Your baby is too attached to you! I hear these words quite often, pretty much since day one with both my children. With L it was "put him down, holding him will spoil him, let him cry its good for his lungs, he doesn't need you he's manipulating you..." the list could go on and on and on. With little A the vocals had toned down a little bit, but I still hear "she's too attached, you can't leave her with anyone, you need to stop nursing her, she should take a bottle" Comments to which I've replied several times, She will not take a bottle...we tried, she refused. End of story. I can't leave her if she won't take a bottle, naturally she needs me to feed her so she comes with me. I don't think she's too attached, she's happy and very independant of me. And then I get hmphed and grumbled about because I don't know what I'm doing and this is going to cause all sorts of trouble later in life, she'll be breastfeeding until she's 5 and sleeping in our bed until she's a teenager...Oh the HORROR!!!!!!!
Which brings me to the point of my post today. Is there such a thing as too attached? Honestly in a normal healthy situation I don't think so. Attachment is defined as a feeling that binds one to a person, thing, cause, ideal, or the like; devotion; regard: a fond attachment to his cousin; a profound attachment to the cause of peace. (Thanks dictionary.com!) Does this really sound like a bad thing? I have an attachment to my husband...I love him very much, does that make me too attached to him? I am quite attached to my children, as their mother I brought them into the world, nourished them, gave them unconditional love and I revel in every snuggle, hug etc I get in return. Yes I babywear, no it doesn't mean my baby will never walk, Yes I breastfeed...again no it doesn't mean she'll only want to breastfeed for her entire life. A is slowly starting to wean herself, she's slowed down feedings, started taking more solids, she's deciding when she's ready. I can't force her to stop nor would I want to. Just like I can't force her to be ready to be away from me for any length of time. We have in the past week left her with a babysitter (a trusted friend) twice for less than 3 hours each time. Our babysitter has understood how to get her to fall asleep, with lots of cuddling, walking etc, and each time we've come home to a peaceful sleeping baby and happy reports of very little crying or fussing. We've never really left her for that length of time before, she wasn't ready for it, now she is. She decided when she was ready, we were poised both times to come running back home if SHE needed us.
To me, babies need their parents, they need to feel close to them. So do older children, L still needs to come have a cuddle when he's feeling sad, or he's bonked his head or even just because. I don't think attachment is as bad as I'm being told it is. I also don't think there is this magical age where a child HAS to be independant from their parents. Why is it when a child turns 1 they have to all of a sudden grow up and stop being a baby? We expect too much of them. Can't we just let them be little for as long as they want? I for one intend to exactly that! So sorry to all of the people out there that think my poor little A is too attached to me, I guess she's just not quite ready to be unattached...Maybe I'll look into some glue remover when's she's 3 or 4...or not