Attachment Parenting is a highly responsive, attentive style of caring which creates a strong emotional bond with parents during childhood. This form of care and attachment is a precursor of secure, empathic relationships in adulthood.
The term was conceived by pediatrician William Sears and his wife Martha, to describe a style of parenting which promotes physical and emotional closeness between parent and child through what they refer to as the "Baby Bs" - bonding, breastfeeding, babywearing, bedsharing and boundary building.
Why should I be aware of this?
All the Baby Bs help promote a trusting, intuitive parent-baby relationship. The physical and emotional closeness makes it easier to know and appropriately respond to the baby's needs. Holding the baby in the early sensitive weeks fosters bonding. Breastfeeding enhances the mother's natural instincts to respond to her baby through physical closeness. Babywearing and bedsharing with parents provide additional opportunities for closeness.
The Baby B's should not be treated as a set of rules but can be individualized for each family and parenting situation.
How does this affect me?
There are many variations to the Baby Bs approach. Attachment parenting is about knowing our baby and responding to what our instincts and knowledge tell us is right. What Dr. Sears has provided are recommendations on ways to help us get to know our baby better. There are as many variations on the methods of implementing attachment parenting as there are parents and babies.
The style is what many parents use instinctively. There can be no set rules as parenting is too individual and baby too complex to follow only one way. The primary need is to get connected to the baby, and the baby B's of attachment parenting help. After connecting continue with all that works and modify that which doesn’t. This will help us develop our own parenting style.
All about Attachment Parenting
Attachment parenting is based on natural family living model. Natural birth, home parenting, breast feeding etc but there are no strict rules when it comes to attachment parenting. Parents are just required to be perceptive to there child's needs and always be supportive of their efforts, which include everything from schooling to social upbringing
According to attachment parenting proponents, fostering a secure attachment with children has a positive effective on their upbringing and eventual stability in adult hood.
There are eight basic principles to strive for, for successful parenting.
- adequate preparation for pregnancy, birth and eventual parenting,
- nurturing with love and respect. This shouls also include feeding and changing of diapers,
- being sensitive to their problems
- ensure their safety and making the home stress free
- using comforting and nurturing touch,
- being consistent in your love and not showing any resentment
- practising positive habits and inculcating the same in them
- making the family balanced in personal and familial relations.
What can I do?
- Attachment style parents understand the baby so intimately that they don’t depend on the clock or the calendar to carry out activities such as eating, sleeping, putting on the sitter etc. We can learn about their baby by keeping him close and devoting lots of time and attention to him.
- Do not believe the theory that responding to a baby's cries will "spoil" the baby. An infant's cry is a very powerful survival tool meant to elicit a response. Attachment style parents believe that responding to the infant's cry builds trust, teaches the parents to "listen" to their child, and is the first step in the development of good, parent-child communication.
- Understand that breastfeeding promotes a healthy immune system. Attachment parents believe that exclusive breastfeeding demonstrates the biological need of the infant to have almost continuous contact with his mother as a natural transition from life in the womb.
- To become an attachment parent it is important to understand that babywearing and bedsharing is a natural extension of meeting your baby's need for continuous close contact.
- Practice gentle discipline using age-appropriate expectations. For example, put breakables out of reach rather than trying to teach their toddler not to touch them. Attachment parents avoid corporal punishment and instead provide guidance, role modeling, rewards for good behavior, and gentle punishments such as timeouts or loss of privileges.
Practicing attachment styles of parenting actually makes women undergo chemical changes in their hormone prolactin, often called the "mothering hormone". This enhances a woman's ability to mother as well as create a feeling of calmness and well-being during trying times. This hormone when injected to male birds in experiment found them act like mothers.
Unrestricted breastfeeding, lots of skin-to-skin contact with the baby, and sleeping with the baby are factors which make the prolactin in women go up. Science is finally catching up with what intuitive mothers have known all long: Good things happen when mothers and babies spend more time with each other.
- What is attachment parenting?
- Attachment parenting and its contributing factors
- Attachment parenting index
- Attachment style parenting for a better world