Attachment Parenting is a term coined by world famous pediatrician, Dr. William Sears. Basically, it is a parenting philosophy of nurturing and responding to your baby. This involves both mental and physical closeness to your child at all times (hence the “attachment” part). A Google search for “Dr. Sears” or “Attachment Parenting” will reveal quite a large subculture of AP-related sites, books, and products (such as baby slings and bedside co-sleepers).
A mother-to-be would really benefit from looking into this subject. Yes, mothering and nurturing come naturally, but modern society influences us to ignore some of these natural instincts. For example: it is a modern, western practice to place baby in his own bed, in his own room, far away from parents so they can get a long night’s sleep. AP submits that this is a selfish arrangement on the parents’ behalf.
Little did I know, until my son was a few months old, that I was a practicing Attachment Parent! I had never even heard of AP before…just thought I was overprotective. Or, at least, that’s what people had convinced me of. They told me I was holding him too much, picking him up too quickly when he cries, that I should nurse on a schedule, and that I should never share a bed with him! I ignored these comments, as I was only doing what felt natural to me.
“Crying it out” is a phrase we will never use in our house. I felt so lucky to discover Dr. Sears’ information on responding to your baby’s cues. I now know there are many of us out there. My son and I are inseparable and I wouldn’t have it any other way. So many people comment on how healthy he looks, how well mannered he is for an infant, and I really feel it’s due to AP.
The 8 ideals of Dr. Sears’ Attachment Parenting:
Preparation for Childbirth
Breastfeed your Baby
Shared sleep and Safe Sleeping Guidelines
Avoid frequent and prolonged separations from your baby
Maintain balance in your family life