What is attachment parenting?

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Attachment parenting is type of parenting philosophy or mentality developed by known pediatrician Dr. William Sears.  The basic concept of this parenting philosophy is that children who grow up being more “physically attached” to their parents or caregivers will create an emotional bond with them which is said to be helpful in terms of their social and emotional development.  By creating an emotional bond with babies and children as they grow up, these kids are said to be better off in terms of building relationships with other people later in life.  Through attachment parenting, children are said to grow up more emotionally and socially stable making them more understanding and compassionate towards other people.

Breastfeeding is a common hallmark of attachment parenting.  Through the physical closeness of the mother and the breast-feeding child, the mother is said to develop an emotional bond with her child.  Through breastfeeding alone, mothers are said to get more intuitive in terms of the child’s needs like getting hungry or wanting to rest and sleep.  Co-sleeping is also another way of attachment parenting.  Through this setup, the baby or child may sleep in the same bed with the parents or may have his/her own bed or crib that is placed nearby.  The basic idea is that the child stays close to the parent even during sleep.  Through this experience, the physical attachment will then develop into an emotional attachment which can make parents more responsive to the child’s needs.  The child will then later develop more stability in terms of emotions and social interactions.  Advocates of attachment parenting also push for carrying babies on slings rather than putting them on baby strollers for example. The idea is to easily pick more cues regarding the child’s needs and wants.  As the bonding between parent and child grows stronger, the non-verbal cues will then be picked up more instinctively.

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