One of the first things you realize when you're pregnant with your first baby (and for all I know, this continues with subsequent pregnancies) is that everyone wants to give you advice. Most of the time it's well-meaning, some of the time it's "You're planning to do WHAT??" kind of advice.
For the most part, I got pretty good at smiling and saying something like, "thank you, I'll think about that." But sometimes it really frustrated me, especially because I'm such a big research nerd. Sure, I trust my gut a lot, and I feel like my mama instinct is very strong and true, but I also tend to do a ton of research before making decisions. So when people would look at me aghast when I would talk about things we were planning on doing-- like cloth diapering-- I had a very hard time not being super defensive.
I get really tired of hearing people talk negatively about the parenting choices we've made. For the record, we are attachment parenting parents. The definition of attachment parenting according to Wikipedia is:
"Attachment parenting, a phrase coined by pediatrician William Sears, is a parenting philosophy based on the principles of the attachment theory in developmental psychology. According to attachment theory, the child forms a strong emotional bond with caregivers during childhood with lifelong consequences. Sensitive and emotionally available parenting helps the child to form a secure attachment style which fosters a child's socio-emotional development and well being."
In a nutshell, it's about using your baby's cues to determine what she needs, use sensitivity and empathy to build a strong emotional bond with your baby, and especially not to ignore her needs that don't fall into the eat, poop, sleep category. More specifically, I'm referring to ignoring a baby's need for attention, comfort and touch. I believe that not immediately attending to your baby when she starts to cry leads to an insecure child. And I believe that comfort and physical touch are needs as vital to a baby as food.
It makes me so sad when I see a baby being ignored when she is upset because the parent has decided (arbitrarily in my mind) that she's not wet and doesn't need to eat, so she doesn't need the parent's attention. I saw this just the other day at Target-- there was a couple there with a baby a month or so older than Cecilia, and she was bawling in her stroller. With both parents there, my assumption was that one of them would pick her up and comfort her and the other would push the stroller. Nope, they just ignored her. Sometimes one would distractedly say, "It's ok, baby." But that's it. No other comfort. I wanted to say something, but of course, I didn't.
I just wish that everyone else had enough respect for our parenting style to keep their mouths shut too.
I didn't mean for this to get all negative, so please accept an adorable picture of Cecilia to make up for it! :)