Wednesday, April 25, 2007

How We Parent

I have read several posts on blogs lately about parenting styles and attachment and the sort. They have all got me thinking a lot. Nicki wrote an especially great post. Here is my thoughts on how we are parenting our child. When Lucy cries, we pick her up and comfort her. We do not believe in the "cry it out" theory. She does not sleep with us, but if she would have preferred to, we would have let her. If for some reason she is unable to sing herself to sleep one night (which is her preferred way of going to sleep), I immediately go to her and will rock or bounce her or whatever it is that she needs. When she was not sleeping through the night, she was never left to cry through it. She needed us and we were and will continue to always be there for her. We are hands on parents. She loves her toys, but we are always there playing them with her right now. She loves to climb all over us. She is independent in the way that she wants to be a "big" girl and do things on her own. However, she is always checking to make sure that Justin or I are right there watching her on her big adventure. I don't want to miss a thing while she is so little. I missed the first 5 months of her life, and I don't plan on missing any more. I am going to hold my baby as much as I can at this point, because in the blink of an eye she is going to be to big to hold any more. I never want to look back and say, I wish I would have held her more when she was little or rocked her more or anything that has to do with being close to her. Why do so many people want their babies to not act like babies? Think about it, in the big scheme of life, they are little for such a short period of time. There is no evidence that holding a child a lot makes them "spoiled" as so many claim. In fact, quite the opposite is true. Attachment parented children tend to be more compassionate and caring little people. I guess that the reason that I have decided to address this issue is because I have had several people tell me that I am spoiling Lucy by holding her so much or going to her whenever she is upset. I feel like I am constantly dodging the issue and just staying quiet about the way that I parent her. She will often cry for me when we are around other people and I think that often times they don't get why I always appease her. Well, here is why we do it. We love Lucy so much and want to do everything in our power to let her know that. We want her to be a caring, kind, and loving little person who knows how much she is loved and has the ability to love back wholeheartedly. We are well aware of the fact that there could be really hard times in the future as Lucy tries to really figure out who she is and why she is where she is. My goal in bonding so tightly with her is to help her with this in the future. I know that it is going to be hard at times, but I just want her to know that we are here for her for anything. That we are her parents and that we love her more than she will ever be able to imagine. So that is why we parent her the way we do - not to spoil her or to make her "rotten", but to let her know that she has parents there for her all of the time.

Wow, I haven't written anything very serious on this blog in a while. I just felt like talking about it today. It felt good. Now that I got that out of my system, back to the basics of the life of Lucy.

We recently switched Lucy to Dr. Brown's bottles. The nipples are smaller and they seem to get less air in her tummy. She was still having some vomitting spells even without the cough - not a lot, but enough to get me thinking again. We thought it could have something to do with the fact that she doesn't burp and was getting a big air bubble that just forced everything up. They seem to be working really really well. She switched easily and we have had no episodes. Knock on wood. She is still on soy formula. It is not a soy allergy that she has causing the throwing up. We will see if this is the magic trick!

Now for the fun part. I haven't posted a video in a really long time. The wait is over! The first video is older - she is way faster than this now. This was when she was first learning to stand and sit back down. It shows you how tough she is because she really bonks her head and thinks nothing of it. The second one shows her DEEP love of her blankie. This was just taken tonight, so that is her true size. I was asked where we got it - it is made by My Blankee and we got it at a baby boutique in Dallas. I am sure you can find it online. It is seriously the softest thing in the world and the girl would be devastated if we ever lost it. We have a light pink one as well, but her true love is for the hot pink/orange blankie.

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Who is that good looking girl in the window?? Oh yeah, it's me!

Miss Kathy gave me this adorable dress.


Anonymous said...

Well we of course think Lucy looks the cutest in that dress! =) We just looked at all of the pics and videos and they are great! Lucy is one tough cookie! I can't wait to see her in just a few days! I am sad b/c I will be a stranger to her but hopefully she will love me bunches! Can't wait to see you guys. Love, Kathy and Taylor

Jo said...

When we get our girl we plan on parenting her the same way you do, people who have never adopted do not know how important it is to be there and comfort them.

My mom always tells me that babies grow up so fast so we really need to take our time and enjoy them while we can.

Plus, look how hard we work to get united with our kiddos of coarse we are going to snuggle them as long as possible.

Thanks for passing on the blanket name, I am now going to hunt it down!!!!

LaLa said...

Well, you probably saw my comment on Nicki's blog so you know where I stand. Annslee spent the first 13 months of her life without me and now, when she needs me I am there! Of course she is getting to an age where she comes for a big hug right when she is about to head to timeout...hmmmm
I think you are doing a wonderful job..oh, and she is so dang cute!!

kristin said...

well put. i couldn't agree more!

Meredith Woodruff said...


I love the new pics & videos! I can't believe how active she is! You and Justin are great parents:)!!! Can't wait to see you soon!


Sara said...

I just don't think you can ever "spoil" a child with too much love and attention. That is all you ever need to say in response to critics. Keep it up, girl!

Christina said...

When my first (bio) daughter was a baby she wanted to be held and nursed all the time. I got so much grief about it but I didn't care because like you, I knew she would grow up too fast (and she did!) I was relieved when we adopted because I could finally just say "adoption parenting is different" and most people would shut up. :-)

jeneflower said...

You are right- the best thing you could do is hold her a lot and respond to her cries right away. Don't worry what other people say- adoption parenting is different.

Jennifer said...

Adoption parenting is different and people just need to keep their opinions to themselves. Here in twin world, while I would love to hold and play with the girls all the time, there is no physical way I can. With the sleep issues, we can't always be rocking both girls. The girls play together alot so I can get stuff done.

And we have decided that me responding to every single need was getting out of control due to exhaustion and now I have learned their whines/cries to know when it will stop in a few seconds or if they really need something NOW.

We have seen successful milestones with attachment parenting and some issues with it. BUT in general, I think it really worked well for us. The girls know us, they know we will do anything for them, within reason (seriously, mia throws fits and then gets over it in a second cause she knows she doesn't need it) And as you, I just ignore the comments etc. OK, I got crying babies!

Jonathan said...

I agree completely with you! Even for birth children, I would do the same. Babies have that crying mechanism for a reason, and humans have an innate urge to respond to it for a reason.

Nicki said...

Yes ma'am , you will never meet a parent who regrets the amount of love and attention they gave their kids but you will meet plenty who regret what they *didn't* give their kids!

Those videos are precious!!!!! Lucy is a total character over that blankee!! Adorable!

S. said...

When M. was born she was very high needs--I know that some people thought I made her that way, and that I was spoiling her, she would be clingy etc. etc. But by responding and meeting her needs, she has grown into a very independent, confident kindergartner. And I don't regret one second that I spent, holding, rocking, cuddling, etc. It goes way too fast!

rachel said...

Nicki said exactly what I was will never regret loving on your babies!!!! They grow so very fast.

Sherri said...

My biggest fear is that I am not there enough for Grace. But tomorrow is Saturday and that is our day to do whatever we want. Lucy is blessed to have a mommy and daddy that love her so much. You and Justin are blessed to have such a very precious girl-who just happens to be adorable. By the way-Grace now has all four front teeth. I have to remember that when I put my finger in her mouth to check for graham cracker accumulation. I have been bitten several times. She has really learned to clamp down on the spoon, a finger, whatever!

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