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What is Attachment Parenting?Attached to mom

Have you, as a new parent, recently come across the term ‘attachment parenting’ and are not quite sure what it means? Rest assured, it’s not a far-out method of parenting only practiced, these days, by a small number of flower children wanna-be’s. In truth, attachment parenting methods are commonplace in an amazing number of households, today… probably more than we realize.

In a nutshell, attachment parenting is the method and means in which you choose to care for and raise your children in the manner most beneficial to all… bringing out the best in everyone involved.

Studies have shown that the overall quality of ongoing parent/child relationships have a great deal to do with parent/child bonding, especially during a child's first few months of life. 


The actual phrase, attachment parenting is the brainchild of Dr. William Sears, a prominent pediatrician, who has developed the Eight Ideals of Attachment Parenting, as well.

These ideals include: being completely prepared for childbirth, the ability to be emotionally responsive, breastfeeding your child, wearing your baby, shared sleeping habits, positive discipline, avoiding long periods of separation between parent and child and maintaining balance in regard to family life.

He believes that children thrive when they are given the opportunity to securely bond with their parents, in various ways. He, also, firmly believes that attachment is part of healthy childhood development.

Dr. Sears’ ideals are not set in stone. He encourages parents to be as creative as possible when attending to the needs of their children.  This certainly is attributed to the fact that, in today’s society, there are numerous views when it comes to the proper practice of attachment parenting.

Many families who practice attachment parenting methods also decide it is, indeed, in everyone’s best interest to live a more simple and natural way of life. Choosing alternatives such as natural childbirth, home births, homeschooling, stay at home parenting and organic gardening are not uncommon.

Parents who practice attachment parenting methods do not believe that their children cry, simply, as a means of manipulation. They believe that crying indicates the need for the alleviation of an emotional or The Attachment Parenting Bookphysical need.

In theory, as parents respond to these needs, both quickly and consistently, the children typically feel a great deal happier and grow more confident with each passing day.

This does NOT mean that parents who incorporate attachment parenting into their daily routines, allow the children to be the absolute center of things. Successful attachment parenting households are not child centered they are truly family centered, instead.

Remember, attachment parenting is, basically, a set of tools. By incorporating Dr. Sears’ ideals (tools) into your lifestyle, be it all eight or just a few, you are providing your child with many of the necessary elements he or she needs to grow into a healthy, happy adult. An adult who will probably adopt the same attachment parenting methods, for their own children, as well.

More resources:

The Attachment Parenting Book : A Commonsense Guide to Understanding and Nurturing Your Baby

The Discipline Book: How to Have a Better-Behaved Child From Birth to Age Ten

Attached Parenting Blog

Parenting Peacefully

When Your Parenting Style Goes Against the Grain


Peaceful & Attached Parenting Books: