Attachment parenting is a parenting philosophy that seeks to strengthen family units by nurturing children’s natural needs for trust, respect, and affection, specifically in the first few years of life. To do this, Attachment Parenting focuses heavily on the use of skin to skin and physical proximity to begin to build the healthy and strong emotional bonds between you and your child, which will aid in raising them to be secure, independent, and empathetic.
The 7Bs Of Attachment Parenting
When you hear about attachment parenting, you may also hear of the 7 Bs of attachment parenting. These are the pillars of how to form a secure attachment and they are as follows:
- Birth bonding – To ease the transition to life outside the womb, the use of skin to skin is recommended when the baby is newborn. This soothes and helps the baby feel safe and secure.
- Breastfeeding – Breastfeeding is the preferred method of feeding in attachment parenting for its long-standing reputation as the first step in nurturing a close, secure bond with your child.
- Babywearing – Carrying your baby in a sling or carrier keeps the baby close and helps your child feel safe and secure, making babies cry less.
- Bedding close to the baby – In a co-sleeping arrangement, your child sleeps in the same room as you, so that parents can instantly respond to the child’s needs, such as feeding or soothing, through the night.
- Belief in the language value of your baby’s cry – In attachment parenting, parents should consider any emotional expression as an effort to communicate, which includes crying from the baby or toddler tantrums. These moments should be treated as if you were communicating with another adult, and stem from a place of empathy and understanding, rather than being dismissed or punished.
- Beware of baby trainers – When practicing attachment parenting, it is not recommended to use sleep training or for children to be left in childcare for more than 20 hours a week if they are under 30 months old. Instead, experts recommend that parents are present at every opportunity, including walks and any nights out.
- Balance – To prevent burnout, and exhaustion from emotional demands, parents are advised to make their well-being a central priority and reach out to support networks while living healthy lifestyles.
The Benefits Of Attachment Parenting
Now you have read and digested the 7 Bs of Attachment Parenting, it is easy to see what the benefits of implementing this philosophy are. Attachment Parenting has a large evidential base in psychology. It creates a secure attachment proved essential to form a healthy relationship between parent and child with better cooperation, development, and self-esteem now and in the future. Children raised in an attachment parenting style are often more empathetic, and as they are given the freedom to explore knowing they always have a safe haven to return to if they would need it, making it easier for them to develop and understand their peers later on in life.
Additionally, the early physical contact creates strong bonds between parent and child from the moment they are born, which leads to forming closer relationships and making communicating difficult issues and navigating any traumatic or negative experiences easier by having an understanding deeply rooted in this important bond.