Posts Tagged ‘care routine’

API Principle #6: Provide Consistent and Loving Care

Friday, January 13th, 2012

Attachment Parenting International offers 8 parenting principles they believe to be the foundation of developing a healthy attachment with young child. The sixth principle is to Provide Consistent and Loving Care. API recognizes that young children thrive when their day to day interactions are full of love and consistency. A baby feels safe and secure when there is a predictable rhythm to their day and a predictable response to their needs.

One important way to ensure a child’s daily care routine gently and lovingly addresses their needs is to let the child create the schedule. Rather then relying on a clock to inform you if your child is hungry or tired, learn to read your baby’s subtle (or sometimes not so subtle) cues. Over time you will probably observe a pattern and can anticipate baby’s needs. For example you may notice your baby likes to take a short mid-morning nap on most days or that your baby is typically ready to go to bed for the evenings around the same time each night. You can use this information to create a routine for your baby, however remain flexible as a baby’s sleep and hunger needs change frequently throughout the first year of life. Creating a daily routine that is reflective of baby’s needs is an important foundation of the sixth API principle to providing consistent and loving care. Ideally a parent provides of bulk of baby’s daily care routines and interactions in order to foster a strong bond. They suggest “exploring a variety of economic and work arrangement options to permit your child to be cared for by one or both parents at all times” (Attachment Parenting International, 2008).

However API does recognize and understand that there are times/circumstances when separation from a parent is necessary. Therefore they offer some practical suggestions for making separations go smoothly for both parent and child. One main consideration is selecting who will care for your child in your absence. Optimally you would find someone who supports the 8 principles of Attachment Parenting and infuses them into how they care for your child. Choosing someone your child already has a bond with such as a extended family member or close family friend will help make separation easier for your child. If this is not an option, encouraging your child to form a bond with a new care provider is important. This might be a gradual process, so if possible ensure a positive relationship is formed prior to long periods of separation. For example you might ease into using a new care provider by first having them care for your child while you are nearby or for short durations. Additionally API states that “it is critically important that parents who are separated from their children spend very focused and intentional time reconnecting with their child after separation” (Attachment Parenting International, 2008). Breastfeeding offers a wonderful opportunity to physically connect with your child as does co-sleeping and babywearing.

What ways do you practice Attachment Parenting Principle #6, Provide Consistent and Loving Care, in your family?


Beginner’s Guide to Caring for Cloth Diapers

Thursday, December 22nd, 2011

One reservation about using cloth that I commonly hear is in regards to dealing with dirty diapers. I will be honest that I was a bit hesitant about it myself. Although once I started using cloth diapers, I quickly realized my worries about washing them were completely unfounded. It was actually quite simple to develop a cloth diapering care routine and the little extra time it took was well worth the economical benefit of using cloth. Here are answers to three frequently asked questions about caring for cloth diapers:

1. How do you store dirty diapers?
Okay, I admit that I was a bit concerned about having poopy diapers sit around my house; or worse yet carrying a poopy diaper around in my diaper bag. That was before I knew about pail liners and wetbags. Both are used to hold your dirty diapers until wash day keeping germs, odors, and moisture well contained. Most brands of liners and wetbags are made out of PUL fabric, however there are wool options if you prefer to use natural fibers. Wetbags are smaller bags used for holding dirty diapers in your diaper bag when you are out and about. They come in a variety of styles and sizes. Typically they will hold from 2 to 8 diapers depending on the size/style you use.  Some zip close and others have draw strings on them; I have used both and find them equally effective. You will want a few wetbags in your rotation so you always have a clean one available to use. A pail liner is larger than a wetbag and stores several days worth of dirty diapers at home. They are available in two different styles; a hanging pail or a liner that you can place inside a diaper pail or a waste basket. Both are equally effective and efficient so it’s simply a matter of personal choice when selecting what style to use. Ideally you want two pail liners in your rotation so you always have a clean one available. Wet diapers can be placed directly into wetbag or pail liner. Poopy diapers may need to be dumped out, dunked or sprayed first before placing in your wetbag or pail liner. There is also the option of using flushable liners which replace the need to spray, dump, or dunk poops. If you use pocket diapers, you can pull out inserts at this time or wait until you are loading your washing machine to do so.

2. How often do you wash cloth diapers?
So the real question here is how much extra laundry is cloth diapering going to create? Generally it amounts to a couple extra loads of laundry a week. The actual amount of times you wash your diapers weekly is going to depend on the number of diapers in your stash and how many kidlets you are diapering. Ideally you want a large enough stash that you are washing about every third day. Of course it is possible to get by on a smaller stash and wash more frequently, however I often hear mothers report greater satisfaction with cloth diapering when their stash is large enough that they don’t have to wash daily. However you don’t want your dirty diapers to be sitting too long because you could experience mold/mildew issues.

3. How do you wash cloth diapers?

Here’s the wash routine that works well for me but keep in mind that it’s going to vary widely depending on a few different factors. You might need to experiment a little to develop a wash routine that works well for you. When loading my washing machine I make sure all wetbags are emptied, inserts removed, and snapped liners are detached. I select wash setting with hot water. Set the load size accordingly, keeping in mind a large amount of water and small amount of laundry soap is preferred to effectively clean cloth. I always select pre-wash and extra rinse each time I wash my diapers. The type of laundry soap you use is important too. You want to be sure the one you use doesn’t cause excessive build-up on your diapers interfering with the absorbency of them. I prefer to hang dry my diapers and because of the climate I live in (hot, dry, sunny desert) I can pretty much do this year round. I would recommend line drying in the sun when possible as it brightens and freshens diapers as well as reduces wear and tear from tumbling in the dryer.

How often do you wash your cloth diapers? What does your wash routine look like?



Tomorrow I will review Attachment Parenting International Principle #5: Ensure Safe Sleep, Physically and Emotionally.