Are you a mom (or soon to be mom), wanting to learn about diverse styles of parenting (techniques) when rearing kid(s)? As a mom of two, let me tell you, there’s so much information out there, it can become seemingly overwhelming to say the less! As we progress in the world, more information becomes available. With the help of social media, the information becomes available rather quickly. So, another parenting style or technique to add to the list of research is attachment parenting.
This parenting technique can be classified as an authoritative parenting style, as it’s core parenting value promotes- nurturing, responsive, and supportive. Another parenting technique, with shared value is gentle parenting. Both technique are designed to help parents with various ways of parenting in order to raise happy, healthy, independent emotionally conscious, thinking children.
But before we dive in, let’s get more background information on attachment parenting.
What is Attachment Parenting
The term attachment parenting was coined by the American pediatrician William Sears. This parenting technique, promotes the attachment of parent and infant with parental empathy, responsiveness, bodily closeness and touch.
Attachment Parenting Style has direct correlation to the Attachment Theory, which was developed by psychiatrist and psychologist John Bowlby in 1969. Later, it was categorized by developmental psychologist, Mary Ainsworth, into four different attachment styles – secure, avoidant, resistant, and disorganized attachment.
Attachment Parenting vs Gentle Parenting
The Attachment Parenting approach is centered around a parent’s responsiveness and closeness to their baby/child in order to feel secure and confident in their parent/caretaker responding to their need(s). Examples of this are listed in the 7 B’s of attachment parenting:
birth bonding– Bonding with your baby through the birthing experience.
breastfeeding– Using this time to connect and bond/ exchanging good energy.
baby-wearing– Physical attachment, promoting skin-to-skin or bonded contact.
bedding close to the baby– Co-sleeping, sleeping in the same bed/environment.
belief in the baby’s cry– Responding to every cry, as it’s baby’s way to communicate.
balance– Fitting yourself in and taking a break
beware of baby trainers– Focusing on your own motherly instincts and not others.
Gentle Parenting is centered around empathy and respect for child and parent. It’s parenting approach, also promotes results for confident and secure children, but is often time seen as an approach to positive response during discipline.
It’s philosophy is respecting a child as human with feelings and respect, despite age. This is used from young age to adulthood, fostering a emotional consciousness, relationship building, self expression, etc.
While both parenting approaches promote similar outcomes, the principles to which they follow for outcome are very different.
Attachment Parenting Pros and Cons
Like anything, there’s pros and cons to every situation. Therefore, it’s best to research and and determine what aligns best with you beliefs and goals.
As a mom, here’s my listed pros and cons when it comes to Attachment Parenting:
It promotes mother/child bonding
It’s designed to help children feel comfortable
The nurturing aspect caters to the child’s needs
Promotes you to rely on motherly instinct
Co-dependency between parent and child
It can establish unhealthy relationship dynamics
Lack of boundaries and time for self
Attachment Parenting Sleep
Within the world of attachment parenting, attachment parenting sleep promotes co-sleeping. It is said that Sears references the sleeping nature of the early world’s ancestors, when there was no sleep separation between parent and child. Both slept in the same area and it was apart of nature.
Co-sleeping had it’s own pros and cons and should be researched to understand it’s full impact on child and mom (parents).
Based on my personal experience, I’m not a fan of this promoted sleeping method although I do practice it. I find that it doesn’t provide my children additional benefits; and it created unhealthy sleeping patterns for my entire family; and is a parenting regret of mines. However, my family practicing co-sleeping wasn’t due to this parenting style; it was an attempt to get more sleep (at the time) throughout the night (EPIC FAIL) and observe the health issues of my child.
FAQ’s Related to Attachment Parenting
What are examples of attachment parenting?
Some examples of attachment parenting are: responding to your child’s cry, extended/on-demand breast feeding on demand, sleeping near or with your child, carrying/holding child when soothing.
What are the 7 B’s of attachment parenting?
Birth bonding, breastfeeding, baby-wearing, bedding close to the baby, belief in the baby’s cry, balance, beware of baby trainers. For explanations, please refer to the Attachment Parenting vs Gentle Parenting section above.
Is attachment parenting the same as gentle parenting?
No. Although they display similar characteristics, like empathy, there principles and approach to respond to your child’s needs is different.
How long does attachment parenting last?
Attachment Parenting is said to be most critical from birth to six weeks of life. However, it’s expected to be a life long technique between parent and child.
5 Things To Consider Before Adapting A Parenting Style/Technique
Does this parenting technique support your life style? An environment that allows you to be consistent and commitment to your parenting beliefs.
Can this parenting technique help you achieve your parenting goals/relationships for your children? It supports who you desire to be as a parent and the relationship you want to build with your child.
Does this parenting technique have enough provided research to support what you desire to achieve? The research shows a positive outcome with developmental characteristics you want your kids to display.
What daily practices are you adapting in order to maintain and encourage this parenting techniques? Practices and routines you will do in order to establish the principles associated with the parenting technique.
Have you found a support groups to help your parenting technique choices, should you need more information/community resources? Who can you contact for advice, support, resources in order to support you through this process, etc.
Last Thing About Attachment Parenting
Attachment parenting is not a technique for every family. However, if you determine this could benefit your child, then I encourage you to try this parenting technique. This motherhood journey is full of uncertainty and there’s no one size fits all. You may have to go through trial and error in order to determine what best fits your family. This parenting technique promotes trusting your instincts as a mom which, is what you should rely on when making the best decision for you and your child.
Which ever parenting technique you decide, commit to doing research and determine the end goal you desire to accomplish. As that’s what you will need to rely on during the seemingly impossible moments of motherhood.