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Attachment Parent & The 7 Baby "B's"

Posted by (Dawn) on Jul. 24, 2008 at 1:31 PM
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Attachment Parenting

According to The Baby Book by William and Martha Sears, there are three goals for new parents:

To know your child

To help your child feel right

To enjoy parenting

This is the concept of "attachment parenting."

The five tools of attachment parenting (again, according to the Sears') are:

Connect with your baby early

Take an active role in your birth

Educate yourself

Take advantage of early closeness

Read and respond to your baby's cues

Listen to your instincts

Be open and responsive

Pick up your baby when she cries

Meet your baby's needs without hesitation

Breastfeed your baby

Get support

Make breastfeeding a family affair--include dad

Wear your baby

Learn to use a sling

Carried babies cry less and develop better

Share sleep with your baby

Try different arrangements until you find what works for you

Try sleeping with your baby

Most important--get connected to your baby!! Then, do what works best for both
of you and change what doesn't until you find your own style.

Fathers are important too!

Its the father's job to nurture the mother so she can nurture the baby.

Breastfeeding is the only job a father can't do!

Attachment parenting promotes independence.

Infants who develop a secure attachment in the first year learn trust, and trust
fosters independence!

Attached parents ARE NOT:






Spoiling their child

Attached children:

Are better behaved

Develop better

Are more intelligent

Are more trusting

Learn language more easily

Establish healthy independence

Learn intimacy

Learn to give and receive love

Attached parents:

Are more confident

Are more sensitive

Can read their children's cues

Find discipline easier

Know their baby's preferences

Attached parents and babies:

Are mutually sensitive

Are mutually giving

Mutually shape behavior

Have mutual trust

Feel connected

Are more flexible

Have more lively interactions

Bring out the BEST in each other!!



Attachment parenting is a style of caring for your infant that brings out the best in the baby and the best in the parents.


1. Birth bonding

The way baby and parents get started with one another helps the early attachment unfold. The days and weeks after birth are a sensitive period in which mothers and babies are uniquely primed to want to be close to one another. A close attachment after birth and beyond allows the natural, biological attachment-promoting behaviors of the infant and the intuitive, biological, caregiving qualities of the mother to come together. Both members of this biological pair get off to the right start at a time when the infant is most needy and the mother is most ready to nurture (see Bonding)

"What if something happens to prevent our immediate bonding?"

Sometimes medical complications keep you and your baby apart for a while, but then catch-up bonding is what happens, starting as soon as possible. When the concept of bonding was first delivered onto the parenting scene twenty years ago, some people got it out of balance. The concept of human bonding being an absolute "critical period" or a "now-or-never" relationship was never intended. Birth bonding is not like instant glue that cements the mother-child relationship together forever. Bonding is a series of steps in your lifelong growing together with your child. Immediate bonding simply gives the parent- infant relationship a headstart. (See "Birth Bonding")

2. Breastfeeding

Breastfeeding is an exercise in babyreading. Breastfeeding helps you read your baby's cues, her body language, which is the first step in getting to know your baby. Breastfeeding gives baby and mother a smart start in life. Breastmilk contains unique brain-building nutrients that cannot be manufactured or bought. Breastfeeding promotes the right chemistry between mother and baby by stimulating your body to produce prolactin and oxytocin, hormones that give your mothering a boost.

3. Babywearing

A baby learns a lot in the arms of a busy caregiver. Carried babies fuss less and spend more time in the state of quiet alertness, the behavior state in which babies learn most about their environment. Babywearing improves the sensitivity of the parents. Because your baby is so close to you, you get to know baby better. Closeness promotes familiarity. (Click here for more information on Babywearing)

4. Bedding close to baby

Wherever all family members get the best night's sleep is the right arrangement for your individual family. Co-sleeping co-sleeping adds a nighttime touch that helps busy daytime parents reconnect with their infant at night. Since nighttime is scary time for little people, sleeping within close touching and nursing distance minimizes nighttime separation anxiety and helps baby learn that sleep is a pleasant state to enter and a fearless state to remain in.

5. Belief in the language value of your baby's cry

A baby's cry is a signal designed for the survival of the baby and the development of the parents. Responding sensitively to your baby's cries builds trust. Babies trust that their caregivers will be responsive to their needs. Parents gradually learn to trust in their ability to appropriately meet their baby's needs. This raises the parent-child communication level up a notch. Tiny babies cry to communicate, not to manipulate. (See Crying and Cry it Out)

6. Beware of Baby Trainers

Attachment parenting teaches you how to be discerning of advice, especially those rigid and extreme parenting styles that teach you to watch a clock or a schedule instead of your baby; you know, the cry-it-out crowd. This "convenience" parenting is a short-term gain, but a long-term loss, and is not a wise investment. These more restrained styles of parenting create a distance between you and your baby and keep you from becoming an expert in your child.

7. Balance

In your zeal to give so much to your baby, it's easy to neglect the needs of yourself and your marriage. As you will learn the key to putting balance in your parenting is being appropriately responsive to your baby – knowing when to say "yes" and when to say "no," and having the wisdom to say "yes" to yourself when you need help.


AP is a starter style. There may be medical or family circumstances why you are unable to practice all of these baby B's. Attachment parenting implies first opening your mind and heart to the individual needs of your baby, and eventually you will develop the wisdom on how to make on-the-spot decisions on what works best for both you and your baby. Do the best you can with the resources you have – that's all your child will ever expect of you. These baby B's help parents and baby get off to the right start. Use these as starter tips to work out your own parenting style – one that fits the individual needs of your child and your family. Attachment parenting helps you develop your own personal parenting style.

AP is an approach, rather than a strict set of rules. It's actually the style that many parents use instinctively. Parenting is too individual and baby too complex for there to be only one way. The important point is to get connected to your baby, and the baby B's of attachment parenting help. Once connected, stick with what is working and modify what is not. You will ultimately develop your own parenting style that helps parent and baby find a way to fit – the little word that so economically describes the relationship between parent and baby.

AP is responsive parenting. By becoming sensitive to the cues of your infant, you learn to read your baby's level of need. Because baby trusts that his needs will be met and his language listened to, the infant trusts in his ability to give cues. As a result, baby becomes a better cue-giver, parents become better cue-readers, and the whole parent-child communication network becomes easier.

AP is a tool. Tools are things you use to complete a job. The better the tools, the easier and the better you can do the job. Notice we use the term "tools" rather than "steps." With tools you can pick and choose which of those fit your personal parent-child relationship. Steps imply that you have to use all the steps to get the job done. Think of attachment parenting as connecting tools, interactions with your infant that help you and your child get connected. Once connected, the whole parent-child relationship (discipline, healthcare, and plain old having fun with your child) becomes more natural and enjoyable. Consider AP a discipline tool. The better you know your child, the more your child trusts you, and the more effective your discipline will be. You will find it easier to discipline your child and your child will be easier to discipline.



by on Jul. 24, 2008 at 1:31 PM
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Replies (1-8):
by on Jul. 24, 2008 at 1:53 PM

This is a great article! I am going to copy it into a journal if you don't mind. Thanks for posting this. This is what AP really is!

Lilypie Breastfeeding Ticker
neonds13 Dawn
by on Jul. 24, 2008 at 2:04 PM

Please feel free to use it in your journal.  I too, thought it was the best article I had seen on explaining AP and it's benefits.  I've posted this in quite a few groups for Moms to read.  Glad you liked it!!!!



by on Jul. 25, 2008 at 3:07 PM

Its the most natural way to raise a child.  It may not work for everyone, but not everyone is a good parent either.  Some people just look at raising a child as a burden.  To me, its a joy!!!

Follow me to Grateful Mommas! Where there are always "Strangers stopping strangers, just to shake their hands".

Xakana xak
by on Jul. 25, 2008 at 3:13 PM

Awesome post! Completely true and very thorough!

Mommom to Lilly, the most amazing little girl I've ever known, two lost and one on the way.
............................... ...

Admin: Love and Respect, No [hitting] No CIO and Alternatives to Mainstream Parenting
...................................Owner: Natural Babies due in January 2009

by on Aug. 11, 2008 at 9:41 PM

LOVE IT!!!! im a first time mom 1yr old babyboy... start think that I wanted to the whole, sleep at this time, feed at this time play at this time, sleep through the nite by 4 weeks.... no way i love my lil guy and started doing AP before I knew or read anything about it..... thank you for the article and everyone needs advice that isnt so old school sometimes like let em cry... i hate that one

by on Sep. 22, 2008 at 8:01 PM

Seems to me like attachment parenting is just good old-fashioned mothering! I know for myself, and lots of moms I've talked to, this is no mere parenting style to copy. We were just following our hearts and letting our babies let us know what they needed, and that is how we are breastfeeding, using slings, doing the family bed, and not making our kids cry it out or spanking them. I love being a full time wife and mom and taking care of my family!


by on Dec. 7, 2008 at 2:30 PM

This is a wonderful article, I have never heard of attachment parenting, but I am already practicing it, though with very little support. My family is very unsupportive, I am so glad to have a name to put to my parenting style and can't wait to show this to my family. Would it be ok to put this on my page? And I just want to say that I also really appreciate the mention at the bottom about medical reasons why one could not practice all 7, I had the worst birth experience ever with my first. I sailed thorough most of my pregnancy with someone I thought was a loving midwife, then the baby stopped growing and she sent my to see a doctor. This would not have been so bad had she come with me or at least continued to care for along with the doc, but this was not the case. he doc wanted to induce and so I was shipped to hospital and despite multiple calls to my midwife, she did not make it, I had a bad reaction to the drugs and was unconscienous and my husband under the the docs persistent preformed a c-section. It was my worst nightmare. I just had my second c-section which was not as bad as I found a lovely doc who allowed me to have my baby immediately following birth, but I feel like I have been denied what should have been the greatest moment of my life, and I can never have it back. But at least I know that I can do what is right for my children whenever the decision is mine to make.

I am a 25 year old proud chirstain, cosleeping, selective vaccinating, pro-life, breastfeeding, stay at home, can't wait for the next baby, Mommy!

neonds13 Dawn
by on Dec. 7, 2008 at 3:33 PM

You can certainly feel free to post this on your page!!!

Rock On A.P. Mama!!!!

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