Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Attachment parenting – highly responsive parenting style

Attachment parenting is getting a lot of media frenzy these days, but many parents are still unaware of the whole meaning of the term. Attachment parenting was initiated by renowned pediatrician, Dr. William Sears, together with his spouse, Martha – a term that describes a very responsive and nurturing style of raising a child.

Dr. Sears and his wife see attachment parenting as a style that helps promote the bonding relationship of parent and child emotionally through physical bonding. This is achieved through what Dr. Sears calls as the "Baby Bs" – breastfeeding, bonding, bedsharing, babywearing, and boundary building.

Advocates of attachment parenting encourage parents, especially mothers, to carry their baby and respond to him/her as needed, during the first early weeks of the baby’s life. Contrary to the age-old belief to let babies "cry it out" so as not to spoil him/her, a baby's cry is an effective survival tool that babies use to convey their needs, which should not be ignored

Breastfeeding has long been seen as an excellent means of creating a bond between mother and child, but on top of that, breastmilk is the best source of nutrition for your baby from birth to sixth month. Breastfeeding ensures that mothers hold their babies frequently and constantly, for mothers who are exclusively breastfeeding. It also fosters the biological need for babies to keep constant contact with his/her mother as a transition from the womb to a baby's first breath of air.

Bedsharing and babywearing are both physical means to keep babies in close contact with a parent. Bedsharing is achieved in many ways, which for some parents, depend on the available bedroom furniture. There are parents who lay mattresses on the floor just to achieve this. Babywearing is using a baby carrier when bringing your baby along for a walk. However, other attachment parenting advocates would contest using baby carriers when babies prefer to be carried on strollers. Nonetheless, bedsharing and babywearing are two ways to promote emotional closeness.

Expectedly, attachment parenting holds on to employing age-appropriate, gentle discipline to teach their children manners, and basic "rights" and "wrongs" – boundary building. In that case, attachment parents would rather keep dangerous objects (such as breakables) out of reach of a toddler than telling the toddler not to play with it, realizing the consequences are is incomprehensible for the toddler. The crux is for parents to provide guidance, be role models, reward good behavior, and enforce gentle punishments.

Attachment parenting, does not necessarily included the "Baby B's", and that Dr. Sears only uses them as tools in order for parents to get to know their babies and respond to their needs instinctively, while inculcating family values and fostering good family relationships.

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