What is it?
Attachment parenting is a parenting philosophy that proposes methods which aim to promote the attachment of parent and infant by being responsive to the emotions of your child and encourages closeness.
The 4 principals of Attachment parenting
- Co-sleeping – either in the same room as parents or (with appropriate safety precautions) in the same bed. This may involve having bedtime occur on the child’s, not the parent’s, schedule.
- Feeding on demand – allowing the child to set the timing of feeding (whether breast- or bottle-fed), along with self-weaning/ partial self-weaning.
- Holding and touching – keeping the child physically near, whether through cuddling and cradling, following near once child becomes mobile or by wearing on a front- or backpack arrangement.
- Responsiveness to crying – not letting the child “cry it out,” but instead intervening early in the crying bout, reacting to the child’s distress before it gets out of control.
Finding a balance
Attachment parenting is looked down upon because people believe it is draining on the mother/ father/ care giver, however attachment parenting encourages a sense of balance. Staying responsive with your child helps create a knowledge of what your child needs, taking the guessing game away on why they are upset. This gives you a better peace of mind and time for other things. Creating a balance of self- care and infant care helps create a better sense mind and make both parent and infant calmer and happier.
Many people also believe attachment parenting leads to spoiled children, since the children don’t learn to “cry it out” and are held a lot. However as the child becomes more mobile they will become more independent. Several decades of longitudinal and brain research have proven that humans’ optimal physical, mental and emotional development depends on meeting the infant’s instinctive relationship needs. For instance, brain research indicates that the ability to self-soothe and manage anxiety later in life originates in having been reliably soothed as an infant.
As children get older their needs change and so should parenting. They want to be more independent and parents should adjust to let them a have independence, while still making sure they behave and don’t get injured. Letting your child still feel connected to you, while still allowing them to adventure will keep them from being rebellious and out of control toddlers. Some parents struggle not to “over parent”, a good parent is knowing when to keep our hands off and let him stumble, also when to set a firm limit and let him understand it is okay to be upset or unhappy.
What I do
I do attachment parenting by breast feeding on demand. I baby wear, however we do try to use the stroller. he doesn’t like to use the stroller when a lot of people are around him because he gets over whelmed and can’t see mommy, so he wants held. The cry it out method has never worked with my son, we have tried it several times. When he is upset he wants to be cuddled and will keep screaming until he is held or nursing. My son is starting to crawl and learning to walk, so I giving him more time not being held. He doesn’t like when I leave the room, he follows me and if he can’t get to me he will scream cry until I come back. He does prefer to sleep in my arms for naps, but I can lay him in his boppy pillow as well.