Attachment parenting; What is it and Is it for you?

The theory behind is that the bond will result in a healthy and well-adjusted adult in the years to come.

Attachment parenting aims to promote a strong connection between baby and their parent. The theory behind is that the bond will result in a healthy and well-adjusted adult in the years to come. The emphasis is on, not a set of rules but rather raising kids to meet their emotional and physical needs. Attachment parenting goes back to the 1970’s only with a 21st century twist. Mothers are urged to trust in their own gut instinct rather than the advice of professionals and shun normal parenting advice like sleep training or vaccinations for instance. Where most parents are encouraged to fit their baby into their schedule and work around themselves with attachment parenting they are baby demand led, ultimately their baby’s needs dictates everything they do or when they do it. 
Attachment parenting would mean doing several things like…
  • Co-Sleeping which refers to sleeping near their child, this can be by being in the same room or some bring their baby into their own marital bed which can be helpful for mothers who are breast feeding but it is not advised by professionals. *It is advised that before you decide on your child’s sleeping arrangements that you seek advice from a doctor or health nurse. 
  • Provide constant loving care to their baby and minimise the amount of non-parental care as much as possible. It is encouraged that once your child is awake they should give them their full attention. 
  • Use a baby sling to keep their child closer than the regular buggy 
  • Extended breast feeding and feeding on demand are the normal practices of attachment parenting. Feeding is not only seen as nutritional but as a show of love and a chance to be affectionate with their child. 
  • Strive for balance in their personal and family life, ensure that everyone’s needs and not just those of their baby’s are met 
  • Practice positive discipline and teach their child how to treat others in the way they would like to be treated. Avoid using fear as punishment or the way to prevent their child misbehaving. Disrupt their child to guide them away from harm. Use techniques such as prevention, distraction and substitution to gently guide them away. Use affection to manage their child’s emotions and teaching them how to develop a conscience so they avoid bad behaviour by being compassionate and considerate. A parent’s role in dealing with tantrums is to not get angry or punish but instead to comfort and help their child cope with these situations better. 
  • Nurture their child by being affectionate and close by always. This will help their baby feel secure and it is said that babies who are nurturing touched have improved intellectual and motor development. Not only that but they tend to gain weight faster, cry less and are a lot calmer than children raised in a non-attachment parenting style. 
Many people are unaware of attachment parenting and while it may not be for everyone it does have huge advantages for those who may want to try it out and use its techniques. 

Written by Emma Hayes, staff writer at Family Friendly HQ

Emma Hayes

Emma Hayes is a busy mum to two girls aged 17 and 11 and is married to her childhood sweetheart.

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