Attachment Parenting Part 1 of 2

   Written by on January 22, 2015 at 2:57 pm

I have used this column for the past half year to introduce the principle of Gentle Parenting.  I hope you are feeling a little more confident that you understand a little better what it is about.  It seems to me to simply be about treating our children the way we want to be treated.

logo-wee-notesIt seems a good time to introduce the principle of Attachment Parenting.  It is a parenting philosophy based on attachment theory in developmental psychology whereby the child forms a strong emotional bond with caregivers during childhood that carries with it lifelong consequences.

Here, in a nutshell, are eight principles of Attachment Parenting:

PREPARE FOR PREGNANCY, BIRTH, AND PARENTING

Don’t let pregnancy be a “mistake”, a “surprise”, or an “ooops”.  You owe it to your baby to be prepared and joyful as you wait for his arrival.  Choose your healthcare provider carefully.  Consider what’s important to you regarding the birth.  Educate yourself about routine newborn care.  Know about developmental stages of infancy and early childhood.

FEED WITH LOVE AND RESPECT

Breastfeeding has been proven to be the optimal way to satisfy an infant’s nutritional and emotional needs.  Should you choose to bottle-feed, you can adapt breastfeeding behaviors in order to help initiate a secure attachment.  Encourage your baby to eat when he’s hungry and stop when he is full.  You will offer healthy food choices and model healthy eating behavior.

RESPOND WITH SENSITIVITY

Tune in to what your child’s behavior is telling you and respond consistently and appropriately.  Be sensitive to a hurting, or highly emotional child.  Share in his joy.  These suggestions will eventually lead to his learning to regulate his own emotions.

USE NURTURING TOUCH

Babies have a need for physical contact, affection, security, stimulation, and movement.  Skin-to-skin contact is especially important and can be used during breast or bottle-feeding, bathing, or massage.  Carrying or babywearing is another way to meet this need.  As he grows, hugs, snuggling, and back rubs will help meet this need.

As you can see, these principles are simply providing, consistently, what all babies need.  If you plan well for your baby and have a good support network, you will be more likely to do a good job of parenting your baby as well as feeling good about yourself and the job you are doing.  It’s a very important one, indeed.

Happy gentle attached parenting.  Feel good about your efforts on behalf of your child.

For more information on Attachment Parenting, go to the Attachment Parenting International website at  http://www.attachmentparenting.org/principles/principles

©2015 Brenda Holland-Robinson

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