Attachment Parenting and other styles
I met with a wonderful couple the other day, who are going to be new parents in just days. They had a very common concern, one that all who want to be great parents have. What is the best way to parent our new baby? "Should we do like my mom said?" asked Angie. "Or should we follow the book our friend gave us?" asked John. They were clear on a few things they definately didn't want to do, like allow the baby to cry to sleep (Ferberizing) which I was very glad to hear.
Aside... When you ignore your baby's cries you are telling baby that you aren't going to help him. He in turn will eventually fall asleep, but with shock and trauma. He'll also learn not to cry for you, or in desperation for attention and the help he needs, cry even more, and throughout the day, not just at sleep times.
Angie and John though, were still confused. One book told them to pick up the baby whenever she cried, and another told them to let them cry in increasing increments until she slept. Angie's mom told her that holding the baby all the time would spoil her. John's mom said the opposite. Indeed, what to do?!
I spoke with them at length about their wishes, dreams and desires; for what will make them feel good about their parenting, how they wish they'd been treated as a baby and child, and the importance of helping your child learn the skills they'll need for a lifetime. In the end, the conclusion was made. They'll do what's right in the moment. Following their intuition, doing what is best, not what's easy. They're going to create their own family culture, their own traditions.
What brave, wonderful parents they will be.