Parenting your Southern New Jersey Baby
by Karen Kurtz

Everyone knows the right way to be a great parent and then - they become one.

We all say we will never… and then find ourselves doing whatever or saying whatever it was we would never do.  Parenting is a tough job and a learning process every day.  Our children and our heart are our best teachers.  We can read and listen to friends, family, experts and glean bits of wisdom that can help us but usually if we are willing to sit down and take an honest look at our children we can at least find the questions to ask.

Meeting your Child's Needs leads to Security

“Attachment parenting” means a lot of things to different people, but in it’s simplest form, understanding the biological needs of babies it has the best proven track record in history of all the parenting “theories”.  Our ancestors knew that putting a baby down alone until they were mobile was a dangerous idea.  What they probably never stopped to think is that by carrying their babies they were meeting their biological needs for nurturing and brain development. 

Last year I reread “The Continuum Concept”, for the first time in many years.  This book details the child raising practices of South American Indians and how they contribute to making healthy, independent, emotionally strong people.  Again I was fascinated by her findings, especially the part where babies rarely cried and never “spit up”.  As I prepared for a presentation I was planning, I thought maybe the idea of babies always in arms was a little extreme and maybe there was a more happy medium with the way most American children are raised.  Then I read another book that had been recommended to me, "What Every Parent Needs to Know", which used modern science to prove many of the ideas recommended by the “Continuum Concept” and made me understand that the meeting of our children’s needs (remember babies don’t have wants, only needs) is not to be taken lightly.  Also notable is the Harvard study on children’s needs for touch and how crying effects them.  Our children deserve as much in arms time as humanly possible, our children deserve not to be left crying, our children deserve our time, love and attention.  In return we will raise young people who are emotionally and mentally strong, independent and happy. 

Support is Key

It can be overwhelming. Phases pass quickly when you look back but can be hard when you are going through them, find support.   These intense years of parenting are a small sacrifice in a long run of our and our children’s lives. 

By reading good parenting books, surrounding yourself with like minded parents and refusing to compromise your parenting ideals for parenting ideas with no scientific proof, you will raise great people. It has worked for my family and many others I know .  I credit much of what I learned about being a mother to La Leche League and another parenting group I belonged to years ago.  I learned as much from sharing ideas with the other parents and the books they introduced me to as from the group leaders themselves.  I rarely got good parenting advice from doctors or those outside of my chosen circle of attachment parenting friends. 

So where to start.

  • Read good books, I recommend a few here, though there are certainly many more. La Leche League groups have great lending libraries.
  • Join a parenting group or on-line community where you feel free to share your ideas.
  • Get a comfortable sling or baby wrap to keep your baby close, except when driving in the car (and leave the car seat in the car most of the time).
  • Enjoy your baby – babyhood and childhood fly by!
  • Listen to your heart and not those who tell you - "you should", "you must" or "there is one way".


Here are some links and books to help you parent.

Harvard Study of Touch and Crying

Baby Sleep
Mother Baby Sleep Lab - Dr. James McKenna

By the Sear’s Family:  The Birth Book, ,The Baby Book, The Breastfeeding Book, 25 Things Every New Mother Should Know and Father's First Steps: 25 Things Every New Dad Should Know

La Leche League of New Jersey

Mothering Magazine