is Attachment Parenting?
William Sears and his wife Martha Sears coined the term 'attachment
parenting' (AP). By definition you could call it instinctive,
responsive or natural parenting. Sears outlines eight basic ideals or
guidelines of attachment parenting:
Preparation for Childbirth-
Have a strong loving bond with your partner, take childbirth and
breastfeeding classes, prepare your mind, body and soul and be alert at
your child's birth. The fewer interventions there are the better.
Understanding and responding to you child's needs is the core of AP.
Your child's cries are his way of communicating a need or a stress.
Fall in love with your child; you can not 'spoil' him. A
are his wants; he’s not manipulating you by crying to get his
Breastfeed Your Baby-
Breastfeeding simplifies your life, fulfills your child's need for
nutrition and physical contact and provides countless health benefits
for mother and child. (I could devote all 2 gigs of my web space to
Babywearing and Nurturing Touch-
By holding or using a sling
that keeps your child close, you can meet his need for physical
contact, security, stimulation and movement; all of which promote
optimal brain development. Carried babies cry less, are smarter (higher
IQ) and develop strong bonds with their parents. Nurturing touch such
as infant massage is a wonderful way to calm your child.
Being responsive to your child at nighttime is imperative. Co-sleeping
or the 'family bed' is the best and safest way to take care of your
child's needs at night. This allows everyone to sleep well and sleep
more, establishes good breastfeeding habits and helps regulate infants
breathing, which reduces chances of SIDS. Children who are left to cry-it-out will suffer from failure to thrive and or infant shut-down syndrome.
Avoid Frequent or Prolonged Separation-
Your young child (infant to four year old) needs constant care and the
physical presences of a loving parent or consistent caregiver. Long or
frequent separation causes stress and grief in small children, which
can effect their attachment to parents. It is important, if you need
childcare, to avoid 'caregiver roulette', consistent one on one care is
necessary for strong attachments to form.
Use Positive Discipline-
Discipline means to teach. You should teach your child values such as
empathy, trust and self-guidance. A loving, supportive parent instills
trust in a child, who is then easier to teach. Know what to expect from
your child at his stage of development.
Maintain Balance In Your Family Life-
Make your child part of the family; involve even infants in daily life
activities and interactions of adults, they thrive on the stimulation
and feelings of belonging. Do not over schedule, make time to spend
with friends and other family members, take your child with you when
you go out and get support from friends, church or other organizations.
Other Useful and Informative Links About
Kidz Are People, Too!
Whatever Happened to Mother?
About Attachment Parenting
What AP is *not*
Natural Child Project
Breastfeeding and AP Twins
Babes in Arms
material in this website is provided for information purposes only.
This information is not a substitute for, medical diagnosis, medical
advice, or medical treatment prescription. Consult your health care
provider for more information. If you are in Pittsburgh and
midwife, send email to PghMidwife (at) naturalattachment.com