Attachment Parenting

"To trust children we must first learn to trust ourselves...and most of us were taught as children that we could not be trusted." John Holt

Sunday, 27 April 2014


We had an interesting discussion about unschooling on our facebook group page. I summarized it here.
The article we reacted was posted on 2 April 2014 here:

In the UK you don't have to ask permission from anyone, because the law allows parents to retain full responsibility for their child's education. I treasure our laws in this area, because it's so clear. You could find area specific information on Facebook groups if/when you do move out of the UK.
I don't teach, and I am not their teacher. I facilitate. I'm not trying to pass my knowledge to them, I'm trying to help them get knowledge for themselves - teaching isn't the means by which knowledge passes from person to person, LEARNING is, and that's an important distinction because my children are people in their own right (now) rather than future people or projects. Even in school, the person in control of what is learned and not learned is really the child. Trying to find ways to rob them of control is not as powerful as giving them more choices and more help to do what they already do as naturally as breathing.

What subjects or skills are needed in real life that a person would never come across in real life? If something isn't useful, it isn't used. If something is useful, it IS used, and children see it and imitate it and want to master it. All children strive. All children observe. All children learn. They can't help it; it's what human beings are.

In school, subjects are divorced from their purpose, so they seem purposeless. I hated maths and resented every bit I was forced to study. I learned no more than the basics any unschooled seven year old could tell you just from seeing numbers around them in the real world. At the end of my schooling I learned to manage money and reckon weights and measures. Now I use algebra in pattern design all the time. My kids use grid references to play games and notate landmarks in Minecraft. They make graphs to show me how they sorted their collections. They use mathematical thinking every day, without calling it maths. It isn't a pointless subject to them, because they have never been asked to study it. They have just been curious. Now, one of them loves numbers so much she worked out how to multiply fractions (at 6) without any help from me (I still can't multiply fractions).

Unschooling isn't just "not school", it's eliminating schoolish thinking too, so that we can learn and make real life choices without that programming (which almost everyone in our culture has). Unpicking the ways in which school inflitrated how we see the world is part of that, for the parents.  Unschooling is the specific style of home education that involves children making all of their own choices about what, and how, and when, to learn - it involves adult helpers facilitating and supporting and advising and offering, but not controlling, coercing, or teaching in any way. The main parental requirement for unschooling is willingness to genuinely take the child's choices seriously and pay attention to ways in which you can help (or get our own ego out of the way, as necessary).

Also, unschooling is definitely not the route for any parent who is not willing or able to give the time and attention necessary, or for any family in which the home environment is not safe and happy. If you have academic goals which you believe your child must meet to be worthy, unschooling will not work without unpicking that thinking. If you believe children need to be controlled externally, it's not for you. Every child is already an unschooler when allowed, but every parent is not! I was not, when my children were younger, and I was not prepared for how much it would change me to embrace their natural way of learning. Reading about unschooling made me actually angry to begin with! Who were these people to tell me that what I was doing was not helpful for my child's learning?! The key is to try *a little*, WATCH, wait, say yes one time you would have said no, not try to exchange the school in your head for a new set of rules.)

 I do still struggle with thinking I'm "bad at maths" or "good at English", but having a child who is gifted with numbers has helped a great deal. I'm not qualified to teach her, but I'm actually perfectly able to help her learn - even something I find really hard. In unschooling, and all parenting in general, I don't think children need someone who knows it all, has everything figured out already - they just need a real human being, someone a little more experienced than them at living, someone a little bit taller for reaching the high shelves, to help and support.

I am (now) a fan of Sandra Dodd and how clearly she writes and how precisely she defines what she's talking about - you can read everything in her books, on her site - Fair warning, she's one of the writers that really got my back up when Jenna was very small though (because she is always very to the point even when feelings are a little bruised, no apologies for bluntness and no fakey hearts and flowers, she just says, "take a break from reading and come back to the idea another time" haha)! Now I know her style I appreciate it a lot more. HELP is a great page on her site (it's the hub for the "how to" pages).

Author: Sarah Clarks

Wednesday, 16 April 2014

Babywearing history from Wrap Your Baby


“I wish they had those when my babies were little!”

We modern babywearers often hear this sentiment ridiculously often.  I would be surprised to meet a babywearer who hasn’t been told this at least once.   Yet our baby carriers are modeled after carriers that have been used around the world for centuries.  The period of time in which European and American babies have not been worn, is really a very short gap and we are now returning to something more workable than strollers and bucket seats.  We are going back to something simple and functional.
If the theories in this article are correct, we are going back to one of early man’s first and most basic tools.
So while babywearing is not new, it is not something that most of our grandparents had any exposure to.  No one did it.  

Tuesday, 15 April 2014

Am I disposable?

"I can see many broken families with one or more children nowadays. After having two - three children people just get a divorce. Why is that happening?" - I asked Jenny.
"We live in a disposable world." - She said.

We had a long conversation today about attachment and parenting walking in Markeaton Park. I feel empowered again. :)

Friday, 11 April 2014

REVIEW - Liliputi Stretchy Wrap

Liliputi® Strechy Wrap - Rainbow line - Tweetie Pink
Source: Liliputi

Liliputi Stretchy Wrap comes in many different colours.
It is actually beautifully designed. I used this wrap when my son was born and did not actually put it away until he was heavy for the stretchy half a year later. I tell you here my experience using it for months and trying it again now when my son is much older. This is only my story and my point of view. It is not a judgement, neither a recommendation. (just saying)

The perfect baby carrier for newborn and young babies
- Yes, I agree, it is very soft and easy to pre-tie.
Feels like in mom's belly
- I cannot value this one...I do not remember how I felt in my mums' belly. :) But should be good as babies seem to sleep hours in this wrap.
From newborn, till up to 9 kgs
- As I could not do front or hip carry after 6 kg - I could not use stretchy any longer. My son is 17 months old today and still not yet 10 kg... I cannot really imagine to wear him in this wrap, specially that I tried to put him on my back with it as per instructions and it did not work out. He just moved a little bit and the fabric let him lean back and side to side as I asked him to wiggle. I also try to put him on front and it was still awesome! I do not think that it would last for hours but for couple of minutes it was great. 
Easier to tie then a woven wrap
- It is possible to make  a pre-tie which needs to be redo every now and then and it can make you feel that it is more secure to put your baby in the wrap. I would not say, though, that it is easier to tie than a woven because there  with a woven are so many techniques you can choose from which can fit somebody more. Anyway I feel that every single carrier has its own advantage and cannot be compared to each other. They are all fruits but one apple, one pear...
Stylish designs, unique patterns
- This is very true, I am in love with the colours and the patterns. I felt really proud walking outside and get all the comments how nice my wrap was.
Hidden large pocket
- It is there but right behind the baby's back which makes me a bit worried that parents might actually use it  to put their phones, keys, etc in there which could hurt the baby and also put an extra pressure on the baby's spine. I used it for small cut of textiles, tissue - maybe.
Parallelogram-like endings for easier tying
- As the wrap comes in one size, it is long enough so the end did not really bother me - but I can imagine that for someone bigger then me (if it is ever possible:) ), this can be an issue as the wrap ends are actually cut, so cannot really tie them as safe as needed.
Machine washable
- This is fantastic.
Certified OekoTex 100 Fabrics
- Well done.
Designed & made in the EU
- I like that - specially like small family businesses who grow with time and are still able to focus on their customers' needs.

wrap – 97% cotton, 3% spandex
decor – 100% cotton
The decor cover at the baby's back is not stretchy which is great, it makes the wrap feel safer for me.

length – 5 meters
width – 60 cm
I was happy with the size.

And their instructions.
All in all it is a great wrap, soft and cuddly and it is perfect for newborns, specially for premature babies. I would say that it is a good wrap for twin carry in the first couple of months, too. I think the age, weight limit and the back carry should be reconsidered. Otherwise if you want a wrap for the first months to enjoy skin-to-skin this is a perfect one.

Please note that the reviews you can read here are not recommendations and not intended to value any sling or carrier over the other. These reviews are based on parents feedbacks and experience. You might feel differently as there is no two babywearers who would have the same size, body shape or baby to carry.
Read these lines only as guidance and as notes from our everyday lives. Thanks! 

Babywearing helped us out today!

Thank you so much, YOU, unnamed stranger mum who carried your child in a carrier first time ever zillions years ago! Thank you! I am so grateful that we have babywearing, that we all have this skill and that manufacturers make our lives easier with all these beautiful and useful carriers. Also I am very happy that I can benefit from this common knowledge and use back carries in so many different styles.

Today, right after our baby signing class, we stayed out for a lunch. I do not know what was wrong or what my son ate yesterday or this morning that could cause such an upset stomach. Had a very bad accident in the nappy.

I could give him a clean nappy and one piece of T-shirt. (+Shoes, hat and a cardigan) No trousers, socks, bodies... NADA! As we were just left for 1,5 hours and he do not goes out more than one a day any more.

We were not far from home but this short walk could have make him cold easily.
I cannot carry him in the front for a long walk any more, he is too heavy for me. But I just pictured him running around me naked on the street and I felt immediately grateful for my SSC.

What I figured that in the carrier I can make him sit on my scarf (which I usually wear) and could wrap his legs. A wrap would have been even better this time...
Anyway he fall asleep on my back by the time we got home. (This happens nowadays any time I wrap him or put him in a carrier which is a bit unusual from a 17 months old boy.)

Monday, 7 April 2014

Babywearing is a Skill

"Babywearing simply means holding or carrying a baby or young child using a cloth baby carrier. Holding babies is natural and universal; baby carriers make it easier and more comfortable, allowing parents and caregivers to hold or carry their children while attending to the daily tasks of living. Babywearing helps a new dad put a fussy newborn to sleep. It allows a new mom use both hands to make a sandwich. It lets an experienced parent or caregiver carry a baby on her back and wash the dishes, do the laundry, take a hike, or weed the garden, all while keeping the baby safe and content.
Babywearing is a Skill

There are many baby carriers on the market. However, a commercial baby carrier is not necessary for babywearing. Many people use simple pieces of cloth to safely and comfortably carry their babies. Additionally, there is a learning curve with any baby product, including commercial baby carriers. Parents and caregivers often benefit from thinking of babywearing as a skill they can learn, rather than as the result of a product they can buy. Many babywearing techniques can be learned in just a few minutes. Some techniques, such as carrying a baby on your back, take more time and practice to master, but the extra effort is rewarded with liberation and increased comfort."

Friday, 4 April 2014

I am multifunctional...

 I am a bed, source of food, a cradle, a gentle touch, a good teacher and a bad one, I am just me being a mother.

AP principles

We are attachment parents. We use the tools provided by AP. Or not. There is no rule how to be an attachment parent. Everybody has their own path to bond with their children. Every family has their own way to experience parenting. We respect that.

We follow principles. These are:

Prepare for Pregnancy, Birth, and Parenting
Become emotionally and physically prepared for pregnancy and birth. Research available options for healthcare providers and birthing environments, and become informed about routine newborn care. Continuously educate yourself about developmental stages of childhood, setting realistic expectations and remaining flexible.

Feed with Love and Respect
Breastfeeding is the optimal way to satisfy an infant's nutritional and emotional needs. "Bottle Nursing" adapts breastfeeding behaviors to bottle-feeding to help initiate a secure attachment. Follow the feeding cues for both infants and children, encouraging them to eat when they are hungry and stop when they are full. Offer healthy food choices and model healthy eating behavior.

Respond with Sensitivity
Build the foundation of trust and empathy beginning in infancy. Tune in to what your child is communicating to you, then respond consistently and appropriately. Babies cannot be expected to self-soothe, they need calm, loving, empathetic parents to help them learn to regulate their emotions. Respond sensitively to a child who is hurting or expressing strong emotion, and share in their joy.

Use Nurturing Touch
Touch meets a baby's needs for physical contact, affection, security, stimulation, and movement. Skin-to-skin contact is especially effective, such as during breastfeeding, bathing, or massage. Carrying or babywearing also meets this need while on the go. Hugs, snuggling, back rubs, massage, and physical play help meet this need in older children.

Ensure Safe Sleep, Physically and Emotionally
Babies and children have needs at night just as they do during the day; from hunger, loneliness, and fear, to feeling too hot or too cold. They rely on parents to soothe them and help them regulate their intense emotions. Sleep training techniques can have detrimental physiological and psychological effects. Safe co-sleeping has benefits to both babies and parents.

Provide Consistent and Loving Care
Babies and young children have an intense need for the physical presence of a consistent, loving, responsive caregiver: ideally a parent. If it becomes necessary, choose an alternate caregiver who has formed a bond with the child and who cares for him in a way that strengthens the attachment relationship. Keep schedules flexible, and minimize stress and fear during short separations.

Practice Positive Discipline
Positive discipline helps a child develop a conscience guided by his own internal discipline and compassion for others. Discipline that is empathetic, loving, and respectful strengthens the connection between parent and child. Rather than reacting to behavior, discover the needs leading to the behavior. Communicate and craft solutions together while keeping everyone's dignity intact.

Strive for Balance in Your Personal and Family Life
It is easier to be emotionally responsive when you feel in balance. Create a support network, set realistic goals, put people before things, and don't be afraid to say "no". Recognize individual needs within the family and meet them to the greatest extent possible without compromising your physical and emotional health. Be creative, have fun with parenting, and take time to care for yourself.

See more at:

Wednesday, 2 April 2014

AP Glossary


We have included some short descriptions of practices we have come across over the years which we would have been fascinated to read about in one place....!

Elimination Communication – also known as infant potty training or natural infant hygiene, elimination communication (EC) is a method of listening and watching for your baby’s body language when weeing and pooing. A cueing noise is often provided by the carer (such as a ssssh sound) when the baby wees to help the child associate the action with the cue. The child may spend some or all the time nappy free with the carer carefully paying attention to the baby and offering potty opportunities. It can be highly rewarding, fun and cost effective! It also requires diligence by the carer when the baby is nappy-free full time. Part time nappy-free has incremental benefit too in helping the child become aware of their own bodily functions.

Babywearing – wearing your child in a sling, wrap, pouch or carrier. The name gives a good indication of how your sling effectively becomes another piece of clothing which your baby will happily spend many hours in either asleep or alert and very much a part of your world. It's like wearing a hug!

Baby-Led Weaning – the practice of offering a child bit sized pieces of food once they start to express a keen interest in food. The child is given opportunity to explore varied taste, texture and shape as well as develop an effective gag reflex. Purees and baby rice are not on the menu - instead the child eats what it wants and needs. Some children will thrive on this approach more than others.

Bottle Nursing – also known as 'baby-led bottle feeding', bottle nursing replicates the body behaviours of a breastfeeding mother by providing close eye contact and physical cradling - it demonstrates the ability of all mothers to feed with love and respect.

Kangeroo Care – the well researched method of proving skin-to-skin care for an infant. The skin contact between the child and carer in a heart-to-heart position has been proven to greatly benefit the infant’s ability to regulate breathing, temperature and heart rate. Used as an alternative to incubators in developing or under-developed countries, kangaroo care has had wonderful success in nurturing infants and increasing their survival rate, weight gain and general well being. Skin-to-skin care can be used at any age and is especially beneficial when a child needs soothing.

Dr Sears - often known as the grandfather of attachment parenting, Sears is an American paediatrician who has raised a large family in an attachment style and advocates safe sleeping practices, full-term breastfeeding, babywearing, good nutrition and much more. His website offers diverse, evidence-based resources on all aspects of child well-being and he is highly respected within his field. He has also co-authored many books with his wife, Martha Sears, including the international bestseller 'The Baby Book'.

Nonviolent Communication - sometimes known as compassionate communication, this is a method of empathetic, emotionally honest communication for use with children and in all relationships. Devised by Marshall B. Rosenberg it is used globally in conflict situations but can be employed within the family as a way of expressing needs and nurturing autonomy without casting blame or judgement.

Positive Discipline – widely advocated by Dr. Jane Nelsen, an American educator who has based her work on the findings of Dr. Alfred Adler and Dr. Rudolf Dreikurs, positive discipline is a non-punitive approach which avoids the use of rewards, punishments, threat, bribery or coercion. Instead, it is a mutually respectful, solution-driven approach that seeks to encourage a child to have a keen sense of their own capabilities, a clear sense of belonging and internal motivation. The over-riding premise is that a misbehaving child is a discouraged child purely seeking to establish their place in the world.

Steiner Waldorf – popular among those seeking an alternative educational approach, Rudolph Steiner schools are located worldwide and school life focuses on nurturing the mind, spirit and body of the child. Hand-on skills are fundamental to developing a creative brain, learning through play and a respect for natural rhythm to each day. Teachers remain with a class throughout the school years and model a peaceful and inclusive approach. Steiner schools in the UK are fee paying with the exception of the Steiner Academy in Hereford which is state run.

Lotus Birth – after the delivery of the placenta, the cord remains attached to both baby and the placenta without any clamping or intervention. The placenta is usually wrapped or placed in a dish where it is then carried by the mother until detaching from the baby naturally at two to three days after the birth. Sometimes essential oils or salts are applied to the placenta to assist with the drying process and any odor.

Breast Crawling – when a newborn baby is placed on the mother’s lower abdomen it will crawl upwards to the breast and seek out the nipple of its own accord. The philosophy behind this practice is that the infant’s first breastfeed occurs in an intuitive and instinctive way.

Placenta Encapsulation – placenta is often consumed by mammals after birth and is iron and nutrient rich. After delivery a placenta specialist can collect the placenta after the midwife approves it, and it is usually washed, drained, dehydrated at low temperature, ground and encapsulated. The mother takes these capsules in the early weeks or months and studies have shown a positive benefit in the reduction of post-natal depression. Some placenta practitioners can also make a homeopathic remedy from the placenta, make raw placenta and fruit smoothies or placenta essences.

The Continuum Concept – one of the most influential parenting books of the last century written by American, Jean Leidloff. Her observations of life among a Venezuelan Amazonian tribe including observations of child birth, child raising and tribal behaviour are highly engaging. There has been much debate about the differences between TCC and attachment parenting. Some consider TCC to advocate a parent-centred approach while attachment parenting is sometimes viewed as being child-centred. At the heart, they share a similar loving approach to raising children consciously.

Full-Term Breastfeeding - also known as extended breastfeeding or natural weaning, full-term breastfeeding indicates that the child will breastfeed until they self-wean - this usually occurs between the ages of 4 and 7 years.

Tuesday, 1 April 2014

Babywearing Safety

Reading recommendation:

Let's start with the Stretchy wrap. 
Back carry in a stretchy wrap can be safe if proper wrap used and done well.

"So, please, NEVER EVER use a Moby or Sleepy wrap for a back carry. If you have a hybrid wrap with hemmed rails, like the Gypsy Mama Bali Baby Stretch be careful what carries you use. Double hammock, inverted double hammock, and wiggleproof carry are all safe for use with hybrid wraps. Do not use single-layer carries or carries with cross passes like BWCC or BCC as these are less safe. If you see a person out and about using a stretchy wrap in a back carry please stop them and tell them that it is not a safe option. "

What makes a safe sling?

"What you wouldn't do is hold him down horizontally against your hip, or squished up underneath your breasts, but that's what some carriers force you to do. They also may have an elasticized opening, a triangular cross-section, and a stiff base. Sometimes, to create a (false) sense of security, there's even a harness to keep your baby in one position. These carriers, colloquially known as "bag slings" (or more appropriately, "baby duffels"), all share several design flaws."

"As well as the risk of suffocating, babies are also at risk of receiving low levels of oxygen because of the position they are in, or falling out and suffering injuries."

About car seats:

Babywearing: The real deal on safety

"So let me stand from my blogtop and scream it:

Any baby item can be dangerous!" 

Note: Please note that this post is copied from the pages quoted here.