Mother and Baby

What Is Attachment Parenting – Could It Work For You?

Want to raise your baby to be as close to you as possible but without a strict set of rules? Attachment parenting could be just the thing for you

You may have heard other mums talk about the pros and cons of attachment parenting and have no clue what they’re talking about or what it’s all about.

No, it doesn’t mean you have to sacrifice your sex life in order to let your baby sleep in your bed every night. In fact, it’s a parenting method that lets you decide what you want to take from it. Let us fill you in…

What is it?

Devised by paediatrician William Sears, attachment parenting involves responding to your baby’s needs and building strong bonds with her through physical closeness and trust. According to Sears’ theory, this mutual respect and love for one another has lifelong consequences.

‘It’s about modelling behaviour you wish to see and having respect, empathy and a desire for connection,’ says Michelle Mattesini, founder of Attachment Parenting UK. ‘It is about life-long relationship quality built on foundations of physical closeness and emotional understanding.’

It loosely follows the seven Bs:

  • Birth bonding
  • Breastfeeding
  • Baby wearing
  • Bed sharing
  • Belief in the language of your baby’s cry
  • Beware of baby trainers
  • Balance

But, you don’t have to do every one of the Bs. Instead, you can make it work around your schedule and pick the ones that suit you.

How does it work?

It’s not regimental and doesn’t demand that you stick to every little part of it. Think of it more as a set of guidelines that you can follow.

‘Attached families may enjoy the benefits of bedsharing, babywearing or breastfeeding but these are not essential – they simply support the ability to be a highly responsive parent,’ Michelle explains.

'The essential part of attachment parenting is a willingness to acknowledge our instinctive responses and not just our conditioned ones and to trust that our children are experts at communicating their needs in different ways,' explains Michelle. 'As children grow this requires more emotional investment but kindness and firmness are key to building a respectful, collaborative atmosphere in the home.'

And it involves some balance, too. ‘It’s about parental self-empathy and self-care and finding the support we all need when it matters most,’ says Michelle.

Could attachment parent work for you? Let us know below.

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