Attachment Parenting is often a hotly debating topic in mother’s groups, online support groups and basically all over the internet! A lot of people have a lot of strong opinions about it but you might be left wondering – what EXACTLY is attachment parenting?
What is Attachment Parenting?
At the very core of the philosophy of Attachment Parenting is the idea of closeness. This refers to both physical closeness (almost continuous touch) as well as a deeply connected, intuitive connection.
This thinking comes from the idea of a love-oriented idea of parenting where mother and child (or father and child!) are so closely and consistently connected that core biological needs (instead of socially ingrained ideas) are adhered to.
Attachment parenting is sometimes called ‘natural parenting’ or ‘instinctive parenting’ and maintains a firm focus on the development of the relationships between parent and child.
What are the basic principles of Attachment Parenting?
Attachment Parenting in its truest form can be understand as seven concepts that work together. These are known as the 7 Baby Bs.
- Birth bonding (baby is placed on mother directly after birth for skin-to-skin)
- Baby wearing
- Bedding close to baby (or co-sleeping safely)
- Belief that your baby’s cries indicate a need must be met
- Beware or wariness of the idea of sleep training, baby trainers or crying it out
Please note that you do not have to fully embrace all of these seven concepts to be considered an ‘attachment parent’. Your decision to not breast feed, or your inability to, does not preclude you from practicing attachment parenting.
What are the criticisms of Attachment Parenting?
As with any philosophy (particularly when it comes to the world of parenting!) there are critics.
Many of the issues that people have with Attachment Parenting stem from the idea that this sense of closeness may lead to social-emotional developmental difficulties. As no conclusive studies have been done to demonstrate this argument, it’s difficult to report on.
There is often competition between different parenting styles as people can become very defensive about their choices and worry that they are being negatively compared to others. Baby Hints and Tips encourages parents to parent THEIR way that works best for THEIR family and does not promote one particular philosophy over another.
Attachment Parenting – Yay or Nay?
Have you embraced Attachment Parenting? What have your experiences been? Would you recommend it to other parents? If you have older children – what observations could you make about how their current state may or may have been impacted by your use of attachment parenting? Let us know in the comments.
Attachment parenting compared to attachment theory, read all about it here.