I have recently been reading a lot about Attachment Parenting, relating to my Breastfeeding Blog Post. One of the major things I noticed is the focus on connecting with your baby/child and how getting to know your baby promotes trust and sensitivity.
The key to Attachment Parenting seems to be working out the cues your baby gives for her needs, in order to provide the correct responses. This seems like what any parent would do anyway; I mean, you wouldn’t leave your baby crying, you would try to work out what was bothering her. Attachment parenting goes one step further, with many people stating you can ‘learn’ your baby so well via their cues (body language/verbal cues) that their needs are met almost instantly.
An interesting theory I have read about states that a baby’s gestation period is actually 18 months (9 months in the womb and 9 months outside the womb). Using attachment parenting from birth can soothe and calm your baby. Breastfeeding and baby-wearing, key aspects of attachment parenting, make the environment seem much more like the womb environment. This makes the baby feel comfortable and safe e.g. hearing mother’s heartbeat and feeling mother’s walking pattern whilst being ‘wrapped’ in a sling.
Since learning about attachment parenting I have often wondered, can a baby become ‘too attached’? Will the baby ever want to be with anyone else? However, as I have read more, I believe that the baby will feel safe in their environment and trust their parents to meet their needs. Therefore, they feel more comfortable to venture off and explore new environments/situations. It is also important to allow the child to progress to independence when they are ready. You cannot force a child to play with others at playgroup, just as you can’t force a child to be ‘carried’ when they want to go off and explore. I think the balance has to be right, and no-one knows better that the child herself.
Another benefit of attachment parenting is that the baby builds a high value in themselves and develop their self-confidence. Think about it…a baby who’s needs are met frequently and with care, learns that they are important. Also, if their needs are listened to, they are more likely to be confident to express their thought, feelings and emotions as they get older. They know they will be listened to and responded to appropriately and with love.
Some statements from people following attachment parenting seem to go a little beyond my comprehension e.g. ‘Attachment parenting helps the developing brain make the right connections’. However, as long as parenting styles have a good effect on the child and promotes happiness, I think it can only be positive.