Babies Are Assholes: The Problem With Attachment Parenting

Categories: Parenting

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By Jef Otte

The baby wakes up and he's hungry. He wants some food and he wants it right fucking now. Unfortunately for the baby, there are a number of things that need to take place before that can happen: He needs his diaper changed, he needs to get strapped into his high-chair and his food needs to get mashed up, and daddy needs to make some coffee before he loses his shit -- and even though we go through the same routine every morning and I know he knows he's going to get fed just as soon as the routine is finished, every morning he screams at me pretty much until the first bite of food goes in his mouth.

That baby is a real prick.

Still, as a stay-at-home 30-something dad, I run into a fair amount of babies (and their mothers) from day to day, and in comparison to a seemingly large majority of them, mine is an absolute gem. And it's not because of his natural disposition. I've got two kids -- the older nine years old and the younger coming up on nine months -- and of the two, the older has always been the kind of kid people dream of having: easygoing, docile and naturally cautious enough never to get himself into much trouble. He's pretty much the definition of an easy kid. The baby, though, not so much.

The baby, it's evident, has got the evilness in him: a natural-born willful bastard with a generous naughty streak and a mission that occupies his every waking second to do the thing he senses you least want him to do. Which sort of makes me love him even more, because I've got a soft spot for willful-ass little kids. And the fact is, even with the propensity for evil, he's still a sweet little guy who smiles at strangers, responds well to "no" (he might ignore it, but he won't flip out about it), sleeps fifteen hours a day without complaint and, except for right after he wakes up, seldom cries.

So if this innately dastardly baby is, even in spite of his innate dastardliness, such a pleasure to be around, then why are the babies and even the kids of so many of my cohorts (I think we all know at least a couple of these) such belligerent, unmanageable, anxiety-ridden little fascists? The answer, I strongly suspect, has a lot to do with "attachment parenting," a phenomenon so baffling and ass-backwards it defies logic, but which nevertheless provides the philosophical bedrock of every self-named "mommy club" you know.

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Wikipedia Commons
Babies are assholes.

Attachment parenting has been getting a lot of traction since the latest issue of TIME hit stands just in time for Mother's Day -- you know, the "Are You Mom Enough" one with the bizarre cover featuring a preschool-age kid suckling his mother's tit with an expression that, weirdly, seems to reflect our own unease at seeing it. The image depicts an extreme example of the lengths to which the phenomenon can go, but that's in keeping with the subject of the story, so-called "father of attachment parenting" Bill Sears, a pediatrician whose particular philosophy stands on the three central tenets: breastfeeding, co-sleeping and constant carrying, which in turn flow from the idea that "every baby's whimper is a plea for help and that no infant should ever be left to cry" and that "the more time babies spend in their mother's arms, the better chance they will turn out to be well-adjusted children."

Basically, then, attachment parenting hinges on the presumption that if, through perpetual satisfaction of their every desire, we prevent our babies from crying -- and indeed, perpetual satisfaction of their every desire is the only way to prevent a baby from crying -- they will grow to become well-adjusted. And right there, right off the bat, it's a contradiction in terms.

First off, the term "well-adjusted" implies, you know, adjustment. The developmental psychologist Jean Piaget described it in terms of assimilation and accommodation: The infant perceives information from the outside world and must reconcile that information by adapting to it. In babies, this adaptation has much to do with learning how to live within the society we inhabit. Which is no easy task. Freud, for example, makes much of the toll that living in society exerts on us in its requirement that we sacrifice our most basic instinctive desires and aggressive impulses in order to coexist in imperfect harmony. Essentially, the nice, polite, well-adjusted adults we hopefully become are a far cry from our natural state -- the state, that is, in which we arrive in the world, as infants.

Because babies are assholes. They're demanding, they're utterly self-centered, they have no empathy and they shriek horrible, horrible shrieks when they don't get what they want. And that's okay, because they're babies. They're adorable and they don't know any better.

But nobody likes a grown adult who acts like a fucking baby.

Hell, nobody likes a kid who acts like a fucking baby, either, but that's exactly the kind of kid attachment parenting produces, because, by definition, the model requires no adjustment. It encourages babies to do what they do -- be demanding, utterly self-centered assholes who have no empathy and shriek horrible, horrible shrieks when they don't get what they want -- because it rewards that behavior, their natural behavior, so what possible motivation could they have to adjust? Adjustment, after all, is painful. It causes them to cry. So the idea that not requiring the painful process of adjustment will produce well-adjusted children is patently absurd. And that's saying nothing of the myriad Oedipal implications of breastfeeding a kid until he's old enough to mean-mug the father.

Still, attachment parenting rejects this logic, presumably on the basis -- according to the good doctor Sears, an evangelical/catholic quack who also holds that attachment parenting is the way "God wants" babies to be raised, by the way -- that long bouts of crying in babies can cause some vague neurological damage by releasing stress hormones. It's bullshit junk science that doesn't hold up to scrutiny, and, tellingly, it's seldom touted by attachment parenting's most fervent proponents.

The TIME piece was not exactly an indictment of the practice, but neither was it sufficiently laudatory to appease the hyper-sensitive ranks of the mommy blogs, most of which -- as is pretty much everything stamped with the "mommy" moniker -- are heavily steeped in attachment philosophy. The substance of their ire was revealing. In Mommyish, Bolaji Williams wrote, "Why is it inconceivable that a woman can be fulfilled by being 'just' a mom? If a woman feels fulfilled by wearing her child, feeding on demand, making homemade lentil soup, and spending her days in non-stop contact with her offspring ... why do we presume that something is radically wrong with that woman?"

Oh, I don't know, but probably because I've yet to meet a single attachment mother who's fooling anyone but herself with her supposed "fulfillment," who doesn't wear the constant plastic smile of the cheerfully oppressed while suffering her old-enough-to-know-better kid from grabbing at her tit and refusing to sleep, meanwhile desperately reminding herself that she actually likes this shit and uttering the cry of the attachment mommy: "But my baby loves me."

It's not about the kid. It's about the symbiosis of martyrdom, about the satisfaction and control of constantly being needed, while everyone else who has to be around the kid and the mother suffers the consequences of the kid who still -- still -- acts like a fucking baby. Who grows into an adult who acts like a fucking baby. Because although attachment parenting is only supposed to last through infancy, the reality is that infancy never ends. The baby never adjusts.

I love my baby like crazy, every single day. But unless he's actually injured, I do not give a fuck if he cries. It's good for him. Every time I ignore his screaming, it's a reinforcement of a crucial truth in life: that no amount of screaming will get him what he wants. And I pity the kid who never learns that lesson, and I pity the parent who never teaches it. But more than that, I pity the poor souls who have to live, work and coexist in our civilization with the fucking baby that baby is destined to become.

Jef Otte is a freelance essayist and writer. He lives in Denver with his girlfriend and two kids, who probably wish he would get a real job.

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394 comments
Serious_Safford
Serious_Safford

Jef I don't know if you are still reading comments but I enjoyed this article. I think my babies are most certainly assholes but that doesn't mean we love them any less. I think we are all just trying to parent the best way we know how... Throwing shit at the wall to see if it sticks if you will. Thank you for writing!

littlemswright
littlemswright

Several things spring to mind after reading some of your article (didn't read it all, got bored).

Firstly I echo earlier comments, your poor child. Let's hope that somehow they grow up and adjust to become pleasant and compassionate despite your views.

Secondly, you've clearly not met many women. I imagine your social circle to be fairly small and very closed minded.

Lastly, ever thought about a career as a dictator? Despite you slating patents who advocate attachment parenting you appear pretty convinced that your way can be the only way to parent...

rogerjrusa
rogerjrusa

Love, love, loved this article!

Cannot wait to whip out my phone and put this in the face of some overweening douches who's little angels can do no wrong.

greglundin
greglundin

I absolutely loved this article and it read like great satire, better than an article in The Onion.  On the other hand, I am extremely happy that I am NOT your child.  I feel sorry for him/her.  If I only attended to my child's 'whine' every time she was injured, I would have left her in a diaper of her own feces for hours on end.  You can sound like a hard ass all you want, but deep down I know you attend to your child's cries to assess whether it is serious or not.  WE ALL DO!  And yes, I get compliments everyday about how happy our baby is.

kraft1013
kraft1013

I've used AP since day one with my baby who is now 9 months old. Strangers are constantly remarking on how happy and calm he is. When I take him on a plane there is usually a bunch of people thumping me on the back about how my baby is the best baby to ever get on a plane ever. You know why? Because he trusts that his needs will be met by me. I don't let him cry when he's hungry or needs to be held. I also don't let him play with his food or pull the dogs' hair. AP is not permissive parenting, it's evolutionarily the best thing you can do for your child. So before you go bashing something you don't understand, I suggest you do some reading about what AP really entails (and no, you don't have to BF your 5 year old, or even your 2 week old for that matter). 

trentconstruct
trentconstruct

From one stay at home dad to another- thank you. My 11 month old son is a dick baby sometimes so I let him throw his fit and he's over it in two seconds. He is completely happy, well adjusted, and CONSIDERS HOW HE EFFECTS OTHERS before he takes action. That's more than I can say for the other kids at the playground. Keep up the good work.

kitcat1
kitcat1

And incidentally, Dr Sears has made considerably more money from his parenting advice than you have; if you think everybody around you is wrong, it's usually you!

kitcat1
kitcat1

Any pathetic attempt you make at injecting humour or legitimacy into your writing is thoroughly lost by your utterly appalling language. Presumably you think it makes you sound cool but actually it just comes across as desperate & highly unprofessional. Your poor kids!

tapoja
tapoja

Okay, I practice attachment parenting, but a) because it makes my life easier, and b) because it is culturally appropriate for me (coming from India). My child is only 8 months old, so I don't know whether he will be a lovable or a terrible toddler. But it kind of seems weird to me that this article suggests that doing what most of the world naturally does (long before Dr. Sear and Company started marketing their tenets) - extended breastfeeding, co-sleeping, instinctively picking up a baby when s/he cries - will somehow make kids insufferable brats. So every society, except certain American and other Western communities (wide variation in 'Western' patterns of child rearing too), must be completely failing to raise well adjusted kids!! After all, coming from another culture, the idea that babies have to disciplined by letting them cry - hey, the world is a tough place, and you better know it early on - seems to be something completely alien and weird. 

sahotrum
sahotrum

I wish you would do more research on what attachment parenting is all about before making all-encompassing statements about attachment parents or their children. My daughter is 15 months old. I exclusively pumped for her and fed her breast milk from a bottle until she was 11-months old (if I could have breast-fed, I would have. I probably would have allowed her to self-wean), I baby wear but also use a stroller, I never used cry-it-out and she sleeps with us for most of the night so I can get some sleep. I also respond to her when she cries when I can and set limits and allow her to feel the hard feelings. I don't force her to get in her carrier and I allow her to roam and explore her surroundings. I don't try and protect her from every discomfort. I get a lot of compliments on how social and curious she is. She's very intelligent because I practice empathy and explain things to her. 


You'll find extremes in every belief and practice but it's hard to take you seriously when you place broad stereotypes on everyone who call themselves attachment parents because some don't allow their child to develop properly in the name of "attachment parenting".

mamiecaisse
mamiecaisse

YOUR babies are assholes because you, good sir, are an asshole.  What chance did they have?  Alternatively, this piece might have been titled "All the reasons I, Jef Otte, should have used birth control."

koudelka_raynae
koudelka_raynae

My son is 4 years old. I stopped breast feeding after a month because I didn't produce enough milk, does that make me evil? No. & even when I was breastfeeding, I didn't jump at his ever demand, does that make me evil? NO. You can be an attached parent without living at your child's beck & call. Unfortunately, "Attachement Parenting" this day & age means raising a child who thinks he's almost than (if not better than) Jesus. Truly sad. My son is loved in every way & loves his life (atleast from the way he behaves he does), but he does not get his way with every whimper & cry. I don't jump for every need I have, I surely am not going to jump for his. I guess in this world of "Attachment Parenting" I supposedly love my child less, but in the REAL world, I don't. Crying is SCIENTIFICALLY proven to be healthy for a baby's lungs & PSYCOLOGICALLY proven to be healthy for a baby's brain, thoughts, & feelings. You can be attached to your kid, without allowing them to treat you like a door mat. I'm not saying that the newer parents of this fad are wrong, I'm simply giving my opinions on how it should be handled. When my son was breastfeeding, he slept with me often. Now he only sleeps with me when he's sick. He is independent, strong, & opinionated. Sometimes that can drive me crazy, but I'd rather that than a drone reliant on if someone jumps at every whim he has.

mrslainez
mrslainez

I hate this article! not only is it disgustingly vulgar but it falsely proclaims that an age-old parenting style is inherently flawed and produces spoiled adults. that's ridiculous. left to their own devices a "normal" mother would never just stand by while her baby screams like this father does. it's only the advent of a modern "detached" parenting style that has challenged the original natural parenting style. if this guy's theory is correct then entire generations of people have and continue to be "victims" of natural parenting. what about places where babies are breastfed through toddlerhood and carried 90% of the time? of course it's partially out of necessity but to say that they're being spoiled or damaged is absurd. "African babies don't cry" because they're constantly in touch with caring adults as they always have been. he also completely misses the point that a caregiver who's attuned to his/her child will recognize and respond to the child's natural and gradual steps toward independence. this guy is the one who's spoiled. spoiled by choosing to bring his children up in a modern developed country with its sanitation and innumerable conveniences. whining about having to strap his "fucking baby" into a shiny clean highchair and use his automatic coffeemaker. wow. just wow.

michael08huff
michael08huff

Remember the Irish guy in Braveheart who cried "Jesus!" after seeing William take a swing from his old pal? That's how I feel right now after reading these comments. Everybody needs to take a breath. Those of you who are reading this guy as a cold, mean-spirited tyrant need to exhale.

He's not suggesting that we stop caring for our kids. Get this through your sweet, sensitive, caring, sharing, hopey - changey heads. What he's suggesting is that if you raise your baby to be a baby his/her whole childhood, he/she will most likely remain a baby through much of adulthood - - unable to adapt and insecure about his/her own abilities and dependent on everybody else to spoon feed him/her what should be acquired autonomously. It may not be the sweetest way to say it, but then the blog is addressing attachment parenting. Right? Come on. You know what he's talking about.

A guy I used to work with once told me "Man, life is a booger!" Damn, Damn, double-damn right, it is! And we all want our kids to feel secure. But what about the soft, pillowy parent who honestly thinks the rest of the world will wrap their kid in a blanket when he/she comes in late for work one time too many? Or if the bill collectors won't stop hounding him/her? Do you think attachment parenting is going to help your grown up baby? Ha! Tell me...where do you think the false sense of entitlement comes from?

The writer is unflinchingly trying to warn you that getting your kids' nerves and wits founded in a strong sense of self-reliance starts EARLY in that baby's life. One of that baby's NEEDS is good coping skills. What kind of service are you doing for your kid if rush to pick him/her up at every last little whimper? Did you honestly think learning began after weaning? Geez. You'd better think before your next child comes into the world. Learning begins in the womb. In the womb. They can hear every song, every fight, every story. They don't just sleep. Like everything else living they're subject to their environment. They absorb stuff earlier than you think. My first child knew my voice and stopped crying when she heard me saying hello. Literally. They're born ready to learn. And you'd better start teaching them from the first day outside that things gradually change. We graduate from one stage of life to another our whole lives. Simply put, if you keep running to your kid's aid at every last little cry, even though you just fed, changed, bathed and swaddled him/her, took their temperature, found it to be normal, felt their forehead, found it wasn't warm, you are setting him/her up for spoilage. That's not good. That's irresponsible. It's ultimately inhumane and will only serve to degrade your child as he/she gets older.

Guys, the author doesn't sugar-coat this knowledge and you should be thanking him and sending him chocolate for speaking as a parent in the real world. If you've taken offense to it, then you're most likely an attentive parent or a victim of attentive parenting yourself. Actually, the term needs to be changed to smothering parenting because that's what it is. It's a negative way to raise your child. Because part of being a truly attentive parent is attending to all your child's needs, which includes allowing him/her to adapt at an early (and I mean early) age and develop coping skills. Please read this posting again if you still have questions after reading it once. If you're still angry, please don't have kids.

allsnafud
allsnafud

Articles like this make me wonder why facebook doesn't have a "don't like" tab. This "know it all" Bozo, in his effort to be articulate, goes beyond absurdity. If his second kid is an asshole, the kid didn't get it from his mother.

Cry_Baby
Cry_Baby

I agree that AP is illogical. I would go so far as to say that it represents conspicuous consumption, a luxury for anyone who does not have to work and can afford to wear their child around everyday and be 100% attentive. I would like to see AP style parents get on their high horse to lecture someone working in a factory or driving a taxi. Enough ranting.

I am moving to New York City soon with a baby, and would like to know if there are any day care programs or "working mother groups" that specifically reject AP and all other various overindulgent styles in favor of more self-sufficient, resilient children. If you are out there, please let me know. Thank you! :)

aam770
aam770

Hmm...you seem to not have fully grasped the concept of AP. The whole purpose is to respond to your baby's NEEDS. Such a young baby does not have "desires" - he has basic needs and when you respond to them appropriately, he builds trust in you as his parent. You as the parent learn, understand, and respect your child's basic nature as he grows, and this helps you better guide him. It also helps you shape an empathetic young man. You are obviously too selfish to do AP if you are more worried about drinking your morning coffee than feeding your hungry child. Obviously something is off balance!

e.pierce
e.pierce

You're the parent who is going to produce cold-hearted, mean children. I do AP with my 3 month old... She sleeps through the night, can play for hours with her toys, mobile, pack n play and is constantly laughing. When she does cry I'm there. I hold her, I comfort her. I pick her up the moment she gets fussy. I smile at her and tell her how much I love her. She sleeps in her own space. She is happy and has trust in that her parents will always be there for her. Again, I can lay my baby down and she won't automatically cry, again my baby is fine playing in her own. But when she wants comfort and love and to be held her mom and dad are there. I can assure you my daughter will turn out to be a compassionate caring individual who is not needy because she's understanding and experiencing extreme love as an infant. Afraid to see what types of evil you produce with your children. You're the parent who will have a child that is a bully or worse yet a murderer. Babies after all are helpless and don't understand why they are left alone when for 9 months they were. Snug in their mothers.

k.kaprow
k.kaprow

Ugh. Real babies, fur babies, what's the difference? OK, there IS a difference: you can pretty much execute your fur baby whenever you get tired of it. Real babies present a different challenge. Until abortion becomes legally retroactive, you're stuck with the little shit factories. So what to do with them? I don't know.  Why am I asking you?

https://www.youtube.com/user/KizoneKaprow

oscargodson
oscargodson

I love that you call scientific studies "bullshit junk science", but link to no studies and base yor entire article off nothing. It's honestly baffling. Do you just do this to get a people angry?


I honestly became speechless when I got to "unless he's actually injured, I do not give a fuck if he cries. It's good for him." How sad. Even as an adult if I, or a friend/wife, was crying and she wasn't injured I'd see what was wrong and comfort them. To think you don't believe babies can be sad for any reasons other than to be an asshole is just depressing. I feel saddened to think your children don't have their parents to go to when feeling sad or lonely. Even as an adult I can't imagine having no one.

justsaying...
justsaying...

Babies:assholes::parents:__________.

a. Douchebags

b. Shitheads

c. Poop brains

d. All of the above

concernedcynic
concernedcynic

This essay is much too profane for my taste or for circulation among my mother friends. But Otte is basically correct; AP produces spoiled children who will have considerable difficulty adjusting to adult life and its responsibilities.

Breastfeeding on demand by a SAHM is OK. Breastfeeding in public places is OK. Healthy women should be allowed to give birth at home with midwives. Carseats should face to the rear. Corporal punishment cannot take the form it took 50-100 years ago. I am especially warm to one facet of AP: no more routine circumcision of newborns. But otherwise, AP strikes me as a rationalisation of spoiling.

justsaying...
justsaying...

Oh and on breastfeeding a toddler, I haven't done this myself but definitely think you shouldn't judge a mother that does and especially shouldn't imply that she's some sort of pedophile! The World Health Organization recommends breastfeeding for at LEAST two years and beyond, if acceptable to mom and tot. Mothers that breastfeed are just trying to give their children the best, most nutritious food available despite the social stigma. If you ask any biologist what breasts are for they would tell you they are for feeding a baby. If you ask any theologian what God made breasts for they would say for feeding children. So why on earth it's fine to show three inches of cleavage in public but a little side go on poking out while feeding a toddler is unacceptable.

By the way, I am in no way trying to diss formula. Infant formula has saved countless babies' lives. I'm just saying that moms who can produce adequate milk and choose to use it to nourish their kids shouldn't be judged. Also, the child on the cover of TIMES was only 3 when that photo was taken. He was either really big or his mom was small lol!

justsaying...
justsaying...

By the way, a child that is quiet and submissive is not necessarily more cognitively or emotionally superior to one that is not.

justsaying...
justsaying...

Let's take a look at what's going on with your baby.

justsaying...
justsaying...

Let's take a look at what's going on with your baby.

justsaying...
justsaying...

I think that AP parenting or not-AP parenting debate aside, there are some problems with your assumption that your baby is being an "asshole" by crying for food, whether it was said in jest or not. Babies are like paraplegics: they can't get food or a drink of water without help. BUT they also can't communicate their needs to a caregiver. And they probably don't understand what the check is going on around them 99% of the time. So their only form of communication is via crying. Your son probably wakes up in his own crib I'm guessing since you are not a fan of AP. Babies' stomachs are the size of their fists, so by morning, especially if he sleeps through the night or cries it out, he is probably really hungry and thirsty. He probably struggles and roots for food a bit before he begins to cry and is pretty worked up by the time you're up and about. So he's not being an asshole, he's just hungry. Might I suggest that you prepare his food the night before and set your alarm for 15 minutes before he wakes to get your coffee ready? It seems to me like that would be easier for you both.

Regardless of your parenting style, it's important to empathize with the wee ones. You don't have to submit to their every whim or be overly permissive to do that. If I were your son, I'd be thinking, "hasn't he realized yet that I'm starving every morning by 9:00? Can't he wake 5 minutes early to give me food. Jeez what a #&$." Just saying...

teleutemania
teleutemania

Your article is beautiful, and the fact that people are continuing to comment on it sixteen months later really says a lot.

*Time to brag*  My kid (now four) hit every one of his milestones early.  He began rolling onto his tummy at eight weeks, tummy-creeping at ten, began crawls up on hands and knees at 4.5 months, sitting independently at five, took his first steps at eight months, and was able to walk alongside me by the time he was ten months old.

The secret?  From the day I brought him home, I KEPT MY KID ON THE FLOOR for as long as he would tolerate.  I'm talking five to ten minutes stretches as a newborn, several times a day, which increased to twenty to thirty minute periods by the time he was three months old.  By four months, if he wasn't sleeping, eating, bathing, having his diaper changed, or being transported, he could be found happily playing on the floor.

When my kid fell, he'd first look to me before deciding how to react.  I discovered early on that if I kept my cool, he would not cry.  To this day, my heart swells with pride whenever I see a "sensitive child" run crying to their mommy over the tiniest bump or fall.  My kid simply dusts himself off and keeps playing.

I can't help but be disgusted by parents (as you've pointed out, usually women who can claim membership to one "mom's club" or another) who behave as if it's perfectly normal for their "wonderfully attached" 11-month-old to not yet be mobile, often hiding behind the excuse that "crawling isn't even a milestone."  (Uh, really?)  Far worse are the ones who claim that tummy-time is somehow "disrespectful" to infants and should be avoided at all costs.  These are the parents of children who seldom walk before the age of two.  And this new trend of "extended dry-nursing" is borderline child abuse.

They say some babies hit their milestones faster than others, and I suppose this is true.  If a baby has a developmental delay, that's unfortunate.  If the delay happens as a result of poor parenting, even more so.  But if the delay is clearly caused by a parenting philosophy, that's just unforgivable.

kraft1013
kraft1013

@koudelka_raynae I feel sorry for your kids. That whole, scientifically proven to be good for a baby's lungs and brain have been disproven long ago. You just need a reason to be lazy and let your kid cry instead of doing your job as a parent. 

pookietooth
pookietooth

@michael08huff  Actually, he is saying that babies are inherently evil (ironically, a notion from the Bible), and that they must be forcibly molded to fit into society by being basically ignored. It's nothing new -- we've all read it or heard it all over the place. He's also constructed a strawman argument -- that you have apparently bought into -- that attachment parenting means completely indulging a baby and child, attempting to cushion them from reality, when in fact it is not. It's about being responsive, not trying to prevent a child from ever having a negative feeling. 

pookietooth
pookietooth

@Cry_Baby  You do realize that the majority of wealthy women do not care for their own children, especially in New York -- they pay others to do so. The attachment parents I know are middle class for the most part, but some are from working class families as well. Most of our current parenting advice comes from wealthy people anyway -- from doctors, PhDs, etc. -- so it's not really fair to point fingers at a small group of rather unusual people who are doing things differently as "elitist." Most of the developing world parents their children similarly to attachment parenting but it doesn't make them elitist.

pookietooth
pookietooth

@oscargodson  I feel really sorry for this man's children. The would probably be better off in daycare than with him.

michael08huff
michael08huff

Not everybody has had some of the WHO kool-aid, just saying. Sometimes one universal answer isn't the answer. You'd better learn to think for yourself before buying into globalism.

pookietooth
pookietooth

@justsaying...  Ironically, most of the babies i know who are attachment parented are extremely independent. Who needs to strap a baby into a high chair -- just hand them some food to feed themselves!

justsaying...
justsaying...

*heck* not check. This is the last time I use my kindle to post!

littlemswright
littlemswright

And yet another dull comment from one rather ignorant person in support of another ignorant person.

Would it not make sense for you to understand AP before you comment on it? I mean I don't pass comment on blogs about the dynamics of aviation because I know nothing about it. I'm sure I could pluck some narrow minded thoughts about most things though if I chose to...

Sasqu
Sasqu

@teleutemania So let me see, you have one child and that makes you an expert on what ALL babies should be capable of?! I'm kind of hoping your next kid is really late in hitting milestones and is a highly sensitive "challenging" child so you get a bit of a wakeup call!! 

I have 3 kids, and all hit their milestones at different ages (as well as being vastly different in all sorts of other ways). Ironically, my youngest, who has basically been attachment parented (I'd never heard of AP when my older two were little), has been the most advanced of the 3 of them (she was walking independently by 11 months), though I'd never be naive or smug enough to claim that's entirely down to the way she's been parented! The eldest took the longest to walk (about 1 yr 2 mths), yet he also spent lots of time on the floor and was parented in a much more "mainstream" way where I thought it was best to try to encourage him to be independent as early as possible. Go figure.

I'm not sure where you've got the idea that people claim tummy time is "disrespectful", I've never heard anyone in any AP circles claim that. Yes some carry their child in a sling a lot, but most AP types I know will be responsive to their own individual child so a baby who clearly enjoys being on the floor would get plenty of floor time whereas a baby who seems to need the security of being close to their parent would be carried more. It's disrespectful to just abandon your child on the floor when they are screaming and crying and clearly not enjoying it (unless you have some incredibly urgent thing to attend to and the safest place for your child at that moment is the floor), but most AP parents I know happily put their kids on their front on a regular basis and mostly use a sling for transportation, comfort & naps.

And I'm not even sure what you mean by "extended dry nursing"?? Do you think that the milk runs out after a year or so and the kid is basically just sucking on the breast all the time regardless? Clearly there will be some occasions when a recently weaned child will try to suckle but I've never heard of anyone doing this for a long period of time (which the term "extended" implies). Most people practicing extended bf are still producing milk and nourishing their child, and tbh, so what if a few people allow their child to nurse for comfort occasionally after they've stopped lactating? If it's been one of their primary sources of comfort for their entire life it seems more like "child abuse" to refuse them!

pookietooth
pookietooth

@teleutemania  How in the world would you think that a developmental delay would result from attachment parenting? Do you realize that the whole "tummy time" thing has come from people putting their babies to sleep on their backs - - that before, when they slept on their tummies, they didn't need it -- and the over reliance on swings, carseats, and strollers to hold babies rather than arms and wearing babies in wraps? Did you bother to find out that riding on mom's (or Dad's) back actually develops the same muscles as tummy time? All the attachment parented babies I know crawled right around the average age (mine were between 4-5 months, and I wore them everywhere), and walked around one year. So educate yourself before you criticize something you don't understand.

shera6420
shera6420

@teleutemania I'm disgusted at your disgust at parents of children who are not walking by 11 months. Babies don't know about these milestone charts, they do things when they're ready. At 10 years old, your super baby will probably not be any smarter or more athletic than the children who didn't walk until 16 months. I hope this baby is your last. The next one would probably be a huge disappointment to you, just by being a normal, non-chart topping child.

emilyday137
emilyday137

@teleutemania Thank you so much for this comment! My husband and I are getting ready to start trying to have children when he comes home from his current deployment, so I've been doing a lot of reading on all kinds of things, and have been a little confused when it comes to attachment parenting, but everything you've said here seems like a really good balance! We definitely want independent children and not spoiled brats. So glad I found this comment on your experience.

michael08huff1
michael08huff1

You need to look at that cover of Time and ask yourself if everything you just said is complete crap.

michael08huff1
michael08huff1

It's not a strawman argument. It's common sense. Not that you'll ever be convinced of that.

pookietooth
pookietooth

@michael08huff  What does globalism have to do with extended breastfeeding? WHO isn't the only organization supporting it -- the US academy of pediatrics also supports it.

teleutemania
teleutemania

@shera6420 My god, woman... did you even READ my comment before hitting 'reply,' or did you simply skim through to "11 months" and have a brain embolism?

I voiced my disgust towards parents who refuse to address their infants' development delays, parents who "behave as if it's perfectly normal for their 'wonderfully attached' 11-month-olds to not yet be mobile, often HIDING BEHIND THE EXCUSE THAT 'CRAWLING ISN'T EVEN A MILESTONE.'"

Where the hell did I say anything about parents of 11 month olds who aren't able to walk?  11 months is average, lady.  As I said, some babies hit their milestones faster than others.  If a baby has a developmental delay, it's unfortunate.  But if the delay happens as a result of poor parenting, it is inexcusable.  Pull your head out of your ass and learn to read before replying to any more comments.    

rogerjrusa
rogerjrusa

I agree. Did these folks not read the article? Sears is a QUACK.

If he used junk-science to explain the "neurological damage caused by excessive crying/stress," what on earth ELSE is he wrong about?

Sasqu
Sasqu

@michael08huff1 You need to look at the front cover of Time and ask yourself if you base your entire understanding of the world on what you read in the media :)

Sasqu
Sasqu

@michael08huff1 It IS a strawman argument, he has quite simply described something that ISN'T attachment parenting and proceeded to criticise attachment parenting on the basis of it! If you don't think that's a strawman argument then I'm not sure you understand the meaning of that term...

AP is NOT about never allowing your child to cry, indulging their every whim, treating older kids like babies, letting them get away with behaving horribly or being a martyr to your child. Of course there are a few people who call themselves "attachment parents" who behave this way but that's not what most do. It's perfectly possible to parent gently & respectfully without being completely indulgent & permissive, you can set limits with empathy, respond to signals before they turn into cries (so you don't teach him that "screaming will get him what he wants"), etc. 

People like to blame spoiled self-centred kids on attachment parenting, but considering most of these commentators seem to put vast swathes of modern children in that category you can't possibly blame what has generally been considered a "fringe" parenting style for this supposed pandemic!

michael08huff1
michael08huff1

Because globalism supports all kinds of weird stuff. Do you always buy into everything the US Academy of whatever tells you? It's just the typical weirdo new age globalist thing to do. This kid is getting (s)mothered to death.

kraft1013
kraft1013

@teleutemania @shera6420 It is normal for some babies though. If you knew anything about babies you would know that they all do everything on their own time. An 11 month old not crawling isn't necessarily something to be worried about. Are you a pediatrician by any chance? 

Sasqu
Sasqu

@michael08huff1 As "pookietooth" points out it's not just the WHO supporting it, many highly respected medical & scientific bodies make exactly the same argument, or at the very least support breastfeeding until over 1 year of age. Though I'm sure you'll dismiss that as some kind of example of globalism (whatever the hell you actually mean by that!?! I don't think you are working from the same definition as me, at any rate).

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