Tuesday, February 28, 2006

Welcome to Aware Parenting

Welcome to my blog spot. I will be posting various articles I have written about Aware Parenting and related topics. I hope you enjoy them.
Feel free to contact me by email if you have any questions.


Blogger Kinnit said...

Awareparenting really changed my relationship with my baby son, Jasper, for the better. When he was four moths old i was regularly walking and singing him to sleep, or offering him the breast. It was driving me to distraction, especially when nothing would stop the crying. I thought "how unfair and unrewarding parenting is...i cannot make my baby happy".
i often felt close to the edge of my sanity and had terrible visions of me hurting Jasper. i wondered if i could take any more stress before i actually carried through with my visions. That was until, when Jasper was 10 months old, i read the aware baby!!!!
Suddenly i no longer felt like i had failed my son whenever he cried. With the weight of the pressure to create happiness for him off my shoulders, i found i could begin to enjoy being a mum. Being a mum became a pleasure rather than a terrible curse.
He is now 3 (and three quaters), intelligent, bright, centered, sensitive, confident and wise. He cries openly without fuss, whenever he needs to; and i love him to bits.
When i got pregnant again i thought how wonderful it would be to start this process from the beginning. Then i found out it was twins!!! They are now 8 months old, and just beginning to emerge out of a very strong feeding control pattern that i inadvertantly established, in my desparate attempt to cope with the bigger demands. And because they are breast fed, and only breast fed for the first six months, i always worried that they might be hungry as i was not confident of my supply.
When i look back there were many cues that i was over feeding them, and not letting them sound off.
So now i am just beginning to let them cry.
It is difficult because they often need attention at similar times, and it is hard for me to split my attention like this, especially as they seem to have quite different needs (for holding/freedom to move, feeding, sleeping, etc), and there is mostly no-one but me around to do the attending to.
still it is deffinately better to let them cry with some attention, than to constantly try to make them happy (and quiet) to no avail.
Good luck to all parents, especially those with twins


3:32 AM  
Blogger ciannait said...

Hello...my babies are now 12 months old, and gorgeous. Although it is hard to be available for crying time whenever they need it, when i can hold them while they cry i do. often they have a cry together, which they dont seem to mind, although one is usually more wild when he cries, and can take over the scene a bit.
Now that they are sleeping well at night, I have just moved them from their cots to a family bed. This was the best move, as they now go to sleep with little protest, and sleep more soundly too.
It was always heartbreaking watching them standing crying in their cot before they finally went to sleep. I even tried taking the advice of the well-meaning 'controlled crying' crew, and left them to yell until they got the message that they were expected to fall asleep without me there.
It seemed to work, after a while. They began to cry for shorted periods, and one baby even settled without protest for a while; BUT slowly we ended up back at the beginning with me standing over them while they fell asleep, hand on back, or finger tightly gripped by a chubby hand.
I am greatful for the cots for the period i used them. without them i would have had to cope with two babies trampling me into the pillow several times a night, while i night weaned, which would have been more than i could have coped with at that time (even for the short period of adjustment). I could always reach through the cots, still lying in bed to let them know i was near, which seemed to help a lot.
Now, after a bit of discharging the energy of the day, they fall asleep, morning, afternoon and evening after perhaps ten minutes. sometimes one at a time, sometimes together. This is the best spent 30 minutes of my day having the dual purpose of allowing their stress to resolve through crying, and giving them the sense of safety and security that they need for a really good long sleep.
Very soon, as soon as they are no longer waking up at 5am or ealier, i will move back into my old bed with my partner, as i am hoping that the presence of their older brother in bed with them will be enough security for them to continue sleeping soundly in the big bed. And then my parner and i can have our relationship back, after a long and sometimes tough year.

5:06 AM  
Blogger Kinnit said...

Well...the babies are 14 months old now, and sleeping better than ever. We have worked through some pretty significant stuff utilising their crying. Amazon (aptly named for his strength and wilfulness) always confroted me much more than his more mellow brother. at the worst moments of my frustration with his crying (middle of the night, following many other nights of poor sleep, after some hours of crying) i would yell at him to be quiet, scream at the air, and sometimes handle him roughly (not causing him physical pain). I felt terrible, like i was going mad, and had visions of me hurting him. It was the furthest from love that i have had in my heart for another human being.
Thankfully i never lost control, but was aware that the pain of being rejected, when he most needed support would cause a lasting imprint. I also knew that he needed to do some crying about this, but had very little energy or time to spend holding and listening.
We moved a couple of times between cot and "family bed", before i finally took us to the Riverton centre in Brisbane, for five days of sleep and routine schooling. Wow! although i got a lot out of it, i felt like i was being brainwashed!! It had the ultimate effect of committing me to the aware parenting model.
They are super strict about controlled crying, and one ends up feeling that there is no going back. you can never again settle your baby to sleep by being in the same room. I also was made to feel like my babies were undernourished because they are small for their age (according to the graph), even though i have rarely met babies who eat a healthier more varied diet, and in such great quantity.
Their obsession with dairy products was another thing that threatened to throw me off course. I couldn't beleive the ignorance of the professionals working there, in this respect. At least half of the other participants on that week, had children who displayed some symptoms of dairy allergy (ie snot, vomiting, cramps and constipation), and yet the advice was "dairy with everything".
Anyway, coming home i tried hard to fulfil all their criteria hoping that it would make the babies grow bigger, and sleep better; and ran myself ragged. In the end i simply rebelled, and sank back into my centre, the place of motherly wisdom. I then knew that their diet was adequate, that i HAD to be with them while they fell asleep, and sleep with them if necessary. They do not usually eat dairy (one cannot have any anyway), and i do not give them any other type of milk on a regular basis (partly because it interferes with their desire for food/water, partly because unless it is homemade i am not confident that it is healthy, and partly because they dont seem to desire it). Why the hell should babies need milk past weaning? For calcium they eat regular doses of tahini, parsley, ground almonds, and orange pith.
I could go on and on, and as you can see i've become more solid in my conviction that the mainstream parenting models need some serious rethinking.
Having abandoned the controlled crying thing during about of illness, we went back to the family bed once and for all. After a couple of days of co-sleeping bliss (as i had experienced previously, the boys began waking up often and pumell me, mainly it was Amazon, who would then climb all over phoenix and wake him). In a blinding flash of revelation it dawned on me that Amazon was seeking an opportunity, with the renewed sense of safety and closeness, to discharge, and because i was so still at night, and maybe because this was when we had had our worst times in the past his feelings were most at the surface then. So i began to make a consistant effort to be with the big brute while he cried during the day.
It was hard at first because he was quite tight. he would start to cry, but end up holding back, no matter how much loving attention i gave him. Ifelt he had lost a sense of trust in me. It took a while but eventually he started to take peeks at me, and then the crying would reach a new level for a while. After maybe two or three complete crying sessions, he loosened up, and was able to cry more expressively.
Afterwards he was able to look lovingly into my eyes, which i realised he had not done for a long time.This experience helped me open my heart to him, and i am convinced that our relationship can now flourish in a much more healthy way as a result. His character also underwent a shift during this process. He seemed much more joyful, and light, laughing more, carrying himself looser, and being less clingy. It was amazing to watch this flowering.
Finally, we are all sleeping much better, day and night. Amazons frequent and early, distressed night wakings have mostly ended.
He woke this morning at five, babbled, gently hassled me for a feed, dozed, and cried a little until i feed them at 6am. Only a few days ago they were waking at 4am indignant that they couldn't have their 4am feed (which i decided quit after the advice of the sleep clinic was that they probably still needed that feed nutritionally at 13 months, and i should keep it up!!!! complete balderdash, and ironic given that i went there to help me get them sleeping through).
I feel pretty happy overall, as i am now able to get a good nights sleep if i want to. it makes a big difference to my day. I believe that soon they will sleep til 6am, or at least get used to feeling a little hungry until i am ready to give them some brekky, which will make the last stages of weaning much easier.

7:05 AM  
Blogger pamepoon said...

do u have any experience that if a baby cries loudly in-flight and someone's complaining? if Yes,,wt did u do? and wt did the flight attendant do for u?
coz i m going to bring my baby travel Aus from Hong Kong... thats a long period i hv to take care of her...can u share if u hv same experience before.. Thanks

7:21 AM  

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