What is Attachment Parenting?

what-is-attachment-parenting

If you are pregnant or a new parent, you may have heard people talking about attachment parenting and you want to know what it’s about. You could think of it as “bonds”. The bonds you create with your children strongly affect their socio-emotional development.  That’s a fancy way of describing the way your children will come to deal with obstacles and issues that will arise throughout their entire lives.

Attachment parenting is an aspect of developmental psychology, coined by pediatrician William Sears to improve mental and emotional bonds between parent and child.  Emotionally available parenting helps children secure a positive outlook on attachment that is both healthy and beneficial.  The aim of attachment parenting is to minimize insecurity and maximize a child’s confidence.  So, how do you get started?

Generally, there are seven essentials to attachment parenting:

1. Birth Bonding– The first few hours after your child comes into this world are vital to development.  If your child is in the hands of a nurse or doctor during those hours a foundry is created.  You need to be the first embrace your child experiences.

2. The Value of Your Child’s Cry– It is difficult to know exactly what is upsetting baby, but parents who take the time to learn what cries correlate with what needs can save you and your child stress.  If you understand your child’s cries and signals you can respond quickly and appropriately to their needs, minimizing stress on you and your child.

3. Breastfeeding– Breastfeeding has physical and psychological advantages to both mother and child.  It creates a routine schedule for mother and child to bond and supplies your child with essential enzymes, made by you- not some company who knows nothing about either of you. Breast milk provides everything your child needs and is ingested easier than formula.  Not to mention it burns calories and saves you many trips to the store.

4. Babywearing– Carrying your child close to your body puts the two of you in sync with one another.  The child is able to feel your heartbeat and begins to identify your arms as a safe place to be.

5. Sleeping in the Same Room–  The first few years of childhood aren’t just scary for you- it’s scary for your child, too.  Sleeping in the same room as your child allows you to respond quickly to midnight cries and assures your child they will never be left to fend for themselves.  Imagine you’re an infant, how scared would you be if you awoke upset, unable to communicate, and alone?

6. Boundaries and Balance–  Of course parents want to be there for the children whenever they need and though you should be there, you shouldn’t let bad habits develop.  No how to convey ‘no’ in a constructive manner, as saying ‘yes’ to every whim can create reactive temperament disorders in your child.

7. Say No to Baby Trainers– Plenty of resources advertise they have the best methods for raising your child.  Articles frequently headline solutions to help baby sleep longer and cry less.  Ignore these claims.  Only you know your child and his or her needs.  Use your intuition and instinct to respond to your children.

These aspects combined with consistency and modification, create a relationship between you and your child that is lucrative to their future success.  Attachment parenting is a loose method that allows parents to create a way of parenting that is catered to their child and their specific needs.  If you could make growing up easier for your kid, wouldn’t you?

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