Attachment parenting is a style of parenting that helps promote bonding and closeness between child and parent. While there may be medical or family circumstances why you are unable to practice all of the principles of Attachment parenting, they can serve as a basis to develop your own unique style of Attachment parenting. Attachment parenting implies first, opening your mind and heart to the individual needs of your baby, and then eventually developing the wisdom on how to make on-the-spot decisions on what works best for both you and your baby. These principles of Attachment parenting can help parents and baby get off to the right start. Keep in mind that Attachment parenting is an approach, rather than a strict set of rules. It is actually the style of parenting that many parents use instinctively. Parenting is too individual and babies are too complex for there to be only one way. Attachment parenting advocates that once connected, parents should stick with what is working and modify what is not. Attachment parenting is responsive parenting. By parents becoming sensitive to the cues of their infant, you will learn to read your baby’s level of need. In response, your baby then trusts that his needs will be met and his language listened to.
Dr. Sears’ theory of attachment parenting promotes these eight principles in an attempt to foster a secure bond with their children. These principles are promoted as goals for parents to strive for. These are the eight principles of Attachment parenting-
1.Preparation for Pregnancy, Birth and Parenting-This principle involves the education and preparation of the parents for the pregnancy, birth process and resultant parenting.
2.Feed with Love and Respect-Attachment parenting promotes the use of breast feeding as the primary method of feeding for the infant. This is thought to increase the bonding and sensitivity in the relationship between mother and child.
3.Respond with Sensitivity-This principle is used to encourage parents to respond with care and sensitivity to their infant’s needs. Proponents of Attachment parenting feel that by responding to the infant’s needs the infant comes to realize that the caregiver can be depended on and thus forms a secure bond.
4.Use Nurturing Touch-This principle encourages parents and other caregivers to use touch to communicate affection and security. This principle encourages the use of baby wearing. Baby wearing is where the caregiver wears the baby in a sling in order to foster touch and connection during the baby’s waking hours.
5.Engage in Nighttime Parenting-This principle encompasses the use of co-sleeping. Proponents of co-sleeping feel that the baby is able to have less fear upon waking, is able to nurse easier and develops a more secure connection with it’s parents since touch is continued during the nighttime hours.
6.Provide Consistent Loving Care-This principle demonstrates the need for consistency in a baby’s life. By having loving and consistent care the baby begins to see the world around it as a secure and loving place that enables the baby to form loving and secure attachments with caregivers. In addition, proponents of attachment parenting try to arrange consistent caregiving for their baby for times when they are not available.
7.Practice Positive Discipline-Attachment parenting means a positive approach to discipline that encourages the child to continue with positive behaviors rather than focusing mainly on negative behaviors. Since the child receives positive discipline and boundaries they are less inclined to continue with negative behaviors.
8.Strive for Balance in Personal and Family Life-Parents practicing Attachment parenting work to find a balance between the needs of their baby and their own needs whether personal, work or social. They use this principle to help them know when to say yes and when to say no while still maintaining their role as parents and caregivers as a priority.