Attachment parenting is a practice that encourages peaceful discipline, a high degree of respect and a strong emotional bond between parent and child. It’s claimed that the practice can help children build self-esteem and go on to seek out healthier relationships with their peers. An important aspect of the philosophy is the idea that what works for one family will not necessarily work for another. Therefore, attachment parents are encouraged to change things as needed.
What Are Some of the Main Principles of Attachment Parenting?
- Always make informed decisions and often seek advice and information from a number of different avenues to ensure the best for their children.
- Avoid violent or aggressive disciplinary techniques.
- Tend to their children’s emotional, nutritional and disciplinary needs with a sense of urgency.
- Seek balance between their responsibilities and personal needs.
- Create a united front when it comes to raising their children by ensuring all parents, grandparents and other authority figures are on the same page.
- Look for opportunities to feel close with their children both physically and emotionally.
How Can You Incorporate Common Attachment-Parenting Practices Into Your Routine?
Although every family practices attachment parenting in its own unique way, there are a few techniques that are popular within the movement.
Many attachment parents believe that sleeping next to your children encourages bonding and an increased intuitive connection between parent and child. If you aren’t comfortable allowing your children to sleep in your bed each night, try joining them for a nap a few times each week.
Children need to feel loving touch from their parents, and it’s believed that leaving them in playpens, cribs, strollers or car seats for too long can result in a feeling of isolation and abandonment. Even if you don’t purchase a baby sling, you can still try holding your baby a bit more throughout the day. If it makes you both feel good, keep doing it!
There are many benefits of breastfeeding, including a decreased risk of childhood allergies, protection against diabetes, individualized nutrition, protection against SIDS and much more. Attachment parents also believe that feeding on demand deepens the bond between mother and child.
If, for whatever reason, you can’t breastfeed, you might want to consider bottle nursing, a practice that involves paying attention to feeding cues and adapting breastfeeding behaviors for the bottle.
Only you can decide if using attachment parenting as your main approach is the right move for your family, but you can always begin by incorporating some concepts into your existing routines. From there, you will be able to figure out what works best for your children.