There are different points of view concerning the definition of attachment parenting but overall this style of parenting involves a maximum amount of bonding and attention between the mother and her baby. One aspect of attachment parenting is the constant physical closeness with the baby and examples of this are breastfeeding and babywearing. Co-sleeping is also considered a part of attachment parenting.
Immediate response to baby's cries
Another part of attachment parenting is an immediate response to babies' cries. The theory is that as parents quickly and calmly respond to the baby's cries, they relieve the baby of further stress that might occur if the baby is left to cry for a long period of time. Some experts also say that immediate response to the baby's cries makes the baby feel secure and loved. This lays the foundation for the baby's desire for independence as he learns new skills.
Advantages of attachment parenting
One advantage of attachment parenting is that you learn to enjoy parenting. This especially happens as the baby responds to your love with smiles, coos and laughs. You also become sensitive to the baby's needs and in his own way, he expresses empathy and sensitivity toward you. Attachment parenting also helps babies enter the stage of independence in a healthy way because after a baby turns 1, he has a strong familiarity with his primary caregivers and it allows him to explore his world better.
I'm a working mom. How can I pull off attachment parenting successfully?
Working moms may not always be able to breastfeed on demand but there are other ways to do attachment parenting in this situation. They can wear their baby while doing chores around the house or going on errands. At night they can have their babies sleep in the bed with them while holding and rocking the babies to soft music. Working moms can also hold older babies by the hand to help them to walk.
Some drawbacks of attachment parenting
One disadvantage of attachment parenting is that it can be draining on the mother and her needs sometimes get put on the back burner. This causes frustration, anger and exhaustion for the mother. She can alleviate the problem by requesting help from her partner or other relatives from time to time. Another drawback is that the baby might become clingy. You can gradually introduce independent play to the baby so he can learn to entertain himself.
Where to get additional information on attachment parenting
Your pediatrician is an excellent source of information regarding attachment parenting. Talk to moms in your support group who practice this style and get suggestions on how to succeed at it. Online videos and parenting magazines help you understand attachment parenting better.
How to deal with criticism over attachment parenting
Attachment parenting is somewhat controversial and you might receive criticism for embracing it. Tell loved ones that while you appreciate their concerns, you believe that this is the best way to care for your baby. You can also discuss research concerning the benefits of attachment parenting.