Attachment parenting is a style of parenting that focuses on a nurturing and secure bond between parent and child. Here are 7 attachment parenting tools.
Attachment parenting is a style of parenting that focuses on creating a nurturing and secure bond between parent and child. It involves being very responsive to the child's needs and rejects rigid schedules and rules that prioritize the parents "convenience". In fact, you may be practicing some form of attachment parenting already even if you have never heard the term before!
Dr. Sears, a well known advocate for attachment parenting believes it can bring out the best in babies and the best in parents. He recommends these 7 attachment parenting tools:
#1 Birth bonding
Get started right with bonding as soon as you can. "Skin-to-skin" is a common request after birth these days as it allows the natural, biological attachment behavior of infants and the intuitive, biological caregiving instincts of the mother to come together. In other words, the baby and mom are most ready to bond in the period of time right after birth. If medical complications keep you and baby apart, then simply get started as soon as you can.
Breastfeeding is a great way to satisfy an infant's nutritional and emotional needs. It also helps you read your baby's cues, her body language which is the first step in getting to know your baby. Breastfeeding also stimulates your body to produce prolactin and oxytocin, hormones that give your mothering a boost.
#3 Baby wearing
You may notice that baby cries the moment you put him down. That's because touch and human closeness is very important, especially in the early days. Baby wearing is a good solution because it improves the closeness promotes familiarity and security between parent and child.
Carried babies fuss less and spend more time in the state of quiet alertness, the behaviour state in which babies learn most about their environment.
Sleeping within close touching and nursing distance minimises nighttime separation anxiety for babies. It will also help you reconnect with your baby if you have been busy during the day.
As it also makes breastfeeding easier, many moms who co-sleep report a better quality of sleep as well. Just ensure that you have taken all safety precautions.
#5 Crying is communication
A baby’s cry is a signal designed for the survival of the baby and the development of the parents. Responding sensitively to your baby’s cries builds trust. Babies trust that their caregivers will be responsive to their needs.
Parents gradually learn to trust in their ability to appropriately meet their baby’s needs. Remember, your baby cries to communicate, not to manipulate.
#6 Beware of baby trainers
Once you bring your baby home, there will be no shortage of advice whether from well-meaning family members or experts that may advocate other methods.
Be discerning especially for rigid and extreme parenting styles that teach you to watch a clock, or schedule instead of the baby as it could be more "convenient" for you. These methods keep you from truly reading your child and learning about what works best for him.
#7 Find BalanceTo give your best to your baby, you need to be in the best state of mind yourself. That means taking care of yourself and balancing the needs of the whole family. Attachment parenting does not mean saying yes to everything your baby wants, it's about learning when to say yes and when to say no. There's also no shame in admitting when you need a break!
This article was originally featured on The Asian Parent