The foundation of an attachment parenting group is to develop a strong attachment bond between the child and the parent or parents. The belief is that this bond affects the child emotionally, physically, and intellectually. Attachment parenting international studies seem to indicate that some of the philosophies and techniques practiced by attachment parenting group have long-term effects on the well being of the child.
So what are the techniques attributed to for attachment parenting? It starts with before the child is born. Attachment parenting international groups all agree that the connection between baby and mother begins with the childbirth process. The mother is often encouraged to take little medications during childbirth in order to best bond with the baby. Active participation in the birthing process by both parents is highly encouraged by attachment parenting groups.
Attachment parenting groups believe in responding to the baby every time he or she cries. They do not believe in allowing a baby to cry, even if nothing is wrong. They do not believe that responding immediately to a baby every time he or she cries will result in spoiling the baby. Rocking, nursing, playing, or otherwise entertaining the baby are all activities the mother and father are supposed to do when the baby cries.
Attachment parenting groups are huge proponents of breastfeeding, as it provides the best nutrition and skin-to-skin contact of any other feeding method. Many attachment style mothers breastfeed their babies well into the preschool years. This is called extended nursing.
Baby wearing is another tenant of attachment parenting. Baby wearing refers to the mother carrying the baby in a sling or other type of carrier, so that the baby is always with the mother, and thus she can respond to his or her crying immediately. Along with this, attachment parenting does not allow the parent to have extended separations from the child. If the mother must work, they recommend that the child always has the same caregiver during working hours. Parents are not to take long trips away from their babies.
Attachment parenting groups are firm believers in co-sleeping. Co-sleeping refers to the baby sharing a bed with the parents. This allows the baby to be close at hand for nighttime nursing. This can be dangerous, so many companies have developed products to help keep the baby safe in the family bed. Some attachment style parents have their babies in beds near their bed, but not in it, to help with the safety issues.
Discipline with attachment parenting is all positive. The only type of negative consequence a child would ever receive is a “time out.” Attachment parents believe that children are basically good and with the proper guidance, will not need to be punished in a traditional fashion.
Finally, the main goal of the attachment style parent would be to maintain balance in the family. Parents are supposed to take time for themselves, while carrying for their child. Social support is a big part of attachment parenting.