Hold your baby close when you can.

I was talking to a close friend the other day and she brought up that she and her husband were thinking about taking a four or five day trip to an island that was a two hour plane ride.  Here is the catch.  She would be leaving her one year old at home to be cared for by her mother and sister.  My friend was very conflicted and her gut was not at ease, but she also felt that she and her husband could use some time to reconnect.

I am of the Attachment Parenting and Contiuum Concept school of parenting.  My children were born in 2003 and 2006 and the longest time I have spent away from them was a long 24 hour trip and they were home with their Papa.  All of my children were weand and toilet trained at that time.  All other trips were planned with the family in mind.  My relationship with my husband grows when we are altogether.  Our bond is strengthened when we go through the peaks and valleys.  And when I say the highs are high, the lows are low.  But we are one.  

I believe that children that are held close when they are young become more self confident and much more self reliant individuals.  Children that have their needs fully met grow up to be fulfilled individuals.  When a baby or child is prematurely detached from a parent, or left to “cry it out” they become adolecents and adults who crave the attachment they should’ve recieved as a baby.

Taking a day to process my thoughts on the conversation I had with my dear friend has brought me to the conclusion that we all have our own way of parenting.  I know that my style of parenting is not mainstream.  And most people have a hard time understanding us baby wearing, co-sleeping, toddler weaning families.  I can only speek for myself when I say that holding my babies close for as long as I can just feels like the right thing to do.  I am going with my gut.  And my gut tells me that keeping them close now will only strengthen their ability to be strong on their own later.

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5 Responses

  1. I totally agree! My baby is only 4 months old and already I get comments on how I’m spoiling her with babywearing and not forcing her to take a bottle. But I love nursing my daughter and have no plans to leave her alone with anyone anytime soon. I also love that when she’s upset or tired that she wants to be put in the carrier and held close to me. I cherish everyday that I have with her…all too soon she will grow up strong and independent and will no longer need me for everything. When that day comes, I know for certain I’ll miss our days of nursing and babywearing and smelling her sweet baby smell while holding her close.

  2. I get a lot of harassing from my family because I have not let my 13 month old spend the night away from home. We also breastfeed and co-sleep. Your article supports my decisions and reminds me that I am not alone.

    • Always go with your gut. I think our society is a little disconnected in general. My girls were three before they spent the night at a friends house and that was only in preparation for the home birth of their brother. I needed to be sure they were going to be familiar with where they were going to be. Since then, they have not spent a night without either of us. I think the adult children that have a hard time detaching from the parents, are the ones that were pushed away when they were young.

  3. Seriously?? They expect you to let a 1 year old stay overnight with someone else? That’s crazy! I’m sorry you have to deal with that.

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