If you were to ask three different attachment parenting moms to give their definition of attachment parenting you would most likely hear three different answers. How you choose to parent your child is not only a very personal choice but also a very “touchy” or sensitive subject as well.
No one wants to hear or be told that their choices are wrong in any way causing emotional harm to their children.
It is my opinion that there is no right or wrong way to practice attachment parenting. You take what works for you and your family or lifestyle, and leave what doesn’t.
So today I wanted to cover the seven core elements, or principles, of attachment parenting for you.
These principles are taken from Dr. Sears – The Baby Book, and are what he calls the 7 Baby B’s of Attachment Parenting.
“The way baby and parents get started with one another often sets the tone of how this early attachment unfolds…”
Belief in Your Baby’s Cries – Read & Respond to Your Baby’s Cues
“Pick up your baby when he cries. As simple as this sounds, there are many parents who have been told to let their babies cry it out, for the reason that they must not reward “bad” behavior. But newborns don’t misbehave; they communicate the only way nature allows them to.”
Breastfeed Your Baby
“The benefits of breastfeeding in enhancing baby’s health and development are enormous, but what is not fully appreciated are the magnificent effects of breastfeeding on the mother.”
Babywearing – Carry Your Baby a Lot
“It’s good for the baby, and it makes life easier for the mother”
Bedding Close to Baby
“Most babies the world over sleep with their parents. Even in our own culture more and more parents enjoy this sleeping arrangement – they just don’t tell their friends or relatives about it.”
Balance & Boundaries
“…how to be appropriately responsive to your baby, which means knowing when to say yes and when to say no, and also have the wisdom to say yes to your own needs. When mom and dad are doing well, baby will also do well.”
Beware of Baby Trainers
“Be prepared to be the target of well-meaning advisers who will shower you with detachment advice, such as: Let her cry it out, Get her on a schedule, You shouldn’t still be nursing her, and Don’t pick her up so much, you’re spoiling her. If carried to the extreme, baby training is a lose-lose situation”
Ultimately, there are three goals that Dr. Sears deems important for beginning parents:
- To know your child
- To help your child feel right
- To enjoy parenting
Attachment parenting is set up to help you achieve those goals, unfortunately our society is not. Typically, both parents need to work outside the home making it difficult to practice all elements of attachment parenting. I know that if I had to work a “9 to 5” kind of job that it would have been a real challenge for me to exclusively breastfeed my daughter the way I did.
So, do the best you can. I can say that many of the elements of attachment parenting, particularly birth bonding, belief in your baby’s cries, baby wearing and bedding close to baby help to make up for time apart for the working family and re-establish those important bonds.