So Attachment Parenting is the new thing.
Celebrities are doing it. It is 'in' to babywear (in a non crotch-dangler), it is in to co-sleep (or bed-share), breastfeeding is cool now, cloth diapers are stylish, gentle parenting is the new rule, milk sharing is more mainstream, crying it out is out, and listening to our instincts is replacing listening to experts.
I am always behind the times. Like terribly behind the times- on this though I am thrilled (and proud) that I was ahead of the curve- maybe the only time I have ever been 'ahead of my time'.
When I would wear my now 8 year old because she liked to cuddle, I would be told that she needed to learn to self soothe. She couldn't learn to self sooth unless I showed her and made her feel safe.
When we opted out of most baby proofing in favor of being with the kids and watching them or just putting things away (like in storage, away) that could be broken or injure them (like choosing green cleaning products--- goooooo vinegar!) I was told that my kids would be injured, poisoned, or whatever. Thus far, no one has died and my children are learning to use their bodies adeptly- I am usually observing ready to step in if there is an issue, but usually I let them be.
When we did extended breastfeeding with Stinky- I felt I needed to hide it. I am proud that I have been able to nurse my kids for a long time. We have an amazing bond and the benefits of breastfeeding are undeniable.
When we let Peas set her own pace for things instead of pushing her, I was told that I was doing her a dis-service. Peas is an amazing girl- but stubborn. Pushing her would prevent or delay her growing into the awesome kid she is.
When Pixie lived on my chest for months because she was happiest there, I was told she needed to be on her own or she'd have a hard time walking. She walked at 9 mos.
When Little Dude crawls around the house that has not been sanitized I have been told he will get sick. Actually- his immune system will be stimulated and learn to respond to threats. By nursing him I am giving him a boost, but for your body to make antibodies- it first needs to be exposed to the bug.
Now, it seems that my weird parenting style is becoming more mainstream and people are seeing the benefits of it- yay!
Our instincts are there for a reason. Listen to them (use reason and good judgment too, of course, but our instincts are to care for and protect our babies by keeping them close).
(and as a post script- I just have to say it----- I told you so.)