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Information on Attachment Parenting

What is Attachment Parenting?

Attachment parenting is a way of life! The main goal of attachment parenting is to create a close, loving, and understanding relationship with your child. Not everyone can be successful with every aspect of attachment parenting, but the more aspects you are successful with the better!

The benefits of attachment parenting are endless. An AP relationship enhances your child's development, sensitivity, and intelligence as well as their ability to love, trust, and be independent. You become closer and more in tune to your child through AP, therefore creating the closest relationship possible. The only ones that know what is best for our children are us -- the parents. That is what AP is all about: doing what is best for the child.

There are some main points to Attachment Parenting.  They are:


Breastfeeding (extended if possible)

Responding to Baby's Cues

The Family Bed or Shared Sleeping

Gentle Discipline


More on Babywearing:

How many times have you heard someone tell you not to hold your baby too much because he/she will be spoiled? Babywearing is an important part of bonding and getting to know your baby. It is disturbing to think that some people (including some in the medical community) think that a baby is better off in a swing or crib than a parent's loving arms. 

It is so comforting for the baby to be close to mommy or daddy in those first months. Baby wearing will allow you to hold the baby and still move around and do other activities such as tending to other children or household duties. Keeping baby close allows your baby to feel your warmth and your heartbeat, too, a sound that was his/her comfort in the womb. 

You will see one of the happiest and best behaved babies are the ones that get to stay closest to their parents! In most of the world, mothers carry their babies around full-time. Why not? It is certainly easier and more convenient. 

Slings are most convenient to wear your baby in. The sling is made to be used use from birth to 40 pounds (more or less, depending on the sling). There are numerous ways you can wear a sling depending on your child's age and what activity you are engaging in.

While wearing your baby in a sling, you can nurse on either side discretely and with little effort. Slings are great when your baby wants to nurse at the most inopportune times! Often, baby wants to be on the breast constantly during a growth spurt, and a sling allows you to move out and about while filling the needs of your baby. 

Babies have less of a need to cry when they are held. They are comforted at all times and are in the exact place they want to be. In essence, by wearing your baby you are remedying the problem of the baby needing to be comforted before it happens. What a concept! The sling + baby + parent = perfect harmony.

Slings or other babywearing devices are perfect for the "high needs" child since they are always up and moving around!

Here are some advantages to babywearing

1) A baby's spine is placed in a compromising position in many other carriers. When the infant is carried upright, it puts undue stress on the spine, which can cause a condition called spondylolisthesis and also inhibits developing curves in the spine.

2) The carrier allows an older baby (4+ months) to sit cross legged which distributes the weight evenly through his legs and hips. Upright carriers cut in to the child's leg circulation and also holds his legs apart in a bowlegged position which isn't the best for a soft and forming pelvis.

3) A sling parallels the womb experience. The baby gets motion, pressure, warmth, and sound similar to what he felt in the womb.

4) Wearing baby alleviates stress in the baby because he can see, feel and hear his caregiver. This creates a comfortable baby who cries a lot less!

5) Babies who are carried for long periods of time develop better neck and trunk tone.

6) A baby is unable to discharge his own energy laying on his back or inside a stroller. When carried in a sling, the baby shares all the walking, talking, working, laughing, playing and is able to discharge that energy in a pleasurable way.

7) A baby raised in a sling needs to be carried less when older than his counterpart who was reared with mechanical devices. This is because they are more self reliant and confident.

8) Older siblings are less jealous of a new baby when carried in a sling. This is because the sling enables mom to have her hands free to give attention to the other children.

9) Studies have shown that those deprived of touch have more difficulty coping with stress than those who are held. Babies who are carried experience less stress, because they are allowed to learn more, thrive better, develop their senses better and are overall more relaxed and secure.

10) The sling offers a simple but ultimately affective way to begin to reconnect with our babies and nurture them in a way that is simple but in the infant's eyes critical to their survival and their development.



What can I say, breast is best! We all know that!  Getting support before the birth of your child and after are of the utmost importance.  Surround yourself with supportive people and great resources.  Have a lactation consultant number handy in case you need help.  Join an online support group for further practical advice.  Don't assume breastfeeding will be natural, it does take work, but is worth it in the end!

Here are a summary of the main benefits of breastfeeding

Baby Benefits

Breastmilk is the most complete form of nourishment. 

Provides the baby with precious immunities to fight sickness and disease. 

Breastmilk protects against allergies. 

Breastfeeding provides comfort and security 

Breastfeeding helps baby bond with the mother. 

Breastmilk is easily digested. 

Breastmilk makes stool "sweet" smelling. 

Breastmilk helps prevent gas and colic. 

Through breastfeeding, baby develops a normal weight gain pattern which discourages obesity as a child and adult 


Mom Benefits

Nursing encourages the uterus to contract, therefore reducing it quickly to its pre-pregnancy size. 

Nursing burns calories and excess fat, helping you get back to your pre-pregnancy weight. 

Nursing greatly reduces your risk of contracting Breast Cancer before menopause. 

Nursing helps you bond with and fulfill your child's needs. 

Nursing delays the return of menstruation (no more cramps!). 

Nursing saves money because you don't have to buy formula. 

Breastmilk is always the right temperature and always available (less hassle). 


Responding to Baby's cues

Learning about your new baby is important! They are a new person, with feelings and thoughts.  By learning to understand them, you further your attachment to them!  Responding promptly to a baby's cues will not "spoil" them, it will prove to them that you are there, always will be, and that you love them unconditionally!

A baby doesn't cry without reason. Most of the time, the baby just needs to eat, be changed, or just held and loved. You may also find that your baby may just want to latch on and nurse for comfort. Many times in the early months, a baby may cry due to colic. Sometimes, in severe cases, no matter what you do, there is no consoling her for a period of time. However, this doesn't mean to shove her in a swing or in a crib. The best place for that baby to be is in a parent's loving, caring, and understanding arms.

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This site was last updated 02/27/04