The list of things we would never do with our baby was long. She was never going to see a TV and she would sleep through the night in her own bed. She would never have a dirty face or wear mismatched clothes.
This list is now an amusing indication of our unrealistic and naive perceptions pre-baby. Most expectant parents have these lists, but often then watch the items become crossed off as exhaustion or even reality kick in! Our parenting style has kind of evolved into what is known as "natural" or "attachment" parenting, which occurred when we relaxed and got rid of our pre-conceived expectations of Annie.
From the day Annie was born, she has had her agenda. She know what she wants and that she wants it now. I guess we were pretty laid back for first time parents and let her dictate the rhythm of things. We knew we would never be strict adherents to a rigid routine and kind of went with her needs as she needed them. This has worked for us. We simply tried to follow our instincts as to what we needed to do.
We knew it felt right to have her always near so we kept her close. We could see she wasn't settling in her own bed so (almost out of desperation) let her sleep with me, and this worked. So we became co-sleepers. We mostly carry her in a sling or carrier as it is easier while out and about, and she is much more settled while being held close. Now we were baby-wearers.
When looking for an activity to get us out of the house, we found Alice and baby massage- and this has been a god-send. Alice encouraged me to trust my instincts, and the confidence I gained that I know what is best for Annie was phenomenal. We just love Alice to bits, and appreciate all her wisdom.
I examined what we do with Annie and found that many of the things we believe in are in line with the Attachment Parenting philosophy. While I had read a little about it before she was born, we never set out on our parenting journey determined to follow any particular ideas- we just set out and trusted our baby. Funnily enough this has led us to be what I call "accidental attachment parents!"
Our Annie is curious, intelligent, happy and thriving and the support we have received regarding our choices has been wonderful. We are so pleased with her progress and are elated that our style seems to work for our little one.