cause you to feel anxious. We want to reassure you that attachment parenting will feel as natural this time around as it did the first time. It will be a different journey but if you can learn to ride the wave of change and continue to focus on the nurturing bond with your children everything will fall in to place.
Many women fall pregnant while they are breastfeeding their baby. Particularly if the baby is an infant and feeds have reduced with the introduction of solid food. The infant or child may continue to breastfeed during the pregnancy and beyond. While this feels natural and kind to your current child it may be causing you some anxieties. You might be wondering how you will breastfeed a newborn when you have another toddler or child who wishes to feed also? It may not have been your original plan but tandem-feeding is a lot more common than you might think. Your body will provide enough milk for your new baby provided you feed them on demand.
Allowing your other child to feed when they look for it should not cause you or the baby any issues. In fact- it may come to be something quite lovely and a memory you will cherish forever. The important thing to remember is that the baby needs to feed on demand to ensure that they “order” enough milk. It’s supply and demand and that should always be the priority.
Sleeping arrangements may also be a little bit more complicated now. Making room for a new baby in your bed was no big deal first time around but how will it work now that you have a toddler sleeping in your bed? It may involve re-jigging things a little. Could a bigger family bed be an option? Could your partner begin sleeping in another room with your first born while you adjust to life with the newest addition? There will always be a way if everyone is willing to communicate and make decisions based on empathy and care. It is always important to ensure that you follow the safety guidelines regarding co-sleeping with your baby and one such guideline involves ensuring the baby is not sleeping directly beside another child who may hurt or harm them by mistake.
When it comes to baby-wearing it might just be a total life-saver for you as a parent of more than one. It’s probably the one thing that will be easier this time around. You’ll have the confidence to try different styles of wraps, slings and carriers and you will already know the benefits of that close contact and the luxury of having free hands while your baby is happily close to you. Those free hands might just be doing some painting or Lego now instead of cutting another slice of cake though...
Tracey is a happy mammy to four-year-old Billy. She is a breastfeeder, gentle parent and has recently lost five stone so healthy family eating is her passion! You can find her at www.loveofliving.com.