Natural Parenting: Attachment parenting

There is much to be said on the subject of attachment parenting, whether it’s a good thing or bad to have your kids attached at the hip to momma. In my case I had 2 completely different children and with our second, attachment parenting was the way to go. While my daughter was always a well independent child, my son was just the opposite. I didn’t want to give in to his constant crying every time for fear of spoiling him, but this a common myth that has been bred into us by our ancestors.

Attachment Parenting Concepts

These are the basic principles which attachment parenting is based upon.

  • Breastfeeding – nurturing your baby with love and understanding while feeding promotes a secure bond and attachment to mom, which is best created through nursing. It is also encouraged to feed on demand per your baby’s cues rather than on a set schedule.
  • Sensitivity- parents that follow attachment parenting principles show sensitivity and respond calmly to their child’s needs even if tantrums are involved. Attached parents understand all attempts of expressing emotion by their child and acknowledge them rather than punishment.
  • Nurturing touch – advocates of attachment parenting strongly support the nurturing touch of skin-to-skin contact commonly achieved through breastfeeding, baby-wearing and joint baths.
  • Co-sleeping – parents that practice the attachment lifestyle have their babies co-sleeping in the same room or even in the same bed with them. This allows parents to respond to their baby’s needs promptly during the night and gives babies a better sense of security. Caution is advised for safety measures when it comes to bed-sharing, however, to prevent the risk of SIDS.
  • Parent-provided care – attached parents advocate a closeness to their children in providing care to them with minimal time away from their kids (meaning childcare from someone other than a parent for no more than 20 hours a week) Attachment parenting is generally associated with at least one parent staying home with the child for the first 2-3 years.
  • Demonstrating Positive Discipline – parents are encouraged to model proper behavior in their children by reinforcing positive discipline. Rather than spanking or punishment attached parents seek to work out a solution to even the youngest of children’s bad behavior by distraction, redirection and guidance.

Rather than spoiling a child, nurturing their needs actually helps to develop an independent, empathetic child with better self-confidence. Studies have actually proven that meeting a baby’s demands promptly rather than allowing them to cry it out helps promote healthy independence and self-confidence later in life.  Now, children will have different needs. Like any parent, I always sought a strong emotional bond with my children. My first was always pretty content. She had no issues with separation anxiety and always played quite well on her own. My son, on the other hand, craved to be held all the time. That’s where baby-wearing came into play (carrying your child in a sling or carrier with you) It came as a surprise when, while out on a shopping trip with my son, I noticed MANY other mommies baby-wearing also. Apparently, it’s becoming quite the trend these days.

So I did a poll on a group of stay-at-home moms and asked if they practiced attachment parenting concepts. Here were the results:

41% said absolutely

38% reported they practiced it to some degree

21% said it was not the parenting lifestyle choice for them.

Upon my survey, I realized it’s a bit of sensitive subject. While some parents chose this lifestyle choice without hesitation, others question its effectiveness in raising their children. It’s a personal choice that isn’t mutually shared by all. Everyone has their preference in their style of parenting.

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