I often wonder when it comes to parenting styles; do you have to choose one way or the other? Can you still be considered an ap parent if you occasionally drift over into mainstream parenting practices?
For the most part, my parenting style seems to be in line with attachment parenting. I have always been very attentive and responsive to my daughter’s needs which has included breastfeeding, co-sleeping and frequent carrying her in a sling. But I have to admit there were times when using a stroller was the only option for me. Don’t get me wrong, I absolutely loved carrying my daughter in a sling or Mei Tai. In fact most days, you could be sure to find her snuggled up next to me in one or the other. But there were some days it just didn’t seem to work with our plans for the day.
The days when I was most likely to turn to my stroller were days when I was exhausted, but needed to get out of the house to run errands. Or days when we went on day long family outings to the zoo or a festival where a stroller can come in handy. Sometimes I would even take the stroller with us for the mere convenience of using it as a shopping cart when my daughter wasn’t in it (she’d be in the sling and shopping bags were in the stroller).
So if an ap parent branches out into the mainstream realm of parenting practices, which type of stroller is the best option to choose? A rear facing stroller that allows the child and parent to interact the entire time? Or a forward facing stroller that gives the child a chance to see what is going on in the world around them?
If you choose to use a rear facing stroller, you can continue to be responsive and nurturing toward your child while he is in the stroller. Some experts and parents feel rear facing strollers are better for a child’s development since parents are more likely to talk and interact with their child while in the stroller. They even say that the children tend to laugh more when riding in a rear facing stroller.
On the other hand, some feel that a forward facing stroller gives a child the opportunity to take in all the excitement that is going on around him without having his attention focused on mom or dad. I think it all depends on the child, the parent and the current situation. Some kids will take to a stroller easier than others while may not want to have a thing to do with it. If your child seems uneasy about riding in a stroller, you can try a rear facing model to make the transition from carrier to stroller easier for everyone.
When my daughter was younger, I used a travel system that allowed her to face me (this was partly because the idea of not being able to have my eyes on her at all times freaked me out). But once she out grew the infant car seat, we moved onto the forward facing seat of the stroller.
So do you think it’s possible to be an attachment, breastfeeding, babywearing, co-sleeping parent, but still rely on your trusty stroller to help you out from time to time? Are they strictly off limits? Or are we too caught up in the labeling parenting styles and just need to focus on doing what works best for our families?