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Sunday
Nov162008

What is attachment parenting?

I decided to get back to basics with my post today. I've faced a lot of misunderstanding recently about what Attachment Parenting is, so I wanted to clarify what it is to me and how it is different from other styles of parenting.

Attachment Parenting Philosophy


Attachment parenting is not a list of rules. It is a philosophy with which to approach parenting. Attachment Parenting International talks about the importance of proximity, protection, and predictability as a base for the attachment parenting philosophy. A number of different writers have explained the attachment parenting philosophy in different ways, all of which are helpful.

Diana West, IBCLC in There is No Doctrine for Attachment Parenting: Being AP is a Frame of Mind says:
An AP parent is defined by how she interacts with her child. Does she make a long-term commitment to spending as much time with her children as she possibly can? Does she include her children in every appropriate aspect of her life? Are her children an integral part of her life, rather than an inconvenience that must be quickly taught to comply? Does she respect the individuality, feelings, and thoughts of her children? Is she in tune with her children's needs and does she seek to meet those needs as a primary priority? Does she interact with her children in such a way that an ever-deepening bond is developed, rather than polarizing the respective positions of power between her and the children? Does she seek to be an emotional coach or is she a policeman?

An AP parent is one who wholeheartedly believes that children are inherently good and that by fostering an atmosphere of complete trust and intimacy, a bond is created that provides those children with the foundation and security to become their best selves.

According to Jan Hunt's article What is Attachment Parenting? on the Natural Child Project, "Attachment parenting, to put it most simply, is believing what we know in our heart to be true. And if we do that, we find that we trust the child". She goes on to explain the ways that we trust that child and later says:
Through attachment parenting, children learn to trust themselves, understand themselves, and eventually will be able to use their time as adults in a meaningful and creative way, rather than spending it in an attempt to deal with past childhood hurts, in a way that hurts themselves or others. If an adult has no need to deal with the past, he can live fully in the present.

As the Golden Rule suggests, attachment parenting is parenting the child the way we wish we had been treated in childhood, the way we wish we were treated by everyone now, and the way we want our grandchildren to be treated. With attachment parenting, we are giving an example of love and trust.

Our children deserve to learn what compassion is, and they learn that most of all by our example. If our children do not learn compassion from us, when will they learn it? The bottom line is that all children behave as well as they are treated - by their parents and by everyone else in their life.

These are but a few of the wonderful articles that attempt to define the philosophy behind attachment parenting. I really believe that it is parenting the way we would do it if we were free of societal influences.

Attachment Parenting Principles


Attachment Parenting International has 8 Principles of Attachment Parenting. I've provided a summary of them below and provided a link to the more detailed page on API's Web site for each one:

  1. Prepare for Pregnancy, Birth and Parenting: Become emotionally and physically prepared for pregnancy and birth. Research available options for healthcare providers and birthing environments, and become informed about routine newborn care. Continuously educate yourself about developmental stages of childhood, setting realistic expectations and remaining flexible.

  2. Feed with Love and Respect: Breastfeeding is the optimal way to satisfy an infant's nutritional and emotional needs. "Bottle Nursing" adapts breastfeeding behaviors to bottle-feeding to help initiate a secure attachment. Follow the feeding cues for both infants and children, encouraging them to eat when they are hungry and stop when they are full. Offer healthy food choices and model healthy eating behavior.

  3. Respond with Sensitivity: Build the foundation of trust and empathy beginning in infancy. Tune in to what your child is communicating to you, then respond consistently and appropriately. Babies cannot be expected to self-soothe, they need calm, loving, empathetic parents to help them learn to regulate their emotions. Respond sensitively to a child who is hurting or expressing strong emotion, and share in their joy.

  4. Use Nurturing Touch: Touch meets a baby's needs for physical contact, affection, security, stimulation, and movement. Skin-to-skin contact is especially effective, such as during breastfeeding, bathing, or massage. Carrying or babywearing also meets this need while on the go. Hugs, snuggling, back rubs, massage, and physical play help meet this need in older children.

  5. Ensure Safe Sleep, Physically and Emotionally: Babies and children have needs at night just as they do during the day; from hunger, loneliness, and fear, to feeling too hot or too cold. They rely on parents to soothe them and help them regulate their intense emotions. Sleep training techniques can have detrimental physiological and psychological effects. Safe co-sleeping has benefits to both babies and parents.

  6. Provide Consistent and Loving Care: Babies and young children have an intense need for the physical presence of a consistent, loving, responsive caregiver: ideally a parent. If it becomes necessary, choose an alternate caregiver who has formed a bond with the child and who cares for him in a way that strengthens the attachment relationship. Keep schedules flexible, and minimize stress and fear during short separations.

  7. Practice Positive Disipline: Positive discipline helps a child develop a conscience guided by his own internal discipline and compassion for others. Discipline that is empathetic, loving, and respectful strengthens the connection between parent and child. Rather than reacting to behavior, discover the needs leading to the behavior. Communicate and craft solutions together while keeping everyone's dignity intact.

  8. Strive for Balance in Personal and Family Life: It is easier to be emotionally responsive when you feel in balance. Create a support network, set realistic goals, put people before things, and don't be afraid to say "no". Recognize individual needs within the family and meet them to the greatest extent possible without compromising your physical and emotional health. Be creative, have fun with parenting, and take time to care for yourself. (See also my post on achieving balance as a working mom).


Attachment Parenting Tools


When people think of Attachment Parenting, they often think of Dr. William Sears. He coined the term and came up with the 7 Baby B's of Attachment Parenting. This list is essentially seven tools that can help parents to foster attachment with their babies. You do not have to do all seven of these to be an attached parent and you can do all seven of them and not be an attached parent. The seven B's are a toolbox that can make attachment parenting easier. It is easier to use a drill than a screwdriver in many instances, but it doesn't mean that it isn't possible to do the same job with a screwdriver or that it isn't preferable in some circumstances, but it probably will require more effort and more time.

Here are the 7 tools:

  1. Birth bonding

  2. Breastfeeding

  3. Babywearing

  4. Bedding Close to Baby

  5. Belief in the Language Value of Your Baby's Cry

  6. Beware of Baby Trainers

  7. Balance


I hear so many people say, I don't babywear so I'm not an attached parent or breastfeeding didn't work out, so I'm not an attached parent. That is not the way that it works. As explained above, it is the frame of mind and philosophy that you have that is important, not the specific tools that you choose or don't choose along the way. Diana West, IBCLC has a great article explaining why these are not rules: AP is a Frame of Mind.

Mainstream Parenting and the Pushing Away Trend


In a comment on my anti-CIO post, a reader asked what I meant when I said I was glad I didn't need to justify being a mainstream parent and that I was glad to be an attached parent instead and felt that comment was offensive to the millions of mainstream parents that are attached to their kids.  So let me explain what I meant.

In general, I would see mainstream parenting as doing what other people are doing or what society expects without questioning it, putting the parents' needs ahead of the child's needs, and assuming that we need to push our children to be independent at as early an age as possible and that if we do not do that, we are spoiling them (to see a great article refuting that position, read: Am I Spoiling?). Mainstream parenting often involves using schedules and punishment, cribs and strollers, weaning and sleep training, etc. It is about the parents doing something to the child rather than with the child.

The author of the Attachment Parenting Blog does a great job explaining the pushing away trend that is typical of what I would call mainstream parenting:
Pushing children to become independent from the earliest possible age is a definite trend in our society and has been for decades. Attachment parents don't aspire to have our children become so independent so quickly.

Pushing independence from such a young age also tends to sever the deep attachment a child needs to feel with his or her parents, a connection that forms the foundation of trust and attachment for the rest of his or her life.

I can remember about six years ago a pal of mine telling me proudly how he and his wife had traveled to France for two weeks and that their five and eight year old children didn't even miss them. He was proud of how independent they were. Me? I was horrified: while I want my kids to be independent and able to live their own young lives, I certainly also want them to miss me, to want to see me and show me what's important to them every single day, to know that I'm there to protect and love them.

But it's what we see as this "pushing away" trend that us attachment parenting folk are fighting. Name any element of parenting and I can show you how there's an element of separation involved. From the shorter and shorter times that women breastfeed to the use of strollers instead of carrying babies, to cribs and separate nurseries at earlier and earlier ages.

The Other Extreme: Insecure Attachments or Attachment Disorders


All types of parents fall into mainstream parenting. Some do it because they don't know any better. Some do it because everyone else is. Some do it because that is how they were raised. These parents generally love their kids and do want to be attached to them, but just don't necessarily realize that some of the things they are doing may make it more difficult to create a secure attachment or may be damaging to their relationship with their child.

But there is another extreme that is a whole lot worse for the child than that. That is the type of parenting that leads to insecure attachment. This sometimes comes about as a result of maternal depression or drug and alcohol abuse, but can also be the result of taking the "pushing away" trend to an extreme and essentially doing the opposite of what is suggested by the attachment parenting principles described above. The most extreme type of attachment problem would be reactive attachment disorder, which is extremely rare and almost always the result of severe abuse or neglect or multiple traumatic losses or changes in their primary caregiver.

I mention this only because some people incorrectly suggest that not following attachment parenting results in attachment disorders. That is not the case. I believe that people following mainstream parenting trends may have a more difficult time bonding with their children than those following attachment parenting, but it doesn't mean that it is not possible to bond with your child as a mainstream parent and it certainly doesn't mean that mainstream parenting leads to attachment disorders.

Concluding Thoughts


Attachment parenting for me means that my child's needs and my relationship with my child are the first considerations in any parenting decision I make. It isn't easy to put my child's needs and my relationship with my child first all of the time. However, I see it as an investment in the future. It is an investment in my child's future and in the future of our relationship. It is an investment of time right now in childhood that will hopefully save us time, trouble and heartbreak later in life by allowing us to enjoy life and enjoy each other's company rather than dealing with the results of delinquency or depression. Ultimately, I agree with Attachment Parenting International that the long-range vision of Attachment Parenting is to "raise children who will become adults with a highly developed capacity for empathy and connection."

« Friendship and Parenting Styles | Main | Long lasting value of a woven wrap »

Reader Comments (73)

Thank you for a wonderful introduction to attachment parenting. There are a lot of misconceptions out there. This article helps to clear some.

"Recognize individual needs within the family.." is what i hope to instill in my child. Attachment parenting is reciprocal & my child hopefully will learn this through our actions as parents.

November 16, 2008 | Unregistered Commenterpantrygirl

[...] What is attachment parenting? Social Bookmarking This entry was written by Lauren F, posted on November 16, 2008 at 10:31 pm, filed under Baby, Blog Scan, Parenting and tagged attachment, list, term. Bookmark the permalink. Follow any comments here with the RSS feed for this post. Post a comment or leave a trackback: Trackback URL. « Politics [...]

thank you for posting this.

one of the most influential books i read as a new parent was Jan Hunt's "The Natural Child: Parenting From the Heart". It still, seven years later, has a prime space on my bookshelf.

There are so many mixed messages to new parents out there and not enough education on being a new parent. Funny how they send you to prenatal classes to teach you how to "have a baby" when your body pretty much does that on it's own, but as a whole, new mothers are not taught what to expect when they bring the baby home.

I don't think it can be stressed enough that babies are not just "little people". I don't think it should be expected for this tiny new life to be able to "handle" being on it's own after 9 months in the womb.

I breastfed, I co-slept, I bathed with my daughters and pretty much carried my oldest around with me as I went through my day. I was told that I was spoiling her, but looking at my independent, caring seven year old, now I know I made the right choice.

I was distracted and irritable last week due to outside circumstances and can see the direct correlation in my girls behavior as well.

I think that if more parents were given the proper "tools" and the "time" as parents to care for their children this way then we would find more balanced and caring younger children in our schools.

Thanks for the post!

November 17, 2008 | Unregistered Commenterunderthebigbluesky

I have learned so much from you! This post was fantastic. While I don't necessarily agree with everything you say, you make me think about what we are choosing to do with our beloved son. We just want to do the right things for him-we waited so long for him to be here! Thanks so much!

November 17, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterKaren

This is so comprehensive yet reader friendly. Many of the quotes on AP refreshed and invigorated me. Thanks!

November 17, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterEarthbaby

I stumbled upon your blog via MDC, and have read almost all of your archives. Love it! Can I add you to my blogroll?

November 17, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterHey You

@ Hey You: Thanks for reading. You can absolutely add me to your blog roll. Thanks!

November 17, 2008 | Unregistered Commenterphdinparenting

A great article. So many parents I have met, while wanting and trying to do what's best for their children, never really stopped to think about parenting as a skill. Or that there might be some training, research, or methods to consider. As a mom to a 16 month and a step-mom to a 12 and 10 year old, I see that you can always start incorporating AP philosophies and approaches and the children will respond! Just because you're not a biological parent or didn't start AP at birth you can still be AP parents!

November 18, 2008 | Unregistered Commentergreenwithbaby

Thanks for replying to my comment and for e-mailing me to let me know this post was up. However, I don't think you're noticing what you actually said in the comment that was offensive. You didn't say that you were glad to be an attachment parent, but that you were glad to be an *attached* parent instead of a mainstream parent. In other words, you were implying that parents who do things the 'mainstream' way couldn't be attached.

As you point out here, attachment parenting is not the same thing as being attached; and it's a rare and serious thing for a parent and child *not* to be attached. What you were saying – although I don't think it's what you meant to say – was that mainstream parents weren't attached. That was what I found offensive, and objected to.

As for this post – food for thought here, but does strike me as rather too simplistic. I just don't buy this whole attempt to categorise parents as either-or. Either you're The Sort Of Parent who includes your children in every aspect of your life and always puts them first, or you're The Sort Of Parent who puts your own interests before those of your children. Either you're an emotional coach, or you're a policeman out to polarise power positions. I believe that that sort of thinking encourages the 'mommy wars' and stereotyping and cliquism among parents. I believe that, in actual fact, most parents take both their children's needs *and* their own needs (and the needs of other people who depend on them) into account and balance them out in a complex combination of putting different people's needs first according to the particular circumstances and situation.

And Dave's implication that any sort of separation from your baby is all part of 'pushing independence' at too young an age and is going to sever attachment? Oh, fer cry yi yi. More stereotyping. I'm not saying the movement for pushing independence isn't there, but the implication that putting babies in pushchairs or cots is all part of it is ridiculous.

November 18, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterSarah V.

This is a great post and perfect timing for me - I am working on a post about what my parenting styling is. I am largely an "attachment" parent, at least when it comes to the principles I approach parenting with, although I do certain things a little differently. I will definitely be linking to this and some of your other posts as I finish the piece. What a wonderful resource your blog is!

November 19, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterLu

[...] every time I needed to do something for my toddler. It just would not have worked. All this to say, attachment parenting can take some of the burden of caring for two babies away and allow you to bond with [...]

[...] across a great article to demonstrate the pushing away concept that I talked about in my post on attachment parenting, when I was comparing mainstream parenting to attachment parenting. Check out this article from [...]

[...] and most important goal as a parent was to foster a secure attachment with my children. Practicing attachment parenting has been key in achieving that strong attachment and I have to continue to foster that attachment [...]

"All types of parents fall into mainstream parenting. Some do it because they don’t know any better. Some do it because everyone else is. Some do it because that is how they were raised. These parents generally love their kids and do want to be attached to them, but just don’t necessarily realize that some of the things they are doing may be damaging to their relationship with their child. "

Do you even realize how incredibly condescending this is? Has it ever occurred to you that maybe some people use cribs, strollers, routines, and so on because they're - gasp! - actually read and thought about these things, and experimented with them, and found them both to mesh with their personal instincts and to work well for their families?

How kind of you to give us the benefit of the doubt that we love our kids.

November 26, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterTricia

@Tricia

Did you read the whole post or just that paragraph?

There is nothing wrong with using cribs, strollers or routines. Those can be compatible with attachment parenting.

Leaving a crying baby in its crib and not responding is not really attachment parenting. Imposing a strict schedule (not the same as a routine) is not really attachment parenting. Leaving a baby to sit, facing away from you, in a stroller or car seat most of the day instead of holding and interacting with your baby is not really attachment parenting. If you are doing those things and are still offended, then I guess it is your right to be offended.

But if you are listening to your child's cues and have found that a crib, a stroller or a routine is what works best for your child, then that is great. If your goal in parenting is to create a strong bond with your child, that is attachment parenting. If your goal is to have your child be completely independent as soon as possible, that is not really attachment parenting.

November 26, 2008 | Unregistered Commenterphdinparenting

[...] is fine, but I don’t like it when the media and advertisers send messages that suggest that attachment parenting is difficult for parents and that they are sacrificing themselves, when my experience is that it is [...]

I think you make some very good points in this post

December 26, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterTony

[...] because proximity to the parents is important but many consider bed sharing to be dangerous. But in attachment parenting circles, co-sleeping is quite popular and there is great opposition to the faulty conclusion that [...]

[...] Do you feel smothered by the mainstream? Are you embarrassed to admit that you are an attached parent or crunchy mom when surrounded by the formula-feeding, sleep training, SUV stroller pushing moms? [...]

January 19, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterFlaunt Your Crunch! « Ph

[...] you feel smothered by the mainstream? Are you embarrassed to admit that you are an attached parent or crunchy mom when surrounded by the formula-feeding, sleep training, SUV stroller pushing moms? [...]

This post has finally provided and explanation for me of that AP has been formulated in opposition to, specifically "the parents doing something to the child rather than with the child."
I practice many of the tennants of AP, however I take issue with the use of the researtch on attachment classifications and the assertion that not practicing AP can result in the development of Reactive Attachment Disorder. As I wrote in this post on my blog,
"The implication that if attachment parenting practices are not employed in the raising of one’s children that there is at risk that they will develop RAD is misguided, manipulative and wrong. RAD is a rare condition that develops as a result of severe emotional neglect, like being raised in an orphanage with little social interaction with and emotional nurturing by caregivers. This early deprivation inhibits the development of the capacity for emotional connection with others. To imply even indirectly that this disorder would be a possibility for a child raised in a loving home by parents who use a stroller, don’t sleep with their baby, and impose a parent-centered schedule is totally absurd and offensive. RAD has no place in the discussion of attachment versus traditional parenting, and to include it is a disservice to parents who are trying to make informed decisions about their parenting practices. I don’t understand why it would be part of such a discussion except as a scare tactic, which undermines the legitimacy of the argument for attachment parenting."
http://psychobabbling.net/?p=432
Overall, I really like your blog, it seems to contain thoughtful, balanced, candid, and reasoned discussions about parenting issues, and I enjoy reading your posts. But I am disturbed when I see the misuse of psychological concepts in this way. I've seen this on other AP sites as well, and I think it takes away from the really good things that AP has to offer.

January 23, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterPsychomama

@Psychomama

I don't disagree with you at all. That is why I separated my discussion of RAD out from my discussion of mainstream parenting. I wanted to be clear that I don't think that mainstream parenting leads to RAD. I specifically stated that it is a completely different extreme.

From my layman's understanding of RAD, I would not see it coming about because someone chooses not to use Dr. Sears' attachment parenting tools (breastfeeding, bed sharing, babywearing, etc.) but rather I would see it coming about in situations where the parents do the complete opposite of what is suggested by the attachment parenting principles listed in this post.

For example, instead of preparing for pregnancy, birth and parenting the mother denies the pregnancy, continues smoking, drinking and doing drugs, her husband keeps beating her. They do no reading on birth. They don't see a healthcare provider. They don't get anything ready for the baby.

Instead of feeding with love, they either force feed or starve the child. If they feed the baby, it is on a parent-imposed schedule that does not take the child's needs into consideration (e.g. giving 2 large bottles of formula per day to a newborn rather than smaller more frequent feedings throughout the day). They prop the bottle up rather than holding the baby and then scream at the baby for being useless and/or don't notice at all if the bottle drops and the baby cannot continue eating.

Instead of responding with sensitivity, they ignore their babies cries and their baby's attempt to interact with them. They use extinction on their newborn right from the start because that baby needs to learn that nighttime is for sleeping. They don't smile back when their baby smiles at them. They leave the baby in a stroller facing away from them whenever they go anywhere and don't talk to the baby. They leave the baby in a crib in a separate room for hours on end when the baby is awake because they have better things to do.

And so on....

Would you not agree that doing the complete opposite of what is in the attachment parenting principles could lead to RAD?

January 23, 2009 | Unregistered Commenterphdinparenting

Thanks, Annie, for the thoughtful response. The parenting you describe to illustrate your point above is certainly neglectful and emotionally abusive, and would have negative effects on the child's psychological development, but I can say with almost absolute certainty that this child would not develop RAD. RAD develops usually as the result of the absence of interaction with caregivers, and as pathological as the parents in your example are, they are still providing interaction. This child would certainly experience negative repercussions in their emotional development, but they would have some template onto which they could model human relationships. As someone who has worked in mental health for 9 years, specializing in working with children and families (many of whom, sadly, exhibit some of the abusive practices you mention above), I have only encountered one child who fit the criteria for RAD, and this was a child who spent the first years of her life in a Romanian orphanage.
The inclusion of RAD in the AP discussion seems inappropriate given its rarity. I don't think it lends support to the argument for AP, it seems obvious that you shouldn't abuse or neglect your children or deprive them from human contact, so what's the point of including it?

January 23, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterPsychomama

@Psychomama - Thank you again for your insight. Based on what you've said and checking out some additional links, I decided to revise the section on insecure attachments and attachment disorders rather than taking it out altogether. I think it is important to keep it in to counter those that suggest that simply not doing attachment parenting leads to RAD, which is, as I know and as you described, not the case.

January 23, 2009 | Unregistered Commenterphdinparenting

I really appreciate the changes you've made, and think the revisions make your posting stronger because you're qualifying the erroneous RAD/AP association. I don't think that people following mainstream parenting trends may have a more difficult time bonding with their children than those following attachment parenting, but I think we're going to have to agree to disagree on that one!

January 24, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterPsychomama

[...] Get Connected Early: This is basic attachment parenting theory. [...]

[...] you ever wondered what the connection is between attachment parenting and toddler nutrition? Do you worry that your nursing toddler isn’t eating enough? Looking for [...]

[...] girl” bed, getting rid of a pacifier, or stopping a the need for a bedtime bottle, then the attachment parenting approach to making that change should be to do it gently. Do not abruptly remove something that [...]

[...] girl” bed, getting rid of a pacifier, or stopping a the need for a bedtime bottle, then the attachment parenting approach to making that change should be to do it gently. Do not abruptly remove something that [...]

[...] because proximity to the parents is important but many consider bed sharing to be dangerous. In attachment parenting circles though, co-sleeping is quite popular and there is great opposition to the faulty conclusion [...]

[...] and most important goal as a parent was to foster a secure attachment with my children. Practicing attachment parenting has been key in achieving that strong attachment and I have to continue to foster that attachment [...]

[...] of what I got right can be rolled into parenting according to my instincts and in line with the attachment parenting philosophy while still striving to maintain balance in my [...]

[...] more intuitive for me than the Baby Bs: breastfeeding, babywearing, bedding with baby, and so on.  Attachment parenting an infant was simple. Keep that child close, and all is well.  But then what. When a child becomes [...]

[...] more intuitive for me than the Baby Bs: breastfeeding, babywearing, bedding with baby, and so on.  Attachment parenting an infant was simple. Keep that child close, and all is well. But then what? When a child becomes [...]

[...] attachment parenting circles nursing into toddlerhood is common. A lot of parents strive for child-led weaning or at the [...]

[...] you practice attachment parenting and do not want to push your children to sleep on their own before they are ready, then you may [...]

[...] attachment parenting circles nursing into toddlerhood is common. A lot of parents strive for child-led weaning or at the [...]

[...] Now that you know what it is not…find out what it is: What is attachment parenting? [...]

Loved reading this post, I think it is my favourite post from you so far! I am very much into attachment parenting. My children are my life; everything I do is for them, and I do this because I love to, and I love them. I spoil them with love, let's just say. I don't discipline well, though. And I have a hard time setting boundaries, because I'm scared I'll upset them. Saying no breaks my heart, and when I've had to say no it's caused tears and I hate this! I know it can't always be smiles and sunshine, but I feel bad. But your post is most excellent. Attachment Parenting sounds like the most natural and best way to parent.

June 19, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterLoukia

[...] I may not go as far as advocating attachment parenting, because I think parents should also have a life and kids should learn to respect that, but I [...]

[...] am an attachment parenting advocate. I think it’s the best way to parent. I think it’s the best way to achieve my [...]

[...] lot of parents that practice attachment parenting or natural parenting point to the fact that this is the way children are often raised in [...]

[...] lot of parents that practice attachment parenting or natural parenting point to the fact that this is the way children are often raised in [...]

I love this post. I have taken years of criticism because of my parenting style. I would not trade it for anything in the world. Attachment parenting is what felt the most natural to me so I had to go with what was normal and not what doctors or friends advised me to do. Keep this going, attachment parenting women need your support. I have not done articles on this yet, but I do have some interesting breastfeeding and make your own infant formula articles. Here is the link:
http://www.examiner.com/x-17146-Dallas-Womens-Health-Examiner~y2009m8d4-Infant-formula-recipes-from-the-17th-century-through-today

August 7, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterMommadonteatit

[...] five years old this year. He is the one who taught me how to be a parent and I learned all about attachment parenting by being his mom and trying to find the best way to relate to him and meet his needs. He had a very [...]

[...] is essentially seven tools that can help parents to foster attachment with their babies,”says Anne of PhD in Parenting. “You do not have to do all seven of these to be an attached parent and you can do all seven [...]

[...] relationships with other people who could help us with the kids. I’m a strong believer in attachment parenting, but also in balance. When that balance isn’t there, we are gambling with our own mental [...]

[...] PhD in Parenting has an overview of Attachment Parenting [...]

[...] Attachment parenting advocates for feeding a baby on demand.  For a newborn, feeding on demand might look like feeding at every whimper because newborns have tiny, tiny bellies that digest breastmilk quickly and need to be refilled frequently.  However, older babies have refined their hunger cues and also have larger stomachs, which means that they can and do go longer between feeds.  Babies cry for a myriad of different reasons, but parents will quickly find that even if you try to feed a baby who is crying because she has a dirty diaper, she’s not going to actually feed very well at all.  She might pop on and off, squirm, scrunch up her face and continue to wail in frustration.  It is surprisingly difficult to breastfeed a baby who isn’t hungry and doesn’t want to be fed. If baby is demanding something other than food, she will keep demanding it until that need is met. [...]

This is awesome. I often post a link to the Jan Hunt article as a great definition of what AP is (e.g. when people seem to think that it means only being physically attached to your child i.e. babywearing, or some other check list of "thou shalts"), but I think I'll be sharing this from now on instead.

As someone who doesn't tend to label herself, I would say yes, I tend toward AP, but I also use(d) cribs, strollers, routine and am NOT AT ALL offended by this post. I know that many things that are fine in moderation can be misused, and I always try to consider what is best for my children when I make a decision, to do things with them instead of to them, treat them with love and respect, and don't push them into things they aren't ready for to suit myself. So far, so good.

March 12, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterAndrea

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