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baby wearingIt’s amazing to me, how when I walk around I see people wearing their babies. It is

mainly amazing to me because having grown up in Kenya, this was the norm. Mothers always have babies on thier back. A mother will do all her chores with her baby on her back.

This new craze in the US has been brought by recent parenting style called attachment parenting.

I didn’t know anything about this philosophy until my baby was about 6months old. When I was pregnant every appointment I would go for I was always asked if I was planning on breastfeeding. This was a somewhat unusual question because being from Kenya, everyone breastfed. Back home women breastfeed in buses, in social gatherings, just about everywhere. I grew up seeing this and I have always known that is what breasts were created for, to nourish and feed babies. Many people I knew breastfed babies long into their toddler years, I have on many occasions heard babies asking their mums for ‘nyo-nyo’’ which is the Swahili word for breast.

When Nia was finally born, she wanted to be held all the time including the whole time she was asleep, as soon as we would set her down in her crib, which was in our bedroom, she would wake up screaming, sort of like wondering why would you do that, I was happily sleeping and you had to go and do that. Then one night my husband suggested I put her in bed with us, it was awkward because I didn’t know where to place my hands and where to put her. But once I finally figured out how to put her next to my breast and figured where to put my arms and I was sure the covers weren’t on her face, I had the best 5hours of sleep ever. I was upset with myself for putting her in bed with us, I remembered my cousin saying to me, everyone sleeps with their baby and I can bet anyting you will sleep with yours.Back home majority of people sleep with their babies. But I wanted to do it the western way, I wanted to sleep train but what came naturally was sleeping with her. I remember going to see the pediatrician and telling her we had Nia in bed with us, and the doctor acting like this was the worst thing that could happen. And when she was about 6 months old, the doctor told me that she was old enough to sleep through the night without eating, she explained to me how I needed to feed her, put her down on her crib while she was sleepy but not yet asleep and close the door behind and not go back into the room till the next day. This was the only way to train her how to sleep. This sounded to me like torture, the doctor said it would be hard, but it gets easier and by the end of a week she would sleep alone without being rocked to sleep. Being a first time mum I felt like I should just toughen up and do it, but why would something that is right feel so wrong. They said they have been to school and done research to show that it doesn’t harm the baby.

So I decided to Google sleep training, and that was when I discovered attachment parenting. Basically they say it’s the parenting style humans would use at their most basic. It’s the parenting we would do if we didn’t have research and doctors and literature written on what we need to do. It’s parenting by instincts, and it was so funny to me because when you study it and see all the principlesof attachement parenting, it’s the kind of parenting I grew up seeing, it’s the parenting people in the villages who haven’t gone to school practice and it was the parenting I had been practicing all along.

Kikuyu Woman 1923

Kikuyu Woman 1923

Baby wearing is encouraged in attachment parenting, because babies feel more secure and cry less, responding to babies cries is encouraged, co-sleeping (sleeping with baby in the same bed) is encouraged since babies sleep better when they are next to mums and mum doesn’t have to wake up completely to feed them since they are right next to you. Breastfeeding is encouraged and so is extended breastfeeding, which means breastfeeding into toddlerhood. Also using baby training is discouraged.

Having found attachment parenting gave me the validation I needed as a first time parent to know I wasn’t doing anything wrong, and in actual sense I was doing a lot right. I don’t follow the principals of attachment parenting to the T, because I now have the confidence to believe in my instincts. I know I was created equipped to handle parenting. I just hope and pray first time mums can find someone to encourage them to do what feels right. We usually know but our minds are so corrupt with too much information that it’s so difficult to even know what feels right.