What Is Attachment Parenting?

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Category | BABY

Image by the attachedmother

We are sure you’ve all heard that term floating around one place or another. The definition of it may differ however as we all have our own personal views of what an attached parent really is to us. Everyone has different views on the subject and frankly we believe we should all be clear on the matter so let’s get this straight. What exactly is an attached parent?

There are some interesting theories out there, but did you know that extensive studies and research has gone into the attached parenting philosophy? Here are the basics of attached parenting, all of which have been directly copied from the principles set out by Attachment Parenting International (www.attachmentparenting.org). The overarching philosophy is that attached parenting “helps a child develop a conscience guided by his own internal discipline and compassion for others. Positive discipline is rooted in a secure, trusting, connected relationship between parent and child”. Read more about the philosophy at www.attachmentparenting.org. Here are the 8 principles of attached parenting copied directly from the website:

Prepare for Pregnancy, Birth, and Parenting

Become emotionally and physically prepared for pregnancy and birth. Research available options for healthcare providers and birthing environments, and become informed about routine newborn care. Continuously educate yourself about developmental stages of childhood, setting realistic expectations and remaining flexible.

Feed with Love and Respect

Breastfeeding is the optimal way to satisfy an infant’s nutritional and emotional needs. “Bottle Nursing” adapts breastfeeding behaviors to bottle-feeding to help initiate a secure attachment. Follow the feeding cues for both infants and children, encouraging them to eat when they are hungry and stop when they are full. Offer healthy food choices and model healthy eating behavior.

Respond with Sensitivity

Build the foundation of trust and empathy beginning in infancy. Tune in to what your child is communicating to you, then respond consistently and appropriately. Babies cannot be expected to self-soothe, they need calm, loving, empathetic parents to help them learn to regulate their emotions. Respond sensitively to a child who is hurting or expressing strong emotion, and share in their joy.

Image by verywell.com

Use Nurturing Touch

Touch meets a baby’s needs for physical contact, affection, security, stimulation, and movement. Skin-to-skin contact is especially effective, such as during breastfeeding, bathing, or massage. Carrying or babywearing also meets this need while on the go. Hugs, snuggling, back rubs, massage, and physical play help meet this need in older children.

Ensure Safe Sleep, Physically and Emotionally

Babies and children have needs at night just as they do during the day; from hunger, loneliness, and fear, to feeling too hot or too cold. They rely on parents to soothe them and help them regulate their intense emotions. Sleep training techniques can have detrimental physiological and psychological effects. Safe co-sleeping has benefits to both babies and parents.

Provide Consistent and Loving Care

Babies and young children have an intense need for the physical presence of a consistent, loving, responsive caregiver: ideally a parent. If it becomes necessary, choose an alternate caregiver who has formed a bond with the child and who cares for him in a way that strengthens the attachment relationship. Keep schedules flexible, and minimize stress and fear during short separations.

Practice Positive Discipline

Positive discipline helps a child develop a conscience guided by his own internal discipline and compassion for others. Discipline that is empathetic, loving, and respectful strengthens the connection between parent and child. Rather than reacting to behavior, discover the needs leading to the behavior. Communicate and craft solutions together while keeping everyone’s dignity intact.

Strive for Balance in Your Personal and Family Life

It is easier to be emotionally responsive when you feel in balance. Create a support network, set realistic goals, put people before things, and don’t be afraid to say “no”. Recognize individual needs within the family and meet them to the greatest extent possible without compromising your physical and emotional health. Be creative, have fun with parenting, and take time to care for yourself.

Now you have the definition of what attached parenting is. Do you practice any of these at home without realizing you are actually considered an attached parent? Perhaps you can incorporate some of these principles into your life to see what kind of results you will achieve.

Try some of these great baby products to enhance your parent-child bond through a positive and consistent bath/bedtime routine:

Advanced Baby Healing Ointment, Walgreens.com for $6.99

CVS Health Baby Lotion, CVS.com for $2.72

Equate Pure Cornstarch Baby Powder, Walmart.com

We wish you all the best in your parenting journey and much respect to all. For more mommy tips & tricks visit The Savvy Beauty.