Monday, July 09, 2007

Kaitlyn update and parenting style

Well little Kaitlyn is four months old as of Saturday. She is super smiley, loves to laugh, and rolled over for the first time on July 3 (right when I had my back turned! Grrrrr!) It's funny because I feel like she's always been a part of our family--was there really a time when she wasn't here???

She is such a little trooper too, always coming along on excursions that I wouldn't think would be nearly as fun for her, but she always seems to have a good time. I think she likes being part of the gang!

She continues to be a great sleeper at night, but a horrible napper during the day. She'll sleep for maybe 30 minutes at a time. This is completely foreign to me as Anna, from day one, LOVED naps, and still does! Oh well.

I've been thinking about my parenting style lately (probably best described as "frazzled"!). Honestly when I had Anna I didn't do any reading on parenting, how to get your baby to sleep, etc. I just followed her cues and we quickly found a routine that worked for us. Then once we began the adoption process I read a lot about attachment theory, love and logic parenting (natural consequences), and so a lot of my parenting ideas I've gleaned from the adoptive parents community.

I've discovered that even though I don't follow all the tenets, I'd probably most fall in the category of attachment parenting in general (in the attachment vs. Ezzo models). I nurse on demand (hilarious to me because ultimately it comes out to be the same as scheduled nursing, since Kaitlyn wants to nurse every 2-3 hours), Kaitlyn sleeps either in a bassinett right next to our bed or in bed with us (usually just in the mornings), and we aren't really into the whole "letting her cry it out" thing (although she fusses herself to sleep sometimes, it's just how she goes to sleep.) Anyhow it's funny to discover you fit into some category when you never even knew about the category. Attachment parenting is GREAT for adopted children, especially (when they're light enough!) baby wearing. We did that a lot with our boys. I think co-sleeping would be great too, except we didn't do it a whole lot with our boys--two rambunctious little boys in bed with us didn't sound particularly restful! (In the beginning however they would often end up in our bed--they did a lot of grieving and would wake in the middle of the night crying so mournfully, really sad.)

The love and logic parenting stuff has been super helpful also. Especially with Anna who has a strong will sometimes. For me parenting has been such a learning process. You hope in the end your child will grow into a well-adjusted, loving person both because of and in spite of your parenting. So what's your parenting style????

(The above picture of Kaitlyn is from the 4th of July--with so many kids to tote around we sometimes have to get creative with how we carry everything. Heehee!)


The Hunts said...

Love your blog and reading about your sweet family. We are definitly practicing attachment parenting with our newborn twins. They spent almost two months in the NICU and it only reiterated my desire to hold them close to me as much as possible, feed them on demand, etc. Everyone, doctors included (except for our fabulous pediatrician), thinks we are nuts for not putting them on a schedule, but we are doing just fine. Like you said, they pretty much eat every 3-4 hours anyway. Every family has a rythem I think, and this is ours. I would never trade the sweet times we have already had sharing sleep with these sweet ones or "wearing"' them close to our heart. Jen

Michelle said...

So neat to read about your "parenting style". I love the love and logic book, very helpful ideas for strong willed children. If I were to look at all the parenting styles we'd probably fall right into attachment too. We fed on demand (which also turned into a schedule), played on demand, cuddled on demand, and co-slept (then not for a while, and now do again). I feel like it has been such a better style for Matthew because although he's strong willed he's also sensitive and has lots of separation anxiety (thus the attachment styles). I don't see a need to push him to do anything until he's ready, and when he's ready, he does it wonderfully...he's always been that way, and so was I!! Anyway, don't want to take up all your blog space, so....:).

Tamara said...

Hello! Well I am stopping in at nearly 2 am so this will be really quick: I have been an avid reader of parenting books for the last couple of years but have been really unhappy with the popular bribery methods (complex charts and rewards, I am too busy/lazy to mess with that!) Plus, Gregory is VERY strong willed and will throw away his own toys before he will let us manipulate him... so randomly I picked up a book that was what I thought to be humorous and antecdotal.

"Breaking the Good Mom Myth"

It turned out to be very informative and still funny and I finally found the method that fits my style, slow parenting. Guide them, but let them learn from life and natural consequences (to an extent). I found it such a relief to finally be allowed to tell Gregory to wear his knee pads, if he doesn't do it, the bloody knee will teach him instead of having a 30 minute battle of the wills over putting the things on before he gets on his bike!

Akk, it looks like I have rambled WAY too long! I wonder if there is a text limit? I guess we will find out, ehh.

Amy said...

I've been reading your blog for a couple of weeks and love your blog 'voice'!
I'm also a mom of 4, two boys and two girls, ages 8,6,3 and 19 months. I just ordered the Love and Logic books from Amazon (I'm also a teacher so I grabbed the teaching one) and am looking forward to them. I come from a very Ezzo-ish background and support system but our style is certainly more AP-ish, and I'm looking at making it more so.

Brianna Heldt said...

Tamara I think I'm going to have to read that book! I like natural consequences too. Hope you're doing well! (I saw Dusty and Kathy on Sunday.)

Rachel said...

When I find myself in a pinch I grab Babywise first and The Nursing Mother's Companion second. They are polar opposites which is good so I can get a handle on what I am experienceing. For instance, Ainsley ate at 7:30am Sunday and wouldn't nurse again until nearly 1:00. I ended up pumping and giving her a bottle after church. I think she had a little cold and that was why she didn't want to nurse, but I knew she was hungry. I find myself on a VERY flexible schedule as a parent. Ainsley complains after being awake for about an hour an a half and lets me know it's nap time. I feed off her cues and we're good. Today she feel asleep in her carseat at the pool after gazing at a hanging toy for about a half hour...

I could never co-sleep. I cannot even sleep with a baby in the same room as me let alone the same bed. I don't think there is anything wrong with it, I am just too light of a sleeper. Ainsley and Aubrey "roomed in" with us for about three weeks each and then were transitioned to their own room. I am also a bad nurser and need the support of a chair and pillow so nursing in bed was very uncomfortable too. If we have another child someday I am sure I will be even more flexible then, you just cannot maintain a rigid routine with older kids.

As far as discipline goes... I feel like I am on an island. I'm just not there yet as a parent. This is really surprising to me as it was one of my strengths as a teacher. Toddlerhood just threw me for a loop!!!

Kristen Borland said...

i don't know the name for my parenting style... i need to read more books!


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