My husband and I practice Attachment Parenting– a phrase coined by Dr. William Sears. Essentially, this means we:
- respond quickly and consistently to our baby’s cries
- practice daytime and nighttime parenting equally
- hold our babies often
- wear our babies in slings or other carriers
- breastfeed until the child is ready to wean, which is often well into toddlerhood
- sleep in the same bed or room with our children
This is obviously not the norm, and we are used to feeling “counter-culture” and fielding lots of questions from curious friends.
Since it isn’t mainstream, most of the books on the market preparing kids for a sibling depict images that my son hasn’t experienced- a baby sleeping in a crib, drinking out of a bottle, and using a pacifier.
I was thrilled to find a book by Dr. Sears called What Baby Needs which highlights the important new role an older brother takes on, and is full of cartoons illustrating the lifestyle my son knows: breastfeeding, babywearing, and the newborn snoozing near the parents’ bed in an adjacent co-sleeper.
There are also notes for parents on what kind of information and experiences might be helpful to share with a child who has a new sibling.
If you’re expecting a new baby and are looking for a book with a fresh perspective, this one is worth adding to your collection.