March 24, 2012

Beyond the Sling

I love to research, and have enjoyed reading how other parents raise their children.  My approach is to take each aspect of parenting, learn the details and differing opinions, and then chose which way I believe will work with my lifestyle, and be most healthy for baby. 

I found myself interested in topics such as baby wearing, breast feeding, and cloth diapers.  Soon I realized that these were all things practiced by the attachment parenting method so a natural next step was for me to learn more about this style of parenting. 

Just as I decided it was time to get a book on attachment parenting Mayim Bialik of the sitcom Blossom fame released her take on the topic called Beyond the Sling : A Real-Life Guide to Raising Children the Attachment Parenting Way.  I also really enjoy personal stories to I decided this book would be the perfect starting point for my research.

I purchased the book, and threw it into my carry on bag for the two flights that I would be taking to get to my baby shower in Connecticut where my family lives.  It ended up being the perfect airplane book, and I finished it by the time I arrived at my destination.  The book is an easy smooth read filled with facts, opinions, and experiences that not only reveal the beliefs behind attachment parenting, but how it can be used in the real world.

The book starts out with a section entitled Trust Your Instincts.  This is an aspect of attachment parenting that appeals to me.  With my historical education background, and in my modern world I am approaching parenting from a standpoint of learning as much as I can so when I am faced with the challenges of parenting I will be prepared, and can quickly find the information I need to answer the questions that will arise.  However, my anthropological education also tells me that people have been reproducing for a long time, and in order to be as successful as we are in the world there must be some instinct involved.  I may be doing a lot of research, but I am also making instinctual decisions on what will be best for my baby.

In the second part of the book entitled What Baby Needs the basics of attachment parenting methods are discussed.  These methods are Natural Birth, Breastfeeding, Babywearing, Co-Sleeping & Elimination Communication.  Her experiences with all of these parenting techniques are insightful, and made me curious to read more on the aspects such as elimination communication that I have not read as much about. 

She goes on in section three to describe What Baby Doesn't Need which includes discussions about Baby Essentials, Unnecessary Medical Interventions,  Pressure & Gentile Discipline.  These are all topics that I was less familiar with, and her research has certainly inspired me to do more of my own. 

Parenting is a a lifestyle, and there are so many choices to make the find the right parenting methods for you and your baby.  The book concludes with a section about nurturing yourself, and your relationships which is a point often missed in parenting.  At 30 weeks along I find myself mainly concerned with my baby, but know that I need to also pay attention to chapters such as this to make sure that I keep the strong connection with myself that I enjoy so much alive.

This book is an easy to understand breakdown of why Bialik is raising her children the way she does, and how she came to these parenting methods.  It was an ideal read for a long plane flight, and I thoroughly enjoyed reading it cover to cover in one setting.  With any parenting method I found that I agreed with some of Bialik's techniques while being skeptical of others.  However, I was quite interested in them all.  The book is well researched, and the references provided make for a great next step reading list that I will certainly utilize.  The best thing a book can do is inspire me to read more on the topic, and this book absolutely accomplished that task.

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* This post contains affiliate links, but I was not paid by the manufacturer to review this product - I just like it! I am disclosing this in accordance with the FTC's 16 CFR, Part 255. Images courtesy of Amazon.


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