Are you considering Attachment Parenting for your baby? This style of parenting is quite a hot topic lately, with varying opinions. Whether you approve or disapprove, the most important thing is that you find a style of parenting that suits both you and your baby.
Although it may seem that Attachment Parenting is the newest trend, it is, in fact, older than we are. Since the beginning of time, mothers have been caring for their infants in this way. As society developed and we became busier, we opted for other versions of infant care that better suited our life’s needs. And with so much advice on how to parent, it is hard to know what works best. Therefore, trial-and-error is often the way parents come to their own conclusions as to which approach best fits their family lifestyles.
Proponents of Attachment Parenting believe that it is important to stick with what is most natural for both the baby and the mother. They support the nurturing connection that is the basis of this style and feel it is important to follow biological and intuitive care-giving behaviors. This philosophy involves responding to the baby’s needs, which in infancy means staying in close proximity to the parent. This nearness allows the baby to understand that his or her caretakers are reliable and protective. Therefore, the baby will build an internal sense of safety and security necessary for meeting the next developmental stages.
Common principles of attachment parenting are staying positive throughout pregnancy, listening to feeding cues of infants (breastfeeding is recommended and bottle-nursing is suggested for those who do not breastfeed), responding to all emotions with sensitivity, using nurturing touch (skin to skin, baths, baby-wearing), engage in nighttime parenting (co-sleeping), positive discipline (redirect, positive modeling, finding solutions), and striving for balance in personal and family life (prevent parent burnout.)
Research has shown that a proper attachment between baby and caregiver is absolutely vital in order for the baby to experience healthy growth and development. Attachment Parenting is a style of parenting that involves meeting the individual needs of the baby. This form of nurturing is considered an ideal way to raise secure, independent, and empathetic children. The belief is that a secure, trusting attachment to parents during childhood will form the basis for secure relationships and independence as adults.
In addition, Attachment Parenting has a solid theoretical basis in the attachment theory, which is one of the most widely-accepted theories of personality-social development in all of psychology. Over the past 30-plus years, attachment theory has become the main focus of extensive research on relationships, healthy personality, and social and occupational development. In fact, couples therapy, which is based on attachment theory, is shown to be very effective in helping people repair damaged relationships.
Our instincts have been telling us how to meet the needs of our babies for a very long time, even when we haven't understood how or why. The main goal of parenting is for parents to follow their instincts and provide an infant with an internal security that is necessary for healthy development. The choice of parenting style is a decision to be made by the parents. I firmly believe that as long as the infant feels love and security, the details are personal parental choices.
Contact me today to schedule an appointment for Attachment Parenting counseling in my Longmont or Boulder, Colorado, office.